Founders of Asian American Studies and the Asian American Movement in Southern California

The Collective Memories Project gathers the oral histories of those involved in the Asian American movement of the 1960s, starting with those involved in the establishment of Asian American Studies at UCLA in its early years. This period from around 1968-1972 represents the formative years when the Asian American Studies Center was formed as an Organized Research Unit (ORU) alongside the American Indian Studies Center, Chicano Studies Research Center and Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies. These oral histories capture the recollections of activists and organizers as they reflect on the turbulent Sixties, their personal involvement and motivating ideals, and a snapshot of their life journey beyond these transformative years.


This project was launched in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Asian American Studies at UCLA. Oral histories that feature the origins of the AASC reveal the efforts taken to launch courses, spark new research, grow the first collection of publications and gather library, archival and other resources that now serve as a major resource for students, scholars and communities. The long-term aim of the Collective Memories Project is to continue beyond the UCLA experience to extend to the Asian American Movement more broadly.

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