Winter Quarter 2020-2021

Every year AASC awards grants, fellowships, scholarships and internships to undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty, for their scholarship and research. Since we were unable to celebrate in person this year, we put together this short video to share with everyone. Special thanks to all of our donors whose support makes these awards possible! Check out the list of the 2020-2021 Awardees here.

Sunday, March 14, 4:50pm: Closing Q&A Discussion

As part of the Seattle Asian American Film Festival, "Phoenix Bakery: Sweets for the Sweet" by Center for EthnoCommunications assistant director, Janet Chen and executive produced by UCLA Asian American Studies Center as part of the Lau Chinese American History Documentary Project is screening, alongside films such as alumni Tadashi Nakamura and Akira Boch's "Atomic Cafe: The Noisiest Corner in J-Town" in the Closing Program: Collective Memory, Community Spaces.

Moderator: Leilani Nishime (SAAFF staff, UW Professor of Communications)


  • Baljit Sangra (Director, Have You Forgotten Me?)
  • Janet Chen (Director, Phoenix Bakery)
  • Akira Boch (Co-director, Atomic Cafe)
  • Tuyen Thanh (Director, Four Seas/Dynasty Room)
  • Karen Akada Sakata (Subject/Cast, Bush Garden)

Monday, March 8, 2021

In the Center's continuing work to help combat the pandemic, our site now includes a vaccine FAQ in 18 different languages, including Spanish, Armenian, Chinese, French, Hindi, Hmong, Japanese, Lao, Thai, Vietnamese and more!

The site also has added new videos in Chuukese and Marshallese addressing washing your hands, social distancing, and wearing a mask. Be sure to check out all the videos and resources on the site and help share information around COVID-19!

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

We were excited to announce that the UCLA Asian American Studies Center and the Stop AAPI Hate coalition have received $1.4 million in funding from California to support community programs and ongoing research that address the impact of COVID-19 on Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, including new research and analysis into hate incidents.

The funds also will support the Stop Asian American Pacific Islander Hate website and the COVID-19 Multilingual Resources website, which was developed by faculty from the Asian American Studies Center and the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.

"COVID-19 has had devastating and disparate impacts on many Asian American and Pacific Islander communities alongside other communities of color," said Center director Karen Umemoto. "With this funding, we can produce research to help with more-targeted recovery efforts in the hardest-hit communities. It will also critically support our website, as we work to get important fact-based vaccine and other life-saving information to non-English speakers."

In Memoriam: Corky Lee, Merilynne Quon, Judy Yung

In the last few months, AASC and the larger AAPI community have lost some of our leaders and pioneers, including photographer Corky Lee, AASC founder Merilynne Quon, and historian Judy Yung. It is vital that we honor their legacy by continuing their work, but also documenting them so that current and future generations may know them as well. As quoted in a story by NBC News, Center Director Karen Umemoto emphasized that 'We're at an important point in history where we have to record their stories. There are so many rich life lessons that we can learn from their involvement in movements for social change.'" May they all rest in power and peace.

Remembering Corky Lee (1947-2021)
Remembering Merilynne Quon (1948-2021)
Judy Yung (1946-2020) (SF Gate Obituary) | (UCSC News)

February 19-21, and 26-28, 2021

This February, the UCLA Asian American Studies Center in partnership with UCLA Film & Television Archive will continue to celebrate the legacy of Asian American Studies at UCLA with a virtual film festival! Over two weekends, we will present online programming featuring powerful imagery and poignant commentary about meaningful issues facing Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. Audiences will hear from filmmakers and actors on their creative journeys, as well as from scholars, artists, and community leaders on themes that apply to today's world.

Stay tuned as we announce programming details, including featured films and special discussions with filmmakers, actors, scholars, in the next couple of weeks! We will post updates on our website here.

Thank you to everyone who joined us this past March for our 50th Anniversary Film Festival! As many of you know, our celebrations were cut short due to the pandemic. You can read a recap of that jam-packed weekend in our annual CrossCurrents.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

A new report by UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Initiative (LPPI) and AASC and authors Jessica Lee, Nathan Chan, and Professor Natalie Masuoka offers a comprehensive look at statewide voting patterns for the 12 California ballot measures contested during the 2020 general election. While support for President Biden was strong across counties and racial groups, greater racial and regional variation on the ballot measures shows political diversity across the state.

In general, voting patterns in high-density Asian American precincts were more similar to those of white precincts on 2020 CA ballot measures. Meanwhile, Latino & Black voters often aligned across the state. In the Bay Area, voters in high-density Asian American and Latino precincts took more progressive positions than those in the rest of the state.

This analysis offers evidence that Asian American and Latino preferences can make a difference in California politics. Voter education and mobilization campaigns, as well as the distinct political climates found across the state, will continue to play an influential role in the preferences of Asian American and Latino voters in statewide contests.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

UCLA scholars are launching an ambitious initiative to create one of the nation's most diverse collections of materials related to policing and incarceration. The effort will collect, digitize and preserve a sustainable archive of data, testimonies, artifacts and police files for the next generation of research on racial and social justice.

"Archiving the Age of Mass Incarceration" is being funded in part by a three-year, $3.65 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and it will bring together expertise from the UCLA Institute of American Cultures' four ethnic studies centers and their established connections to local advocacy groups.

The project builds off of the work of the award-winning UCLA-based Million Dollar Hoods research project, a community-driven initiative that began in 2016 to map the fiscal and human cost of mass incarceration in Los Angeles.


As part of the project, UCLA scholars plan to make the archive available to the public by the end of the three-year grant period. The Mellon Foundation funding will enable UCLA to build a digital platform to be shared across the ethnic studies centers; that platform will both create the permanent home for the archive and build the centers' capacity to maintain a wide range of digital collections focused on racial justice.

"The new platform will catapult our centers into the digital future in knowledge-sharing and knowledge production," said Karen Umemoto, director of the UCLA Asian American Studies Center.

Friday, January 22, 2021 | 12:00 - 2:00pm

Online Webinar via Zoom

Register at:

Engaging with trans-Oceanic studies, which understands oceans as matter and being, we bring the Black Pacific into conversation with the Black Atlantic and the Indian Ocean to consider not only the intimacy of continents but also the intimacies of oceans and islands. What new intellectual, political, and cultural work might we explore together when we center the Black Pacific in our visions of decolonial justice?


Guest Speakers: Anthony Jerry, Nitasha Sharma, Quito Swan, and Joyce Pualani Warren


Sponsors: UCI Humanities Center, UCI Center for Latin American Studies, UCLA Department of English, UCLA Asian American Studies Department, UC San Diego Institute of Arts and Humanities, and UC San Diego Asian American and Pacific Islander Studies

Tuesday, January 19, 2021 | 4:00 - 5:00pm

Online Webinar via Zoom

RSVP required for webinar

Join us for the presentation, "From Foundations to Frontiers," a landmark study of the enduring contributions of Chinese Americans to American society from the 1800s to today.

The evidence-driven study details the contribution across the following seven industries: Arts & Culture, Civil Rights, Public Service and Politics, Business Leadership & Entrepreneurship, Infrastructure, Military & National Security, Public Health, and Science & Technology.

Presented by Committee of 100 President Zhengyu Huang, this forum will provoke curiosity and offer a new perspective on Chinese American contributions, while identifying, quantifying and showcasing the contributions of the Chinese American community through data and storytelling.

The event will begin with a 30-minute presentation, followed by a facilitated discussion moderated by Min Zhou (Professor of Sociology & Asian American Studies, Walter and Shirley Wang Endowed Chair in U.S.-China Relations & Communications, and Director of the UCLA Asia Pacific Center)

For questions about the event, please contact

Sponsors: Asia Pacific Center, Center for Chinese Studies, Asian American Studies Center