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A Message from the Director

 

Welcome to the new academic year! This year is unprecedented in so many ways but let me start by saying I am thrilled to welcome you to the new – and UC San Diego’s first – Asian American and Pacific Islander Studies Program! I want to acknowledge the tremendous, dedicated labor of so many students, alumni, staff and faculty, especially the students and alum of Coalition for Critical Asian American Studies, for doing the hard work to get us here. All of you – AAPI minors, prospective minors, allies and supporters – are a part of this tradition of student activism and a part of this community, and I’m excited for us to build together this coming year.

There is indeed much work ahead. We are in an unprecedented moment of many crises affecting us and those around us—the COVID-19 pandemic, the disasters of climate change, the violence of policing, and unending wars. Through the AAPI Studies Program, we will cultivate a space of collective learning toward undoing the systemic harm. In the weeks and months ahead, we will launch projects and events guided by these questions: how do we talk about and confront anti-Blackness in APIMEDA communities? How can we work against our own complicity and hold ourselves accountable to BIPOC communities and to each other? What does meaningful solidarity look like – with others at UCSD, in our communities, in and beyond the United States? What are our roles in the movements for social transformation happening all around us?

This will be slow and incremental work that will require us to build a space of collective learning and collective care. Virtual or otherwise, I am committed to creating a community that is attentive to our well-being. We will take care of each other and prioritize our mental and physical health. As director I am here as a resource and support. I welcome you to meet with me virtually one-on-one or as a group to share your concerns and ideas for how the program can best serve you. In the next few weeks, I will work on creating other forms of communication but for now please don’t hesitate to email me at siman@ucsd.edu. This is a space for you and I look forward to working with you all in the coming year.

 

In care and solidarity, 

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Simeon Man

AAPI Program Director