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Asian American Activism: Voices, Representation, and Resistance

This series of standalone workshops explored examples of Asian American activism – past and present through the themes of identity, immigration, exclusion, protest, resilience, and expression. In looking to the past, we worked to better understand what it means to be Asian American within a contemporary context.

Beginning on July 28, 2021, with the first workshop in this series, “Anti-Asian Hate Crimes and Resistance: Still Present Past” we examined the historical legacy of anti-Asian hate crimes.

The following day on July 29, the session explored themes of immigration, identity, and activism vis-à-vis graphic novels by and about Asian Americans. Participants in this workshop were sent Malaka Gharib’s I Was Their American Dream in advance of the workshop to read and discuss during the workshop.

On August 2, the third workshop in this series utilized excerpts from court decisions related to education (desegregation and language access) and citizenship as we examined the Asian American fight for civil rights.

This series concluded on August 4 as we introduced artistic expressions of resistance by Asian Americans within an historical context to the present.

Overall, this series was designed for secondary teachers in Social Studies, English, Language Arts, History, Government, and Visual Arts. Each workshop focused on a subset of the themes in the larger series and had a different curricular focus dependent upon the topic. Elementary educators were welcome and encouraged to join as content is relevant.

This program was sponsored by the East Asia Resource Center (EARC) in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington with funding from a Freeman Foundation grant in support of the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA).

Dates and Times

Wednesday, July 28; 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM (Pacific Time)
Anti-Asian Hate Crimes and Resistance: Still Present Past
Led by Tracy Lai and Melanie King and facilitated by Mary Roberts

Thursday, July 29; 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM (Pacific Time)
Asian American Graphic Novels
Led by Kathy Whitham and facilitated by Mary Roberts, Tracy Lai, and Melanie King

Monday, August 2; 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM (Pacific Time)
Landmark Court Cases and Asian America
Led by Tracy Lai and facilitated by Melanie King and Mary Roberts

Wednesday, August 4; 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM (Pacific Time)
Visualizing Asian American Resistance
Led by Melanie King and facilitated by Tracy Lai and Mary Roberts

These online programs were held on Zoom. Participants received a link the day before each program.

Program Leaders

Melanie King, EARC Program Leader

Tracy Lai, History Faculty, Seattle Central College

Mary Roberts, EARC Program Leader

Kathy Whitham, English Faculty, South Seattle College

Program Benefits

  • Online resources
  • 2 Washington State OSPI clock hours per session