Asian-American Anti-Racism Initiatives (AAAI)
2021-2022 UDARI Committee Grant Award Winner
The Asian-American Anti-Racism Initiatives (AAAI) used UDARI grant funding to support two events in Spring 2022: a film event and a workshop with high school teachers in Delaware. This project is in response to the success of their project in Spring 2021, “Fighting for All,” which emphasized alliances and social activism across racial and class differences with a focus on two prominent Asian American activists. In Spring 2022, the film event consisted of a public film screening, a structured panel of discussions that include film producer(s) and experts, structured questions from graduate students, and a Q&A period open to all participants. The in-person workshop was at UD, in which our community’s members and high school teachers participate to develop classroom activities to promote cross-racial activism and a cross-racial alliance against racism.
For the 2021-2022 academic year, the Asian-American Anti-Racism Initiatives (AAAI) identifies our group’s most urgent efforts with two intertwined subjects: first, developing a safe and welcoming academic environment for Asians & Asian Americans, and second, establishing a bridge between people of Asian descent and other underrepresented groups to generate a more integrated community in Delaware.
Following our goals, we held two workshops: on May 19 for pre-service teachers and on June 2 for high-school teachers and counselors.
We worked together with the University of Delaware’s School of Education and the University of Delaware’s Office of Institutional Equity to develop and carry out both workshops. Clock hours were provided to teachers who participated in the workshops, and the required documents were sent upon request.
Both workshops allowed our community’s members and workshop participants to learn about implicit biases against Asians and Asian Americans and learn to develop classroom activities to promote cross-racial activism and a cross-racial alliance against racism. Our workshop instructors also provided sessions on the history of Asian Americans and shared examples of implicit biases that frequently emerge in classrooms, whether from the student or teacher’s angle.
Both workshops in May and June of 2022 expanded on the “Fighting for All” project originally launched in Spring 2021. The workshops were also designed and developed in response to the survey results from high school teachers participating in the two events of our project in Spring 2021. The University of Delaware’s Admissions Office assisted the AAAI in sending out the surveys to all schools in the State of Delaware and nearby. The survey’s results indicated strong support from school teachers to collaborate on promoting antiracism and preventing implicit biases against Asians & Asian Americans in the school and university environment.
- Establish trust and a sense of safety and security for Asian and Asian-American students and faculty members.
- Developing a basis of understanding that anti-Asian racism is not solely about Asian and Asian Americans, but also about developing a better integrated, more inclusive community.
- Working in collaboration with other committees to create a shared platform of anti-racism.
- Developing a scholarly community through public events for Asian-American and Asian academics, faculty members, and students from both at UD and in the region.
Chair: Vimalin Rujivacharakal (Art History)
- James Blount (Climatology, Graduate Student)
- Peter Feng (English)
- Chika Inoue (Languages, Literatures and Cultures)
- Helena Kim (English, Graduate Student)
- Julia Mun (Art History, Graduate Student)
- Keerthi Potluri (English)
- Jessica Thelen (English, Graduate Student)
- Haihong Yang (Languages, Literatures and Cultures)