Advancing Justice Los Angeles Files Brief Supporting Race-conscious Holistic Review

Asian Americans are finding themselves in the crosshairs of the debate on affirmative action. Despite what Edward Blum may claim, the current lawsuit against Harvard is not about Asian Americans. He’s using our community as a cover for his crusade to dismantle affirmative action.

If he thinks we’re going to buy-in to this agenda, he’s wrong.

Today, we filed an amicus brief on behalf of a diverse group of students — including several Asian Americans — in support of Harvard’s holistic review policies. What this means is we are reaffirming our commitment to protecting race-conscious holistic review.

After his failed attempt to end affirmative action at the Supreme Court (Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin), Edward Blum, through Students for Fair Admission, actively began to recruit Asian American students to be plaintiffs for his latest campaign targeting Harvard’s race-conscious holistic admissions.

At the heart of this issue is not whether Asian Americans are discriminated against, but whether Harvard (and other universities and institutions) can continue to value racial diversity in ways in which our country has fallen short. Race-conscious holistic review allows applicants to be valued for who they are as a whole person, beyond just test scores and grades. It allows talented and gifted students from all backgrounds an opportunity to attend college and succeed in life. People of color, including Asian Americans, lose out under a colorblind system.

Earlier this summer, we launched a series of infographics that seek to demystify affirmative action and its importance for Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. We highlighted two infographics a week for the last six weeks, each detailing important facts about affirmative action. If you missed it, I encourage you to look through them on our affirmative action webpage.

We recognize Blum’s strategy for what it is: a thinly veiled attempt to use Asian Americans as a cover to destroy racial diversity across college campuses. We refuse to be used as a wedge in this issue.

We’re in this together,

Nicole Ochi
Supervising Attorney, Impact Litigation
Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles

P.S. If you’re interested to learn more, we’re hosting a Twitter Town Hall on Wednesday, August 1st starting at 12 p.m. PT. Join the conversation by following @AAAJ_LA and the hashtag #NotYourCover. Hope to see you there.

Minh-Ha T. Pham: ‘De Blasio’s Plan for NYC Schools Isn’t Anti-Asian, It’s Anti-Racist’

Minh-Ha T. Pham, an associate professor at Pratt Institute, writes in a June 13, 2018, opinion piece in The New York Times about New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to change the way students will be chosen for eight of the city’s elite specialized high schools.

Unfortunately, some Asian-American parents in New York are protesting this proposal, arguing that it is anti-Asian because it would decrease the number of Asian children in elite schools. They are on the wrong side of this educational fight.

The mayor’s plan isn’t anti-Asian, it’s anti-racist. It would give working-class parents — including Asian-Americans — who can’t afford and shouldn’t have to find ways to afford expensive test prep programs a fairer chance that their child will be admitted into what’s known as a specialized high school.

Read the opinion piece.

Re-Imagining Leadership Summit Offers Leadership Training for Young Chinese Americans

The Re-Imagining Leadership Summit (http://www.reimaginingleadership.org) is a five-day program that provides an opportunity for Chinese American young people in the metropolitan Boston area to develop critical consciousness for leadership. The Summit runs August 6-10, 2018, at Harvard University’s Phillips Brooks House.

The Summit will give selected participants an opportunity to explore the local history and contemporary experiences of Chinese Americans in relation to other communities, and to connect with other members of the Asian American community in Boston.

Program participants will:

  • Reflect on personal and family histories.
  • Developing a community of learning and support in the Boston area.
  • Collectively cultivate an analysis of intersecting social systems that shape diverse Chinese American communities, histories, experiences, and cultures.

Participants will be recognized in a May reception where they will be gifted, and invited to read, the following books:

  • Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People — by Helen Zia
  • American Born Chinese — by Gene Luen Yang
  • Living for Change: An Autobiography — by Grace Lee Boggs
  • The Good Immigrants: How the Yellow Peril became the Model Minority — by Madeline Hsu

Participants will also be invited to complete a creative culminating project by the end of the program.

The Re-Imagining Leadership Summit is organized by Chinese Americans Re-Imagining Leadership is a collective of Chinese Americans from the Boston metropolitan region working to develop a new generation of Chinese Americans committed to transformative community leadership for social justice: Eugenia Beh, Delia Cheung Hom, Felix Poon, OiYan Poon, Ellen Wang, and Chu Huang.

Learn more at http://www.reimaginingleadership.org.