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What $30MM can do for Stanford's Asian American Studies Program

Updated: Oct 23, 2021

Stanford's Asian American Studies Program needs our help

"Stop Asian Hate!" We can yell that as loud as we want, but who's listening? We're telling ourselves in our echo chamber. The audience for our message isn't paying attention, or worse, is actively ignoring our plea. This deeply-rooted racism cannot be erased with a chant. It starts with education. We must first educate ourselves before we hope to educate others.

The Asian American Program at Stanford is a good start, but it needs to be stronger. It needs resources.

We want to raise a $30MM endowment to fund the following (listed in priority order):

  • Distinguished Faculty Director - $5M

  • 3 Asian American Studies Professors - $15M

  • Full time staff (1 Associate Director, 1 Communications) - $5M

  • Programs (scholars in residence, research grant, seminar series) - $5M

We felt that in order for a program to be sustainable, it has to have a critical mass of people. Too often, we have seen one professor or staff member try it by themselves. They felt unsupported and isolated. In fact, Professor Gow, one of the primary AAS lecturers, just left for Cal State Sacramento. The Stanford Daily reported:

However, with Gow leaving Stanford for a tenure-track position, familiar concerns are emerging among students and alumni who question the sufficiency of the program’s funding and resources.

“The Asian American Studies Program at Stanford is not as developed as it is at many universities,” Gow said. “And part of that is due to the fact that the University doesn’t provide as many resources as it possibly might, in terms of supporting the program.”

By providing resources to the Asian American Studies Program, we can ensure continuity and longevity. The article continued on:

In the past, the University has faced scrutiny over its lack of support for ethnic studies programs. The University’s Framework Task Force recommended the departmentalization of the African and African-American Studies program in February following decades of Black student activism. Stanford’s AAS program is not currently departmentalized.

“Both the AAS faculty and school understand how important it is for Stanford to have a strong AAS program,” wrote University spokesperson Joy Leighton. “AAS is working to build on [its current] momentum.”

We are well-poised to collaborate with the University as it re-examines its commitment to Race and Ethnic Studies. We've been waiting for 30 years, since the sit-in at the President's office demanding change. and it's time for another push to make a difference!

Download Stanford Faculty's proposal for an INSTITUTE FOR ASIAN AMERICAN STUDIES AT STANFORD.

Download PDF • 104KB


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