Asian Pacific American Labor Studies
Asian American Studies 197B; class ticket number: 121-856-200
Mondays, 4:00 – 6:50 p.m.
Bunche 2168

  • Ching Huang, "Adopting a Community-Centered Perspective"
  • Teresa Nguyen, "Becoming Conscious of Our Privileges as UCLA Students"
  • Suzan Luu, "Recognizing Our Specific Talent That We Can Contribute to Our Community"
  • Ken Ichiroku, "Overcoming a UCLA-centric Attitude"
  • Julie Yoshioka, "Learning More Outside the Classroom Than Within"
  • Paul Chung, "The Need to Humanize the Experiences of Immigrant Workers"
  • Laura Lin, "Accepting the Leadership of People in Our Communities"
  • Ye Jin, "My Life as a New Immigrant"


Asian American Studies 197B
Spring Quarter 2002

Reflection Journal 1

This assignment is due by e-mail or as a typed essay to both Glenn Omatsu and Erin O'Brien by Monday, April 8. For this assignment, students will write a reflection essay of at least 500 words (about two typed pages) responding to the following questions. This writing assignment provides students an opportunity to think about their community-based internship this quarter and to think about ways that they can use their skills, talents, and resources to support labor movements for justice.

In most of their classes at UCLA, students are conditioned to think about internships as student-centered — i.e., to view internships in terms of their career development, as opportunities to practice existing skills and to develop new skills for personal advancement, and as opportunities for networking. This UCLA-centric student viewpoint is reinforced by a number of forces institutionalized at UCLA in this period, including the emphasis on UCLA as an elite institution enrolling only the "most qualified" students and the proclamation by UCLA officials that its mission is to train students to be the leaders of the world.

In contrast to the above viewpoint, students in this class will be doing community-based labor internships centered around community needs — in other words, the needs of immigrant workers, worker centers, and community organizations will serve as the basis for students’ work, and students will be expected to adapt their skills and areas of interest to meet these needs. Thus, these community-based internships centering around the needs of immigrant workers will require a transformation of consciousness in UCLA students.

Historically, some of the greatest advances in Asian Pacific American history have occurred when students who have adapted to a community-centered consciousness have joined with community residents, including immigrant workers, to fight for justice. In this period, the number of Asian American students enrolled in elite institutions at ULCA who are taking classes in Asian American Studies is unprecedented. Thus, potentially, this period can one of great advances for our community.

  1. Do you feel that you have been influenced by UCLA-centric student viewpoint? If not, why not? Specifically, what has shielded you from the influence of institutional forces that has affected the thinking of probably 99% of your fellow students?
  2. How easy or difficult will it be for you to shift from UCLA-centric student thinking to community-centered thinking? What specific steps will you and other students need to take to transform your world outlook, so that you and fellow students can be of greater service to communities?
  3. Whether fair or unfair, some community groups feel that UCLA students enter relations with community people with "big heads" (i.e., arrogance) and a lack of appreciation for the day-to-day struggles and accomplishments of community groups, especially immigrant workers. Through your community-based internship, what steps can you take to overcome existing community perceptions of UCLA students?
  4. In this period, what are specific ways that you as a UCLA student can use your skills and talents and access to power and resources to support the struggles of low-income immigrant workers?








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