I came to this land, the land of indigenous Native Hawaiians, from the Philippines. Today I want to speak to my fellow immigrants and fellow AAPIs: to the essential workers on the front line, to the service members who wear our flag, to the parents with big dreams for their children. No matter where we came from, AAPIs and immigrants belong in our country’s long fight for justice. We belong in the America we are building together.
Amefil “Amy” Agbayani
“Legacy and Recommitment to Advocacy, Equality, Justice for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and All Racial Groups” by Doris Ching (EWC/EWCA International Conference, 2014) and Amefil “Amy” Agbayani (Institute for Student Exchange, PhD in Political Science 1964-1969), is based on a survey of national community and higher education Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) leaders. The article focuses on five current challenges: 2020 Census, COVID-19, immigration, elections, racism and discrimination. The diverse AAPI community is the fastest growing ethnic group in the United States (6%). An internally strong and united AAPI, coupled with external partnerships with all racial/ethnic groups, can create a more powerful force for equity and justice for all racial/ethnic groups than standing alone.
Dr. Doris Ching is emeritus vice president for students affairs, University of Hawai′i System; former interim chancellor, UH West Oahu; first woman of color/first Asian American elected NASPA president. Dr. Amefil Agbayani is emeritus assistant vice chancellor for student equity, excellence and diversity, University of Hawai′i at Mānoa; inaugural chair, Hawai′i Civil Rights Commission; and chair, Filipina Advocacy Network.
The article appeared in Journal of College and Character, 22:1, 64-72, DOI: 10.1080/2194587X.2020.1860779 and can be downloaded free of charge until June 30, 2021.