Asian American Womanhood and ResilienceMessages from the Movie "Turning Red" 

Thursday, July 14, 2022, 2:30 to 4 p.m.

Register now:

In this webinar, we will explore what it is like growing up Asian in America, Asian American womanhood, and resilience through the discussion of Disney and Pixar's original feature film "Turning Red".

The film introduces 13-year-old Meilin Lee who is torn between being her mother's obedient daughter and the chaos of her youth. We will discuss salient topics in contemporary Asian America such as mental health, parental pressure, the "model minority" myth, and intergenerational trauma and resilience. In particular, we will highlight the ways generational trauma is passed down between grandmothers, mothers, and daughters in cultures that are largely oppressive towards women, how it shows up in the immigrant family experience, and what healing, resilience, and growth look like in the Asian and Asian American communities. 

About Dr. Esther Hio-Tong Castillo:

Dr. Esther Hio-Tong Castillo is a scholar/educator and mental health and social justice advocate with expertise in equity, diversity, and inclusion matters. She has nearly two decades of working experience in education as a teacher, counselor, community advocate, and faculty in various educational settings, including early childhood education, youth programs, adult education, and higher education.

She is a proud biracial queer woman, a first-generation college student, and a 1.5-generation immigrant. Her identity and life story have strengthened her dedication to improving mental wellness and equities for Asian immigrant communities. Dr. Castillo has a MA in Humanities and Social Thoughts from NYU and a Ph.D. in Sociology from Temple University. She is the Founder and Program Director of the Chinese Immigrant Families Wellness Initiative (CIFWI) at the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation (PCDC). At CIFWI, she implements and organizes all programming and offers wellness workshops to Asian immigrant parents and their children.


About Noel Ramirez, DBH, MPH, MSW, LCSW, BCD

The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned. - Maya Angelou

Dr. Noel Ramirez is the son of two beautifully resilient Filipino immigrants. He grew up in Jersey City, NJ.  He is a clinical social worker dedicated to creating opportunities for folx and communities to find a home within themselves.  Dr. Ramirez is the director and owner of Mango Tree Counseling and Consulting, a group practice and mental health resource center for Asian American/Pacific Islanders (AAPI) folx in Pennsylvania. Outside of Mango Tree, Dr. Ramirez is involved in varying community health and empowerment initiatives, specifically in working as a behavioral health consultant at a local federally qualified health center, teaching graduate social work practice on intersectionality and healing-centered practices at Columbia University and West Chester University, and social empowerment programming with Philadelphia Asian and Queer. 

He received his doctorate in Behavioral Health from Arizona State University, a graduate degree in public health from Drexel University, and his MSW from the University of Pennsylvania.