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Asian American Groups Battle Over Affirmative Action

HarvardA civil rights complaint filed by 60 Asian American groups against Harvard University claims discrimination in admissions at the Ivy League institution. reports Bloomberg.

The complaint alleges that Asian Americans in the top 1 percent of their class are more likely to be rejected from Harvard under holistic admissions than any other ethnic group.

Among the groups joining in the complaint are the Houston Chinese Alliance, the Pakistan Policy Institute and the Sino Professionals Association.

“So many in the Asian American community have not spoken out,” said Yukong Zhao, 52, an author of a book about Chinese culture who helped organize the groups filing the complaint. “We’ve been largely silent for 20 years.”

In an indirect response to the complaint, more than 130 Asian American civil rights groups issued a statement in support of affirmative action in higher education yesterday.

Those groups included Asian Americans Advancing Justice, South Asian Americans Leading Together, Filipino Advocates for Justice, and Korean American Resource and Cultural Center.

Also two Asian Americans who sit on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Michael Yaki and Karen Narasaki, issued their own statement in support of affirmative action.

“We stand together as long-time supporters of affirmative action. Affirmative action creates opportunities for students disadvantaged by race and circumstances, and a diverse student body ensures that the next generation of Americans is exposed to the variety of life experiences and backgrounds that will help them to build vibrant communities and successfully work in the global economy.”

You can read more about the complain filed yesterday in Bloomberg..

Below is a list of Asian American groups signed on in support of affirmative action followed by a list of Asian American groups who joined in the filing of the complaint against Harvard. It’s quite a contrast.

(This story has been updated to include the list of Asian American groups on both sides of this issue and to correct the number of Asian American groups supporting affirmative action).


1) 18 Million Rising
2) American Educational Research Association: Research on the Education of Asian and Pacific Americans, Special Interest Group
3) Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC
4) Asian Americans Advancing Justice – ALC
5) Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta
6) Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Chicago
7) Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles
8) After Bruce
9) Ainahau O Kaleponi Hawaiian Civic Club
10) Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment
11)Anakbayan Inland Empire
12) Anakbayan Los Angeles
13) Angry Asian Man
14) API Equality – Northern California
15) API Equality – Los Angeles
16) Arab American Action Network (AAAN)
17) Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Los Angeles
18) Asian American Intervarsity Fellowship
19) Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF)
20) Asian American and Pacific Islander Research Coalition (ARC)
21) Asian American Psychological Association – Boston
22) Asian American Psychological Association – Phoenix
23) Asian American Student Union of UMD
24) Asian American Student Union of Scripps College
25) Asian and Latino Community Services, Inc.
26) Asian Counseling and Referral Service
27) Asian Law Alliance
28) Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO
29) Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, Los Angeles Chapter
30) Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center
31) Asian Pacific American Network
32) Asian Pacific Americans for Action (APAA) at Cornell University
33) Asian Pacific Americans for Progress
34) Asian Pacific American Student Alliance, Rice University
35) Asian Pacific American Women Lawyers Alliance
36) Asian Pacific Coalition at UCLA
37) Asian Pacific Environmental Network
38) Asian Pacific Islander Obesity Prevention Alliance
39) Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council: A3PCON
40) Asian Resources, Inc.
41) Asian Student Conference
42) Asian Students in America (ASIA), Syracuse University
43) Asian Students in America (ASIA), University of Southern Florida
45) CAACTUS: Asian Student Alliance, University of Denver
46) CAAAV-Organizing Asian Communities
47) California Federation of Teachers
48) CHAI | Counselors Helping (South) Asian/Indians, Inc.
49) Chapman University Asian Pacific Student Association
50) Chinese American Service League
51) Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles
52) Chinese for Affirmative Action
53) Chinese Progressive Association – San Francisco
54) Coalition of API American Collaborating Together to Unite the Southwest (CAACTUS)
55) Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community
56) Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement
57) Daiso Japan
58) East Coast Asian American Student Union (ECAASU)
59) Educated Men with Meaningful Messages
60) Empowering Pacific Islander Communities
61) Equal Justice Society
62) EskinaEksena
63) Families in Good Health
64) Filipino Advocates for Justice
65) Filipino Migrant Center
66) Fresno Interdenominational Refugee Ministries
67) GABRIELA Los Angeles
68) GenEq
69) Guam Communications Network
70) Habi Arts
71) Hamline University
72) Hmong American Partnership
73) Hmong Health Collaborative
74) Hmong National Development, Inc.
75) Hmong Women’s Heritage Association
76) Hyphen magazine
77) Japanese American Citizens League
78) K-12 News Network
79) K.W Lee Center for Leadership
80) Khmer Girls in Action
81) Korean American Resource and Cultural Center – Chicago
82) Korean-American Student Association of Florida State University
83) Korean Resource Center – Los Angeles
84) Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance
85) Lao Family Community Empowerment, Inc.
86) Laotian American National Alliance (LANA)
87) Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Inc.
88) Little Tokyo Roots
89) Little Tokyo Service Center CDC
90) Marshallese Educational Initiative
91) May Day Trans Queer Contingent
92) Merced Lao Family Community, Inc.
93) Midwest Asian American Students Union
94) National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum
95) National Korean American Service & Education Consortium
96) Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander Alliance
97) New York City Asian American Student Conference (NYCAASC)
98) Nikkei for Civil Rights & Redress (NCRR)
99) Northwestern University Asian Pacific American Coalition
100) OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates
101) OCA – Eastern Virginia Chapter
102) OCA – Greater Los Angeles
103) OCA – Las Vegas
104) OCA – Sacramento
105) Office of Institutional Diversity, Harvey Mudd College
106) Pacific Islanders’ Association of California State University, Long Beach
107) Pacific Islander Health Partnership (PIHP)
108) Papa Ola Lokahi
109) Philippine American Association of Utah
110) Pilipino Workers Center of Southern California
111) Pilipino Academic Student Services (PASS)
112) Polynesian Community Center – Alaska
113) QAPA: Queer API Alliance of New England
114) REACH
115) Reappropriate
116) South Asian American Voices For Impact (SAAVI)
117) Samoan American Youth of Orange County
118) SEARAC – Southeast Asia Resource Action Center
119) South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)
120) South Asian American Policy & Research Institute (SAAPRI)
121) South Asian Helpline & Referral Agency (SAHARA)
122) South Asian Network
123) Southeast Asian Coalition
124) Southeast Asian Community Alliance
125) Student Coalition for Asian Pacific Empowerment of University of Southern California
126) SUNY Albany Asian American Alliance
127) Tafesilafa’i
128) Taulama for Tongans
129) Teach for America
130) The Center for APA Women
131) Tuesday Night Project
132) UCLA Center for EthnoCommunications
135) United States Palestinian Community Network (USPCN)
136) USC Asian Pacific American Student Services
137) USC Haneulsori
138) West Coast Asian Pacific Islander Student Union (WCAPSU)

*List as of May 14, 2015



1) 1441 Manufactured Home Residents Association (Rowland Heights, CA)
2) 80-20 Initiative Washington DC Area Chapter
3) American Society of Engineers of Indian Origin
4) Anhui Association of Texas
5) AsianAmericanVoters.org
6) Asian Americans for Political Advancement-PAC
7) Asian American Legal Foundation
8) Beijing Institute of Technology Alumni Association at Silicon Valley
9) BIT Sindri Alumni Association of North India
10) Boston Forward Foundation
11) Bostonese.com (English-Chinese Online Journal)
12) Chinese American Association of Orange County
13) Chinese American Equalization Association
14) Chinese American for Progress and Equality
15) Chinese School of Tomorrow (Orlando, FL)
16) Conejo Chinese Cultural Association
17) Dallas / FT.Worth Chinese Alliance
18) Global Organization of People of Indian Origin-Los Angeles Chapter
19) Great Neck Chinese Association
20) Hanlin Education Foundation of America
21) Henan Association of Northern California
22) Houston Chinese Alliance
23) Houston Chinese Civic Center
24) Houston Jiangsu Association
25) Houston Shanghai Association
26) Houston Zhiqing Association
27) Howard County Chinese Parents Group
28) Huazhong University of Science & Technology Alumni Association of Southern
29) Inner Mongolia Association
30) International Chinese Transportation Professionals Association – Texas Chapter
31) Korean Parents Organization of Millburn and Short Hills
32) Livingston Chinese Association
33) Livingston Huaxia Chinese School
34) Long Island Chinese American Association
35) Long Island School of Chinese
36) Millburn Short Hills Chinese Association
37) National Federation of Indian American Associations
38) Noah Private Foundation
39) Noble Tree Publishing Inc.
40) Northern California Chinese Athletic-Cultural Federation

41) Overseas Hubei-er Association
42) Overseas Chinese Association of Miami
43) Pakistan Policy Institute
44) Peking University Alumni Association of Southern California (PUAASC)
45) San Antonio Chinese Alliance
46) San Diego Asian American for Equality
47) Shah Latif Cultural Institute of Texas (SLCIT)
48) Shandong Fellowship Association of Southern USA
49) Silicon Valley Chinese Association Foundation
50) Silicon Valley Women Alliance
51) Sino Professionals Association
52) Texas Guangdong Association
53) Texas Northeast Chinese Association
54) The Federation of Florida Chinese Association
55) The Orange Club
56) Tri-Valley Korean American Parents Association
57) Tsinghua University Alumni Association of Southern California
58) United Asian Americans for Activism
59) United Chinese Association of Utah
60) United for a Better Community (UBC)
61) US California Henan Association
62) US Shangdong Culture and Education Foundation
63) US Shangdong Fellowship Association
64) USTC Alumni Association of Greater New York


  1. feeling proud to know about Asian American supporting group of affirmative. making a supporting group or community helps each and every country for the easy solution of acting law. that's really nice.

  2. Most Asian Americans understand that our well being is to support others, and those opposing affirmative action programs lack this understanding and may be self serving. In this regard, their opposition to affirmative action demonstrates their lack of qualification to be admitted to universities seeking to diversify their student body. Collegial understanding is paramount in seeking equal opportunity and serving those who are disenfranchised. Rich, wealthy, arrogant and insensitive Asians are unqualified and need not apply.


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