The East Coast Asian American Student Union (ECAASU), a 501(c)(3) student-run nonprofit organization, stands in firm support of the Asian American Studies Working Group at Duke University, and their fight for the creation of Asian American Studies (AAS).
The demand for Asian American Studies at Duke is clear. Students have campaigned for the creation of the program for the past fifteen years. However, the need for AAS is more evident now than ever, particularly in North Carolina. The urgent need for robust Ethnic Studies programs is evident when remembering the 2015 murder of three Muslim students in Chapel Hill, the eruption of Black Lives Matter protests after the death of Keith Lamont Scott, and the controversial HB2 Bill.
The need for AAS is twofold: it is integral for the racial identity of Duke’s Asian/Asian American students, and it is equally as meaningful for non-Asian Duke students. ECAASU asserts that Duke has the responsibility to teach studentsthe rich Asian/Asian American history of resistance in solidarity with Black and Latinx communities. Through AAS, students are able see themselves positively represented as agents of change. Similarly, Duke also has the responsibility of educating its non-Asian constituents on the issues specific our community. During our tumultuous political climate, a lack of empathy is now a safety issue. Investing in a strong AAS program will not only push Duke to the forefront of Ethnic Studies, but also create a campus that ensures the representation of Asian American experiences.
ECAASU unequivocally supports the Asian American Studies Working Group, and cosigns their demand for Asian American Studies.
Jillian Hammer, Asian American Affairs Specialist
Kathryn Quintin, Executive Director
East Coast Asian American Student Union