Local Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities in Maricopa County, along with Asian American ASU faculty, staff, students, worked to build Asian Pacific American Studies (APAS) as an academic program at Arizona State University for at least two decades since the 1970s. AANHPI community leaders actively devoted time and effort to build a program that not only
represented their communities but educated all Arizonans. The Asian American Faculty and Staff Association also shared this vision, and sponsored symposia about AANHPI issues, creating an AANHPI scholarship program, and helped to organize a summer program that educated local high school youth about AANHPI shared experiences.
In 1996, ASU began the planning process for APAS, which was formed in 1998 under the founding director Professor Thomas Nakayama. APAS first offered an undergraduate certificate and eventually offered both a minor and a major in Asian Pacific American Studies. Since its founding, APAS faculty have developed numerous courses that educate all ASU students about global and American specificities of AANHPI experiences in the United States. APAS faculty, nationally recognized scholars in their respective areas of expertise, have collected local community oral histories, and published two statewide reports about AANHPIs in AZ, and shared our knowledge about Asian American and Pacific Islander Studies, as well as Ethnic Studies, across the state.
We honor 25 years of past and present APAS faculty and staff who have sustained Asian Pacific American Studies at Arizona State University and raised consciousness throughout the state of Arizona about Asian Pacific America and beyond, even as we renew our commitment to our educational mission that is timelier than ever.
Help us celebrate 25 years of Asian Pacific American Studies by joining our APAS 25 for 25 Campaign as we continue our research and engagement for social transformation.