Asian Americans and Higher Education: An End to Affirmative Action?

Harvard Asian Graduates

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Reception from 8 p.m.

As the main focus of the lawsuit brought against Harvard, Asian Americans and affirmative action have once again become a point of contention in contemporary political debate, and within the Asian American community itself. A grassroots Asian American conservative movement has emerged in an attempt to end affirmative action, asserting that discrimination in the name of diversity is wrong. Asian American liberals believe that conservative Asian Americans are being used as cover to abolish affirmative action, and fear a defeat of affirmative action means a loss for diversity in all of higher education. Join us for a discussion moderated by Board member of the Asian American Bar Association and the Asian American Federation, Chris Kwok about the current and future state of affirmative action.

Chris Kwok

Chris M. Kwok, Esq. (moderator) serves as the Co Chair of the Issues Committee and Asia Practice Committee for the Asian American Bar Association of New York. He received his B.A from Cornell University with a major in Government and minor in Asian American studies, and his J.D from UCLA Law School, where he served on the staff of the Asian American Pacific Islander Law Journal.  Formerly, he was the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Coordinator at the U.S. Equal Employment Commission in the New York District office. He is a mediator with JAMS. 

Nicole Ochi

Nicole Gon Ochi, Esq. is the Supervising Attorney at Asian Americans Advancing Justice—LA’s Impact Litigation unit. She joined Advancing Justice as a Skadden Fellow in 2010 and has taken a lead role in litigating and providing advocacy on matters involving employment discrimination, education, workers’ rights, affordable housing preservation, language access, and civil rights. 

Jack Ouyang

Dr. Jack Ouyang is the Vice President of Operations at the Asian American Coalition for Education. Mr. Ouyang has been an outspoken Chinese American civil rights activist and was a key organizer of the Chinese American for Equality. He was a board chair at the Millburn Short Hills Chinese Association and the Millburn Institute of Talent. He is currently an IT Professional based in New Jersey.

Van Tran

Dr. Van C. Tran is a professor of Sociology at Columbia University whose research and writing broadly focuses on the incorporation of Asian immigrants and their children into American culture, politics and society.  He has served in many positions at both the Eastern Sociological Society and the American Sociological Association. He is a frequent commentator in the media and was selected as an NPR Source of the Week in July of 2015.

Reference Materials

AAAJ Affirmative Action Infographic 
AAAJ Harvard Case Presentation
Asians are being used to make the case against affirmative action. Again.,

This spring, Asia Society presents Asian in America, a series of conversations, performances, and celebrations exploring the Asian and Asian American experience in the United States. 

This program made possible in partnership with the Asian American Bar Association of New York.

Partner Logo - AABANY

Event Details

Tue 30 Apr 2019
6:30 - 8 p.m.

Asia Society
725 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10021

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Members: $8; Students/Seniors: $10; Non-Members: $12
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