Our retreat began with our biannual reading of the AAA history, a perfect and always necessary reminder of our roots and mission. While AAA has grown and changed over time, we still hold on to the basic ideas upon which we were founded: a dedication to awareness of Asian American issues through social, political, educational, and cultural events. We invite you to read our history as well - we think you’ll find it as inspirational as we do.
Rejection gave birth to the Asian American Association. During first-year orientation week in 1976, two Asian American women decided to attend a Minority Freshman Banquet sponsored by the university, but were barred from entering and were turned away.
Harvard did not recognize Asian Americans as a minority, despite the legacy of legal discrimination and social prejudice they share with other minority groups. Asian Americans were acknowledged as minorities by the federal government and by Harvard in enrollment reports it filed in order to receive federal affirmative-action funding. But the administration embraced the racist notion of Asian Americans as an assimilated, financially secure “model minority” and therefore not a true “minority.”