Category Archives: APC Official Statements

Statement of Support for Divestment and Palestine

November 13, 2014

We, the Asian Pacific Coalition (APC) at the University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA), are a coalition of twenty-four Asian American and Pacific Islander organizations. We are the official voice of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community on campus. Through our Principles of Unity, the code by which our coalition organizes by, we recognize the oppressive conditions Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have faced in the United States. Having historically been restricted access to institutions and denied rights in this country, we support and are in solidarity with Palestinian peoples whom have been restricted to move and have been denied basic human rights under Israeli occupation.

Whereas, the University of California invests in technologies that are used in the construction of military checkpoints, the Separation Wall, the demolition of Palestinian settlements, and the exploitation of Palestinian natural resources, the Asian Pacific Coalition affirms that the University of California should not invest or contract with American businesses that are invested in the violation of human rights in Palestine. In addition, University of California students should not be forced to support University of California invested American businesses that profit from the oppression of Palestinian civilians, which is currently inevitable due to the payment of student tuition fees.

Therefore, we affirm and support student and community efforts in calling upon the University of California to divest from American companies that perpetuate the occupation of Palestinian peoples and the violation of human rights including Boeing, Caterpillar, Cement Roadstone Holdings, Cemex, General Dynamics, General Electric, Hewlett-Packard, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, and United Technologies.

In recognizing the violation of human rights and the oppression perpetuated by companies invested by the University of California, the Asian Pacific Coalition – in solidarity with community members – calls upon the University of California to uphold and honor the Principles of Responsible Investment, stating that “businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights; and make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.”

Signed,

The Asian Pacific Coalition at UCLA

Link to PDF: APC Statement of Support for Divestment

Official Statement in Regards to SCA5

We, the Asian Pacific Coalition (APC) at the University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA), are a collective of twenty-four Asian American and Pacific Islander organizations. We are the official voice of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (API) community on campus. Through our Principles of Unity, a code by which our coalition organizes by, we affirm the right to higher education for all communities, especially those who have historically been denied full access.

In particular, we are writing in support of the formerly proposed California Senate Constitutional Amendment (SCA) 5 – a legislation that asks voters to consider repealing Proposition 209’s ban on the use of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in California public education programs.

SCA 5 was introduced by California State Senator Edward Hernandez on December 3, 2012. After passing in the Senate and reaching the Assembly, it was recently referred back to the Senate for re-examination on March 17, 2014 because of pressure from several Chinese American lobbyists.

Recently, many news outlets have published reports regarding Asian American attitudes towards affirmative action and SCA 5. However, many of these have only depicted a narrative of stern opposition, when in fact, it is only a small population of highly privileged Chinese Americans that are attempting to speak on behalf of all API communities. It is extremely disappointing to witness this phenomenon while other API groups remain invisible and voiceless.

We seek to clarify that the mainstream narrative does not represent our communities and that we will not allow our voices to be rendered irrelevant. These reports perpetuate the model minority myth and continue to divide communities of color on crucial community issues.

As a coalition comprised of several ethnic API groups, APC emphasizes that affirmative action policies are, contrary to misconceptions, beneficial for APIs. Through the implementation of Proposition 209, race-blind admissions have been detrimental to all communities of color. Additionally, admission rates of APIs have actually decreased at five out of the eight UC campuses with race-blind admissions.

It is imperative to continually clarify that Southeast Asians, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders – whom all fit under Asian American racial categorization – are groups that experience some of the lowest college attendance rates. In a report compiled by Asian Americans Advancing Justice, 40.3% of Southeast Asian and 50.2% of Pacific Islander students between the ages of 25-34 have not attended college. Some of the misconceptions of affirmative action are maintained by this lack of disaggregated data, which consequently masks these disparities.

Furthermore, the low representation of African American and Latina/o students at our higher education institutions is especially disturbing. As concluded by a 2012 study made by the Higher Education Research Institution at UCLA, under-representation of any community creates a detrimental effect on campus climate, which has salience in daily activities. At UCLA, we have experienced the consequences from a lack of diversity through the continuance of racialized hate crimes on campus.

In promoting unity and cooperative interaction amongst different communities, we stress the importance for members of the API community to work in solidarity with other communities of color. While affirmative action has been framed centrally as an African American and Latina/o issue, APIs are stakeholders in this issue as well. Nonetheless, we must utilize our voices and act beyond self-interest – in which case, to understand the oppressive histories that others have experienced.

While SCA 5 is currently halted, we have the responsibility to continue advocating for educational change through other initiatives. Rather than focusing solely on admissions, we must further demand change from the state, specifically with its larger disinvestment in California’s public education system.

To increase educational opportunity, the state must commit to promoting diversity and inclusion, sustaining retention and recruitment programs, providing visibility for underrepresented and underserved groups, and ensuring affordability for all students. These are all issues that California students grapple with, and in identifying them, we must advocate for larger efforts for equitable change.

Therefore, in recognizing the right to higher education for all students, we demand that our state legislators remain committed to enacting policies that reflect the diversity of California. Additionally, we affirm the student voice as one that must be acknowledged and included in the discussion of this legislation.

Thus we call upon members of our campus community – as well as those beyond – to advocate in solidarity for equitable educational opportunity. In working towards this vision, we are committed to cross-community building and supporting policies like SCA 5 that benefit all communities of color, including Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

Signed,

The Asian Pacific Coalition at UCLA

ATTACHED: Official Statement on Letterhead: APCStatementofSupportforSCA5

Letter to Washington R*dskins & NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell

To the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell:

We, the Asian Pacific Coalition (APC) at University of California – Los Angeles, are a collective of twenty-four Asian American and Pacific Islander organizations. We serve as the official voice of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community on campus. As representatives of historically misrepresented and oppressed groups ourselves, we express solidarity with the American Indian community in their protest against the use of offensive and stereotypical mascots and racial slurs.

The Asian Pacific Coalition has a close relationship with the American Indian Student Association at UCLA. The Asian American Studies Center and the American Indian Studies Center share a space in the same hall on the UCLA campus. As such, we recognize the histories of struggle that both our communities have faced. According to the Asian Pacific Coalition’s Principles of Unity, we support the positive and accurate portrayals of Asian Pacific peoples, women, and minorities. We recognize how important it is for marginalized people to have a voice in how they are portrayed. We strongly believe that the use of American Indian stereotypes and racial slurs as mascots and team names is highly offensive and disrespectful to the history of genocide and continued racism against American Indian peoples.

Therefore we are in solidarity with the Native American community and support the Eradicate Offensive Native Mascotry (EONM) in their demand for the Washington Redsk*ns football team to end the use of the racial slur “redskins” as their mascot and name. We are calling upon the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell to support the changing of the Washington Redsk*n’s name and mascot and to end the fan practice of redface in their NFL games. The continued usage of this or any racial slur against the repeated demands of the American Indian community is damaging, hurtful, and ultimately unacceptable.

Signed,
The Asian Pacific Coalition at UCLA

 ATTACHED: Official Statement with Letterhead

APC_WashingtonFootballTeam

In Support of the Nikkei Student Union

The Asian Pacific Coalition supports and stands with the Nikkei Student Union at UCLA in the battle to preserve Manzanar Historic Site.

Below is a statement drafted by NSU.

To get involved with blocking the creation of a solar panel ranch on land that carries upmost importance and history to the JA and American Indian community, please see these link:

http://www.change.org/petitions/halt-ladwp-s-plan-to-build-a-1-200-acre-solar-energy-generating-station-adjacent-to-manzanar-national-historic-site

And also, please email your comments to inyoplanning@inyocounty.us to be read at the public hearing this Wednesday.

Letter of opposition_NSU

Microsoft Word - 文書2

Asian Pacific Coalition’s Official Stance on Janet Napolitano’s Promise to Undocumented Students

November 20, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

To Janet Napolitano, President of the University of California:

We, the Asian Pacific Coalition (APC) at University of California – Los Angeles, are a collective of twenty-four Asian American and Pacific Islander organizations. We are the official voice of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community on campus. Through our Principles of Unity, a code that our organization stands by, we stand for the right of underrepresented communities to access higher education. In particular, we are writing in support of the undocumented community and the recent decision to turn your pledged $5 million dedicated to loans and work-study programs to forms of financial aid for the undocumented community.

A decision to offer undocumented students more loans is troubling, as it ignores the struggles that they already face. For undocumented students, the pursuit of higher education is already a huge financial burden. Undocumented students are ineligible to receive many scholarships that require the applicant to have residential status and cannot receive federal loans. With the student loan debt at $1.2 trillion dollars, loans are problematic in themselves. Loans are especially hard to pay off for the undocumented community because of the complications of becoming eligible to apply for a job.

Of the 11 million undocumented people in the United States, roughly 1 million of them are Asian and Pacific Islanders (API). APIs are the fastest growing population in the United States today and represent the second-largest group of DREAMers. Our histories are grounded in the immigrant and refugee experience; where many of our ancestors have either escaped political persecution and wars in their home countries in the pursuit of freedom or were in search of better opportunities promised by the American Dream. Some have navigated the American Dream through higher education and as a members of the work force have contributed greatly to our economy. By offering loans instead of financial aid such as scholarships, you are currently denying the undocumented students the chance for higher education. As the Honorable John Conyers Jr., a Representative in Congress from the State of Michigan, and Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary, has stated, undocumented students “are the ones who first learn English. They are the ones who learn American history and culture from school and their friends. It is our history and culture that they think of as theirs. And they are the ones who help their parents navigate bureaucracies, health care, and jobs.”

We want you to fulfill the promise that you originally made. You stated in your first public address since becoming UC President on October 30th that undocumented students “are students who deserve the opportunity to succeed and to thrive at UC.” In recognizing the right to higher education for underrepresented communities, we are demanding that the University of California maintains its commitment as a public institution that strengthens the academic achievement of students in communities throughout California. As the Office of the President manages the University’s public mission, you are directly accountable for the commitments made to California’s communities.

We stand in solidarity not only with undocumented APIs, but all undocumented students across the University of California. We demand that you, Janet Napolitano, redirect the $5 million that you promised to dedicate to the undocumented community as scholarships to aid them in their pursuit of higher education. To them, America has been what they call home.

Signed,

The Asian Pacific Coalition at UCLA

 

Official PDF version of Press Release