“A Community-Oriented Academic Unit”

Diane C. Fujino

in Samurai among Panthers

Published by University of Minnesota Press

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780816677863
Published online August 2015 | e-ISBN: 9781452947839 | DOI:
“A Community-Oriented Academic Unit”

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This chapter focuses on the birth of Asian American Studies (AAS) at UC Berkeley. As one of the first instructors and coordinators, Aoki was instrumental in developing UC Berkeley’s Asian American Studies program and in trying to insert community connections and student power into the new department. The transformation that occurred within the university reflected the predominant social movement’s demands for racial equality, an economic leveling, and an emphasis on social justice and community responsibility rather than individual upward mobility and training for corporate America. The originators of AAS emphasized the need for the oppressed, including racial minorities and students, to engage in education as a practice of freedom, to empower students in developing nonhierarchical relationships, and to link their academic experiences to the betterment of their communities.

Keywords: Asian American Studies; UC Berkeley; Richard Aoki; student power; social movement; racial equality; social justice; community responsibility; racial minorities; freedom

Chapter.  7235 words. 

Subjects: Social Movements and Social Change

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