My name is Juliet Shen and I am the Professional Development Coordinator for the East Coast Asian American Student Union (ECAASU) National Board. As a national, student-leader run organization, ECAASU’s mission is to inspire, educate, and empower those interested in the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) issues.
I wanted to let you know about two of ECAASU’s initiatives to connect with students, the Campus Ambassador Program (for individuals) and the Affiliate Organization Program (for organizations). These programs would be a great start to working with others and other organizations that work on AAPI work across the East Coast.
The Campus Ambassador Program allows students across the East Coast to network and organize on national and local scale initiatives actively contributing to projects, campaigns, coalition building and grassroots activism through ECAASU National.
The Affiliate Organization Program aims to connect organizations directly with ECAASU and other student organizations on the East Coast. Additionally, this program will work as a resource on how to successfully organize Asian American and Pacific Islander focused events and programs on both a national and local scale. The deadline for this application is October 27, 2013 11:59 PM EST. Feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns.
Please visit our website at www.ecaasu.org to learn more about our organization and programs and share this opportunity with other student organizations that have an interest in being more involved with the AAPI community.
We are currently accepting applications for these programs, and I didn’t want you to miss the chance to apply!
Please share this opportunity with other students who may be interested. We hope to see your application.
If any of you are students are SUNY Buffalo, ECAASU representatives (Me and Dan Tran) will be facilitating a presentation as part of ECAASU’s Campus Tour!
Take advantage of this opportunity to be better informed about matters regarding Asian Americans and what you can do to make a difference.
In collaboration with the National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP), ECAASU goes on an annual road trip, creating a tradition of engaging and organizing the local Asian American student leadership in regions around the country. This will be a great opportunity for emerging Asian American leaders to network and meet one another and establish lifelong friendships that will create a stronger Asian American community.
Our 4th stop is BUFFALO, NY hosted by the Asian American Student Union (AASU)!
Date: OCTOBER 12, 2013
Time: 11AM - 4PM
What to expect at the campus tour mixer:
Come get a taste of what ECAASU is all about and get ready to have fun meeting people from different campuses!
-Located at Student Union Theater
-We will be serving lunch and refreshments.
- Meet members of the ECAASU National Board
- Great networking opportunities
- Get ready to be involved!
-There will also be a raffle towards the end of the Campus Tour for Fright World Tickets!
-Recommended Attire: Business Casual
More info at: https://www.facebook.com/events/221739881315376/
I got this message passed along to me, I highly encourage people to apply! It will be a fun and valuable experience.
If you haven’t heard, DC won the bid to host the 2014 ECAASU (East Coast Asian American Student Union) conference! Every year, the conference draws over 1,200 students from all over the East Coast who are looking to learn more about issues that affect the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. We’ll be working in conjunction with other leaders from American University, George Washington University, Georgetown University, and the University of Maryland-College Park.
We are looking for bright and dedicated individuals to apply to be on our conference committee staff (and no, you do NOT have to be Asian/Pacific Islander or from DC schools to apply)! We will need staff members and chairs for the following aspects of the conference: Entertainment, Hospitality, Social, Finance, Marketing/Media, Sponsorship, Logistics, Programming, and Registration. The application link can be found here: http://bit.ly/ecaasu2014app
The deadline to apply is Friday, April 5th at 11:59 pm!
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me either here via fb messaging or by email (email@example.com)
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me either here via fb messaging or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org)! This is your chance to get involved with a HUGE movement that is captivating the nation! JOIN THE ECAASU FAMILY, YOU WON’T REGRET IT!
This past weekend, I was lucky enough to go to a student conference in New York City. Overall, it was a fantastic and very well put together conference with very educational workshops, mind-blowing performances by talented artists, and opportunities for Asian American leaders and students to meet and bond.
Tumblr user gabrielarising wrote a really good piece on MAASU a couple years ago and Traphik’s performance. And just as they said, as with any large event there are bound to be a couple problems. I’ve been to ECAASU before and know that the conference board who put this year’s conference together worked very hard and diligently to ensure the success of this year’s ECAASU. I know they had the best intentions and most likely vetted the speakers so nothing like what happened at MAASU would occur at ECAASU.
However, no one could have expected one performer, David So, to veer in the direction he did. This is a video of his performance, the problematic jokes start at around 12:30 and peak at 12:50.
"I dated a Latina girl once. Mexican chicks are by far - they’re like the aphrodisiac. There’s something about those girls that, I just can’t get over it. The problem with you guys is: every time you date a Mexican chick, they always involve you in their fights. Like I don’t appreciate that at all."
I went with my first instinct and yelled “RACIST” at him. My friend next to me joined for a second time, where David So then reacted by saying “Shut up, that’s all over.” and continued on to his next joke.
This is an entertainer who made his name mocking racism and racists with his parody song of Alexandra Wallace’s infamous video about “Asians in the library”. He opened explaining that joke and slowly moved into more and more problematic humor.
Like gabrielarising, I felt something as soon as he said that. Racism within the Asian community is notorious. Anti-blackness is notorious. Anti-anyone-but-white-people is usually the most common. I know this from personal experience. This is wrong though, very very wrong. The speakers before David So came on talked heavily of coalition building. To me, coalition building is more than just a set of buzz words thrown together when talking about social justice. It’s about realizing that oppression is connected and what strikes one group of people down is related to our own lives. That means standing with my Latin@ family, my black family, my Native family, etc against comments and humor that reinforce white supremacy. That means speaking up when stereotypes like the “sexy Latina” are reinforced and fat jokes are wrapped up in a clusterfuck of “Youtube humor”.
I’m going to take an excerpt from gabrielarising’s post on MAASU:
Misogyny within a space of empowerment for Asian Americans made the situation slightly contradictory. By starting the conference off with this performer, it reminded some women in the audience of their positions as sexual objects and their secondary status. One woman, after he performed, yelled, “SEXIST!” to assert her voice as an individual who refused to take the verbal abuse lying down. I stupidly yelled in conjunction, “FUCK YOU!” not knowing what else to say. He replied by acting like he did not hear her, and just laughed it off. Apparently, he has done this many times in other venues, and when womyn confronted him, he would disrespectfully ignore them. Discussions with other folks later made me feel defeated at how easily everyone acquiesced to this verbal abuse. One man said it was merely, “Fun and games,” and that it should not be a big deal.
This is exactly what happened here. I refused to take the verbal abuse as a woman of color and I’ve gotten quite a bit of backlash for what we did. Most people joined in him laughing when he told me to shut up, and most people still lined up to meet him during and after the conference. Some told me that it was the wrong place and time to publicly call someone out on this. Some told me that I’ve gotten too radical and use too much alienating language.
Maybe they’re right, but if they are I think I’d prefer to be wrong. My philosophy is that if I don’t speak up, who will? If I don’t call someone out right when they fuck up, how many of the 1200 conference attendees would have questioned that humor? My friends have a saying. That saying is “struggle with love”. I might be in this without the friendship and/or support of established organizations, but I do what I do with a passionate and undying love for my community.
And again, just as gabrielarising said in their post,
It is up to members of next year’s MAASU and event planners of other APIA events to understand the importance of finding real performers who work to positively contribute to the community. By simply finding any wannabe artist with the least bit of talent is counterproductive to the mission of these events.
We want to counter the structures that bring down marginalized communities, but we cannot do that if we do not recognize what is disempowering us. The first step is to transcend our internalized oppressions.
Recognize all forms.
No one has the right to oppress others based on race, genders, sexuality, ability, and beliefs.
This article on ECAASU and its current form is a worthy read, especially the last paragraph. Though ECAASU no longer receives funding from the military and is a stand-up organization that provides amazing resources and opportunities for Asian American students, I think that this post was a necessary post.
Again, props to ECAASU National Board for their continuous work and to ECAASU 2013 Columbia Conference Board for putting together one of the best conferences I’ve been to.
C’mon, Asian Americans. We can do better.