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Asian Americans

& Pacific
Racism and Access in Higher
By Daniel Dilling & Jazmin Ramirez
Learning Outcomes
1. Students will learn about the immigration history to America from China,
Japan and the Philippines, as well as the exclusion acts that hindered their
access to the land of opportunity.
2. Students will learn about the concept of model minority and its impacts.
3. Students will learn about the Asian American Movement and its influence
on the educational experiences of college students.
4. Students will learn about the Ambassadors of Goodwill and the creation
of the National Japanese American Student Relocation Council.
The Exclusion Acts
The Exclusionary Acts are three sets of restrictions that limited or completely
banned immigrants from coming to the United States.

1) The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 went into effect in May and prevented
immigration of Chinese workers.
2) The Japanese Exclusion Act was put into effect in 1924 adding to the ban
of people of Asian descent.
3) The Filipino Exclusion Act was put into effect ten years after that in 1934.
Important Court Dates in the
Fight for
● The Tape V HurleyAccess
case was to Ed.
Tape V Hurley 1884-85 California

a Supreme Court Case which Aoki V Deane 1907 California

concluded that the exclusion Rice V Gong Lum 1925 Mississippi
of a Chinese American student
from public school was unlawful.
● The Aoki V Deane court case advocated for Japanese American student in
the same manner.
● The Rice V Gong Lum case in 1925 ruled that a Mississippi school was not
breaking the 14th amendment by not allowing a Chinese American girl
into a school which was exclusively for white students.
National Japanese American
● Created by EisenhowerCouncil
on May 29th 1942
● Facilitated the movement of college students
from concentration camps to colleges away from
the West Coast
● Helped more than 4,000 incarcerated students
obtain releases to pursue higher education at
more than 600 schools during WWII
● Council worked with students, parents, civilians,
military arms of government, college
administrators, local communities, etc.
WWII and The Ambassadors of
● The Council emphasized that the resettled Japanese American students
would serve as ambassadors of goodwill in their new communities.
● Students were expected to make favorable impression at the arrival of
the communities.
● The Council believed this initiative would help create a safe environment
for the students, which would then attract more students in the future.
● Role provided early evidence to support the “model minority” stereotype.
The Model Minority Theory
● The idea of the “Model Minority” originated from the New York
Times paper in 1966.
● The myth of being a Model Minority comes from the
continued success in education, income, and social statuses.
● The harmful effects of this myth can be felt by many.
○ It first created an imagine by which all Asian Americans would be
compared to helping to create a homogeneous origin, narrative, and
○ The Model Minority concept in turn supports the Ideology of pulling
yourself up by your bootstraps.
○ This theory gave Asian Americans a narrative to be proud of but in
doing so it meant the rejection of their racial and ethnic cultural norms
and identity.
Asian American Civil Rights
● The AAM promoted 5 different areas of rights and had two major
recurring themes.
● AAM’s 5 areas that it focused on were community advocacy, poverty,
healthcare access, youth programs, and draft counseling.

Encouraging students to broaden the discourse on An increased tolerance and frequency in course
race offerings that examine and centralise the histories,
and ethnic relations by redefining categories and literature and political underpinnings of Asian
challenging prevalent assumptions. Americans and ethnic (i.e. Japanese) specific
communities, which has equipped students to engage
in discourse and community action. Countering
dominant narratives through unification and education
is the means by which
Asian American students fought for representation and
fair treatment.
Asian American Civil Rights
Movement Cont.
● At the start of the movement in 1969, five university student created
○ Gidra then went on to become known nationwide advocating and bring news about the
AAM to the public and was known as the journalistic leg of the movement.
● The Asian American Movement drew similar influence from the Black
Power Movement in the ideas of unifying people of color and the idea of
“black is beautiful”
○ This bolstered confidence in the the Asian American community and helped create a
Yellow Power Movement
Discussion Questions
1. What was the effect of the model minority theory on other minority
groups? Does the effect still exist today? Why or why not?
2. How does the concept of the model minority affect Asian Americans
students in their choice of higher education institutions?
3. What can student affairs professionals in today’s world do to help assist
Asian American students in their journey through their higher education?