“From Minority Rights to a New Majority: Asian American Activism in the Age of Obama”

SAO started off the semester with a BANG when we invited Dr. Scott Kurashige to give a lecture at Swarthmore on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 in Science Center 101 at 4:30 pm.

Most of the room was filled with Swatties and high school students from Bodine High School and Central High School. Since the lecture was just one day after the inauguration of our 44th president, the students were particularly politically charged as they pondered the implications of the first multiracial president on the lives of Asian Americans.

Dr. Scott Kurashige, associate professor of American Culture, History, and Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies at the University of Michigan and currently a visiting scholar at Harvard University’s Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History.

In the first half of the 20th century… Asian immigrants and their children fought for the right to belong to an American society marked by racial exclusion. In the second half of the 20th century… Diverse ethnic groups came together as Asian Americans to fight for full citizenship and the civil rights of all Americans. Now in the 21st century… Asian Americans have an unprecedented opportunity to define a new American majority and transform this nation.
* What does it mean to be an Asian American activist in an era of global warfare, economic meltdown, and environmental crisis?
* How can a greater awareness of Asian American history help us to define the challenges and opportunities facing all Americans today?

co-sponsored with Provost’s Office, Dean’s Office, President’s Office, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Department of Education, and Forum for Free Speech.

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