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Multiethnicity and the Changing Face of Asian America

This is part of a calendar of activities created at Stanford University in honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander month. This is an opportunity to share information, celebrate cultures and traditions, fight racism, and highlight Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) voices, experiences, and achievements.

We are all on a journey to understand, research, and fight against discrimination and racial prejudice. We have created this calendar as a way for us and others to learn more about the AAPI community and to deepen our understanding of the many identities and challenges of the AAPI community – particularly in this time of increased violence directed toward members of this community in our country. As members of an academic community, we believe in the power of education to enhance our understanding and empathy as well as to enhance our ability to reflect and take action to reduce bias toward members of the AAPI community.

My contribution below is posted for May 29 and there is one for each day of the month:

One of the most visible changes in Asian America has been the rapid growth of persons of Asian and non-Asian ancestries (e.g., Japanese and Irish) and those of mixed Asian ancestries (e.g., Chinese and Japanese). Multiethnic Asian Americans now comprise a significant part of the Asian American population and represent the changing face of Asian America. Multiethnic identities expand the borders of Asian America, raising many issues regarding race, religion, community, diversity, and inclusion.

The past year’s tumultuous events of Black Lives Matter and Anti-Asian violence have made these issues even more crucial to understand. As for all Asian American experiences, we need to gather and tell more stories to humanize our lives.

Engage with the work of Stanford’s Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu about multiethnic identities, via the power of storytelling, such as The Celtic Samurai.

Also see more general resources here and in the book, When Half is Whole.

Finally, listen to this NPR Code Switch podcast on “Who gets to be ‘Hapa.’”

Submitted by Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu; Illustration partially based on a photo from the Stanford Center for Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity

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