American Studies 197B
Spring Quarter 2002
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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?
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?
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?