Alternative Spring Break 2013-2014 - Asian American Issues: From identity to action

Basic Information
Application Process: 
Alternative Spring Break 2013-2014
Trip Name: 
Asian American Issues: From identity to action
Trip Location: 
Bay Area, CA
Air Travel Trip: 
Number of Participants: 
Trip Description: 

Though “Asian American Issues” may sound like an oxymoron, many socioeconomic issues and human rights violations are hidden or ignored under a “model minority” facade. Asian Americans have been present in the United States for four centuries, but much of Asian/Pacific Islander history is underrepresented.Thus, there is a need to bring Asian American issues to light, and inspect them with critical lenses. What does “Asian American” mean in the present context, and what are the stereotypes, expectations, and realities? How do the terms “Asian” and “Asian American” differ? How does someone embrace integrating into a different society while maintaining their native roots and heritage?

Through this ASB, we hope to create a framework by which we can process, confront, and analyze the messages we see about Asian Americans with respect to contemporary issues. We will be traveling to community organizations in the SF Bay Area and Los Angeles to gain firsthand experience and knowledge on issues we discuss in the classroom. First, we will explore the “Asian American” identity, the history of Asians in America, and the Asian American Movement. Then, we will apply these concepts to a broad range of contemporary campaigns such as workers’ and immigrant rights, LGBTQ intersectionality, and educational and socioeconomic disparities. By exploring this spectrum, we will examine our own commonalities with these issues, regardless of our ethnic or cultural background. We will also explore these topics through different media of activism: art, community organizing, health services, and more. By the end of the trip, students will understand the importance and value of integrating social justice and equality into their own lives.

Trip Leaders
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Ray Chen

Ray Chen is currently a sophomore studying Human Biology with intentions of pursuing primary care/pediatrics. Born in Taiwan, he lived in the land of humidity, mosquitoes, and deliciousness for the first seven years of his life. In first grade, he moved to sunny California, specifically San Jose, where he has lived ever since. He was a participant on the 2013 Asian American Issues Alternative Spring Break trip, and was so impacted that he decided he'd want to go on it again as its leader. Besides spending his time planning extensively to make this trip the best it can be, Ray can also be found practicing Bhangra, at Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship, or discussing Asian American Issues and ethnic identity. He is excited to help participants on this ASB explore their own ethnic identity, broaden their understanding of the issues Asian Americans face in modern society, and make friendships that will last a lifetime.

Sunli Kim

Sunli Kim is currently a junior studying English Literature with no intentions, as there isn't really a defined career path for English majors, but that's okay. Born in South Korea, Sunli lived in Seoul, a city that forever defines her here. Funnily enough, she doesn't know the city half as intimately as campus because she’s lived in Seoul for a whopping total of six months. She has since lived in Los Angeles and the Bay Area. She had no idea of any Asian American issues that occurred in either of those places until last year, and she's excited to embark on new learning experiences with new companions. Besides spending her time to plan and making this trip the best it can be, Sunli can also be found reading, eating donuts or ramen depending on cravings, or at anything associated with the Stanford Asian American Activism Committee. She's excited for new friendships and to join participants in exploring identities and issues we tend to bookmark and forget about.