Sam Louie

Sam Louie

Inspirational. Educational. Personal.
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Program Descriptions

“Slanted Eyes: The Asian-American Experience”
“Chink!”, “Jap!”, "Gook!", “Where are you from?”, “Do you eat dog?”, “Why don’t you go back to where you came from?!”, “Do you know Kung-Fu?”. From the racist to the innocuous, issues of culture, ethnicity, and discrimination are prevalent themes for Asian minorities in the U.S. This message explores the history of Asian-American immigration, racism, and challenges Asian-Americans face growing up in the U.S. By incorporating his own Spoken Word poetry, audiences get a fresh and unique perspective on minority experiences.

"Bias isn't Bad: A Permission Slip for Cultural Understanding"
In diversity training, many people feel bias is a bad word and thus refuse to share or acknowledge thoughts and feelings with each other regarding racial issues here in the U.S. In an attempt to not "offend" others, many Caucasians don't know how to wrestle with common issues such as stereotypes, implicit bias, and starting cultural conversations. In this presentation, Sam helps audiences relax as he shares bias, racism, and stereotypes that confront many Asians in a non-threatening and humorous manner while also helping people see the larger picture of other ethnic, racial, and religious struggles here in the U.S.

"My Story, Your Story, Our Stories: Exploring Our Identities & Privileges"
What are your privileges? What are you social identities? How do these make you who you are -- and who would you be without them? A vibrant experiential workshop filled with activities and interactions with others where you can see, hear, and share your experiences with others in a creative and engaging atmosphere. Participants will be follow structured group exercises to maximize learning and growth.

"Asian Shame & Addiction: Suffering in Silence"
Asian collectivist cultures are prone to cultural shame, trauma, and emotional neglect. Consequently, the need to cope with the trauma of shame leads many to find addictions as a coping mechanism. Food, gambling, alcohol, work, sex, and a plethora of other addicts occur as Asians "suffer in silence".

"I Wish I Was White: The Desire to Fit In, Yet Always Standing Out"
Sam didn't choose to be Chinese. Sam didn't choose to stand out. Instead he tried his best to fit in. Yet, because of his immigrant Asian background, he endured racism, stereotypes, job discrimination (which includes favoritism shown towards others), and overt messages that he wasn't wanted in certain places and professions in society. It's not easy being a silent minority (i.e. a culture that has few vocal activists), so mainstream culture not only ignores the injustice but also capitalizes on the caricatures. In this riveting keynote, you will hear not one man's story, but the collective story of Asian-Americans and the battle against the societal perception that they are "always Asian" yet "never American".

"Losing Face & Finding Grace: Counseling & Care within Asian Christianity"
Asian Christians can be susceptible to a superficial faith due to the cultural underpinnings of cultural collectivism, honor, and the need to "save face" to keep the stigma of disgrace, humiliation, or failure from setting in. Yet, a core Biblical principle is addressing one's shame and finding grace and healing from it within a church body. This workshop will allow participants to honestly deal with their emotions and past in a safe, engaging, and creative atmosphere.

“Living in White America: Race, Culture, and Bias in Everyday Life”
"A presentation which explores the impact of white privilege on ethnic minorities in both overt and more subtle ways (i.e. micro-aggressions). The presentation also includes a look at mainstream media and its impact on perpetuating the stereotypes.

Sam Louie's Diversity Background
As a first generation Chinese immigrant who grew up in a predominantly African-American neighborhood of South Seattle, Sam understands keenly what it means to be a minority in the U.S. His diversity keynotes are not only engaging and powerful but are punctuated with humor from his own family experiences of "Coming to America". Beyond highlighting some of the cultural and ethnic differences, Sam's speaking also reminds us of our shared humanity as well.


Biography Read more

Sam Louie is a psychotherapist with a private practice in Seattle, Washington specializing in addictions and multicultural issues. Prior to counseling, Sam worked as an Emmy Award-Winning television journalist where he researched, produced, and reported on a number of stories related to psychotherapy, culture, and mental health.

He currently writes a blog for Psychology Today, “Minority Report: Candid Conversations about Race, Culture, and Psychology”. He has also written books geared towards helping others understand Asian-American experiences. “Asian Shame and Addiction: Suffering in Silence” delves into the unique cultural aspects that cause Asians to be susceptible to various addictions based on the strong honor/shame dynamic in collectivist Asian cultures. “Slanted Eyes: The Asian-American Poetic Experience” is a collection of poems that touch on themes of isolation, discrimination, addiction, and mental health.

Sam’s family background is that of a first-generation Chinese-American immigrant from Hong Kong who grew up in a predominantly African-American neighborhood of South Seattle.

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"I would definitely suggest you book him. He was a well-organized and dynamic speaker. Everyone enjoyed when he did his dramatic readings of his poetry in between talking and showing his slides. He kept everyone engaged throughout his entire presentation. Attendees also enjoyed his 2 hour workshop. They liked that it was interactive."
--University of Vermont