CUNY Conference on
Building Coalitions & Coalescing a
Pan-Asian/Pacific/American Identity
Date: Tuesday, May 23, 2017     Time: 9AM to 4PM

Place: CUNY Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue, Concourse Level, Manhattan

Conference Program

9am to 9:30am
Registration & Breakfast

9:30am to 9:45am

Joyce Moy, Executive Director, AAARI-CUNY

9:45am to 10:15am

Contested Transformations: Trump, Asian Americans, and the Challenge of Change

Dr. Paul Watanabe, Director of the Institute for Asian American Studies and Professor, Political Science, College of Liberal Arts, University of Massachusetts-Boston

10:15am to 11:30am
Session I

Forging a Pan-Asian Identity: Complexities, Challenges, and Complications

This panel will explore the challenges associated with creating alliances within the APA community as well as beyond with other communities of color. By unpacking the interlocking tensions that exist across racial and ethnic lines, this panel will explore the complexities of intergenerational conflicts, intersecting identities, and diverging histories which complicate the formation of a pan-Asian identity.

Moderator: Rockwell Chin, Esq.

Stanley Thangaraj, Assistant Professor, Anthropology, City College of New York/CUNY

Mark Tseng-Putterman, Visiting Scholar, NYU Asian/Pacific/American Institute

Jo-Ann Yoo, Executive Director, Asian American Federation

11:30am to 11:45am

11:45am to 1:00pm
Session II

Solidarity in Action: Lessons Learned

By looking at historical instances of pan-Asian and pan-ethnic solidarity, this panel will identify and assess the successful strategies that were common throughout these moments of solidarity. By exploring the ways in which the formation and use of a collective identity has been mobilized as an advocacy strategy, this panel will critically look at practices of reactive and proactive solidarity to ultimately begin to answer the question: what can we learn from history and modern day movements?

Moderator: Eric Tang, CUNY Thomas Tam Visiting Professor, CUNY Graduate Center & Associate Professor, African and African Diaspora Studies, The University of Texas at Austin

Chhaya Chhoum, Executive Director, Mekong NYC

Cathy Dang, Executive Director, CAAAV

Kazi Fouzia, Director of Organizing, DRUM - Desis Rising Up & Moving

Kalaya’an Mendoza, Field Director, Amnesty International USA

1pm to 2pm

2pm to 3:15pm
Session III

Moving Forward: Organizing and Mobilizing Around Differences and Similarities

As the final discussion of the conference, this panel will present strategies around galvanizing the APA community to participate in proactive solidarity. By paying particular attention to media activism, this panel will engage in a conversation around interethnic dynamics, relationships, and how APA activists can center frontline leadership and the struggles of the community with which they are standing in solidarity.


Moderator: Vinit Parmar, Board Vice Chair, AAARI-CUNY & Assistant Professor, Film, Brooklyn College/CUNY


Anita Gundanna, Co-Executive Director, Coalition for Asian American Children and Families


James Hong, Co-Executive Director, MinKwon Center for Community Action


Rachel Kuo, PhD Candidate, Media, Culture, and Communication, New York University


Samantha Ng, Undergraduate Student, Asian/American Studies & Human Development, Binghamton University/SUNY

3:15pm to 3:45pm
Session IV

Peter Kwong in Memoriam: Friend, Scholar, Mentor and Community Leader

Moderator: Antony Wong, Program Coordinator, AAARI-CUNY

Special Tribute
Vita C. Rabinowitz, Executive Vice Chancellor and University Provost, The City University of New York

John Chin, Associate Professor, Urban Policy & Planning, Hunter College/CUNY

Kenneth Guest, Professor, Anthropology, Baruch College/CUNY

Tommy Wu, Graduate Student, CUNY Graduate Center

Karen Zhou, Executive Director, Homecrest Community Services

3:45pm to 4pm
Concluding Remarks







Coalition Building



Topic Abstracts


CUNY Diversity Projects Development Fund


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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