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Karen Umemoto, Ph.D.

Dear AASC friends, colleagues, and supporters:


We are deeply troubled by the violence that has unfolded in Israel and Palestine, the suffering and mounting loss of life, and the growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Here at home, we raise concern over rising Islamophobia and antisemitism surrounding the conflict that threaten the safety and liberty of Muslims and Jews alike, as we believe that all life is precious.

While antisemitism is inexcusable, charges of antisemitism are unfortunately being leveled at educators and educational institutions, effectively muffling open political discourse and expression. Combined with recent movements to ban books and speech concerning issues of race and gender identity, the rights of academic freedom and freedom of speech hang in the balance. It is of utmost importance to preserve the rights to academic freedom, freedom of speech and due process in order to preserve basic democratic rights more broadly.


These rights are critical for educators and students striving to heal a divided society with greater understanding of who we are in all our many hues and histories. Our two focal initiatives—to increase the voices of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in policy making and to include our histories and experiences in K-12 and college curricula—are key to shaping new narratives that are inclusive and justice minded. Alongside the other Ethnic Studies centers under the Institute of American Cultures, we continue to work together towards these and other shared aims.


We hope you will join us on this important journey.

With gratitude,

Karen Umemoto, Ph.D.
Helen and Morgan Chu Chair and Director


All Rights Reserved. © UCLA Asian American Studies Center, Los Angeles, California

Remembering Alan Nishio (1945-2023)

Alan Nishio was an exemplar of activism and service who profoundly influenced generations of students, community organizations and educational institutions.

Alan was interviewed as part of the UCLA Collective Memories project. To learn more about him, please view his oral history interview conducted on October 30, 2018.

Project Spotlights

  Reports and Publications

Asian American, Latino, Black and White Voters in Los Angeles City Elections

Racial Diversity and Representation in 2020 and 2022
Natalie Masuoka & Nathan Chan


Korean & Asian American Journalists Writing Truth to Power
Edited by Russell C. Leong, Karen Umemoto, & Soo Mee Kim, with Vince Leus


May 17, 2024

CANCELED — DEBUT! Yuri Kochiyama Digital Exhibit & Collections

Zoom Webinar


Yuri Kochiyama is an iconic figure in the Asian American community, civil rights and social movement history. This exhibition and collection containing more than 3,500 digitized images deepens our understanding of her politicization and growth as a child to later becoming an organizer and social movement activist. We invite researchers, educators, counselors, students, and lifelong learners to learn about Yuri's journey for social justice through her rare and revealing documents and ephemera left for posterity.

May 17, 2024, 12:00pm - 1:30pm

Registration: http://YuriKochiyamaDigitalExhibit.eventbrite.com


AAPI Policy Summit 2024


2024 Asian American & Pacific Islander Policy Summit
"Moving from Collective Knowledge to Action"

DATE: Friday, March 8, 2024

UCLA Meyer and Renee Luskin Conference Center
425 Westwood Plaza | Los Angeles, CA 90095


Registration is required. Please register here.


View the 2024 AAPI Policy Summit Program, Schedule, and more information here.



The "2024 AAPI Policy Summit: Moving from Collective Knowledge to Action," builds upon the 2023 Summit that focused on reimagining California by developing solutions that establish more equitable institutions, policies, and systems that work toward social justice for all. In particular, a future inclusive of Asian American and Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander communities. We invite you to join us as we continue to weave together our collective knowledge and build a future where action, power, representation and care lead to enduring impact.


The Summit is made possible in part by the Asian and Pacific Islander Equity Budget, which was a result of a statewide coalition of 116 community-based organizations and the California Asian American & Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus who advocated for these funds to support the critical work in developing equity, safety, and unity for California's diverse AAPI communities.


This event is co-organized by UCLA Asian American Studies Center, CA AAPI Legislative Caucus, and Commission on Asian & Pacific Islander American Affairs.



View the Policy Summit from February 10, 2023 here!




  What's News

Alumni Helen and Morgan Chu pledge $10 million to benefit UCLA Institute of American Cultures


Assistant Professor Thuy Vo Dang Awarded 2022-2023 C. Doris and Toshio Hoshide Distinguished Teaching Prize in Asian American Studies at UCLA


UCLA Professor Kyeyoung Park Appointed to Korea Times-Hankook Ilbo Endowed Chair in Korean American Studies

Please join us at a special reception honoring Kyeyoung Park on Tuesday, May 30, 6-8pm PST, UCLA James West Alumni Center, Founders Room

Announcing Amy Uyematsu Papers at UCLA

The UCLA Asian American Studies Center is proud to announce the recent donation of papers from UCLA alumnus, math teacher, and American poet Amy Uyematsu.

Asian American Studies Center to create free resource for high school teachers

Housing Insecurity Persists for Renters of Color amid the COVID-19 Pandemic, 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic has deepened California's chronic economic and housing inequalities for low-income and people-of-color households. This research brief uses data from the US Census Bureau's Household Pulse Survey (HPS) and California's Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) to analyze the experience of renters and their participation in critical emergency rental-assistance programs.

Contemporary Asian American Activism: Building Movements for Liberation

Asian American Studies Center
Statement on Recent Hate Incident

Asian American Businesses: The Impacts of Anti-Asian Racism, 2021

Asian American Businesses: Identifying Gaps and Supporting Recovery 2021

Potential Differential Undercount in 2020 Census Redistricting Data: Los Angeles County, California 2021

1871 Los Angeles Chinatown Massacre, 150th Year Commemoration

Watch the commemorative performance, program, and panel discussion.

Vanessa Unmuted tackles Anti-Asian Hate

The Center released a new online "Storybook" as part of its ongoing efforts to provide educational and interactive learning materials about the history and experiences of Asian American and Pacific Islanders.

Congratulations to Professor Renee Tajima-Pena and the team of PBS' Asian Americans series on their Peabody Win in the Documentary Category!