Now that you've had a crash course in Asian American activism, it's time for YOU to join in! Find a cause and get involved!
Seattle-based activist, Al Sugiyama (1950-2017) was the founder and long-time director of the Center for Career Alternatives, a multi-ethnic job training center for low income residents, and the head of the Executive Development Institute, a non-profit organization that trains and develops a diverse community of global leaders. As a student during the 1970s, he co-founded the Oriental Student Union at Seattle Central Community College and was a leader in the Asian Student Coalition at the University of Washington (where he was a transfer student). Learn more about Sugiyama here.
Browse the end www.saada.org/ and learn about the experiences, contributions, and history of South Asian Americans.
Adoptees from Asia comprise the largest population of transnational transracial adoptees to the U.S. Adoption from Korea following the Korean War laid the groundwork for the international adoption industry we know today. Although the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 (CCA) established U.S. citizenship for international adoptees to U.S. parents, many adoptees adopted prior to the implementation of the CCA were not naturalized. The Adoptee Rights Campaign is fighting for the citizenship rights of the thousands of international adoptees currently without citizenship. Learn more here.
Learn more about the Asian American Writers' workshop here.
Increasingly Asian Americans have been vocal about interracial solidarity and a refusal to be pit against other racial minorities. In the midst of high profile police brutality cases against African Americans, Asian Americans have participated in BlackLivesMatter protests and organizing including penning an open letter to Asian American family members explaining why Black Lives Matter. Read more about Asian Americans and BlackLivesMatter as well as the letter to Asian American family members:
From monitoring media portrayals of Asians and Asian Americans to collaborations with primetime networks to increase diversity on screen and behind the camera, Asian American organizations are fighting for racial representation. Learn more here: Social media campaigns have demanded more equitable racial representation of Asian Americans. For example #StarringJohnCho calls for a leading Asian American man. See the campaign here:
Asian American Activists Are Refusing to Join the Fight Against Affirmative Action. With #IAmNotYourWedge, civil rights groups and students are challenging a suit that claims Harvard and the University of North Carolina are admitting unqualified black and Latino students. Read the article here.
Asian American digital activism takes many forms, but in 2016 Times's deputy Metro editor, Michael Luo's experience of racism went viral. His encounter with a woman who told him to "go back to China" and the open letter he wrote in response, resulted in the hashtag #Thisis2016, where Asian Americans shared their experiences of racism. Watch as Asian Americans share their experiences here.
Have you shared what you've learned this month? If not, we challenge you to share something new, intriguing, or surprising from this series.
Nobuko Miyamoto (1939 - ) co-created the first album of Asian American music, A Grain of Sand (1973). In the late 1970s, she co-produced the first Asian American musical, "Choy Suey." The musical was the first project of her performing arts organization, Great Leap, which promotes Asian American performing arts. Learn more about Miyamoto in this interview.
A controversial figure, Richard Aoki (1938-2009) was a civil rights activist and member of the Black Panther Party. Recently released FBI records reveal Aoki as an FBI informant. Friends and supporters contend that Aoki was a steadfast Black Panther Party member and social justice activist. Learn more about Aoki and his role as activist and informant, here.
Grace Lee Boggs (1915-2015) was a social justice activist, feminist, and philospher. Learn more about her lifetime of activism here.