Mission Statement

The San Gabriel Valley Children's Chorus sings the national anthem at the ASSC 2008 Annual Dinner. (Dan Avila)

The Asia Society is an international organization dedicated to strengthening relationships and deepening understanding among the peoples of Asia and the United States. Founded in 1956 by John D. Rockefeller 3rd, the Society reaches audiences around the world through its headquarters in New York and regional centers in Houston,  Los Angeles, San Francisco,  Washington, DC,  Hong Kong, Manila,  Melbourne, Mumbai, Seoul, and Shanghai.

A nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization, the Society provides a forum for building awareness of the more than thirty countries broadly defined as the Asia-Pacific region—the area from Japan to Iran, and from Central Asia to New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

Through art exhibitions and performances, films, lectures, seminars and conferences, publications and assistance to the media, and materials and programs for students and teachers, the Asia Society presents the uniqueness and diversity of Asia.

The Asia Society is supported by contributions from foundations, corporations, and individuals.

About Asia Society Southern California

Founded in Los Angeles in 1985, Asia Society Southern California is an independently funded regional office that creates its own programs and activities. Home to the largest Asian population in the United States, Los Angeles is a vibrant microcosm of Asian and American relations. Asia Society Southern California strives to cultivate these ties through programs on topics ranging from art, society and culture, to business, policy and contemporary affairs.

Our Mission... Building Bridges Between East and West

“Our mission is to build bridges of understanding and opportunity between East and West, here in Southern California, the US gateway to the Asia and Pacific.”
—Donald Tang, Chairman, Asia Society Southern California

We come from all corners of the earth. We settle here, in Southern California. We gravitate to this special place, built on dreams, visions, inspirations, tireless commitment and hard work—young, old, rich, poor—to find ourselves, to improve ourselves, to find our fame and fortune, to create better products or innovations, to just establish a better life for ourselves and for our families. 

Southern California embodies these values inherent in the great American dream for the rest of the country and the rest of the world. As such it has become the cradle of diversity in the western world. 

Yet we are a community of contrasts and contradictions that, at once, embraces its rich diversity and rejects it. We build barriers between us. We isolate ourselves by economic class, neighborhood, race, religion or place of origin. The diversity inherent in Southern California—the key to our greatness as a society when we embrace it— weakens us when we resist it. We can build walls or bridges. It's our choice.

We, the membership of Asia Society Southern California, choose bridge-building. It is our mission, to build bridges of deeper understanding, extended community, and heightened opportunity between us—between East and West specifically—here in Southern California, the gateway to Asia and to the Pacific in this, our first global century.