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

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Trip Name: 
Asian American Issues: From identity to action
Trip Location: 
Bay Area, CA
Air Travel Trip: 
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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.

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