More than 22 million strong from over twenty countries, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) are the fastest growing demographic group in the United States, exhibiting increasing political clout while simultaneously experiencing the greatest income inequality of any racial or ethnic group. The recent surge in anti-Asian harassment and violence during the COVID-19 pandemic has brought newfound attention to the experiences of Asian Americans, belying a long-standing history of racism experienced by Asian American communities.
In the Georgetown spirit of cura personalis, care for the whole person, and building community and solidarity, this panel discussion had two goals: a) raise awareness of Asian American histories and narratives and b) provide pragmatic steps for addressing anti-Asian racism and harassment and supporting the AAPI community at Georgetown. The speakers provided insights into AAPI student experiences at Georgetown, the history of anti-Asian racism in the United States, the mental health challenges facing Asian Americans during the current moment, statistical data on AAPI demographics and political mobilization, and policy and legal solutions for addressing these problems. All members of the Georgetown community and the general public were invited to join this important and urgent conversation.
John J. DeGioia, president of Georgetown University, provided introductory remarks.
Generous funding for this event was provided by the Office of the Vice President for Global Engagement; the Initiative for U.S.-China Dialogue on Global Issues; the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service; the Asian Studies Program; the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Affirmative Action; and the Georgetown Medical School Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
Jenny Xu (C’21) is inaugural chair of the DC College Democrats AAPI Caucus, president of GU Pride, and Vice Chair of the GU College Democrats.
Agnes Lee (SFS’17, L’22) is editor-in-chief of the Georgetown Law Journal.
Beth Lew-Williams is associate professor in the Department of History at Princeton University.
David L. Eng is the Richard L. Fisher professor of English in the Department of English and professor in the program in Asian American studies, the program in comparative literature & literary theory, and the program in gender, sexuality & women’s studies at the University of Pennsylvania.
Karthick Ramakrishnan is a professor in the School of Public Policy and a professor in the Department of Political Science at UC Riverside, as well as the founder of AAPI data, and chair of the California Commission on APIA Affairs.
Marita Etcubañez is the senior director of Strategic Initiatives with Asian Americans Advancing Justice, and the former Director of Legal Services at the Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center.
Michelle C. Wang (co-moderator) is an associate professor in the Department of Art and Art History at Georgetown University.
Yuhki Tajima (co-moderator) is an associate professor in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service Asian Studies Program at Georgetown University.