Three Reasons Why We Want to Reignite With You
By the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association
Next month is the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA)’s student-organized symposium, entitled, “Reigniting Community: Strengthening the APA Identity.” The event is March 15 and 16 at UCI Law. APALSA was fortunate and honored to receive the student symposium funding this year, and we are beyond excited for the days’ events. Most importantly, we want you to come. Before you think, “Wait, I’m not Asian…” read the top three reasons why we want you to attend, or better yet, get involved in the planning process!
- Asian Pacific Americans are the fastest growing racial group. According to figures released after the 2010 Census, APAs are the fastest growing racial group in the country. Between 2000 and 2010, the APA community grew 46 percent and now constitutes nearly five percent of the general population. California statistics show similar trends: 31.5 percent growth and 12.8 percent of the population. The APA community is becoming a major player both in California and the United States, so even if you do not identify as APA, it is wise to familiarize yourself with the community’s concerns and interests.
- Reasoning like “I’m not Asian, so I shouldn’t go to the symposium” completely misses the point. First, you do not have to identify as APA in order to participate in the conversation. We do not want to hold these conversations in a vacuum. Second, although the details and nuances may be community-specific, the lenses through which we examine the issues for the symposium apply generally. For example, we have panels on racialization, economic justice, intersectionality, education, criminality, and political participation, and the APA community is not claiming ownership over all these topics. We are also working diligently and deliberately to ensure that, in the way issues are discussed at the conference, there is no knowledge prerequisite so everyone feels welcome to participate.
- Come support your fellow classmates—this is a UCI Law community event. Many of your classmates are APALSA members who have been involved in the symposium planning process, so come show your friendly UCI Law love. We promise there will be something for everyone. If the panels do not draw your attendance, we have an APA arts celebration kick-off reception on the evening of March 15, featuring APA performers and visual artwork. There is also a documentary screening that evening. And, perhaps the most shameless plug of all, no one can turn down free food (we even promise it is not pizza). Most importantly, it is all happening in your backyard, the law school.
If these reasons have not convinced you to reignite with us, we have more! Come talk to us (Jenn Chin, James Yoon, and Denny Chan) in person, ask us questions, and/or get involved with the planning process. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org too. We genuinely hope that reigniting community will be a way to reignite not just the APA community but UCI Law as well.