Harvard “Reject” to Establish Asian American University

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March 31, 2013; Source: Diverse: Issues in Higher Education

Before long, Asian American students may have an alternative to Harvard and other top colleges. Hun Loo Gong, a self-made tech billionaire and Harvard reject, is reportedly establishing a university in California for students he calls “vengeful rejects” of elite institutions, “students who want to let Harvard and Berkeley and Stanford know the schools made a great, big mistake.”

The online college will be named Vincent Chin University, after the Chinese American who was killed in a racially motivated attack in1982, and headquartered in San Francisco. It will target Asian American immigrants and others locked out of top universities. Gong said that enrollment and tuition will be minimal, and that the school will count on future alumni to “pay [the school] when they make it big.” “We’ll give them what they need to succeed,” Gong says. “We don’t have to give them Shakespeare. We’re very focused.”

Last December, the New York Times had various experts weigh in on a discussion about the place of Asian Americans in elite schools, asking, “Are top colleges deliberately limiting the number of Asian-Americans they admit?” Ron Unz, publisher of the American Conservative, wrote, “[J]ust as their predecessors of the 1920s always denied the existence of ‘Jewish quotas,’ top officials at Harvard, Yale, Princeton and the other Ivy League schools today strongly deny the existence of ‘Asian quotas.’ But there exists powerful statistical evidence to the contrary.”

S.B. Woo, founding president of the 80-20 National Asian American Educational Foundation, wrote, “Top colleges are clearly limiting the number of Asians they admit, and what’s at stake for America is of more importance than just the number of Asians going to Harvard.” Woo, the former lieutenant governor of Delaware, cited the work of Princeton sociologist Thomas Espenshade, who wrote in his book, No Longer Separate, Not Yet Equal: Race and Class in Elite College Admission and Campus Life, that “to receive equal consideration by elite colleges, Asian Americans must outperform Whites by 140 points, Hispanics by 280 points, Blacks by 450 points in SAT (Total 1600).”

It will be interesting to see how Gong’s alternative university fares. Will Vincent Chin University attract Asian American students who dream of an Ivy League education but are turned away?

Originally posted on Nonprofit Quarterly’s Nonprofit Newswire.

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Asian Groups Condemn Marion Barry’s Statements Regarding Asian Businesses

Washington, D.C. area and national Asian American groups have put out a letter regarding the comments made by DC Council member Barry Tuesday.

Organizations Condemn Councilmember Marion Barry’s Statements Regarding Asian Businesses

April 5, 2011

As members of local and national organizations committed to advancing and protecting the rights of individuals of Asian and Pacific Islander descent in the United States, the undersigned organizations condemn District of Columbia Councilmember Marion Barry’s recent remarks regarding Asian-owned businesses at a campaign event in Washington, DC. On April 3, at his Ward 8 primary election victory party, Councilmember Barry made the following statement, “We got to do something about these Asians coming in and opening up businesses and dirty shops … They ought to go. I’m going to say that right now.” Given Councilmember Barry’s previous commitment to civil rights, we are particularly disappointed by these comments. While Councilmember Barry has recently indicated that he was “sorry for offending the Asian community,” we call upon him to provide a sincere apology and ensure meaningful engagement with our communities to improve the well-being of all individuals in the District.

Councilmember Barry’s statement is of serious concern because it undermines the notion that developing the District of Columbia’s economy and neighborhoods is in the interest of all communities, regardless of national origin or ethnic background. Numerous institutions, from small businesses to non-profit organizations, as well as individuals, provide vital services and job opportunities, contribute their tax dollars, and engage in civic and political life within the city. Within the District of Columbia, according to 2007 data, Asians own 5.9% of businesses, joining other communities in strengthening the economy. Rather than acknowledging and appreciating the contributions that Asian businesses, alongside other racial and ethnic communities, have made to the city, Councilmember Barry’s remarks appear to fan the flames of racial divisions and imply that Asian Americans are not invested in developing a robust economy that benefits all residents.

Our organizations are also extremely concerned that remarks such as these can perpetuate stereotypes of Asians taking jobs away from other Americans, which can fuel racism and animosity towards community members. In fact, individuals of Asian descent are frequently blamed for the economic woes that this country has faced when perceptions are fostered that our community is thriving in this economy at the expense of other minority communities with whom we work and live alongside.

In light of these concerns, we call upon Councilmember Barry to provide a meaningful apology and officially retract his statement; refrain from engaging in harmful rhetoric regarding Asian and other immigrant communities; and develop meaningful relationships with our communities in the District of Columbia to understand the contributions and challenges of community members. Our organizations also view this as a prime opportunity to work with Mayor Vincent Gray and Councilmembers on the “One City, One Future” initiative. We look forward to proactively identifying next steps that we can take together to continue to create more diverse and growing economy for all residents.

Local Endorsing Organizations
Asian American LEAD (AALEAD)
Asian Pacific American Bar Association of the Greater Washington DC Area Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance – DC Chapter (APALA-DC)
Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center (APALRC)
Dana Tai Soon Burgess & Co
DC Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Caucus
KhushDC
Korean American Drycleaners Association
Korean American Grocers Association of Greater Washington DC (KAGRO-DC)
Many Languages One Voice
National Organization of Vietnamese American Leaders of Greater Washington DC
Network of South Asian Professionals (NetSAP DC)
South Asian American Bar Association – DC (SABA-DC)
Washington Area Liquor Retailers Association (WALRA)

National Endorsing Organizations
APIAVote
Asian American Action Fund
Asian American Justice Center, Member of Asian American Center for Advancing Justice
Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS)
Asian Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF)
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA)
Council of Korean Americans
Japanese American Citizens League (JACL)
National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC) National Asian Pacific American Center on Aging (NAPCA)
National Asian Pacific American Families Against Substance Abuse (NAPAFASA)
National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF)
National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD)
OCA
Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF)
South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)
Southeast Asia Action Resource Center (SEARAC)

College Republicans Hold Racist Bake Sale

September 27, 2011; Source: CNN | Race continues to be an issue, even among Millennials, a generation that some say is “post-racial.” This was on full display Tuesday at the University of California–Berkeley, where the Berkeley College Republicans held a bake sale which has been characterized as racist.

The “Increase Diversity Bake Sale” offered baked goods priced by race. Pastries were sold to white men for $2, Asian men for $1.50, Latino men for $1, African American men for 75 cents and American Indians for 25 cents. All women got 25 cents off these prices.

The bake sale was in protest of SB 185, which, if signed by Governor Jerry Brown, would allow public state universities to consider race, gender, and nationality in the admissions process so as to foster campus diversity.

The Berkeley College Republicans acknowledged that the controversy was planned.

“We agree that the event is inherently racist, but that is the point,” the president of the group, Shawn Lewis, wrote in response to the uproar. “It is no more racist than giving an individual an advantage in college admissions based solely on their race (or) gender.”

Other college Republican groups have hosted similar events across the country which have also been met with indignation and protests. Some university officials, such as those at Bucknell University, the College of William and Mary, the University of California–Irvine, and Southern Methodist University, stopped these events. The University of California–Berkeley, however, did not prevent the incendiary bake sale.

Originally Posted in Nonprofit Quarterly Nonprofit Newswire,  September 30, 2011.