Category Archives: AAPI Nexus

AAPI Nexus: Special Issue on Asians in the Anglo-sphere, 15:1 & 2 (Fall 2017)

AAPI Nexus: Special Issue on Asians in the Anglo-sphere
15:1 & 2 (Fall 2017)

Embracing Open Access: The Next Stage of the Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Nexus Journal

Paul M. Ong and Melany De La Cruz-Viesca

After a decade and a half of existence, AAPI Nexus will become an open-access journal, a move that we hope will increase the social and political value of our contributors. This means granting “free, irre- vocable, worldwide, perpetual right of access to, and a license to copy, use, distribute, transmit, and display the work publicly and to make and distribute derivative works, in any digital medium for any respon- sible purpose, subject to proper attribution of authorship” (Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing, June 20, 2003). This 2017 issue is our last under the more traditional and restrictive publication format, which is the prevailing practice within the academy. Next year, we will make all future practitioners’ essays, resource papers, and research ar- ticles readily accessible online, with no cost to users. We believe that this approach will better serve our communities in providing them with actionable knowledge to improve policy, practice, advocacy, and organizing.

Read the Transition Message from the Editors: Embracing Open Access: The Next Stage of the Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Nexus Journal by Paul M. Ong and Melany De La Cruz-Viesca (Adobe PDF Document)

Read the Message from the Editors: Researching Asians Internationally and Comparatively: Looking beyond Melting Pots and Ethnic Identity Politics by Shamit Saggar and Eric Fong (Adobe PDF Document)

View the Abstracts

Browse the Table of Contents (Adobe PDF Document)

AAPI Nexus: Special Issue on Asians in the Anglo-sphere

“Abstracts for “Special Issue on Asians in the Anglo-sphere”
Volume 15, Numbers 1 & 2, Fall 2017

Asian Canadian Studies as an Emancipatory Project
By Rob Ho and Christopher Lee

Abstract: With the rise in global neoliberalism and right-wing populism, higher education in Canada is at the forefront of the battleground for racial equality, multiculturalism, and diversity efforts. This essay argues for the importance of Asian Canadian Studies (ACS) as a means to combat ongoing manifestations of racism and racialization in the academy. We examine the necessity of ACS as an emancipatory project—its objectives and the challenges it faces. There are currently three existing ACS programs in Canada, and we will focus in particular on the University of British Columbia’s Asian Canadian and Asian Migration Studies Program as an illustrative example of how to promote social justice and civil rights in Canadian higher education. The importance of ACS and its effectiveness are discussed in the context of university settings.

The Changing Face of Pakistani Migration to the United Kingdom
By Renee Reichl Luthra and Lucinda Platt

Abstract: This article brings together a range of data sources to chart cohort change in the human capital characteristics of Pakistani immigrants to the United Kingdom over the last fifty years. We demonstrate how restrictions on labor migration and family reunification have transformed
characteristics of new arrivals while still maintaining some elements of chain migration patterns. Despite these changes, we note substantial consistency in the sociocultural characteristics of Pakistani-origin U.K. residents across cohorts, specifically in identity, religiosity, and social networks. We reflect on the implications of these patterns of change and continuity.

Talent Selection and the Reshaping of Asian North America
By Calvin N. Ho

Abstract: Policies that admit immigrants based on their education have dramatically reshaped the demographics of the United States and Canada. In the mid-1960s, facing pressures to open their borders to non-Europeans, both countries replaced previous policies of racial and nationality discrimination with new systems of socioeconomic discrimination. These policies explain the growth of Asian immigration from the 1970s onward, as well as the high levels of education among Asian immigrants and their descendants. Refugees and family migrants, however, added socioeconomic diversity. Recent developments in skilled immigrant selection programs will continue to shape Asian American and Asian Canadian demographics in the future.

South Asian Migration, Settlement, and Sociopolitical Incorporation on the North American West Coast
By Prema Kurien

Abstract: There are large South Asian settlements in the larger Vancouver region of British Columbia in Canada and in Northern and Central California (from Yuba City to Fresno) in the United States. While the early migration patterns of Sikhs and Hindus to these two areas were similar, they subsequently diverged and the South Asian settlements in the two regions now exhibit very different profiles. This resource paper summarizes and analyzes the literature on factors shaping the migration, settlement, and incorporation patterns of Asian immigrants in these two regions. I argue that the parallels in early South Asian migration patterns to the North American West Coast were due to similarities in the economic and social profile of these regions, Canadian and U.S. policies toward Asian immigrants, and easy movement between Canada and the United States. The divergence between the two regions took place over time largely as an outcome of changes in regional characteristics (e.g., the development of Silicon Valley), differences in the group characteristics and networks of Sikhs and Hindus, and an increasing divergence in Canadian and U.S. immigration regulations (e.g., differences in family reunification, refugee, and H1-B visa policies). The final section discusses how these settlement patterns have led to differences in the identity formation and sociopolitical incorporation of Sikhs and Hindus in the two regions.

The Political Representation of Asian-Australian Populations since the End of White Australia
By Jen Tsen Kwok and Juliet Pietsch

Abstract: The racial and ethnic landscape in Australia has changed markedly since the beginning of the postwar migration period in which migrants arrived from Europe, and later from Asia in the late 1970s. While Australians with European ancestry have gradually made it into state and federal parliament, there has been less visibility for Australians of Asian descent. This article provides an overview of demographic migration trends and levels of Asian-Australian political representation in state and federal politics, drawing on data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and parliamentary websites. In doing so, we reflect on why political representation of Asian-Australian populations appears to be lagging so far behind.

Who Are “Chinese” Speakers in the United States?: Examining Differences in Socioeconomic Outcomes and Language Identities
By North Cooc and Genevieve Leung

Abstract: Calls to disaggregate data on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) overlook heterogeneity in experiences and outcomes within AAPI subgroups. Using national data from the American Community Survey, this study examines socioeconomic differences among Chinese
Americans in terms of language identity. The results indicate the most frequently identified home languages among Chinese speakers are Formosan, Mandarin, Cantonese, and simply “Chinese.” The groups differ in representation depending on state residency and citizenship, while Cantonese speakers have the lowest levels of English proficiency and educational attainment. The strongest predictor of each language group is birthplace. The study has implications for serving disadvantaged and overlooked Chinese American subpopulations in the United States.

AAPI Nexus: Special Issue on AAPIs 2040, 14:2 (Fall 2016)

Abstracts for “Special Issue on AAPIs 2040”
Volume 14, Number 2, Fall 2016

Uniting to Move Forward: Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders in 2040
By Richard Calvin Chang

Abstract:  This essay examines the importance of disaggregating Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander data, issues currently faced by NHPI communities, and where NHPI communities could be in 2040. Projected demographic trends may exacerbate challenges faced by NHPIs in areas such as health, education, income, incarceration, housing, and immigration. The impact of climate change, technological innovations, and the United States’ shift towards a majority-minority status on NHPI communities are also analyzed. Three recommendations for improving the position of NHPIs in 2040 are provided: (1) Address the needs of an increasingly diverse NHPI community; (2) develop community capacity for civic engagement; and (3) invest in leadership development and NHPI youth.

Building Power: Asian American and Pacific Islander Women in 2040
By Jennifer Chou, Priscilla Huang, and Miriam W. Yeung

Abstract:  Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women will constitute the majority of AAPIs by 2040. However, the AAPI women of 2040 will more likely be low-income, South Asian or Southeast Asian, and second generation than the AAPI women of today (Ramakrishnan and Ahmad, 2014b). This article explores the implications that these shifts in the demographic identity of AAPI women will have on the future electoral process. We also explore strategies for building the power and influence of AAPI women in communities and at policy-making tables.

The Future of the LGBTQ Asian American and Pacific Islander Community in 2040
By Glenn D. Magpantay

Abstract:  This article reviews the implications of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) population growth over the next twenty-five years on the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) AAPI community. After reviewing some initial considerations of the census data and the history of the LGBTQ rights movement, it then details possible changes in substantive rights and protections for LGBTQ AAPI people in the areas of immigration, nondiscrimination laws, and family-building policies. It discusses anticipated changes in AAPI attitudes toward LGBTQ people and the impact on LGBTQ AAPI community infrastructure.

Suspicious People: Profiling and Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
By Navdeep Singh and Jasbir K. Bawa

Abstract:  The experience of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community was defined by suspicion following the attacks on September 11, 2001. An era of national security has altered the relationship between the government, the public, and minority communities. This article explores the development of the current profiling paradigm and its impact on the AAPI community. It offers an assessment of the role the profiling paradigm will play as the AAPI community grows over the next twenty years and offers perspectives on how changing demographics can be used to address racial and religious profiling.

Asian Americans and the Media
By Daniel M. Mayeda

Abstract:  The representation of Asian Americans in mainstream media has undergone dramatic change in the past two decades, and this can be expected to continue in the next twenty-five years in all forms of entertainment and media. A combination of the rapidly increasing numbers of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs), the growing recognition by traditional media of the economic power of AAPI consumers, and the ease of entry into content creation and distribution afforded to new voices by new technologies will likely result by 2040 in a rich diversity of stories by and about Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and mixed-race AAPIs.

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Excel in Business but Not without Risks
By Bill Imada

Abstract:  In recent years, data has shown that there has been significant growth in Asian American Pacific Islander-owned (AAPI) enterprises. Driven by demographic changes, related in large part to the history of immigration policy, the AAPI population has been growing, and this has been accompanied by AAPI innovators and entrepreneurs leaving greater marks on American society and the U.S. economy. This growth, however, is not without risks and threats. The legacy of being “othered” by mainstream society means that AAPI success in business and in the corporate landscape can be met with resentment and criticism. This article explores the history of AAPI entrepreneurship and current trends. It also examines the challenges that the community may continue to face and offers recommendations on how to ensure continued growth and expanded opportunities for AAPIs in business.

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and Philanthropy in 2040
By Andrew Ho

Abstract:  The trends we see in today’s philanthropy will have significant effects on the philanthropy of 2040, especially for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. As the blended, multiracial Asian American population continues to increase, the very definition of Asian American philanthropy is up for grabs. Add in the trend of giving while living, the increase in the blurring of philanthropic forms and structures, and the ubiquity of technology, social media, and connectedness, and you have a future of philanthropy in 2040 that is more diverse, global, and participatory than the present day.

Cultural Preservation Policy and Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders: Reimagining Historic Preservation in Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities
By Michelle G. Magalong and Dawn Bohulano Mabalon

Abstract:  Historic and cultural preservation is a significant issue for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) seeking to safeguard important historic places, preserve unique cultural practices, and receive official recognition of civic contributions. However, few sites associated with AAPI history and cultures have been recognized as landmarks. With the fiftieth anniversary of the Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the Department of the Interior and the National Park Service have embarked on an Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Initiative to explore how the legacy of AAPIs can be recognized, preserved, and interpreted for future generations. To understand what we could be commemorating on the act’s fifieth anniversary, this essay will offer policy recommendations for preserving, landmarking, and interpreting AAPI historic and cultural sites into 2040 and beyond.

Reflections on the Formation and Future of Asian American Studies
By Linda Trinh Võ

Abstract:  The ongoing demographic growth of the Asian American population enhances foundational support for Asian American studies; however, it also poses complex challenges for the formulation and direction of the field. Asian American studies has been shaped by transnational and regional economic and political conditions, as well as by the receptiveness and limitations of the academy, which has led to uneven disciplinary and institutional manifestations. This essay specifically analyzes what impact the transforming Asian American population has had on the formation of the field of Asian American studies and how the projected demographic growth will shape its future academic trajectory.

AAPI Nexus: Special Issue on AAPIs 2040

Abstracts for “Special Issue on AAPIs 2040”
Volume 14, Number 1, Spring 2016

The Future of Pacific Islander America in 2040

By Paul Ong, Elena Ong, and Jonathan Ong

Abstract: This resource paper analyzes the growth of the Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander (NHOPI) population over the next quarter century based on projections from the U.S. Census Bureau and supplementary estimates by the authors. Overall, this population will increase from about 1.5 million in 2015 to nearly 2.3 million in 2040, about three times greater than the increase for the total U.S. population. Most NHOPIs are indigenous, but immigrants comprise about a fifth of the population. This group is relatively young, but median age will increase over time. Youth comprised about a third of the population in 2015 and over a quarter in 2014. The elderly share will nearly double to about one in eight by 2040.  NHOPIs are more likely to be multiracial than any other racial group, and NHOPIs of mixed-race will comprise over half the population a quarter century from now.

The Future of Asian America in 2040

By Jonathan Ong, Paul Ong, and Elena Ong

Abstract: This Resource Paper analyzes the growth of the Asian American (AA) population over the next quarter century based on projections from the U.S. Census Bureau and supplementary estimates by the authors. The number of Asian Americans will increase from 20.5 million in 2015 to 35.7 million in 2040, making them the fastest-growing racial population in the nation. Like the nation as a whole, the AA population will age over the next quarter century, with youth declining from a quarter to a little more than a fifth of the AA population and the elderly increasing from a tenth to about a sixth. Immigrants will continue to be a majority of Asian Americans, but their share will decline from two-thirds to one half. After 2040, U.S.-born AAs (those who are Asian alone and from mixed-race backgrounds) will comprise a majority of the population. Another significant change will be the growth of multiracial Asian Americans, increasing from a tenth of the population 1990 to a sixth in 2040.

Asian American Pacific Islander Economic Justice

By Paul M. Ong

Abstract: This essay examines economic inequality and poverty among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) and their participation in safety-net programs. Income and wealth disparities have increased dramatically over the last few decades, reaching levels not seen since the 1920s. One of the consequences has been an inability to ameliorate poverty, particularly among children. While Asian Americans have been depicted as outperforming all other racial groups, they have not surpassed non-Hispanic whites after accounting for regional differences in the cost of living. Moreover, a relatively large proportion of AAPIs is at the bottom end of the economic ladder. Many impoverished AAPIs rely on antipoverty programs to survive, but most still struggle because of a frayed safety net. Most experts believe that inequality will persist or worsen; consequently, it is likely that the absolute number of poor AAPIs will grow over the next quarter century. Addressing the problems of societal inequality and AAPI poverty will require political action to rectify underlying structural and institutional flaws, and a renewed commitment to ensuring all have a decent standard of living.

No Data, No Justice: Moving beyond the Model Minority Myth in K–12 Education

By Rita Pin Ahrens and Souvan Lee

Abstract: Due to the “model minority” myth, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) students are often left out of the national discourse on educational equity. As a result, obtaining more data on AAPI students (i.e., data disaggregation) has become the primary civil rights issue in education for AAPIs. This paper examines challenges facing AAPIs in elementary and secondary public schools, passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act, and progress made to disaggregate data on AAPI students. The authors highlight additional opportunities and strategies for advocates at the local and national level to improve educational outcomes for all AAPI students by 2040.

Educational Opportunity and the Missing Minority in Higher Education: Changing the National Narrative of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders by 2040

By Leilani Matasaua Pimentel and Neil Horikoshi

Abstract: For nearly half a century, the model minority myth has dominated perceptions of Asian American college students and masked educational disparities among the nearly fifty ethnic groups that comprise the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. This essay challenges the model minority narrative by presenting the narrative of the missing minority—outlining how this alternative narrative was influenced by the creation of federal AAPI-serving institution legislation in 2008. The authors explore Asian American Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution recognition, how it has provided a framework to further support AAPI higher education outcomes, and what factors will affect the national narrative in 2040.

Asian American Workers and Unions: Current and Future Opportunities for Organizing Asian American and Pacific Islander Workers

By Johanna Hester, Kim Geron, Tracy Lai, and Paul M. Ong

Abstract: The purpose of this article is to explore the current and future potential for engaging Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) in the labor movement by 2040. Because of the limitations of the data and the scope of the projections, we initially analyze Asian American participation in the labor market, so we can later discuss our vision and trajectory for engaging AAPI workers in the labor movement by 2040.

Aging in America: Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in 2040

By Heather Chun, Eun Jeong Lee, Wesley Lum, and Ashley Muraoka-Mamaclay

Abstract: Throughout the United States ten thousand people turn sixty-five years old every day (AARP, 2015a). By 2040, one in five U.S. residents will be sixty-five years or older, outnumbering children fifteen and younger for the first time in our nation’s history (AARP, 2015a; Congressional Budget Office, 2013; U.S. Census Bureau, 2014). Between 2015 and 2040, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) older adults are the fastest-growing aging group. There are four strategies to strengthen the economic and health security of AAPI older adults nationwide by 2040: (1) disaggregate data to understand variations between AAPI subpopulations; (2) provide accessible services that are culturally and linguistically appropriate; (3) adapt mainstream solutions for financial security; and (4) innovate long-term services and support.

Forging a Path Toward Health Equity in 2040

By Priscilla Huang, Kathy Ko Chin, Jeffrey B. Caballero, DJ Ida, and Myron Dean Quon

Abstract: Dramatic shifts in the demographic makeup of the U.S. population in 2040 will pose new challenges and opportunities for policy makers, researchers, and community members working to address health and health care inequities. Traditional approaches utilizing a health disparities framework may not be enough to address the health needs of an increasingly diverse and multiracial population of Asian Americans and Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (NHPIs). This article provides an overview of the current and projected health and health care needs of Asian Americans and NHPIs in 2040, and proposes new policy solutions and frameworks for addressing these complex needs.

Asian American Pacific Islander Environmental Leadership for 2040

By Charles Lee

Abstract: Climate change is an unprecedented issue that shapes the era in in which we now live. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) have a stake in environmental justice because AAPIs are disproportionately impacted by climate change. This essay examines how the climate crisis affects AAPIs, and provides examples of the leadership AAPIs have demonstrated to address climate and social equity concerns. These leadership lessons are relevant to the leadership role that AAPIs can play now and in the future, for 2040 and beyond.

Reimagining Immigration for a New Generation

By Erin Oshiro

Abstract: Do Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) have a stake in the immigration reform discussion? What types of immigration laws and policies would best serve our community’s diverse interests? This article first looks at how AAPIs continue to be impacted by federal immigration laws. Second, it identifies specific immigration policies that need reform and suggests some potential creative policy solutions. Finally, it offers ideas for how—and why—AAPIs can continue to engage in the fight for immigration reform.

From Citizens to Elected Representatives: The Political Trajectory of Asian American Pacific Islanders by 2040

By Christine Chen, James S. Lai, Karthick Ramakrishnan, and Alton Wang

Abstract: The political power of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) has increased steadily in the United States. By 2040, one in ten Americans will be AAPI, and the number of Asian Americans registered to vote will have doubled (Ong, Ong and Ong, 2015). This section examines the growing AAPI electorate and projects a trajectory for AAPI civic engagement and political participation from now until 2040.  By looking at trends and projections for citizenship, voter registration, voter turnout, elected officials, and political infrastructure, the authors illustrate that AAPI political empowerment will have even a greater influence on the future of American politics.

AAPI Nexus: Special Issue on Wealth Inequality and AAPIs

Abstracts for “Special Issue on Wealth Inequality and AAPIs”
Volume 13, Number 1-2, Fall 2015

Reframing the Asian American Wealth Narrative: An Examination of the Racial Wealth Gap in the National Asset Scorecard for Communities of Color Survey

By Melany De La Cruz-Viesca, Darrick Hamilton, and William A. Darity Jr.

Abstract:  The National Asset Scorecard for Communities of Color (NASCC) survey was developed to supplement existing national data sets that collect data on household wealth in the United States, but rarely collect data that is disaggregated by specific national origin. This paper begins with an examination of the importance of differentiating wealth and income, followed by a second section summarizing the methodology, and a third part analyzing the wealth position of various communities of color. For the first time, we are able to demonstrate differences in wealth across multiple Asian ethnic groups. The NASCC findings reveal that major disparities in wealth accumulation exist across certain racial and ethnic groups.

Financial Distress among Pacific Islanders in Southern California

By Sora Park Tanjasiri, Lois Takahashi, and Lola Sablan-Santos

Abstract:  Pacific Islanders experience enduring and growing poverty in the United States, yet our understanding of their financial distress and needs is limited. Financial institutions, government agencies, and community based organizations in areas with large Pacific Islander communities need better information with which to develop tailored programs, improve outreach and education, and improve economic security for these and other underserved populations. This paper describes the results from a unique in-language survey that asked detailed questions regarding the financial knowledge, status, and needs of Pacific Islanders, including poverty and wealth questions beyond those in the Census, in Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego counties of Southern California.

Scrimping + Saving: A Report on Financial Access, Attitudes, and Behaviors of Low- and Moderate-Income Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

By Joyce Pisnanont, Jane Duong, Alvina Condon, Melany De La Cruz-Viesca, Chhandara Pech, and Paul M. Ong

Abstract:  Scrimping + Saving documents the complexity of financial health within the diverse and growing Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, detailing the influence of factors such as generational status, ethnicity, age, and technological familiarity. The findings and recommendations from this research are critical to asset-building practitioners serving AAPI communities, as well as to financial institutions and policy makers. In particular, the findings serve a critical role in articulating the need for further investment in culturally competent education and services, and capitalizing on models that enhance social networks as a vehicle for building individual and community financial capability.

Increasing Youth Financial Capability: A Subsample Analysis of Asian American and Pacific Islander Participants in the MyPath Savings Initiative

By Vernon Loke and Laura Choi

Abstract:  This article examines the impact of the MyPath Savings pilot on 274economically disadvantaged youth participating in a youth development and employment program in San Francisco, California, with a subsample analysis of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) participants. My-Path Savings targets youth earning their first paycheck to promote savings and connect youth with mainstream financial products. AAPI youth experienced significant increases in financial knowledge, financial self efficacy, and the frequency with which positive financial behaviors were carried out. AAPI participants also saved an average of $566 through My-Path Savings. Gains in financial capability were mostly independent of the youths’ race, gender, household income, and public benefits receipt.

Race and Class through the Lens of Asian American and Pacific Islander Experiences:  Perspectives from Community College Students

By Robert T. Teranishi, Cynthia M. Alcantar, and Bach Mai Dolly Nguyen

Abstract:  While the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) population is one of the fastest-growing college student populations, there is very little known about their situated experiences within community colleges, which is the sector of higher education where they are mostly likely to be enrolled. Community colleges are a particularly important sector in higher education for low-income AAPI students who are the first in their families to attend college. This study describes the financial vulnerability of low-income AAPI students, how their financial circumstances intersect with other aspects of their lived experiences, and how students describe the choices they make to navigate competing demands in their lives.

Are Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Age Fifty and over Financially Secure?

By Daphne Kwok and Ryann Tanap

Abstract:  This article presents the work of AARP and the economic security of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community fifty years and older. The authors recognize the lack of existing AAPI data, but with the results from a recent AARP study the article lends a nuanced perspective of economic security for two specific ethnic groups:  Chinese Americans and Filipino Americans. The use of AARP’s survey fills a gap in existing data sets. With this study, it’s evident that AAPIs are not all economically secure, and more disaggregated data is needed to further understand their current state of finances, and needs and wants, in order to contribute to a higher quality of life for aging AAPIs.

Diversity and Disparity in Home Equity among Asian Americans

By Chhandara Pech, Jenny Chhea, and Paul M. Ong

Abstract:  This article uses data from the American Housing Survey to examine Asian American wealth through home equity, which is the most important asset held by many households. We also analyze ethnic variations in housing assets and the impact of the Great Recession on subgroups. Our analysis finds that non-Hispanic whites had greater equity than Asian Americans after adjusting for geographic differences; Chinese-born Asians have the highest and Philippine-born and Southeast Asians have the lowest home equity within ethnic variations; and the recession impacted all Asian subgroups, but affected Philippine-born Asians the most.

Risks and Rewards in Wealth Building: Asian American Homeownership and Foreclosure Pre and Post Housing Boom in East San Gabriel Valley, California

By R. Varisa Patraporn, Linda Diem Tran, and Paul M. Ong

Abstract:  While much research exists on African Americans and Latinos after the housing crisis in 2007, much less is known about the Asian American experience particularly as it relates to foreclosure and housing burden. This study takes a quantitative case study approach examining Asian Americans in one region of Los Angeles County. Utilizing data from the Census, Home Mortgage Foreclosure Data, and Data-Quick, we provide a more comprehensive picture of the Asian American housing experience before, during and after the housing boom in 2005.  Findings show that Asian Americans’ decline in homeownership could not be explained by foreclosure. In fact, Asian Americans may have avoided foreclosure in this region using higher down payments, avoiding subprime loans, and loans with variable interest. A potential cost of these actions is higher housing burden, which is closely related to default and foreclosure. Thus, policymakers and community leaders should continue to monitor Asian American homeownership as the impact of the housing collapse may be delayed for Asian Americans compared to other racial groups.

Painting the Whole Picture:  Foreclosure Rates among Asian American Ethnic Groups in Orlando, Florida, and Phoenix, Arizona

By Jacob S. Rugh

Abstract:  This article contributes to the literature on the stratification of Asian American homeowners by systematically measuring the foreclosure rates of multiple Asian American ethnic groups, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders, and other racial groups in Orlando, Florida, and Phoenix, Arizona. Using novel data and methods, Korean and Vietnamese homeowners are estimated to experience foreclosure rates as high as those of blacks and Latinos, disparities hitherto obscured by more modest foreclosure rates among Asian American borrowers overall. The results suggest greater attention should be paid to the recent Sunbelt settlement of Korean and Vietnamese Americans to better understand why they were devastated by the housing crisis.

Are U.S.-Chartered Chinese and Korean Banks Resilient in the Face of New Challenges? Evidence from Los Angeles and New York

By Michela Zonta

Abstract:  This study discusses the empirical evidence regarding the direction of Asian American banks’ evolution in light of the recent financial crisis and other challenges associated with the increasing competition from large mainstream financial institutions in ethnic niche markets. Specifically, the study focuses on the evolution of Chinese and Korean banking and its role in Asian neighborhoods during the past decade in Los Angeles and New York, the two U.S. metropolitan areas with the largest concentrations of Asian population and Asian-owned banks. Findings indicate that Asian banks have been able to sustain their presence and activities in coethnic communities in the face of the challenges associated with increasing competitive environments and the volatility of the financial market.

Loss in Translation: Housing Counseling Agency Segmentation in the Twin Cities

By C. Aujean Lee

Abstract:  Housing counseling agencies (HCAs) in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area have served as important resources for homeowners at risk of foreclosure. However, Asian American–serving HCAs have experienced increased segmentation in the nonprofit sector and also among HCAs because of language assistance. Using interviews with foreclosure counselors, this study finds that HCAs that provide Asian-language assistance experience similar challenges as other HCAs, but are also at a disadvantage in resources and capacity compared to other HCAs. The study has implications for how to better serve immigrant homeowners with language needs, particularly because they require more time and resources.

Turning the U.S. Tax Code from Upside Down to Right-Side Up Can Close the Racial Wealth Gap

By Jeremie Greer, Jane Duong, and Ezra Levin

Abstract:  Over the past twenty years, the federal government has spentmore than $8 trillion through the tax code to help households save, invest, and build wealth. However, an overwhelming majority of this tax spending has gone to the wealthiest Americans who hardly need the support to build more wealth. Since 1994, the federal government’s massive spending on asset building has more than doubled, and there are no signs of it slowing down. This upside-down tax system perpetuates the widespread wealth inequality we are seeing in this country, and it exacerbates the racial wealth gap that is holding back so many Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) and other households of color. This paper will (1) illustrate how the tax code plays a role in widening the racial wealth gap for AAPIs and other communities of color, (2) explain how current asset-building tax programs are missing an opportunity to boost the wealth of low-income AAPIs and other communities of color, and (3) propose legislative action to create a more equitable and progressive tax code for all.

The Critical Moments of Immigrant Integration: A Research Brief of the Impact of Financial Education, Coaching, and Traditional Lending Models in Immigrant Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities

By Joyce Pisnanont, Jane Duong, Imtiaz Hossain, Ben Lau, Lucy Pyeatt, and Hee Joo Yoon

Abstract:  This paper highlights the findings of a multicity pilot project that the National Coalition of Asian Pacific American Community Development implemented in partnership with Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI)–serving community-based organizations in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and Houston. This partnership with all four organizations represents the largest lending-circle pilot project to date in the AAPI community. Over the course of one year, we tested a program model that integrated financial education training and individualized coaching with immigrant integration services such as English as a Second Language, citizenship classes, parenting classes, and workforce readiness. Clients were also offered an opportunity to access Lending CirclesSM, a peer-lending financial product, as a vehicle for helping to improve savings habits while also building credit. This essay will discuss recommendations for replication by other community-based organizations and practitioners.

Sapna NYC: Participatory Research, Cooperative Economic Strategies with South Asian Immigrant Women in the Bronx, and the Possibilities for South/Asian America

By Parag Rajendra Khandhar and Moumita Zaman

Abstract:  After the onset of the Great Recession that began in 2008, many social progressives and others disenchanted with unregulated corporate capitalism have been significantly interested in exploring workplace democracy through worker-owned cooperatives and other tools. This article focuses on one nonprofit organization—Sapna NYC—that works with South Asian American women in the Bronx. The article will discuss the agency’s adaptive and evolving work that recognizes the holistic health impacts of socioeconomic status and has come up with a novel approach to support participants in building worker-owned cooperative businesses that they own and control. This article will discuss the intended health, economic, and social impacts of the project, as well as the challenges, opportunities, questions, and implications of the agency’s worker cooperative incubation program for South/Asian American communities and community organizations throughout the United States. The article suggests how Sapna NYC’s experience is instructive for organizations developing or considering incubation of their own co-ops.

Can Data Disaggregation Resolve Blind Spots in Policy Making? Examining a Case for Native Hawaiians

By Mitchell J. Chang, Mike Hoa Nguyen and Kapua L. Chandler

Abstract:  This study addressed whether or not the increasing reliance on data-driven decision making stands to improve policy efforts to address challenges faced by Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. In doing this, this study examined those who identified as Native Hawaiian in the U.S. Census data and further disaggregated this sample by ancestry and geographic location to test whether there are variations within this population across socioeconomic indicators. The findings suggest that while further data disaggregation can sharpen policy making to address patterns of socioeconomic inequalities, disaggregation alone is still insufficient for fully capturing the complexity of human experiences that reinforce those disparities.

Asian Americans Rise Up: The Response to the Pew Report on The Rise of Asian Americans

By Paul Y. Watanabe

Abstract:  In 2012, the Pew Research Center issued a much-anticipated report: The Rise of Asian Americans. Census data and an original survey of Asian Americans were analyzed focusing on what Pew described as “milestones of economic success and social assimilation” (Pew Research Center, 2012b, 1) The mainstream media, taking their cues from Pew, generally accepted uncritically the portrait of success and assimilation—what a Pew executive vice president dubbed as the “good news” about Asian Americans. In contrast, with remarkable speed and unity, diverse sectors of the Asian American community—academics, activists, journalists, organizations, politicians, and so forth—rose up to an unprecedented extent to criticize aspects of the Pew report. Their objections centered to a modest degree on the substance and methodology of the report. The bulk of the criticism was on Pew’s framing of the data. In presenting the data, Pew employed a tiresome and discredited model minority characterization accompanied by a troubling comparison of immigrants from Asia with Latino immigrants. In effect, the former were identified as “good” immigrants and the later as “bad.” The Asian American response, however, was not limited to protest alone. In a constructive manner, several Asian Americans coupled their complaints with constructive ideas about improving the collection, analysis, and dissemination of much-needed data and research about Asian Americans. Included in these recommendations were calls for Asian Americans to be included in serious and meaningful ways in the research process from beginning to end.



AAPI Nexus: Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander Communities and Federally Qualified Health Centers

Abstracts for “Special Issue on Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander Communities and Federally Qualified Health Centers”
Volume 12, Number 1-2, Fall 2014

Creating Community Criteria for Research Participation at Community Health Centers 

By Mary Frances Oneha, Ho`oipo DeCambra, Liss Ieong, Hui Song, Thu Quach, Rosy Chang-Weir, Ninez A. Ponce, Rachelle Enos, Shao-Chee Sim, and Marjorie Kagawa-Singer

Abstract:  Research conducted to benefit communities is often done without community involvement, threatening its relevance for the groups the studies purport to serve. A great need exists for education of both researchers and community members on how research can be more appropriately conducted in partnership with community members. This paper presents Community Criteria for Research Participation developed by community health centers (CHCs) with input from academic partners to support CHCs’ capacity to conduct research of community significance.

Building a Community Health Center Data Warehouse to Promote Patient-Centered Research in the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islanders Population 

By Vivian Li, Rosy Chang Weir, Thu Quach, Suzanne Gillespie, Mary Ann McBurnie, Ady Oster, Reesa Laws, Kari Alperovitz-Bichell, Erin O’Brien Kaleba, Christine Nelson

Abstract:  In 2010, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) established the Community Health Applied Research Net- work (CHARN) to build research infrastructure and capacity at community health centers (CHCs) and to promote comparative effectiveness research in these safety-net settings. A data warehouse with standardized data was created to capture, manage, and share patient-level data with all eighteen participating CHCs, including four CHCs primarily serving Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Other Pacific Islanders (AANHOPI). AANHOPI patients face unique health risks, yet these large and diverse populations are historically understudied. The CHARN data warehouse provides important opportunities for understanding the health needs of this heterogeneous population.

Clinical Quality Indicators of Asian American,Native Hawaiian, and Other Pacific Islander Patients Seen at Health Resources and Services Administration-Supported Community Health Centers 

By Alek Sripipatana and Quyen Ngo-Metzger

Abstract:  The Health Resources and Services Administration supports federally qualified health centers that provide health care services to more than 21.7 million low-income and medically underserved patients, the majority being racial/ethnic minorities. Nationally, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (NHPIs) represent 1.3 percent of all health center patients; however, NHPIs constitute more than half of the patients for some health centers. National data of health center clinical quality indicators were analyzed to explore potential differences between Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and Asian American patients. Even among a group of medically underserved patients, health disparities were found in NHPIs, illustrating the relevance of disaggregating data in identifying idiosyncratic differences deserving culturally appropriate interventions.

Early Implementation Lessons on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Outreach and Enrollment Efforts in the Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities 

By Regina Lee, Jen Lee, David Aguilar, Betty Cheng, Kevin Lee, and Thu Quach

Abstract:  Enacted in 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) intended to make health insurance coverage more affordable and accessible for millions of Americans. However, achieving this goal requires significant targeted, culturally and linguistically appropriate outreach and education efforts for vulnerable communities, such as low-income, underserved Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. This article describes multiple innovative strategies and approaches used by two well-established community health centers, Charles B. Wang Community Health Center in New York and Asian Health Services in California, as well as the early-stage impacts of outreach and enrollment assistance for the state exchange marketplaces promoting the ACA.

Risk Adjustment with Social Determinants of Health and Implications for Federally Qualified Health Centers under the Affordable Care Act 

By Thu Quach, Todd P. Gilmer, Sherry Hirota, and Ninez A. Ponce

Abstract:  Adjustments for the underlying differences in risks among patients in payment approaches has been widely used and accepted; yet current risk adjustment approaches are limited because they do not account for the various social determinants of health (SDH) that can also influence health outcomes. This can have implications for providers serving disadvantaged populations. This article discusses why the inclusion of SDH in the formulas for risk adjustment is important for federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and recommends ways in which FQHCs can be leaders in informing payment reform policies.

Impact of a P4P and HIT Program to Reduce Emergency Department Hospital Utilization at Federally Qualified Health Centers in Hawai‘i 

By Rosy Chang Weir, Heather Law, Mary Frances Oneha, Sang Mee Lee, and Alyna T. Chien

Abstract:  Pay for performance (P4P) and health information technology (HIT) have been used to improve health care quality, but few studies examine interventions combining P4P with HIT support at federally qualified health centers (FQHCs). An intervention comparison, pre-post study was conducted to determine the effect of a P4P+HIT intervention on emergency department (ED) visits and hospitalizations. While ED utilization decreased in both intervention and comparison groups, there were no significant differences in ED or hospital utilization between intervention and comparison groups. Additional time or support above and beyond P4P+HIT may be necessary to improve the health care provided by FQHCs to underserved communities in Hawai‛i.

Addressing Barriers in Health Equity through Innovations in Health Information Technology: A Health Center’s Experiences in Implementing a Chinese Language Patient Portal 

By Christopher Mei, Esther B. Kim, Lynn Sherman, Shao-Chee Sim, Kai Yeung, Candy Poon, Maggie Wong, and Nick Egleson

Abstract:  Patient portals have the potential to empower patients to be more knowledgeable and proactive about their health. Implementation of patient portals has become increasingly critical at primary care sites that serve underserved communities, where there is a growing need for linguistically appropriate electronic access. The Charles B. Wang Community Health Center has recently developed a linguistically appropriate patient portal with the goal of providing increased access to its majority Chinese American patient population with low English proficiency and literacy levels. This article will discuss experiences learned from implementing a Chinese Language Patient Portal that addresses socioeconomic barriers and disparities in health care access.

Hawai‘i Patient-Centered Health Care Home Project: A Collaborative Partnership between Four Hawai‘i Federally Qualified Health Centers, AlohaCare, and the Hawai‘i Primary Care Association 

By Mary Frances Oneha, Robert Hirokawa, and Cristina Vocalan

Abstract:  Four Hawai‘i Federally Qualified Health Centers, a Managed Care Organization, and the Hawai‘i Primary Care Association established a partnership to pilot a unique Patient-Centered Health Care Home model. All sites were successful in implementing care coordination and a patient registry. A cohort of 432 patients with a diagnosis of diabetes and/or depression was activated into the program. Sixty percent of the cohort was Native Hawaiian, Other Pacific Islander, or Asian. Patients with uncontrolled diabetes lowered their HbA1c by one point (p < .05), and patients with severe depression lowered their PHQ-9 scores by 4.6 points (p < .05).

The Role of the Patient-Centered Medical Home in Addressing Hepatitis B Perinatal Transmission: Charles B. Wang Community Health Center’s Hep B Moms Program 

By Isha Weerasinghe, Nicole Bannister, Vivian Huang, Chari Cohen, Jeffrey Caballero, and Su Wang

Abstract:  Chronic hepatitis B (CHB) is a serious liver disease caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Each year, approximately twenty-five thousand infants are born to HBV-infected mothers, and one thou- sand newborns become infected (Barbosa et al., 2014; Ward, 2008). To prevent HBV perinatal transmission and facilitate care management, health centers should utilize a patient-centered medical home model that provides coordinated, comprehensive, and culturally appropriate services. One model is the Hep B Moms Program at Charles B. Wang Community Health Center in New York City.

Setting Up a Medical Home for Chinese Immigrant Families with Children with Special Health Care Needs: A Step-Wise Approach

By Sherry Shao Fen Huang and Loretta Young Au

Abstract:  Children with special health care needs (CSHCN) require health services beyond what generally is required. CSHCN from immigrant families face additional challenges, including cultural, language, racial, and socioeconomic barriers. Federally qualified health centers provide an ideal setting to treat these children, pro- viding comprehensive, family-centered care that fits their linguistic and cultural needs. This article describes the development of a National Committee for Quality Assurance level 3 medical home, addressing cultural perspectives and barriers to quality care for the Chinese immigrant community by highlighting Edward Wagner’s Chronic Care Model, medical home criteria, electronic health records, parent engagement, staff development, and community collaboration.

Improving Access to Care for Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities by Integrating Primary Care into a Behavioral Health Setting: Lessons from the Field

By Michael B. McKee and Yoon Joo Han

Abstract:  International Community Health Services, a Federally Qualified Health Center, and Asian Counseling and Referral Service, a multi-social service agency, collaborated to develop a unique integrated model of care for Asian American and Pacific Islander patients with limited English proficiency and severe mental illness. In this practitioner’s essay, we explore lessons learned from a five- year demonstration project and discuss future implications related to health care reform and applicability to similar programs. Keys to the success of the project were committing to partnership, transforming staff roles, developing systems of documentation, adjusting productivity standards, and adapting for cultural competency.

Integrating Primary Care and Behavioral Health: A Nurse Practitioner’s Perspective

By Le Thai and Anne Saw

Abstract:  Health equity for individuals with serious mental illness (SMI) requires collaborative partnerships between primary care and behavioral health organizations. This paper presents the experiences and perspectives of a nurse practitioner in a large-scale pilot program to integrate primary care and behavioral health between an FQHC and a community mental health center, both serving predominantly Asian immigrant populations. This paper discusses lessons learned through program implementation and provides insights on developing a truly integrated system involving equal and full cooperation across disciplines to provide quality and holistic care for patients with SMI. Implications for clinical practice and policy are discussed.

Challenges to Improve Health Care Access for Cambodians

By Mariko Kahn and Elisa Nicholas

Abstract:  This resource paper examines the challenges faced by a mental health contract provider and a federally qualified health center in Long Beach to integrate these two systems of care to provide better health care to Cambodians. The issues of disparity, stigma, and cultural barriers prevalent in this underserved community were identified and strategies to address the barriers were implemented. The resulting product illuminates many of the challenges that integrated care presents to ethnic communities.

Opening Access for Burmese and Karen Immigrant and Refugee Populations in California: A Blueprint for Integrated Health Service Expansion to Emerging Asian Communities

By Kimberly S. G. Chang, Joan Jeung, Phyllis Pei, Kwee Say, Julia Liou, Huong Le, and George Lee

Abstract:  This article describes: 1) internal and external factors enabling the expansion of health care access to Burmese and Karen refugees, 2) operational processes required to expand integrated primary health care services to this emerging community, 3) the importance of culturally and linguistically competent services that incorporate prior experiences of forced immigration, and 4) les- sons learned and what to expect when expanding health care access to new populations within a federally qualified health center (FQHC). This case study may provide a blueprint for other FQHCs seeking to respond to emerging immigrant and refugee populations. Such expansion gains relevance as the nation grows more diverse and continues to rely on FQHCs to respond to the health needs of medically underserved populations.

Exploring Different Methods to Obtain Patient Experience Feedback in a Community Health Center for Quality Improvement and Quality Assurance Purposes

By Nina Huynh Song, Shao-Chee Sim, Gemma Borja, and Perry Pong

Abstract:  This paper will provide the policy context for the important role of capturing patient experience at federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), especially with the implementation of the patient-centered medical home model. We discuss various quantitative and qualitative methods that were utilized to capture patient experience at the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center in New York City. Specifically, we describe our experience in adapting, pilot testing, and refining the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey to address the unique cultural and linguistic needs of our health center’s patient population. We also explore the benefits and limitations of these methods, and discuss factors that FQHCs should consider when capturing patient feedback.

Role of Community Institutional Review Boards in Community Health Center-Engaged Research with Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Other Pacific Islanders

By Morgan Ye, Jacqueline H. Tran, Rachelle Enos, and Rosy Chang Weir

Abstract:  With the growing trend of community-based research, academic-based Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) often lack appropriate community-based ethical considerations in their reviews. Thus, the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) established an in-house community IRB to ensure that AAPCHO or member-initiated research is relevant to its community health centers (CHCs) and their Asian American, Native Hawaiian & Other Pacific Islander (AA&NHOPI) patients. Evaluations conducted at the IRB’s one-year mark demonstrated members and applicants’ satisfaction with the IRB’s performance. Evaluation results and best practices show that AAPCHO’s IRB promotes community leadership and research capacity and ensures community-applicable research plans.

AAPI Nexus: Environmentalism 11:1&2 (2013)

“Special Issue on Tenth Anniversary and Asian American & Pacific Islander Environmentalism: Expansions, Connections, & Social Change” 11:1 & 2(2013)

The latest issue of AAPI Nexus Journal 11:1-2, “Asian American and Pacific Islander Environmentalism: Expansions, Connections, and Social Change,” marks the 10th Anniversary of the journal and commemorates the 20th Anniversary of Executive Order 12898 on Environmental Justice. The special double issue focuses on the timely topics of Environmental Justice, Education, and Immigration and aims to inform policy debates and arenas with research on understudied populations and topics related to Asian American and Pacific Islanders.

Part One features a reflection on ten years of the journal, papers addressing alternative methods for Asian American Studies, Indian Immigrant Women Support Networks, and U.S. Immigration and Filipino Labor Export Policies in Human Trafficking. Part Two examines the intersection of Asian American Studies and Environmental Studies, revealing information and insights that can be useful in environmental and social justice advocacy, strategic planning, policy development and programming. Professor Julie Sze (UC Davis) and Charles Lee (Deputy Associate Assistant Administrator for Environmental Justice, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) served as the consulting guest editors for this portion of the volume.

Read the Editors’ Note I: Reflection on Ten Years of AAPI Nexus: Vision, Realities, and Challenges by Paul M. Ong, Marjorie Kagawa-Singer, and Melany De La Cruz-Viesca (Adobe PDF Document)

Read the Editors’ Note II: Asian American and Pacific Islander Environmentalism: Expansions, Connections, and Social Change by Julie Sze, Paul M. Ong, and Charles Lee (Adobe PDF Document)

View the Abstracts

Browse the Table of Contents (Adobe PDF Document)

Abstract: AAPI Environmentalism

Abstracts for “Special Issue on Tenth Anniversary and Asian American & Pacific Islander Environmentalism: Expansions, Connections, & Social Change“11:1 & 2 (2013)

Part I: Reflection on Ten Years of AAPI Nexus: Vision, Realities, and Challenge

Centering Student Voices: A Mixed-Method Study of Strengths and Challenges for Asian American Studies
By: Matthew R. Lee and Jennifer Y. Chung

Abstract: This research study examines Asian American student perceptions of Asian American Studies courses from a large Midwestern university using survey data (n = 761) and in-depth interviews (n = 12). Student voices and perspectives are centered in order better understand strengths and challenges of Asian American Studies beyond identified institutional factors.

Support Networks, Ethnic Spaces, and Fictive Kin: Indian Immigrant Women Constructing Community in the United States
Namita N. Manohar 

Abstract: Framed within the segmented assimilation perspective, this paper examines community construction by middle-class, professional Tamilimmigrant women in Atlanta, Georgia. It argues that community building is a fundamentally gendered settlement activity predominantly performed by Tamil women. Using gendered labor, they construct a dynamic community across the settlement process, encompassing formal and informal, ethnic and non-ethnic components and sites, to take the form of wives’ support and women’s networks, cross-cultural friendships, ethnic spaces and fictive kinship. With the emergent bonding and bridging social capital, they chart their segmented incorporation as model minorities who are ethnic. In the process however, gender, race/ethnic and class hierarchies are often reinforced.

In this article, I discuss community1 construction by middle-class, professional Tamil2 immigrant women in Atlanta, Georgia. Framed by the segmented assimilation perspective on immigrant incorporation, this article asks three questions: (1) what are the forms of community constructed by Tamil women, (2) how is community building gendered, and (3) how does the constructed community facilitate their incorporation into America? By focusing on middle-class Tamil immigrants, this article advances the scholarship in several ways: (1) by theorizing community formation among South Asians it nuances our understanding of the ethnic landscape of Asians in the United States that has predominantly focused on East Asians; (2) by conferring visibility on a little-studied Indian regional group, it challenges the dominant imaginary of a homogenized Indian diaspora in the United States as being predominantly North Indian (Gujarati/Punjabi); and in so doing (3) is attentive to the interactions and reconstitutions of stratifications of class, caste, and gender in shaping the Tamil experience in the United States.3 I argue that community building among professional Tamils is predominantly performed by Tamil women. They construct a dynamic community that takes the form of wives’ support and women’s networks, cross-cultural friendships, ethnic spaces, and fictive kinship. Although the emergent bonding and bridging social capital facilitates their segmented incorporation as model minorities who are ethnic, the process also reinscribes gender, race/ethnic, class and caste hierarchies.

Guestploitation: Examining Filipino Human-Trafficking Guest Worker Cases through a Culturally Competent Practitioner’s Model
By: Cindy C. Liou, Jeannie Choi, and Ziwei Hu

Abstract: The trafficking of Filipino guest workers into modern-day slavery in the United States is an epidemic that demands an immediate response from both the American and Filipino governments. Often, law enforcement and service providers are not from the same linguistic and cultural background as trafficking survivors, especially given the variety of immigrant communities affected by human trafficking. With this article, we propose a service model for survivors of human trafficking that recognizes and addresses cultural differences. As a model on how to create such a framework, in this article, the authors use the example and describe this phenomenon of “guestploitation”—a system that victimizes Filipino guest workers through the Philippines’ labor export system and United States’ convoluted guest worker program—and how the problem is compounded by cultural barriers, communication difficulties, and the complexity of the American legal system. They draw upon their own casework and experiences to put forth several legal and policy recommendations aimed at assisting Filipino guest worker trafficking victims and preventing this widespread abuse. The authors use a culturally competent working model to inform effective ways to combat human trafficking with the goal of encouraging similar culturally competent methods of working with other trafficking victims from other immigrant communities.

Part II: Asian American and Pacific Islander Environmentalism: Expansions, Connections, and Social Change

Ethnic Variation in Environmental Attitudes and Opinion among Asian American Voters
By: Paul M. Ong, Loan Le, and Paula Daniels

Abstract: Asian Americans are increasingly recognized as an important constituency in electoral politics and yet there is a glaring gap in information about ethnic differences in public opinion. 1 Using a unique survey of Asian American voters conducted by the California League of Conservation Voters, we add to the nascent literature on environmental attitudes and public opinion among Asian Americans. We find systematic ethnic differences in the distribution of responses related to self-reported “environmentalist” identity, support for environmental policies, and environmental concerns such as climate change. Asian Americans are strongly proenvironment overall; nevertheless, the findings suggest that any mobilization related to environmental politics should be sensitive to ethnic differences, as well as commonalities that transcend subgroups.

Engaging Vietnamese American Communities in California in Environmental Health and Awareness
By: Tina Duyen Tran, Jacqueline H. Tran, My Tong, Lisa Fu, Peggy Reynolds, Vinh Luu, and Thu Quach

Abstract: Vietnamese immigrants tend to cluster in targeted geographic areas and occupations with resulting disproportionate exposure opportunities to hazardous environmental chemicals and neighborhood stressors; yet there is little research on environmental health in this population. Vietnamese communities in Alameda, Marin, Santa Clara, and Orange counties in California conducted community mapping audits (i.e., collecting air-contaminant data, observational survey information, and photovoice documentation) in neighborhoods where they live, work, and play. This paper describes the community-based participatory research process that helped to raise awareness about the environment for participating communities, and looks at how community engagement can lead to action for change.

Building a 21st Century Environmental Movement That Wins:  Twenty Years of Environmental Justice Organizing by the Asian Pacific Environmental Network
By: Roger Kim and Martha Matsuoka

Abstract: Over the past twenty years, the Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN) has engaged in innovative strategies for building grassroots leadership in Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities to bring important perspectives to the movement for environmental justice. Founded in 1993, APEN strategies include community organizing and leadership development, policy development and advocacy, multiracial movement building, and, most recently, electoral organizing and civic engagement to affect state climate and energy policy.

This article reflects on lessons learned in organizing to elevate the power of AAPIs to influence the public debates over the environment and influence public policy that affects where AAPIs live, work, play, and go to school. We focus on a case study of the successful defeat of Proposition 23, a California ballot initiative that would have suspended the nation’s toughest state-level greenhouse gas emissions program and point to the increasing role and power of AAPIs in determining state and national climate policy. For organizers, policy makers, and environmental advocates in particular, the campaign illustrates the importance of integrating an electoral strategy with community organizing work to educate and turn out voters to advance progressive environmental policy change.

Lessons from APEN’s twenty years illustrate the past and current role of AAPIs in environmental activism and policy and the strategies necessary to tap demographic changes in order to strengthen a comprehensive strategy to combat climate change, accelerate the development of an equitable clean energy economy, and ensure a livable planet for future generations.

Native Hawaiians Getting Back to Mālama `Āina
By: Leslie Kahihikolo

Abstract: Historically, traditional Native Hawaiian values and survival were rooted in the practice of mālama `āina – caring for the land.  Urbanization and development of the land over time, however, have disconnected Native Hawaiians from their traditional practices and land.  In an effort to get back to mālama `āina, Native Hawaiians are incorporating cultural history and identity into addressing environmental problems by taking responsibility to reclaim and restore the `āina for future generations.  Once such example is the Ka Wai Ola O Wai`anae project in which the Wai`anae Coast community is using federal funding to build capacity to understand and take effective actions that mitigate pollutants in the environment, with the goal of getting back mālama `āina.




Abstract: Special Issue on Asian Americans in Global Cities

Abstracts for Special Issue on Asian Americans in Global Cities: Los Angeles – New York Connections and Comparisons, Volume 10, Number 2 Fall 2012

Message from the Editors

Asian Americans in Global Cities: Los Angeles – New York Connections and Comparisons
By: Paul M. Ong and Tarry Hum

Abstract:  This special AAPI Nexus issue examines Asian American experiences in global cities through comparative studies of Los Angeles and New York. The demographic facts are astonishing—more than a quarter of the sixteen million Asian Americans reside in either of the two greater metropolises where they comprise more than a tenth of the total population in each region. Consequently, it is difficult to fully understand and appreciate Asian American experiences without studying these two global cities. The comparative approach offers great analytical potential because it can generate insights into what phenomena transcend regions and patterns that are produced by factors and forces common to Asian Americans regardless of location and fundamental global-city processes. The comparative approach can also identify phenomena that are unique to each region, such as the outcomes of specific local and regional structures and dynamics.

A Tale of Two Global Cities: The State of Asian Americans in Los Angeles and New York
By: Howard Shih and Melany De La Cruz-Viesca

Abstract:  At the national level, the Asian American population has grown more than any other major race group. According to the 2010 Census, the Los Angeles metro area had 2,199,186 Asians, making it the home to the largest Asian population in the United States. Following close behind was the New York City metro area with 2,008,906 Asians. Over a quarter of the 14.7 million Asian Americans reside in either of the two greater metropolitan regions, where they comprise around a tenth of the total population in each metropolis. We begin with a brief historical overview of immigration legislation that has both invited and excluded Asian Americans, as a means of understanding how Asian Americans have been perceived over time. We will also compare some key characteristics of Asian American populations in Los Angeles County, New York City, the Balance of LA Combined Statistical Area (CSA) (excluding Los Angeles County), and the Balance of NYC CSA (excluding New York City), and the Balance of the United States. The paper will cover: (1) demographic trends and patterns (2) economic status (3) political engagement and incorporation, and (4) residential settlement patterns. We close with a discussion of how these demographic changes have contributed to Asian Americans rapid social, economic, and political upward mobility in the last decade, at a time when the global restructuring of the economy has blurred nation-state boundaries that once existed and migration from Asia to the United States has become more complex, particularly over the past two decades.

Cultivating a Cultural Home Space: The Case of Little Tokyo’s Budokan of Los Angeles Project
By: Susan Nakaoka

Abstract:  Little Tokyo is a unique case exemplifying the evolving nature of community economic development in Los Angeles. In-depth interviews with key community leaders identify the need for the importance of a place-specific, contextually relevant development approach in order to maintain an ethnic presence in the neighborhood. Faced with new threats of gentrification, the complications of a global economy, and a new phase of transit-oriented development, community members are banking on a multi-sports complex in Little Tokyo to rejuvenate a sense of cultural home space for the now geographically dispersed Japanese Americans.

This Is Part of Our History: Preserving Garment Manufacturing and a Sense of Home in Manhattan’s Chinatown
By: Lena Sze

Abstract:  This article explores attempts by labor and community advocates to retain a garment industry base in Manhattan’s Chinatown after 9/11. Specifically tying the viability of such proposals to ongoing processes such as gentrification, transnational capital investment, local development, and broader anti-manufacturing urban policy, I argue that strategies for appropriate and sensitive community development that are rooted in sectoral preservation or development need to take into account the specificities of place, class, and ethnicity. In particular, the concept of a valued cultural or home space adds urgency to the advocacy of such proposals beyond the generic economic rationale of manufacturing retention.

New Dimensions of Self-Employment among Asian Americans in Los Angeles and New York
By: C. N. Le

Abstract:  This article uses census data from the 2006–08 American Community Survey to illustrate the range of Asian American entrepreneurial activities in the Los Angeles and the New York City areas and finds that Los Angeles self-employment is characterized by emerging high-skill “professional service” industries while New York continues to be dominated by low-skill traditional “enclave-associated” niches. Within these patterns, there are also notable interethnic and generational differences. I discuss their socioeconomic implications and policy recommendations to facilitate a gradual shift of Asian American entrepreneurship toward more professional service activities that reflect the demographic evolution of the Asian American community and the ongoing dynamics of globalization.

We Make the Spring Rolls, They Make Their Own Rules: Filipina Domestic Workers’ Fight for Labor Rights in New York City and Los Angeles
By: Ariella Rotramel

Abstract:  This article provides a multidimensional examination of Filipina domestic workers’ efforts to promote workers’ rights nationally and globally. Through their own experiences as transnational workers, Filipina activists were able to translate their knowledge of labor dynamics into practical and effective tactics such as the demand for labor contracts as an industry standard. Combining ethnographic research and interviews conducted with New York–based Filipina domestic worker activists with primary and secondary sources from Los Angeles, recent advocacy work in New York is compared with efforts in Los Angeles and California more broadly. Key points of comparison—demographics and organizing histories, geography and usage of public space, and political contexts and legislation—illuminate significant divergences and continuities between the two regions.

Community-based? Asian American Students, Parents, and Teachers in the Shifting Chinatowns of New York and Los Angeles
By: Benji Chang and Juhyung Harold Lee

Abstract:  This article examines the experiences of children, parents, and teachers in the New York and Los Angeles Chinatown public schools, as observed by two classroom educators, one based in each city. The authors document trends among the transnational East and Southeast Asian families that comprise the majority in the local Chinatown schools and discuss some of the key intersections of communities and identities within those schools, as well as the pedagogies that try to build upon these intersections in the name of student empowerment and a more holistic vision of student achievement. Ultimately, this article seeks to bring forth the unique perspectives of Chinatown community members and explore how students, families, teachers, school staff and administrators, and community organizers can collaborate to actualize a more transformative public education experience.

“Asian Latinos” and the U.S. Census
By: Robert Chao Romero and Kevin Escudero

Abstract:  Numbering more than 300,000, “Asian Latinos” are a large but overlooked segment of the Asian American and Latino populations of the United States. Drawing from data generated from the 5 percent Public Use Microdata Samples of the 2000 U.S. Census, this article provides a preliminary quantitative analysis of the Asian Latino community. In particular, it examines the demographic characteristics of population size, geographic distribution, national origin, gender, age, citizenship, and educational attainment. In addition, it examines several policy implications related to Asian Latino coalition building and undocumented immigrant advocacy.

Abstract: Special Issue on Immigration

Abstracts for Special Issue on Immigration, Volume 10, Number 1 Spring 2012

Message from the Editors

Immigration and Belonging: Nation, Class, and Membership in New Migration Policies
By: Edward J.W. Park and John S.W. Park

Abstract:  We are pleased to present this collection of essays. They tie together some of the most important overlaps between immigration studies and Asian American Studies, and they present collectively a compelling portrait of how Asian American communities have continued to change as a result of on-going migration trends. These essays remind us that new Asian migrants have enlarged and complicated the very definition of the term, “Asian American,” and they tell important stories about how class, immigration status, and settlement patterns have altered the communities and regions that have been so central to Asian American Studies scholars. In addition, the essays in this volume indicate the growing importance of Asian American topics and approaches within several academic disciplines and fields, including labor economics, qualitative sociology, studies of migration and acculturation, and discourses of globalization. These authors have a great deal to say about how skilled people in general can move across the world, how some can move back and forth across international boundaries with relative ease, even as poorer migrants try to survive economically in our major cities and search through difficult options in their attempts to settle in the United States. We begin this volume first by thanking all of the contributors for showing us their amazing work, and we thank the staff of the AAPI Nexus for giving us this rare opportunity to collaborate scholars and activists.

Research Article

Between China and the United States: Contemporary Policies and Flows of Highly Skilled Migrants
By: Wei Li and Wan Yu

Abstract:  We are witnessing a change in volume, direction, and diversity of migrant flow patterns between China and the United States. These changes are a result of China’s unprecedented level of economic growth. In this paper, we examine the migration flow of highly-skilled migrants, who are increasingly targeted by both United States and China migration policies. Finally, we will conclude with policy implications.

Resource Paper

Ethnic Return Migration Policies and Asian American Labor in Japan and Korea
By: Jane Yamashiro

Abstract:  Asian ethnic return migration policies are having an important impact on the lives of Asian Americans. By making it easier for later generation Asian Americans to work and invest in their ancestral homelands, these policies have affected the scale of Asian American migration and their economic, cultural, and social connections to Asia. However, ethnic return migration policies and their effects are not uniform across all Asian American groups. This paper analyzes how Asian Americans are being affected by ethnic return migration policies through comparative examination of the Immigration Control Act in Japan and the Overseas Korean Act in South Korea. The two policies in Japan and South Korea (hereafter Korea) are similar in their initial targeting of ethnic return migrants and in their privileging of skilled workers and investors in the 2000s to increase each country’s competitiveness in the global economy. However, while Korea’s policy has cast a net to include Korean Americans specifically, Japan’s ethnic return migration policy has not been aimed at Japanese Americans in the same way.

Resource Paper

Community-Based Asian American and Pacific Islander Organizations and Immigrant Integration
By: Erwin de Leon

Abstract:  An Urban Institute study examined immigrant integration through the lens of community-based organizations. Based on interviews with nonprofit leaders and an analysis of financial data, the study found that immigrant-serving nonprofits provide a wide range of programs and services that promote the social and political mobility of newcomers. Findings also suggest that Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) organizations in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area are smaller than other immigrant-serving nonprofits. AAPI groups also lack access to political networks that are crucial to securing policy and funding support. Moreover, different political and administrative structures affect the ability of these nonprofit organizations to serve their constituents.

Practitioners’ Essay

The Importance of Ethnic Competency: Labor Trafficking, Thai Migrations, and the Thai Community Development Center
By: Sudarat Musikawong and Chanchanit Martorell

Abstract:  The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (2000, 2011) created new conditional residency visas and new avenues for American citizenship for the victims of human trafficking. Thai migrants have benefited from its provisions, but their disproportionate presence in this category has indicated the depths of this problem within the Thai immigrant community. This paper examines anti-trafficking advocacy, and it begins by criticizing existing Asian American pan-ethnic organizations. It addresses the limits of their approaches, and argues that ethnic-specific organizations still play an important role in helping victims as well as the ethnic communities in which they will settle.

Research Article

Labor Market Migrations: Immigrant Intersections in the Informal Economy
By: Anna Joo Kim

Abstract:  This study argues that many workers in Asian enclave economies move between both formal and informal employment. Scholars and other commentators have often framed “immigrant work,” as static, exploitative, and characterized by illegal arrangements, while formal employment has provided mobility, better pay, and important fringe benefits, including health care and paid vacations. The relationship between formal and informal labor markets, however, may be more intertwined in an ethnic enclave economy. Drawn from the experiences of Korean and Latino immigrant workers from Los Angeles’ Koreatown, the qualitative data presented here show that many workers move back and forth in a “blended” or “mixed” labor market, in a pattern that complicates conventional understandings of the working lives of immigrant laborers.

Research Article

Citizenship at a Cost: Undocumented Asian Youth Perceptions and the Militarization of Immigration
By: Tracy Lachica Buenavista

Abstract:  Two federal policies, the Military Accessions Vital to National Interest (MAVNI) program and the proposed federal Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, represent the militarization of immigration. Critical Race Theory is used to analyze MAVNI, the DREAM Act, and semi-structured interviews with fourteen undocumented Asian immigrant youth who believe these policies provide viable pathways to citizenship through military enlistment. The project explores the recurring pattern of militarized immigration reform in the United States and challenges scholars, policy makers, and activists to understand the relationship between immigration and legacies of American imperialism.