Date: Friday, May 8, 2009    Time: 9AM to 5PM

Place: 25 West 43rd Street, 18th Floor
between 5th & 6th Avenues, Manhattan


Redefining Asian America, is a one-day forum which seeks to respond to our critical historical moment by challenging the boundaries of a traditional conference. Our goal is to provide a useful forum for Asian American community members to engage in outcomes-oriented dialogue and action around issues of sustainable community development: your voice is central to that effort, and we hope that you will be able to participate in these pivotal discussions. We are in a transformative period of American history, and Redefining Asian America is a crucial opportunity for all of us to educate ourselves, build new alliances, and strategize for the future of Asian America.

As the U.S. attempts to negotiate its gravest financial crisis in almost 75 years, Asian American communities must ensure that our concerns are represented in public debates around lightning rod issues such as education, immigration, health care, and finance. Against this backdrop, how can Asian Americans unify our voices?  What are the barriers to effective coalition-building and advancement, and how do we develop sustainable alliances and strategies which challenge those barriers?

By bringing together leaders from across the spectrum of Asian America – policy makers, community activists, professionals, artists, entrepreneurs, researchers, students, and educators – Redefining Asian America will present a forum for examining how Asian American communities are confronting contemporary barriers to visibility and representation. However, Redefining Asian America challenges participants to move beyond dialogue to action: the conference organizers invite you to be imaginative and bold in confronting day-to-day realities and constructing new strategies to think and act beyond misconceptions, myths, and marginalized conditions.

Our morning plenary will feature cross-disciplinary viewpoints of leaders  and change-makers in the Asian American community who are doing groundbreaking and innovative work as activists, advocates, professionals, scholars, and educators; this multi-faceted examination of the state of contemporary Asian America will help us frame the day's activities. Afternoon workshops will emphasize dialogue and the development of sustainable strategies for Asian American community development. At day's end, we will reconvene and share our insights and alliances, and apply them to some of the issues discussed during the morning plenary, as we begin to design a call to action that will drive social impact for our communities.

Session Tracks
(Afternoon Workshops)

Capturing the Asian American Experience in Education and the Curriculum
Do our educational institutions respond to the needs of Asian American communities and students?  Do the curricula of public schools and higher education in the city reflect the demographics of the students they serve? How do we develop momentum for a crucial expansion of the field within New York City's public schools and institutions of higher education? Where is Asian American Studies in New York City? Why do we still need to explain and fight for the relevance of Asian American Studies as a legitimate academic field?

Media and Technology: Promise and Limits for Mobilization, Mass Collaboration and Coalition Building
Is the media portraying Asian Americans accurately and appropriately? Are news outlets reporting Asian Americans issues responsibly?  How do they reflect Asian American concerns?  Can new media and technology interfaces - e.g. Facebook, blogs, Twitter, RSS, e-activism- be a real platform for realizing collaboration and action for social change in Asian American communities? How are these tools being put to use by individuals and groups in efforts to outreach regarding: alerts/events, political issues, fundraisers, communication, etc.? How are struggling non-profit organizations working to extend into the realm of the virtual, in lieu of being brick-and-mortar organizations? How do we leverage these tools in empowering our community's voice?

Community and Economic Empowerment In The New Financial Reality
Are Asian American concerns reflected in the national, state and local dialogue on community and economic development? How is the fallout from the nation's economic crisis impacting Asian American communities in terms of public funding, private philanthropy, education, poverty rates, housing, entrepreneurship, health, and labor conditions? What can we do in order to mobilize Asian American communities so that we remain visible and active as crucial economic decisions are made regarding our futures and how the economic pie is distributed? How do we make sure that Asians have a seat at the table in making these decisions?

The Arts, Literature and Cultural Institutions in the 21st Century
What is the role of art and culture in shaping the dialogue on what it is to be Asian in America? How well are Asian American artists and writers represented and supported in the arts? How are Asian American artists and writers redefining their positions within U.S. mainstream and independent cultural production? How does Asian visual art and performance from overseas impact Asian American artists and cultural institutions, and vice versa? Are institutions that promote Asian and Asian American artists adequately supported?  How can Asian American cultural workers contribute to and benefit from the dialogue around issues concerning the economy, new media, and education?







Redefining Asian America



Topic Abstracts


Planning Committee
Nehru E. Cherukupalli
Jennifer Hayashida (Chair)
Carol Huang
Kiyoka Koizumi
Joyce Moy
Frank Shih (Co-Chair)
Kyoko Toyama

Antony Wong

CUNY Diversity Grant


Asian American / Asian Research Institute 2018

25 West 43rd Street, Room 1000, New York, NY 10036   
Phone: 212-869-0182 / 0187   
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