Tagged Against The Grain Productions

2017 Thailand Aid Disbursement

Many thanks to our Aid Advisor (Thailand) Lisa Tran and our volunteer Nong Sasinapa, ATG was able to deliver an aid mission with heart and “vision” to aid many underprivileged children in Phob Phra district, Tak province of Thailand. Through Nong’s research and assistance, we purchased 49,350 BAHT (approx. USD $1,495) for 141 eye-glass frames for 141 children.
Phob Phra Hospital estimates that approximately 10% of children in Phob Phra District have vision problems. This district is far from the city and most people are minorities without Thai citizenship, hindering them access to government facilities and social welfare. Due to the lack of accessibility for parents to provide glasses for their children, those with vision problems cannot live and learn properly. Many of them are reportedly to be intellectually underdeveloped. Most students in the Thoo Mhew Khee Learning Center are Burmese refugees who stay in Prob Phra District without proper civil registration. Many students with vision problems do not have eyeglasses, and this mission provided eyeglasses to enable these students with eye or vision problems to have a better quality of life.

For the 2017–2018 academic year, a total of 141 students received vision checks and eye glasses. The glass frames were purchased by ATG. The lenses and technical support (Optometrist, optician and eye examination devices) were provided free of charge by Thai Glass Center and the Thai Health Promotion Center.

It is with your support that we can continue to improve the lives of underprivileged children and give them hope of a brighter future. Please continue to support our cause by donating.

Announcing the 2017 Fashion for a Passion Presenting Designer Line-up + Emcees

Dallas, TX — Against The Grain Productions is proud to announce the Presenting Designer line-up for its 9th Annual Fashion for a Passion charity event, which takes place Saturday, November 11th, at sixty five hundred located at 6500 Cedar Springs Road in Dallas. Handpicked by the ATG Board, these diverse young Asian American designers represent an exciting mix of influences and design aesthetics.

One of Dallas’ hottest fashion tickets and fall charity events, the evening showcases and celebrates emerging Asian American artists and musical performers. “We’re thrilled to be able to come together as a team and bring this amazing event to the community for the ninth year,” said President/Co-Founder Tammy Nguyen Lee. “To produce an evening like this takes a lot of heart, dedication and passion, and we are proud to collaborate with wonderful talent in front of and behind the scenes to make it happen, including one of very own Artistic Scholarship winners.”

Fashion for a Passion has become significant as a place to discover talent, becoming a launch pad for Asian American designers such as Khanh Nguyen of Nha Khanh, Hanh Dang of Lucy Dang and Jerry Matthews of Nine Muses, who have all gone on to notable fashion careers.

The evening includes a cocktail reception with entertainment, a silent auction/raffle, art exhibit, fashion show with live auction, tasty bites and sips and concludes with a wrap-party for guests to mix and mingle until midnight.

Proceeds from the evening’s ticket sales, silent, art and live auctions as well as support from generous sponsors benefit ATG’s supported orphanages and underprivileged children in Asia, scholarships for student artists and leaders and community outreach programs in the U.S. to inspire, educate and entertain the community.

General Admission and VIP Reserved Tickets range from $50 to $125 and will be on sale at www.AgainstTheGrainProductions.com/events/ffap starting in September. Sponsorships are currently available by emailing fundraising@againstthegrainproductions.com.

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Orphanage and Underprivileged Children Aid Update: Thailand

Thanks to our aid advisor to Thailand, Lisa Tran, and our ambassador Yui Yud, ATG was able to make a small disbursement of $550 in aid over the Christmas holidays to The Mercy Center, which is located in central Bangkok, Thailand in an area called Klong Toey, an area which is synonymous to the large slum community that lives here. According to a report done by Borgen magazine in 2014, the area is “one of the country’s 5,500 slum communities, covers an area of around a square mile and is home to around 100,000 people.” (http://www.borgenmagazine.com/bangkoks-klong-toey-slum/)

“Around 20 percent of Bangkok’s residents live in illegal squatter settlements all around the city. Dating back from the 1950s, Klong Toey is one of the country’s oldest and most well-known slums. Many inhabitants of Klong Toey originate from the country’s poorer northeast who have been attracted by the work opportunities of the district’s river port, Bangkok’s largest wet market, the business district as well as the oil refineries in nearby districts. Aside from poverty, drug addiction is a very pressing problem among the slum’s youth. Methamphetamine and crystal methamphetamine are the two most common hard drugs. Furthermore, basic amenities such as water and electricity are always in short supply.

In Klong Toey, an average household earns only around half of the national average and only around one-third of the income an average Bangkok household. Moreover, the living condition within the slum is also truly appalling. Against the backdrop of the intense and humid tropical heat of over-urbanized Bangkok accompanied with the putrefying odor of the city’s sewage system, the residents of Klong Toey experience murders, abuse, petty and serious crimes, drug addictions, unmanaged waste, unemployment and grinding poverty on a regular basis. Garbage and undrained sewage clogging litter the slum community and elderly and people with disabilities sitting in front of their makeshift tin shack houses.

As many inhabitants lack the skills and the recognized qualifications necessary to achieve social mobility, breaking away from the vicious cycle of poverty is incredibly difficult. To make matters worse, in Thailand—one of the global centers of human trafficking and sex trade—many residents of Klong Toey find their livelihood in the informal sector, some of which are illicit.

In Thailand, it is estimated that a third of the country’s working age population work in the informal sector, an umbrella category that includes everything from black market illegal businesses to selling garlands and street food.This means that a large part of country’s working population do not have any retirement plans, health insurance or any other social benefits. It is also estimated that 2.5 million children in Thailand are absent from school. Certainly social welfare and human development concerns are among the some of the most pressing issues of the country. Nevertheless, with Thailand’s “larger” political and economic problems, these “smaller” issues are hardly discussed and many urbanites are unaware of their existence.”

Read more: http://www.timetravelturtle.com/2013/01/klong-toey-slum-bangkok-helping-hands/

The Mercy Center’s Mission:

We work to help the children and communities of the many slums of Bangkok. Together with our neighbors in the slums we create simple-but-progressive solutions that touch the lives of thousands of the poor every day. We build and operate schools, improve family health and welfare, protect street children’s rights, combat the AIDS crisis, respond to daily emergencies, and offer shelter to orphans, to street children, and to children and adults with AIDS – always together, hand in hand and heart to heart with the people we serve.

As reported by Yui Yud: “After a number of phone calls with the staff at the Mercy Center, I found them to be very dedicated in their mission to help promote education to unfortunate children. They have set up their main office/home in the center of the Klong Toey slums which provides a home to around 200 children aged 3-18. This center also has a significant education center, with many classrooms, an art room, computer room, nursing station and a cafeteria. The education facility is provided for the children that live in the home, as well as other slum kids in the area whom are unable to afford outside education. Apart from the center at this location, they have up to 23 centers around the country which provide basic education for up to 3000 children between the age of 2-6. Many of the children whom come to their schools are not orphans, but families whom can’t afford education. Another interesting program they have is called Construction Camp. The concept is like a mobile school van which visits children at construction sites. Generally, these are migrant families from Cambodia and Myanmar whom come to find more income and bring their children along. Rather than having the children run around the construction sites all day, these vans visit the sites with teachers and provide the kids with some learning tools for the day. There are currently 9 camps at the moment.”






There are also many other programs that are run by the Mercy Center:

  • Janusz Korczak School of S.E. Asia – a non-formal school for street children
  • Legal Aid Centre for poor children
  • A community drop-in center for the elderly, the handicapped, adults living with HIV, children in trouble or afraid, anyone in need.
  • School Sponsorships. Over 500 primary and secondary school sponsorships for the poorest neighborhood children in Bangkok
  • Hospice Team for home visits to children and adults living with HIV
  • And many others (visit: http://www.mercycentre.org/en/home/programs-at-a-glance)

Thank you to Lisa, Yui and to you for your generous donations so we can continue this important work. Please continue to donate to our cause here. 

Celebrating Asian American Talent for a Cause at ATG’s 8th Annual Fashion for a Passion

Photo | Dr. Jarvis Jacobs
Photo | Dr. Jarvis Jacobs

Nov. 7, 2016 (DALLAS) – Fashion for a Passion presented by Audi Dallas gave guests from all over the Dallas community a fresh take on Asian American fashion, music and art at its 8th annual event on Oct. 29 at new venue sixty five hundred. Through sponsorships, ticket sales, live and silent auctions, a raffle and additional donations, more than 350 glamorous guests gathered together to raise more than $26,000 net, all of which benefit the mission of Against The Grain Productions, a Dallas-based non-profit, with its supported orphanages and underprivileged children in Asia, scholarship fund and community outreach programs for 2017.

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Announcing the 2015 Fashion for a Passion Designer Line-Up


Against The Grain Productions is proud to announce the presenting designer line-up for its 7th Annual Fashion for a Passion charity event presented by Audi Dallas, taking place Saturday, Nov. 7, at 7 for Parties in Dallas’ Design District. Handpicked by the ATG board, these designers represent an exciting mix of backgrounds, Asian American origins and design aesthetics.

“We are excited to host our 7th annual event at a fabulous new venue, 7 for Parties on Nov. 7th along with seven amazing designers. We really feel the energy of that lucky number and are preparing for an exciting show that will delight our audience,” said Against The Grain President and Co-Founder Tammy Nguyen Lee. “We have a number of returning Asian American designers showing their new lines as well as a few new designers, plus a few surprises up our sleeve – all coming together to bene fit the causes we support.” Read more

ATG Presents 4th Annual Groundbreakers Speak at NAAAP National Convention


June 17, 2015 (DALLAS) – Back by popular demand, non-profit Against The Grain Productions will host their 4th Annual Groundbreakers Speak: A Conversation with Movers and Shakers – a diverse panel of remarkable Asian American industry leaders brought together to share their inspiring personal stories and paths to success. For the first time ever, this year’s event, which promotes leadership and mentorship, will be co-hosted with the National Association of Asian American professionals of DFW (NAAAP-DFW) at the NAAAP National Convention to be held in Dallas (another first) under the theme “Resilience: Power of the Asian Leader.”

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Going Against The Grain: Grace Wu

NBC Universal Executives


Grace Wu serves as Executive Vice President, Casting, NBC Entertainment since 2009. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the University of California at Berkeley, Wu began her career in entertainment casting as an assistant on the feature film “In & Out,” starring Kevin Kline.  She transitioned into television when she joined Liberman/Hirschfeld Casting, where she worked on casting for the critically acclaimed “Seinfeld,” “MadTV” and “The Larry Sanders Show.” While at NBC, Wu supervised the casting of such network series as “Freaks & Geeks,” “Friday Night Lights,” “Parenthood” and “The Black List.”  She is responsible for overseeing the day-today casting on current scripted series as well as pilot productions.

Full name: 

Grace Wu


Los Angeles, CA

Current City: 

Los Angeles, CA 



What does it mean to you to “Go Against The Grain?”

Lately, it means to speak up when I feel the most scared.

What made you decide to pursue a career in this industry?

I like being around creative people, getting into their heads and helping execute their vision.

What have been some of the challenges you faced/lessons you learned as an Asian American in this field?  

I can’t think of any challenges, but as the daughter of immigrants, it’s in my DNA to work hard and not whine or complain.

What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment, and why?

My biggest accomplishment is picking the right guy to marry because I’ve created the family I always wanted.

What’s up next?

Finding time to shop Zappos.

Quote to live by:

You get what you get and you don’t get upset.

Sign (Eastern Animal Sign & Western Zodiac):

I’m a Rooster/Scorpio

Passionate about:

Keeping my iPhone and iPad charged at 100%.My kids think I’m crazy, but it must be!

Favorite food:

Sushi and fried egg sandwiches

Can’t live without:

Thinking about my next great meal.

I Go Against The Grain #beCAUSE:

It doesn’t seem as much fun to be regular and conventional.

Going Against The Grain: Quan Phung

Quan Phung | President, Scripted Programming | Slingshot Global Media

Quan Phung is President of Scripted Programming at Slingshot Global Media, an independent television studio backed by private equity and based in Santa Monica, California.  Established in 2014, Slingshot’s mission is to build a talent-friendly, forward-thinking 21st century studio that develops, produces, finances and distributes television series with a global focus and reach.

Prior to Slingshot, Quan spent close to two decades as a producer and an executive at companies such as Bluegrass Television, Twentieth Century Fox Television Studios, Fox Broadcasting Company (FOX) and the National Broadcasting Company (NBC).  He has been involved in the development and production of many acclaimed series including House, How I Met Your Mother, My Name is Earl and Arrested Development.  In 2002, he was named one of Hollywood Reporter’s Top 35 Executives Under 35.

Full Name: Quan Luong Phung
Hometown: San Diego, California
Current City: Los Angeles, California
Ethnicity: Vietnamese

What does it mean to you to “Go Against The Grain?”

To me, “Going Against The Grain” is always striving to be your authentic self.  It is continuing to evolve and recognizing your strengths and shortcomings.  It is not being afraid of failure and looking at those moments as opportunities to engage with the world, and get to know yourself better.  It is leading anything but a life of quiet desperation.




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6th Annual Fashion for Passion Breaks All Event Records

FFAP Collage

November 5, 2014 (Dallas, TX) – On Saturday, November 1, Against The Grain Productions held its 6th Annual Fashion for a Passion charity event at Three Three Three First Avenue. In a sold-out show that beat all event records, the event hosted 450 guests and raised more than $35K in funds to go to ATG’s supported orphanages in Asia, scholarship fund and community outreach programs. Read more