CUNY Digital History Archive

CUNY Digital History Archive

A participatory project to collect and preserve the histories of the City University of New York — A work in progress
Show/Hide Menu

Where Are We Now in the #Fight4AAS?

In this Google Hangout, which took place on May 9, 2016, student activists from across the country discuss their respective experiences organizing for Asian American studies on their campuses. The conversation was hosted by 18Million Rising and moderated by Vijay Prashad (Trinity College) and featured Kevin Park and Linda Luu (Hunter College, Coalition to Revitalize Asian American Studies at Hunter), Kevin Luong (Northwestern University, Asian Pacific American Coalition), and Omar Khurshid and Emily Dong (Cornell University, Asian Pacific Americans for Action). The conversation was followed by a Twitter Town Hall where participants tweeted at administration using the hashtag #Fight4AAS.

This conversation situated the fight for Asian American studies at Hunter within a national movement for Asian American studies. Vijay Prashad characterized Asian American studies as a subset of ethnic studies, which is a subset of what he considers anti-racist studies. The conversation also highlighted schools at different points in their struggles towards institutionalization—with Northwestern having just achieved an Asian American Studies major in 2016 after a 25-year fight that included a historic hunger strike in 1995, and Hunter and Cornell in the beginning stages of a campaign and a task force, respectively, to establish an Asian American Studies Department and major. 18MillionRising is a platform that uses digital organizing tactics to build and mobilize around Asian American identity.

The Hunter College Asian American Studies Program (AASP) was established in 1993. As the only academic program in Asian American studies in the CUNY system, the AASP offers a minor in Asian American Studies and other resources and programming. The AASP supports scholars, artists, and activists advancing scholarship in the fields of Asian American studies and critical ethnic studies and serves as a resource for New York City's Asian American communities. In 2006, the program was at risk of being cut due to a lack of funding. Students formed the Coalition for the Revitalization of Asian American Studies at Hunter (CRAASH) and saved the program within a year. CRAASH is now a student-run club that continues to advocate for the AASP.
Creator | 18MillionRising
Date Created | May 9, 2016
Rights | Public Domain.
Item Type | Moving Image (Digital Video)
Cite This document | 18MillionRising, “Where Are We Now in the #Fight4AAS?,” CUNY Digital History Archive, accessed December 12, 2019,

Print and Share