While 2018 saw unprecedented representation for certain Asian groups in Hollywood blockbusters, it also saw continued struggles for community members at the margins, from deportation to displacement. This history of underrepresentation and differentiation within the pan-Asian community prompts us to revisit the roots of the term “Asian American.” How can we learn from the student activists in the ‘60s, who coined “Asian American” as a statement of solidarity—a commitment to unite in the name of social justice?
The theme for this year’s conference, Collision, aims to explore how the Asian American experience emerges from our communities’ converging movements. Collision—the act of worlds making contact—characterizes the Asian American experience, whether broadly, as with migration, or individually, as with assimilation. When our paths collide, how does that inform, engage, and challenge our own understandings of what it means to be Asian American?
We invite attendees to think about collision within and amongst Asian American experiences as an active process of developing identity, expressing oneself, and exchanging narratives. Through this year’s NYCAASC, we seek to create a more nuanced understanding of Asian American identity that is shaped by our stories.
This conference takes place on the occupied land of the Lenape people.
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Settler colonialism is a particular type of colonialism where a settler society or state occupies the place of indigenous peoples. Learn more about how so-called United States is a settler colonial state and how it relates to Asian Americans in our history and present.
In the Asian Pacific American community, rage is often suppressed and political discussions, silenced. When it comes to combating inter-passivity, it is important to recognize the role our discourses embrace and how they operationalize in social spaces. Historically, immigrants on Angel island have used poetry as a survival strategy and Chinese women have used poetry as a mechanism by which they rewrite a history that has “unremembered” them. This workshop seeks to provide a safe space in which students can translate rage by creating and using slam poetry to change the scope in which Asian Pacific Americans navigate the world, bridging the gap between theory and praxis.
Some reflections, both personal and historical, on the experiences of radical Asian American struggles in the mid 20th century. Retracing their passage from minority struggles to struggles as part of the working class movement and the fight for democracy and socialism can change our political narrative and thereby our sense of the present and what to do moving forward.
Specialized High School admissions has always been a controversial issue in the history of the New York City public school education. Most recently, proposed reform to the single-measure admissions process, the SHSAT, has bought up questions around equity, diversity, integration, and inclusiveness in the education system. For Asian Pacific Americans specifically, the Asian Model Minority Myth has made it challenging for us to take up space in education advocacy. How did we get here and where do we go?
Media-based organizing presents a way for communities of color to change the narrative on who creates solutions for our communities and allows us build our own visions of the future. Case studies highlight how we are now using media-based organizing to push back on white supremacist history and policy. 18MillionRising.org is a key resource on accessible ways to reclaim histories, strengthen organizing, and support rapid response interventions for Asian American student activists. Zines are one such way to get an immediate start with media-based organizing. Staff from 18MillionRising.org will discuss their successes and failures with utilizing media ecosystems, art and design, storytelling, and creative technologies to fuel community organizing, rapid response interventions, and political education. Attendees will participate in a group exercise and leave with a “mini zine” outlining strategies, takeaways, and additional learning resources.
What is ‘self care’? This term is thrown around in many spaces - including activism-oriented spaces. But what does self-care look like for the average activist and community organizer? What does self care look like for you? Emotional labor is something we’re used to dealing with and it can become emotionally draining. How do we create safe spaces and communities of care where burnout isn’t the end result and instead we create communities of resilience? Come to this workshop to discuss and learn more!
Comics are a realm for storytelling, each panel a translation of emotion and experience. How can we work with this medium in a way that engages our identity and form connections? In this interactive workshop facilitated by Matt Huynh, we'll share technical skills and knowledge for telling stories visually, workshop stories we'd like to tell and characters we'd like to see, and talk about how we'd like to experience comics today — whether online, on our phones, or as printed artifacts. Come to explore these concepts and create our own comics in the process!
Navigating higher education is difficult as is, but can be even more so for students without the resources that others may take for granted; what happens when these processes occur against the context of the Model Minority Myth? From impostor syndrome to affirmative action, this workshop seeks to center the narratives of underrepresented students and provide a space for discussion, validation, and tools to help handle the transitions in the context of these experiences.
Despite shifts in administrations, American immigration policy has been resilient in marginalizing and displacing Asian communities in the United States. Most recently, Southeast Asian and Indian migrants have been put on the map of immigration discourse. Viet, Cambodian, and Laotian refugees escaping war migrated to the United States in the 1970s. Sikh Punjabi asylum seekers have arrived in the 2010s escaping religious persecution. However, both communities have been detained in the United States and deported, regardless of immigration status, as American immigration powers separate families and violate human rights laws. This workshop will break down the policies, map institutional power, and highlight community resistance.
We tend to assume that anti-Muslim racism only comes in the form of slurs, hijab pulling, and violent crimes. Unfortunately, anti-Muslim racism is rampant across Asian spaces, especially in silent forms, such as microaggressions and systemic policies. How does anti-Muslim racism look in Asia and Asian spaces, especially given what is taking place in China (internment camps)? How does anti-Muslim racism look with the hatred Congresswoman Ilhan Omar constantly faces? How does anti-blackness and anti-Muslim racism overlap? A workshop that focuses on all this is essential as Asian American student activists work to do community organizing and build solidarity, especially with Muslim Asians and non-Asian Muslims. The workshop will provide the tools to (1) break down internalized anti-Muslim racism, (2) continually engage one another on the prevalence of anti-Muslim racism within our Asian communities, and (3) collectively work towards supporting Muslim communities.
As we seek to understand the diverse world around us, the best place to start is with yourself. Who are you? What makes you, you? How do you fit into the world? We've all had different aspects of our identities challenged, whether it's our race, gender, sexuality, religion or economic background. In this workshop, we will examine these identifying cultural characteristics and learn to share our stories, a skill that can help us write essays, create art, speak publicly or just better relate to others unlike ourselves.
Indian Occupied Kashmir is the world’s most militarized zone. Since 2008, a generation of Kashmiri youth has protested against Indian rule, demanding azadi, or freedom. Nonetheless, despite a mass movement for self-determination, the international community has largely remained silent on Kashmir and India is able to leverage its soft power to silence Kashmiris. During this teach-in, the instructors will present a brief historical overview of the Kashmir issue, and discuss the contemporary context of state violence and repression and youth resistance.
Before Gina Apostol's fourth novel, Insurrecto, hit the shelves, Publishers' Weekly named it one of the Ten Best Books of 2018. Her third book, Gun Dealers' Daughter, won the 2013 PEN/Open Book Award and was shortlisted for the William Saroyan International Prize. Her first two novels, Bibliolepsy and The Revolution According to Raymundo Mata, both won the Juan Laya Prize for the Novel (Philippine National Book Award). Her essays and stories have appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, Foreign Policy, Gettysburg Review, Massachusetts Review, and others. She lives in New York City and western Massachusetts and grew up in Tacloban, Philippines. She teaches at the Fieldston School in New York City.
Come join us in room 269 to see some of the art that's been composed throughout the day by your fellow NYCAASC members! We'll be sharing poetry, comics, and photography that revolves around the workshops you've been attending. Then we'll improvise our own short pieces and talk about what we've learned.
CUNY was a free university until the 1970s. Over the past few decades, CUNY has increasingly become a profit-making institution, prioritizing money over the needs of its students and faculty. The neoliberalization of our education is something that affects every aspect of our lives, but students and faculty are fighting back. Join us for a discussion with The Coalition of the Revitalization of Asian American Studies at Hunter (CRAASH), 7k or Strike, and student organizers who fought against Amazon HQ2. Learn about the incredible activism happening at CUNY and gain some organizing skills to bring back to your own campus!
This workshop will adivress the ways in which poetry can be a specific form of anti-colonial resistance and work to contour our own relationships to historical and current day imperialism. We will analyze two poetry texts, Look by Solmaz Sharif and Seam by Tarfiah Faizullah, and explore the parallels between their examinations of the War on Terror and the Bangladeshi Liberation War, respectively. This workshop seeks to highlight the ways that imperial violence directly and indirectly shapes our lives, and ultimately calls for the development of an anti-imperialist politics of poetry.
What is the power of writing? How can writing unearth parts of ourselves and help heal? In this political moment, how do we find and create safety? This writing workshop will center QTPOC voices and stories to write our truths. We will use writing as a river to better know ourselves and build our collective imaginations. Writers of all levels are welcome, no prior experience necessary. This workshop is for self-identified queer, trans, and questioning, people of color. Limited to 15 participants.
Shaina Rae is a Filipina-American R&B artist hailing from Jamaica, Queens. She lights a spark in the New York music scene with her captivating performances that brings audiences to a whole new world. Having opened up for Billboard charting artists, her music is set apart as "healing and memorable even in the most upbeat settings." With over a decade of performance experience in musical genres ranging from classical to pop, Shaina Rae is a force to be reckoned with.