Asian Americans and Divergent Movement for Racial Justice After “Affirmative Action”

Date / Time

March 13, 2024

2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Lecture and Q&A

Asian Americans and their experiences in education systems and political discourses raise challenging questions that researchers and advocates committed to intersectional racial equity must confront, as demonstrated in ongoing debates over race-conscious admissions and punctuated by the SFFA v. Harvard Supreme Court case and ruling. In this talk, OiYan Poon will share personal and research narratives from her forthcoming book, “Asian American is Not a Color: Conversations on Race, Affirmative Action, and Family” (Beacon Press). Through storytelling, she will explain why Asian Americans are engaging in divergent ways across an “affirmative action divide,” and how their participation in policy debates over race and education are reshaping the future of race and racism in the United States.

OiYan Poon is a co-director of the College Admissions Futures Co-Laborative. Her research focuses on the racial politics of Asian Americans, education access, affirmative action, and admissions systems and practices. In “Rethinking College Admissions: Research-Based Practice and Policy” (Harvard Education Press, 2022), she and her co-editor, Mike Bastedo, and colleagues examine and offer new ideas to transform the unequal structures and systemic norms of college-going in the U.S. In 2024, Beacon Books will publish her book, “Asian American is Not a Color: Conversations about Race, Affirmative Action, and Family.” In it, she explores how Asian Americans are shaping the future of race relations through debates over education policies like affirmative action, using personal narrative and interviews of Asian Americans across the country. An award-winning scholar, Poon’s commentary and research have been featured in media outlets such as the New York Times, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The Guardian and NPR.

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A reception follows the lecture.
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This event is sponsored by the UIC AANAPISI Initiative, which is fully funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions program.

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