course is a continuation of AAS 197A in Winter Quarter 2002,
although enrollment is not based on taking the previous course.
The Spring Quarter course focuses on student internships with
community-based labor projects.
historically and today, grassroots labor struggles by immigrant
workers are central to defining the Asian Pacific American experience.
Immigrant labor struggles bring to the forefront issues of human
rights, interethnic and interracial alliances, racism and gender
oppression, the impact of globalization, and the ongoing efforts
to expand democracy in America. However, despite the central
significance of labor struggles, the curriculum in Asian American
Studies has virtually no classes focusing on labor.
class addresses this vacuum and examines Asian Pacific American
labor, both historically and today. Among historical issues
to be covered are the exclusion of Asian immigrant workers from
mainstream labor unions, the resulting reliance of immigrant
workers on community-based strategies for fighting for workplace
rights, and the close connection between labor organizing and
other community movements such as support for independence of
former homelands from colonialism, womens rights, and
movements for human rights. Among contemporary issues to be
covered are current organizing campaigns by low-income immigrants
in the garment and restaurant industries, the ways these community-based
labor struggles are redefining labor organizing strategies in
mainstream unions, and the impact of labor struggles and immigrant
worker centers on reshaping politics in Asian Pacific American
class emphasizes the key role that Asian Pacific American students
can play in supporting labor struggles of low-income immigrants.
This class provides students with hands-on activist training
to help them confront class polarization, which increasingly
is becoming a major feature of Asian Pacific American communities.
Students will receive training in ways that they can use campus
resources, including their academic skills, to support immigrant
class was initiated by Rena Wong, a recent UCLA graduate who
is now working as a union organizer in the San Francisco Bay