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Mills alums release Hyphen Magazine

Mills College Weekly

As busy and dedicated students, it is surprising how easily we
can lose sight of our long-term dreams and goals while trying to
meet immediate deadlines and required courses. Friday evening, Nov.
7, students and alumnae gathered to recognize the realization of
several Mills women’s dreams at the second release of Hyphen

The remaining members and supporters of A Magazine, which
folded two years ago, created Hyphen Magazine. A
was a mainstream magazine that focused on pop culture
and entertainment within the Asian community. The creators of
Hyphen wanted a publication that would reflect the diversity
within Asian-American culture and to begin a discourse on
Asian-Americans as a political interest group in conjunction with
many of the same pop culture and entertainment qualities of A

The name Hyphen was chosen because of the hyphen between
Asian and American. Development Director and Mills MBA graduate ’01
Tina Lee explained that the hyphen can be interpreted as a
conscious division between the Asian and American culture or it can
be viewed as a link to the homeland. Either way the hyphen
represents the key factor in what it means to be identified as
Asian-American. The magazine works to blend the diversity of Asian
culture in America with issues that affect Asian communities on a
political level. “Where are we going? We are here,” said Lee. “It’s
[Hyphen] about bringing people together to start that dialogue. We
are a force to be reckoned with. We really have something to say
and we are going to say it.”

Another quality specific to Hyphen Magazine is their
grassroots style organization for the publication. The magazine’s
revenues are based on seventy percent philanthropic donations and
thirty percent sales, ads and events. “With less emphasis on ads,
you engage people on a different level, your cause often becomes
their cause and there is less conflict in the content of the
articles,” said Lee. “This is all done in our spare time,” she
said, “All of the staff members have full-time jobs, and so it’s
definitely a labor of love.”

Lee did not hesitate to attribute her success on this project to
her time at Mills. “You really don’t realize this until you are out
there but Mills is where I found my voice, found support and tools
to realize my dreams. Amazing things happen when Mills women are
together,” she said. She also added that the support she found at
Mills was why Mills was an obvious choice for the second release
party for Hyphen.

Students and alumnae couldn’t agree more, joining together in
recognition of their colleagues’ accomplishments. The event was
catered by Patti Wakita, another upstanding and well-known Mills
alumna and owner of World Ground Cafe.

“I would like to see more events like this. I just started my
Ethnic Studies major and it’s inspiring to see alums doing this
kind of work,”said sophomore Lori Chin.

A key contributor to the organization of the event, Sharon
Tatai, class of 1980 and an Alumnae Trustee said, “The magazine
deals with serious issues in the Asian-American community. There is
a multitude of Asian culture and this [Hyphen] really deals with
its complexity. Often times, it is assumed that Asians are all the
same and this is not true.”

Senior and APISA president Joy Liu said, “I was really happy to
meet them [the Hyphen creators]. Tina is really charismatic – all
the energy very inspiring.”

Overall, the release party was a great summation of what you can
accomplish as a Mills woman and a reminder to those who have made
their dreams come true.