For Immediate Release:
September 16, 2021
State Rep. Nima Kulkarni joins with Louisville Public Media & AAPI co-creators to promote new podcast focused on Asian Americans in Kentucky
LOUISVILLE – State Representative Nima Kulkarni, the first Indian-American to serve in the General Assembly, has teamed up with Louisville Public Media and three other co-creators to produce a new podcast focused on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the Commonwealth.
“I’m incredibly proud to work with community leaders like Charlene Buckles, Mae Suramek, and Dan Wu to create ‘Where Y’all Really From?,’” said Rep. Kulkarni. “The idea for this podcast really came from a desire to create a space where the Asian American experience, history, and perspective in Kentucky is highlighted. After hundreds of people showed up to support our AAPI community in the wake of the tragic shootings in the Atlanta area earlier this year, I felt that we needed a new way to continue those difficult conversations, and to try and combat the rise of anti-Asian and anti-immigrant hate in our communities, through shared stories and experiences.
“I’m excited to join with Louisville Public Media and my friends to make this podcast possible and hope it draws a wide audience, because our story is not just for us to hear,” the Louisville legislator added. “I know that the thousands of AAPI residents here in Kentucky will learn from and relate to this podcast, and will also know they are not alone.”
“We are so excited to share the voices and stories of the AAPI community living and learning in Kentucky,” said co-creator Mae Suramek, who is a social entrepreneur and a restaurant owner in Berea. “It’s been a long time coming. This podcast pushes the narrative of what it means to belong, what it means to be a Kentuckian.”
The first two episodes of “Where Y’all Really From” will premiere on September 21, and the remaining 10 episodes will be released weekly on Tuesdays. The show will be available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and whereyallreallyfrom.org, and a two-minute promotional trailer has been posted.
The hosts are Charlene Buckles, a Louisville-based activist and fundraiser with ACLU of Kentucky, and Dan Wu, a business owner and activist in Lexington. They, Rep. Kulkarni and Mae Suramek are the podcast’s creators.
The first episode features those directly involved with the podcast talking about their own experiences as Asian Americans in Kentucky, what the name of their show means and why conversations like this are important.
The second episode will feature University of Louisville President Dr. Neeli Bendapudi, the first person of color to lead the university. Their conversation, according to Louisville Public Media, examines why Asian Americans tend to be overrepresented in middle management but underrepresented in leadership positions. They will also discuss why women and people of color often replace white male leaders during times of controversy.
Other episodes will focus on Asian-American children living in rural Kentucky; the journey from refugee to Kentuckian; Asian American representation in pop culture; and the experiences that trans-racial adoptees have.
“Where Y’all Really From” is the first podcast from Louisville Public Media’s Podcast Incubator, which is focused on developing podcasts for people not usually represented in public media. Those include people of color, members of the LGBTQ community, immigrants and those of marginalized gender.
“I want to thank Louisville Public Media for being such great partners in this podcast and for amplifying our voices this way,” Rep. Kulkarni said. “My friends and I are looking forward to promoting those stories that too often are not heard but are such an important part of Kentucky’s own.”
More information about the podcast can be found here: