AAPI Committee and SEAS present a forum on Anti-Asian Racism

Ryutaro+Young%2C+Patricia+Malamamlama+Cockett%2C+Leticia+Bajuyo+and+Newman+Wong+speaking+on+the+panel.

Gabriella Ruiz

Ryutaro Young, Patricia Malamamlama Cockett, Leticia Bajuyo and Newman Wong speaking on the panel.

Gabriella Ruiz, Reporter

The Division of Student Engagement and Success, along with the Asian American & Pacific Islanders Committee presented a forum about Anti-Asian racism in person at the Anchor Ballroom in the University Center and live on Youtube on April 20.

Current undergrad student Ryutaro Young, graduate student Patricia Malamamlama Cockett, TAMU-CC Associate Professor of Art Leticia Bajuyo and Research Associate at Del Mar College Newman Wong were the four panelists to speak on the behalf of the Asian American & Pacific Islanders as they shared their personal experience through this discussion.

Assistant Vice President of Student Life, Dr. Lisa O. Perez led the conversation by asking questions about issues occurring with AAPI and the panelists shared their perspectives on how they identify themselves, pet peeves, minority experiences and more.

Associate Professor of Art specifically in Sculpture, Leticia Bajuyo had taken the opportunity to speak to represent her background and her community by discussing her story. “I recognize I take pause every time I come to those boxes that you’re supposed to check,“ said Bajuyo. “To this day at 45-years-old I still pause which box to check, what am I today, who do I identify with? I hope that these events not only help shed light but help to empower our entire community to stand up for people.”

As far as statistics for the AAPI population, Dr. Perez addressed that professor and Chair of the Department of Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies at Texas Christian University Dr. Kurashige discussed that there are over 22 million Asian Americans in the world. 1.4 million of them are considered Pacific Islanders from groups including Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Korean, Filipino and Vietnamese. Texas has 1.5 million Asian Americans, with 25,000 who are consideredPacific Islanders. Nueces County holds around 8,000 from the data that Dr. Perez presented.

Vice President of SGA Ryutaro Young grew up as a military child and as he stated the Pledge of Allegiance, he believed what it stood for. “I just saw myself as everyone that is sitting here in this room,” said Young. “I didn’t see myself any different. I believe that we all believe in the same concept and we strive for justice and liberty. When I came here and I had a couple of unfortunate events, that made me realize you know maybe I am different. You know I want us as a university, as this movement to be a model and show that we are one.”

For the upcoming events planned for AAPI Heritage Month visit https://ei.tamucc.edu/inclusion/ica/aapi/index.html for a detailed schedule of events.