Dialogue on Asian Pacific Concerns
Oct. 16 Conference Highlights Visibility and Marginality
Posted October 13, 1999
This Saturday, Asian Pacific American students, staff, faculty and alumni will hold a rare campuswide dialogue, "Visibility and Marginality: Examining the Changing Status of Asian Pacific Americans at Berkeley."
The day-long conference at Dwinelle Hall, starting at 9 a.m., comes as Asian Pacific Americans comprise 40 percent of the undergraduate student body. Yet there are fewer Asian Pacific graduate students, only a small number of Asians hold positions of campus leadership, and many feel that concerns of Asian Pacific Americans are not being adequately addressed.
"While the growing numbers and influence of Asian Pacific Americans on college campuses has attracted the attention of major national newspapers and magazines," conference organizers say, "until now, the campus has not taken the time to systematically reflect on this topic."
Subjects on Saturday's agenda include staff perspectives on negotiating the career ladder, bias against Asian American scientists, the future of Ethnic Studies, the role of Asian Pacific American alumni, academic and career advising for the diverse population of Asian Pacific American students, and perspectives on affirmative action.
According to Associate Registrar Walter Wong, co-chairman of "Visibility and Marginality," the conference has been organized, in part, because of "concern and frustration" among members of the campus community who felt that the Koyama-Lee Report of a decade ago has largely been unaddressed, if not ignored.
In May 1989, the Asian American Advisory Committee to the Chancellor issued a historic report, "Asian Americans at Berkeley." Commonly known as the Koyama-Lee Report, it identified and made recommendations to address a wide range of campus policies and issues affecting Asian Americans. It discussed unrecognized diversity among the Asian American population on campus; an overly Eurocentric curriculum; underrepresentation of Asian Americans among ladder-rank faculty, senior administrators, librarians and college advisers and counselors; and damaging consequences of the "model minority" stereotype, among other issues.
Many of these topics will be re-examined, in the current context, at "Visibility and Marginality." For information see the conference Web site, at hrweb.berkeley.edu:80/AAEEO/asianamconf.htm.