Asian American and Pacific Islander Nexus Journal: Policy, Practice and Community - Call for Papers

Special Issue on Serving the Community: Reflections for Sustainable Partnerships and Organizational Transformation

The goal of this special issue of AAPI Nexus is to contribute to the body of knowledge related to purposeful and effective community engagement and partnerships. It is in response to how Asian American Studies has evolved over the last half century and how scholar activists re-envision the field for the future. There has been a growing rift between the original founding community-based and politically engaged mission of Asian American studies. This has been demonstrated through the ways the field has moved away from service and become more professionalized and rooted within academia and its institutions. This is not surprising given that the culture of academia is largely individualistic (e.g., the tenure and promotion process encourages individual, not collective, accomplishments). Consequently, community-university partnership initiatives have faced persistent organizational questions of how to transform higher education and, in the original tradition of Asian American studies, strategically reclaim and redirect Ivory Tower resources to serve with community.

Some scholars have called for a reinvigoration of scholarly efforts that bridge the proverbial town and gown divide. This has been driven in part by personal commitment and passion, which alone is not sufficient. Instead, there is a need to develop a deeper understanding of the complex systemic conditions that contextualize and shape community-based research. Further, there is a need to investigate the ways various stakeholders (e.g., community organizations, foundations, policymakers, and academic departments) foster community-university partnerships and the challenges they face, namely (a) addressing the unique structural demands of each sector, and (b) how these distinct organizational contexts interact with each other. Understanding how organizational conditions intersect can help facilitate more strategic advancements in community-university collaborations. Although the original mission of the Asian American Studies Movement was to "serve the community," we intentionally express a need to "serve with community," reflecting an explicit interest in developing community-university partnerships.

We encourage paper submissions authored by, and/or feature the perspectives of community advocates and leaders, policymakers, foundation professionals, students, researchers, and others involved in advancing community-university partnerships through insightful organizational analyses. The following are examples of possible topics:

  • Organizational analysis of community-university partnerships
  • Analysis of power relations in community-university research partnerships and the outcomes of the collaborative work (e.g., grassroots versus grasstops scholarship)
  • Ethical reflections on community-university partnerships (e.g. community IRB)
  • Evaluations of approaches to developing and sustaining community-oriented or policy-oriented academic organizations (e.g., departments, schools, research centers, etc.)
  • Impact studies of the value of community-university research partnerships explicitly based on Asian American studies and racial identity work
  • Transformative pedagogical methods and programs
  • Examination of systemic barriers to developing and sustaining community-university partnerships, community-based research and/or teaching
  • Benefits and outcomes of community-university partnerships in a variety of areas including, but not limited to advocacy, teaching and learning, policy, and organizational/systemic change.

This list is illustrative rather than comprehensive. We welcome papers on other topics as they are related to the promises, challenges, and approaches to community-university partnerships focused on Asian American and Pacific Islander communities and interests.

A key leader in efforts to increase collaborations in research, teaching, and leadership between academia and community leaders, the UCLA Asian American Studies Center will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2019. In commemorating this milestone, this issue is intended to be an opportunity for reflecting on past efforts for transformative organizational, systemic, and societal change through community-university partnerships. Additionally, featured articles will serve to inform and inspire future efforts in community-university partnerships.

Dr. OiYan Poon (Colorado State University) and Dr. George Villanueva (Loyola University Chicago) will serve as Guest Editors working with the editorial staff on this volume.

If you are interested in submitting a manuscript, please send or email a letter of intent with:

  • Proposed article title
  • A short descriptive paragraph or abstract of the proposed paper (500 words max), and
  • Short bios of each author (150 words max)

to the editors for review. If you have a prepared paper, you may also submit the paper at the same time.

The Nexus Journal solicits three types of papers: original research, practitioner essays, and resource papers. For submission guidelines, please visit and follow the appropriate stylesheet provided for the type of manuscript (e.g., practitioner essay, research article, or resource paper) you are submitting.

AAPI Nexus is a peer-reviewed, national journal published by UCLA's Asian American Studies Center focusing on policies, practices and community research to benefit the nation's burgeoning Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. The journal's mission is to facilitate an exchange of ideas and research findings that strengthens the efforts through policy and practice to tackle the pressing societal problems facing AAPI communities. Previous issues have focused on Community Development, Education, and Immigration. The table of contents and editors' notes can be found at:

Deadline for letter of intent (abstracts and brief author bios): Friday, November 3, 2017

Deadline for full manuscript submissions: Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Earlier submission of a Letter of Intent or Manuscript is encouraged.

Please address submissions to Managing Editor Melany De La Cruz-Viesca, and send to:

Senior Editor: Professor Paul M. Ong (
Managing Editor: Melany De La Cruz-Viesca (
Guest Editor: Dr. OiYan Poon (
Guest Editor: Dr. George Villanueva (

For regular mail, send all correspondence to:

Melany De La Cruz-Viesca, Managing Editor
AAPI Nexus Journal
3230 Campbell Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1546

UCLA Asian American Studies Center
3230 Campbell Hall
405 Hilgard Ave., Box 951546
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1546
Campus Mailcode: 154602

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