Diversity & Culture Keynotes & Workshops

“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.

"Your Culture, Your Roots, Your Identity: What it means to be Asian-American

In this exploratory workshop, Sam uses his skillset as a psychotherapist trained in group work along with other creative modalities to help participants engage more deeply into their ethnic story.  This can include drawing, poetry, psychodrama, and a myriad of other avenues to tap into one's understanding of family, ethnicity, and cultural obligations.

"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, and overt messages that he wasn't wanted in certain places and professions in society.  It's not easy being a silent minority, 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. 

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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.

 

Addiction & Recovery

Asian Shame and Addiction: Suffering in Silence

Asians are collectivist people by nature and consequently the shame of disgracing their families and ancestors lead many to “suffer in silence” with their various addictions.  Whether it’s gambling, sex, food, or booze, Sam traces the roots of Asians afflicted by addictions to the cultural values of shame and honor.

Spoken not Broken: Healing through Poetry

This performance-based presentation is a blend of Spoken Word poetry, story-telling, and therapeutic insights to give audiences a message of inspiration and connection in their recovery.  Poems touch on themes of addictions, shame, and ultimately hope of a better tomorrow.  This presentation can also be extended to allow participants to create their own poetry for healing.

My Passport to Pain: From Immigrant to American Addict

Sam grew up caught between two cultures as a first generation Chinese immigrant to the United States.  In addition, he grew up amidst 3 generations of addictions (gambling, eating issues, workaholism, just to name a few).  

In this presentation, he documents the challenges of immigrant experiences such as cultural shame, assimilation to a new country, and how maladaptive coping mechanisms in the form of addictions and compulsive behaviors can pass from one generation to another.  Yet, Sam's own journey of resiliency  can give audiences a new understanding of hope, perseverance, and the resources necessary to end the cycle of negative generational patterns.  

 

 

 


Inspirational & corporate Keynotes

“Is your Calling ‘calling’ You?” 

A look at vocation and life’s career goals from the unique perspective of those who didn’t know what they wanted until the time arrived.  In this inspiring talk, Sam frees audiences from the belief that passion is only relegated to a small, special population.  Instead, he believes your calling is available to you but only if you’re willing to listen when it whispers in your ear.   

"No Mentor, No Problem: Persevering through Setbacks, Stumbles, and Stereotypes"

People always recommend finding mentors or role models to help you grow professionally.  But what if you're a minority lacking access to any?  Better yet, what if you're the son of immigrants and there's no one around you who speaks English?  How do you get ahead in this country?  This is Sam's story of perseverance and success.  Raised in a poor, urban neighborhood of South Seattle, he endured poverty, stereotypes, bullying, job discrimination, Asian shame (i.e. dishonoring the family), to get to where he is today.  As a psychotherapist in private-practice and Emmy Award-Winning former broadcast journalist, he reflects back on all the personal, cultural, and societal barriers that stood in his way.  Yet in the end, he found a way to reach his goals despite stumbles and setbacks.  His story is a sobering reminder of the realities of social inequity (i.e. ethnic, educational, and financial) facing many minorities but it should also lift audiences as a testament to the strength of the human spirit.

"When Life Gives You Lemons, Return Them for Oranges"

Sam Louie is a son of first-generation Chinese immigrants who endured poverty, stereotypes, bullying, job discrimination, Asian shame (i.e. dishonoring the family), to get to where he is today.  In addition, he grew up among 3 generations of family members struggling with some form of addiction.  Sam not only had to battle his own addiction demons but also had to fight off the negative messages that come with being an adult victim of sexual exploitation.  Feelings of despair, inadequacy, and worthlessness crippled him to the point of pondering suicide.  Yet despite the humiliation, multiple job losses, and a divorce, Sam soldiered on.  "The only way out was through", he was told.  So he got better and hatched a plan to pursue a career in psychotherapy so he could help others while also sharing similar stories of courage and commitment.

 “Faith & Works: God’s Desire for your Vocation”

For many Christians, their work life is separate from the spiritual realm.  Yet, in this challenging talk, Sam shares how work and vocation should be deeply integrated with one’s faith.  In other words, God calls us to find meaning not only in our faith and spiritual walk but in the world of work as well. 

 

* All keynote messages can be tailored and expanded into half-day workshops.

 

 

Emcee & Entertainment Host

Who doesn't want to have a good time?  If you're looking for a fun, energetic, and quick-witted Master of Ceremonies for a banquet, conference, fundraiser, or private party, this is where Sam's personality shines.  His smile, humor, and gift of gab will ensure audiences enjoy their time at your event.