Research on Asian American Activism at UCSB

This site presents research on Asian American activism at UC Santa Barbara.  The students in Professor Diane Fujino’s Asian American Studies 163 course in Fall 2019 were inspired by the Pan Asian Network (PAN) organizing earlier in the year. The PAN students gained a new Pan Asian student center focusing on social justice, staff positions in counseling, EOP, and elsewhere to support Asian American students, and the promises of Asian American Studies faculty positions. (See: PAN demands and coverage of the initial rally in the Daily Nexus and The Bottom Line.)

The PAN organizing moved students to want to know more about the history of Asian American activism on campus.  They worked in small groups to research five major topics: 

  • The formation of the Asian American Studies program at UCSB, which began in the early 1970s.
  • The multiracial hunger strike, involving Asian American activists in the leadership, in 1989 that lead to: (a) the development of the ethnicity requirement, still required for all students and (b) the formation of the MultiCultural Center that serves as a model of rich programming on race and justice issues, student support, and leadership development.
  • In 1995, UCSB became the first major university to offer a B.A. in Asian American Studies and to establish the first Department of Asian American Studies.
  • An anti-Asian racist event in 1998 sparked a mobilization that resulted in the establishment of the Student Resource Building.
  • The history of the Vietnamese Student Association at UCSB.

Each group also developed a public intellectual project so others too might know more about the history of Asian American activism.  In addition, one honors student did additional research on instances of anti-Asian racism on campus.  What’s on this website showcases their public intellectual projects.

Origins of Asian American Studies at UCSB 

Hunger Strike of 1989

Transformation of Asian American Studies at UCSB

Activism Leading to the Student Resource Building

The History of the Vietnamese Student Association at UCSB

Anti-Asian Racism at UCSB