The East Coast Asian American Student Union (ECAASU) strives to advocate on behalf of Asian American young adults through a series of innovative, engaging campaigns that tackle some of the most pressing issues facing Asian and Asian American youth. These student campaigns are completely student-run, and feature partnerships with outstanding Asian American nonprofit organizations that seek to foster Asian American youth empowerment in a number of different fields.
ECAASU Advocacy Stances
ECAASU fully supports affirmative action policy in promoting inclusive, equitable, and representative education opportunities for our communities. We believe that race-conscious decisions are crucial in ensuring fair college admissions, especially for those who are marginalized due to their race. AAPIs are routinely used as a wedge in conversations surrounding affirmative action in order to pit communities of color against each other while White and/or legacy student populations are largely unaffected. We fight to raise awareness of this narrative and actively challenge it. We also acknowledge that affirmative action policies are only one aspect of this fight, not a final solution. We will continue to support policies that make education accessible and equitable for all marginalized communities.
ECAASU fully supports data disaggregation when it comes to the responsible collection, distribution, and reporting of protected data pertaining to the AAPI community. We believe that the aggregation of AAPI data is harmful as it (1) perpetuates the stereotype that AAPI communities are monolithic and (2) makes it very difficult to provide support for those AAPI communities who need it most, such as many South, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander students. Disaggregated data is essential to understanding the unique issues that face each of our communities and it must be responsibly collected with our communities best interests in mind.
Immigration and Xenophobia
ECAASU fully supports comprehensive, inclusive, and equitable immigration policies that welcome individuals and families from all walks of life, regardless of country of origin, religion, status, or identity. AAPI communities have an important stake in formulating such policies that can be beneficial for all and we stand in solidarity with other immigrant communities. We acknowledge that many historic gains for AAPI rights have come at a cost to immigration reform and we refuse to continue that narrative. We also know that American and Western foreign policy, imperialism, and war activity has had a direct impact on many families’ decisions to immigrate. As a community that has seen rhetoric and fear used against us throughout history, we must continue to strike down xenophobia in whatever shape or form it takes, whether from within our own families and communities or in our nation’s government.
Imperialism, Hegemony, and Colonialism
ECAASU stands against western imperialism, hegemony, and colonialism. Nations, lands, and communities across Asia and the Pacific have a long war-torn history of conflict, subjugation, and colonization by Western imperialist empires, mainly by European nations and the United States. These histories still affect AAPI communities to this day, and have had a direct impact on countless families’ decisions to immigrate. These histories also shape the lack of mobility that our communities encounter in the face of settler colonialism and oppressive regimes. We also acknowledge that many East Asian countries have adopted imperialist policies and sieged imperialist wars, mostly on other Asian and Pacific nations. We acknowledge that Hawai’i is an illegally occupied nation and many Pacific Islands are unjustly controlled and exploited by foreign powers. We believe in justice for Palestine and stand in solidarity with their struggle as they have stood in solidarity with racial justice activists in the United States. Imperialism continues to evolve and take on new forms, in the form of foreign policy and wars against terrorism.
Asian American and Pacific Islander Studies
ECAASU fully supports endeavors to establish and advance AAPI studies and stands in solidarity with efforts to establish all ethnic studies programs, in recognizing the erasure of POC history across time and the importance of the scholarly examination of POC issues in addressing those problems and more. We believe that the first step towards challenging the status quo is to question it— to be critical of it. Ethnic studies provides marginalized communities with the knowledge to be critical, the space to share and grow, and the tools to fight back against the status quo. We believe in AAPI inclusion in K-12 education, as well as the establishment of AAPI studies programs on campuses across the East Coast and across the country.
ECAASU fully supports non-partisan endeavors to actively mobilize AAPI communities to fight for a seat at the table by participating in the civic, social, and political process, including citizenship naturalization, voter registration and turnout, community organizing, and running for office. Many elected officials view AAPI communities as apolitical and therefore undeserving of their attention. If we wish to enact meaningful change, we will need to learn to navigate and to challenge existing systems to push back against harmful legislation, policies, and rhetoric that threaten our communities and advance policies that empower and improves our communities.
ECAASU stands in solidarity with other communities who are fighting for justice and equity, in recognizing that AAPI, Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities all desire a future free from oppression. And we believe in actively showing up for other marginalized folks in both in our words and our actions. Our oppression is irrevocably linked by White Supremacy and our freedom must be attained hand-in-hand. We acknowledge that our communities are mixed and intersectional; they are LGBTQIA+, disabled, fat, neurodivergent, undocumented, and low-income. Freedom for ourselves cannot be attained without fighting for the freedom of everyone as a whole. We believe in viewing the fight for justice through an intersectional framework, and making sure that in our effort to enact meaningful change for AAPI communities, we also give that same effort to uplifting other communities.