Contemporary Asian American Activism: Building Movements for Liberation

An Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Webinar Series based on the new book edited by Diane C. Fujino and Robyn Magalit Rodriguez

 

Fridays in May 2022, 12 Noon to 1:00PM

 

In the struggles for prison abolition, global anti-imperialism, immigrant rights, affordable housing, environmental justice, fair labor, and more, twenty-first-century Asian American activists are speaking out and standing up to systems of oppression. Bringing together grassroots organizers and scholar-activists, Contemporary Asian American Activism presents lived experiences of the fight for transformative justice and offers lessons to ensure the longevity and sustainability of organizing and inspire continued mobilization for coming generations. Join us every Friday in May for our webinar series featuring organizers, researchers, and contributors to the book.


For more information on the book: https://asianamericanactivism.org/


Cosponsors:

UCLA Asian American Studies Center

UCLA Asian American Studies Department

UCSB Asian American Studies Department

UC Davis Bulosan Center for Filipinx Studies

UC Davis Asian American Studies

CSU San Marcos Ethnic Studies Program

University of San Diego Ethnic Studies Department


 





SESSIONS

Friday, May 6, 2022, 12 Noon - 1:00 PM
 






Friday, May 13, 2022, 12 Noon - 1:00 PM
 






Friday, May 20, 2022, 12 Noon - 1:00 PM
 






Friday, May 27, 2022, 12 Noon - 1:00 PM
 






 

Robyn Magalit Rodriguez has been a grassroots social justice organizer for most of her life. She's organized across sectors (from youth/students, women, immigrant workers to academics) and issue areas (Ethnic Studies in the K-12 system, immigrant rights in the United States, and human rights in the Philippines to name but a few). Rodriguez also works as a professor of Asian American Studies at the University of California, Davis and is the founding director of the Bulosan Center for Filipinx Studies. She is mother to two sons, Ezio and the late, Amado.

 

Diane C. Fujino is professor of Asian American Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Asian American Studies. She specializes in the study of Asian American activism, Afro-Asian solidarities, and Black Power studies. She is author or co-editor of two new books -- Nisei Radicals: The Feminist Poetics and Radical Ministry of Mitsuye Yamada and Michael Yasutake and Black Power Afterlives: The Enduring Significance of the Black Panther Party - and the Amerasia Journal special issue on Asian American activism studies (2019). Her earlier writings include books on Asian American activists Yuri Kochiyama, Richard Aoki, and Fred Ho. She is a long-time activist-organizer, including with Ethnic Studies Now! Santa Barbara and as a founding member of Cooperation Santa Barbara.

 

SESSION 1: May 6

 

Eddy Zheng is the President & Founder of New Breath Foundation, and works to mobilize resources to support Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) harmed by violence and the unjust immigration and criminal justice systems. A 2015-17 Open Society Foundation Soros Justice Fellow, he served as Co-Director of the Asian Prisoner Support Committee and co-founded the first ever ethnic studies program in San Quentin State Prison - ROOTS. With much gratitude, Eddy is eager to collaborate with new partners in empowering marginalized communities, promote cross-cultural healing and global racial solidarity through engaging in Culture, History and Identity.

 

Karen Umemoto is the Helen and Morgan Chu Chair and Director of the UCLA Asian American Studies Center and teaches in Urban Planning and Asian American Studies.. She became involved in the anti-eviction movement in Little Tokyo in the 1970s and continued her involvement as a student and later as a scholar activist for the past 25 years. Her recent focus has been in youth justice transformation in Hawai'i as part of a movement to replace a punitive, carceral system with community-driven, culture based, healing and empowering approaches.

 

Born in the Philippines and immigrated to the U.S. at the age of eight, Angelica Cabande has been an organizer for over 22 years combining art and organizing. She has supported the development of SF immigrant residents to become engaged in issues of social justice, equity, and community planning; and has educated, organized and mobilized residents in local and national issues. She started with SOMCAN in 2004 as a Community Organizer and became SOMCAN's Organizational Director in 2010.

 

 

SESSION 2: May 13

 

Ga Young Chung is an Assistant Professor of Asian American Studies with affiliated appointments in the Cultural Studies and Human Rights Studies at UC Davis. As a transnational and comparative ethnic studies scholar, she investigates the surge of dislocation, precarity, and (im)mobility in the era of uneven globalization, focusing on the political activism and resistance of undocumented im/migrant youth in Asia-Pacific. She is currently collaborating with API farmers in California to promote seeds sovereignty and cultural memory banking. In solidarity with the immigrant justice movement, she is offering ethnic studies courses in Korean to 1st generation Korean American activists at Woori Juntos.

 

Diane C. Fujino is professor of Asian American Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Asian American Studies. She specializes in the study of Asian American activism, Afro-Asian solidarities, and Black Power studies. She is author or co-editor of two new books -- Nisei Radicals: The Feminist Poetics and Radical Ministry of Mitsuye Yamada and Michael Yasutake and Black Power Afterlives: The Enduring Significance of the Black Panther Party -- and the Amerasia Journal special issue on Asian American activism studies (2019). Her earlier writings include books on Asian American activists Yuri Kochiyama, Richard Aoki, and Fred Ho. She is a long-time activist-organizer, including with Ethnic Studies Now! Santa Barbara and as a founding member of Cooperation Santa Barbara.

 

Javaid Tariq was born in Pakpattan, in Punjab, Pakistan. As a college student, he was active in the student movement against the military dictatorship. He migrated to Germany and later to the U.S. in 1990. He is a co-founder and senior staff member of NY Taxi Workers Alliance and Treasurer of the National Taxi Workers Alliance. Over the years he has organized numerous successful strikes, campaigns, and actions to promote economic and social justice for taxi drivers, a workforce that is 94% immigrant and primarily people of color.

 

Jessica Antonio, BAYAN USA- Jessica was first elected as the National Secretary General of BAYAN USA at the 4th National Congress held in Chicago, 2012 and was elected as the Propaganda Officer 6th National Congress in 2018. She was first introduced to the National Democratic movement in Seattle, 2004 and has been part of this movement since joining the League of Filipino Students at San Francisco State University in 2007. Experiencing Philippine exposure programs in 2008, 2010 and 2017 solidified her commitment to human rights and activism on a local, national, and international level.

 

Jarel Umali is a recent graduate from UCSB's Asian American studies, having done his thesis on undocumented Asian American activism. He is also a youth and student organizer with Anakbayan LA, fighting for national democracy and the liberation of the Philippines from all forms of imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucrat capitalism. He is dedicated to uplifting the struggles of the toiling masses of peasants, workers, and indigenous peoples of the Philippines and works to inspire youth to lead change in their communities through political education and waging mass campaigns.

 

BAYAN USA: An alliance of Filipino organizations in the U.S. representing students, scholars, women, workers, artists, and youth. As the first and largest overseas chapter of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, BAYANUSA serves as an information bureau for the national democratic movement of the Philippines and as a center for educating, organizing, and mobilizing anti-imperialist and progressive Filipinos in the U.S.

 

SESSION 3: May 20

 

May C. Fu is a Scholar in Residence in the Ethnic Studies Program at CSU San Marcos and an Associate Professor in the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of San Diego where she teaches classes on Asian American social movements, comparative BIPOC histories, and women of color feminisms. Her research examines the political praxis of Asian American community organizing and the intersectional solidarities that shape Asian American activism and racial formation. She has also participated in grassroots movements for educational and worker justice, transformative justice, affordable housing, and cross-racial solidarity for over two decades.

 

Katherine H. Lee is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the School of Education at Mills College. Her research recovers the overlooked history of writing instruction in Ethnic Studies and Asian American Studies programs in higher education and examines how Ethnic Studies writing instructors have reconceptualized the work and politics of academic writing. Prior to joining Mills, Katherine taught in the writing programs at UC Berkeley and UC Merced.

 

Soya Jung has been active in the progressive movement since the early 1990s. She has worked in various sectors including direct service, community organizing, government, and philanthropy, addressing issues like immigration, police accountability, welfare, gender justice, and resource rights. She is co-founder and Senior Partner at ChangeLab, a grassroots think tank that uses research, convening, training, and communications to advance racial justice in an era of rising authoritarianism, with a strategic focus on Asian American racial politics.

 

SESSION 4: May 27

 

Alex T. Tom is the former Executive Director of the Chinese Progressive Association in San Francisco and co-founder of Seeding Change. Currently, he is the Executive Director of the Center For Empowered Politics, a new project that trains and develops new leaders of color and grows movement building infrastructure at the intersection of racial justice, organizing and power building. In 2019, Alex received the Open Society Foundation Racial Justice Fellowship to develop a toolkit to counter the rise of the new Chinese American Right Wing in the US.

 

Robyn Magalit Rodriguez has been a grassroots social justice organizer for most of her life. She's organized across sectors (from youth/students, women, immigrant workers to academics) and issue areas (Ethnic Studies in the K-12 system, immigrant rights in the United States, and human rights in the Philippines to name but a few). Rodriguez also works as a professor of Asian American Studies at the University of California, Davis and is the founding director of the Bulosan Center for Filipinx Studies. She is mother to two sons, Ezio and the late, Amado.

 

Wayne Jopanda is a doctoral student in Cultural Studies at University of California, Davis,researching Filipino student experiences with burn out, trafficked Filipino teachers, and theneoliberal University's commodification of Filipinos as bodies of labor. Wayne also studies howcurrent Filipino students at U.S. universities respond to these histories of westernized colonialeducation in the Philippines through community building, collective activisms, and creatingspaces of belonging. Wayne is a founding member of the Bulosan Center for Filipinx Studies and currently serves as its Associate Director and the founding Director of the Bulosan CenterInternship Program and aims to support and uplift Critical Filipinx Studies through his community organizing and academic work at the Bulosan Center.

 

Pam Tau Lee is an Asian radical elder whose working class and San Francisco Chinatown roots led her to a lifelong journey dedicated to Environmental Justice. She is a co-founder of the Chinese Progressive Association - SF, Bay Area Asians for Nuclear Disarmament, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Just Transition Alliance and the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines - U.S., and a contributor to the Principles of Environmental Justice. In her nearly five decades of organizing and mentorship, she strives to uplift an ideology of radical love and resistance grounded in the practice of All Power to the People, Serve the People, Internationalism and women whose presence has taught her to act with generosity and courage.

 

 

 

Contemporary Asian American Activism: Building Movements for Liberation

Edited by Diane C. Fujino and Robyn Magalit Rodriguez

 

In the struggles for prison abolition, global anti-imperialism, immigrant rights, affordable housing, environmental justice, fair labor, and more, twenty-first-century Asian American activists are speaking out and standing up to systems of oppression. Creating emancipatory futures requires collective action and reciprocal relationships that are nurtured over time and forged through cross-racial solidarity and intergenerational connections, leading to a range of on-the-ground experiences.

 

Bringing together grassroots organizers and scholar-activists, Contemporary Asian American Activism presents lived experiences of the fight for transformative justice and offers lessons to ensure the longevity and sustainability of organizing. In the face of imperialism, white supremacy, racial capitalism, heteropatriarchy, ableism, and more, the contributors celebrate victories and assess failures, reflect on the trials of activist life, critically examine long-term movement building, and inspire continued mobilization for coming generations.

 

More information: https://asianamericanactivism.org/

 

Purchase Links:

 

University of Washington Press: https://uwapress.uw.edu/book/9780295749808/contemporary-asian-american-activism/

 

Bookshop: https://bookshop.org/books/contemporary-asian-american-activism-building-movements-for-liberation-9780295749808/9780295749808