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AAPI Women On the Move!

Raised toward our $1,800 Goal
68 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on November 04, at 08:00 AM PDT
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Thanks Y'All!

November 08, 2017

UCI Anteaters (and honorary Anteater) in the Texas Longhorn State!

AAPI Women on the Move: Reflections on Houston 2017

November 08, 2017

We are back from our conference!  This will be out last update, and our way of thanking all of you by briefly sharing our experiences.  Your generous support enabled Sophaline Chuong, Maribel Comparan, Malire Lozada, Pauline Nguyen, and Justine Trinh to travel to Houston and present their research.  They gave poised and insightful talks and met incredible people, including Gregoria Baty Smith who represented Guam at the NWC in 1977.  Helen Lee, a California Commissioner on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs, also traveled to Texas and attended our panels!  


"Upon arrival at the University of Houston, after exploring the city and seeing where the original spot of the 1977 National Women’s Conference was held, I knew that I was going to be a part of history.  A precious moment for me was the opportunity to retell Gregoria Baty Smith’s story at the National Women’s Conference in front of her. Honestly, I was nervous, but looking at Ms. Smith gave me a sense of comfort. I truly became invested in retelling her history and sharing how much she advocated for her community. I wanted to share the empowerment I felt when first reading and conducting the interview with Ms. Smith. A thank you for Ms. Smith for sharing her life with me and being supportive of this project." Sophaline


"It has been an incredible journey to work with the amazing and inspiring women on my research team to the phenomenal role models I encountered at the conference. This 2017 commemorative conference has led me to identify the steps necessary for how we should move forward. First, we need to research and archive the histories of as many of the women who were in attendance at the 1977 National Women’s Conference. Second, we must change the history we retell in school and include ALL histories. It is imperative to know of the women and people of color who have shaped and influenced American history. I feel as though these women took the necessary steps to allow my generation and future generations to continue their work for the greater good." Maribel


"What was most exciting for me at the conference was just seeing that the things that mattered to me mattered to other people. I think that being a feminist can be isolating at times. However, attending this conference showed me that these issues are worth fighting for. When I reflect on the significance of the this conference, I think of Dr. Tin, a Burmese American delegate in 1977 who helped to create the Asian Pacific Islander American women’s caucus.  I believe 2017 conference will have a profound personal impact for myself and how I view my own role in civic engagement." Malire


"I feel so incredibly honored to have participated in the 40th anniversary commemorative conference of the 1977 National Women’s Conference. During Marjorie Spruill’s keynote address, she asked those in the audience who were delegates at the 1977 National Women’s Conference to raise their hands. I was astounded to see how many returned to remember this historic event and continue to look forward towards positive change. During our own panel, it was beautiful to see the conversations that our research helped foster in regards to the place of AAPI women in the feminist movement. This showed me the importance of having research conferences like this one. I feel that it is now our generation’s turn to receive the torch and continue the women’s movement." Pauline


"One of my favorite part about the conference was going to the different panels and being able to hear what academics scholars are working on. We attended Professor Wu’s panel which also featured Dr. Angie Maxwell and Dr. Nancy Elizabeth Baker. I learned more about Patsy Takemoto Mink from Professor Wu’s presentation. Dr. Baker’s paper on South Asian-Australian Babette Francis illuminated the transnational influences on U.S. anti-feminist Phyllis Schlafly, and Dr. Maxwell discussed the impact of modern sexism on the 2016 election. All three presentations were phenomenal and challenged me to think about new issues." Justine


Our research team is inspired to continue expanding our project. We plan to visit more archives, conduct more interviews, and hope to present at the Association for Asian American Studies in San Francisco in March 2018.  Thank you for supporting our intellectual journey!


AAPI Women on the Move!

We are ready for Houston!

October 30, 2017


Thank you to everyone for your generous donations and for the continued support of our team!  Any donations beyond our original goal will be used to fund student research and additional conference travels.


We leave for Houston on November 4!  Our presentations are ready, and we are excited to share our research.


Maribel Comparan is a senior at UCI double majoring in Spanish and Asian American Studies. She joined the AAPI Women on the Move research team, because as a women of color she understands the importance of highlighting and documenting the contributions of women in politics and activism. She hopes that this project will inspire other students to learn more about the women who have impacted their communities and document the historical impact women have made in U.S. and world history.


Maribel and one of her research partners, Justine Trinh, accompanied Professor Judy Wu to interview Mitsuye Yamada last Friday. Mitsuye Yamada is a pioneering Japanese American activist and poet who attended the conference as an observer. Ms. Yamada welcomed the team into her home and shared an abundance of knowledge as well as historical documents of her involvement in the community. Ms. Yamada also graciously gifted the students and the Department of Asian American Studies with signed copies of one of her poems and one of her books. Ms. Yamada even attended our roundtable, where we presented our research together for the first time. We are truly grateful to meet such an incredibly amazing woman and look forward to sharing her stories and the experiences of other AAPI delegates in Houston.


AAPI Women on the Move!


Grassroots Advocacy and Mentorship

October 23, 2017

Thank you for your generous contributions to support our student scholars!  Any donations beyond our original goal will be used to fund their research and additional conference travels.

Professor Judy Tzu-Chun Wu joined the UCI faculty in 2015, after receiving her Ph.D. in U.S. History from Stanford University in 1998 and teaching at Ohio State University.  She became inspired to research the AAPI women at the 1977 National Women’s Conference after attending a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar at the University of Houston this past summer.  

The topic of her current research, Patsy Takemoto Mink, a third generation Japanese American from Hawai‘i, became the first woman of color to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. Mink co-sponsored the legislation to authorize the NWC and the 56 state and territorial conventions that led to the Houston conference. She and other women’s rights advocates argued that these local meetings were essential to the success of the national gathering. Mink and others mandated and fought for funding so that there could be grass-roots discussions and representation from people of diverse ages, economic, racial, regional, and religious backgrounds. Overall, approximately 150,000 individuals participated in these state and territory meetings in order to elect delegates and define platforms for national debate. Women of color constituted over a third of the elected and appointed delegates; some scholars have described the National Women’s conference as attracting the largest representation of women of color in any national women’s conference.

Similarly, our research team represents a collaborative, grass-roots effort to uncover and interpret the history of Asian American and Pacific Islander women at the National Women’s Conference.  Every teacher hopes to make a lasting impact on their students. And, every teacher delights in learning from their students. It’s been a joy to work with this wonderful group of intelligent, motivated, and thoughtful scholars, who are gaining valuable research experience, learning about the lives of amazing yet under-recognized individuals, and developing their intellectual voices.

If you are in Southern California, please join us this Thursday from 5-6:30 in the Orange County and Southeast Asian Archive Center (Gateway Study Center, Building 101 and please rsvp to to help us prepare refreshments.  Sophaline Chuong, Maribel Comparan, Malire Lozada, Pauline Nguyen, and Justine Trinh will share their insights about the backgrounds, political concerns, and historical legacy of AAPI Women at the National Women’s conference in Houston!

AAPI Women on the Move!

Caption:  Patsy Takemoto Mink at the 1977 National Women’s Conference (Source: The International Examiner, December 1977, p. 7.)

Meeting a Legend!

October 20, 2017

“We must remember that one of the most insidious ways of keeping women and minorities powerless is to let them only talk about harmless and inconsequential subjects.” - Mitsuye Yamada

Thank you all for your generation donations! It means a lot us, and we are extremely grateful for your support. Gifts like yours help to support not only travel, but also interactions with historic figures of leadership and change, such as Mitsuye Yamada.

Justine Trinh has been preparing for an interview with Ms. Yamada, a pioneering Japanese American activist and poet who attended the conference as an observer. Justine had read Ms. Yamada’s writings in her Asian American Studies classes at UCI. In fact, Ms. Yamada taught as an adjunct assistant professor in Asian American Studies at UCI, and her papers are housed in UCI’s Special Collections and Archives. Justine and one of her research partners, Maribel Comparan, will accompany Professor Judy Wu to meet Ms. Yamada at her house this Friday. They are thrilled to meeting such a legendary figure in person and ask her about her experience.

Justine is in the inaugural cohort of the 4+1 B.A./M.A. Program in Asian American Studies. She joined the AAPI Women on the Move research project, because this topic is so relevant in today’s political climate. The National Women’s Conference took place in 1977, yet the issues discussed are still fiercely debated today, like abortion, equal pay, and childcare. Justine wanted to know more about how Asian American and Pacific Islander women participated, what they remembered about the conference, as well as if any of their opinions changed within the last forty years. Stay tuned for updates on Justine's research findings.


Preserving Stories from Our Past

October 17, 2017

​Thank you all who have supported our zotfunder campaign through sharing and generous donations.  We have completed our goal and reached over our intended amount.  All additional contributions from here on out will be used for additional conference travels and student research expenses.

Sophaline Chuong is a senior at UCI majoring in psychology and minoring in Asian American Studies.  As a daughter of Cambodian refugees, Sophaline learned the importance of preserving stories from our past. This passion for uncovering untold stories led her to pursue research about the AAPI women delegates and discover what motivated their political engagement. Sophaline focused in particular on the Pacific Islander delegates. Coming from American Samoa, Guam, the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, and other locales raised intriguing questions regarding the delegates’ and their communities geopolitical relationship to the United States.


Caption:  Diana Mara Henry photographed High Chief Pulu Peneueta, mayor of Pago Pago and a delegate from American Samoa at the First National Women's Convention in Houston, Texas, 1977.  Source:  Diana Mara Henry Papers (PH 51). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries (

Recently, our research team conducted an interview with Patricia Brandt, a delegate from Hawaii. Ms. Brandt identifies as Native Hawaiian and served as as former Chief of Staff for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. She also was a key leader in the Asian Pacific American Women’s Caucus that formed at the 1977 NWC and helped to sponsor a series of conferences specifically on Asian Pacific Islander American Women’s issues.  The name of our group, AAPI Women on the Move, is inspired by the conferences that Ms. Brandt co-organized.  


Citation:  The Daily Breakthrough (published everyday during the National Women’s Conference), 18 November 1977, p. 15.

Sophaline will be conducting an interview next week with Ms. Gregoria Smith (Gregoria Baty at the time of the conference). Ms. Smith was a delegate from Guam and a member of the Continuing Committee of the International Women’s Year that was appointed by President Carter. We are excited for the interview and to hear more stories about these AAPI Women on the Move!


AAPI Women on the Move!

We achieved our goal!

October 11, 2017

To our generous supporters,

Thank you so much for believing in us and our research project.  With your support, we have achieved over 100% of our fundraising goal in less than one week.  We are now all set financially to travel to Houston.

Any contributions beyond our initial target will be used for additional conference travels and student research expenses.  Our research team has applied to present our work at the Association for Asian American Studies Annual Conference, held in spring 2018 in San Francisco.  Also, some members of our team may travel beyond Southern California to conduct archival and/or oral history research.  We primarily have relied upon teleconferencing technology for the interviews thus far.  However, being able to meet our subjects face to face will yield even richer results and allow us immediate access to personal archival collections.

Thank you again for all your support.  Your generosity is enabling our team to gain valuable research experiences and to showcase the results of our investigations.

AAPI Women on the Move!


Becoming Visible!

October 09, 2017

Thanks to your generous support!  In the short time since we have launched, we have already raised $1578 and reached 87% of our goal!  We just need $222 more.  With your continued support, our research team will be on our way to Houston, following in the footsteps of Gloria Steinem, Maya Angelou, and Coretta Scott King all of whom were attendees at the 1977 National Women’s Conference. At the conference these women inspired others from all across the nation, including one Rita Brogan (Rita Fujiki Elway at the time of the conference).

Our team member Malire Lozada, a sophomore at UCSB majoring in Writing and Literature and minoring in Asian American Studies, was able to interview Rita, who lives in Seattle, Washington, for a first hand account of the conference. President Jimmy Carter appointed Brogan, the daughter of a military bride, as a member of the National Advisory Commission on the Observance of International Women's Year. Just 25 years of age in 1977, she was the youngest member of the commission and became an integral organizer of the conference.

Rita’s early social activism has inspired Malire, the daughter of Filipino immigrants who grew up in Mission Viejo, to take political responsibility in her own community.  Rita explained that Asian American women need to be more civically engaged and visible. Asian Americans are often regarded as the “model minority.” This stereotype is only magnified in Asian American women, who also are expected to conform to traditional ideas concerning womanhood and femininity.  

Caption:  "Commissioner Rita Fujiki Elway and others cheering at the passing of the Minority Amendment." Bridge: An Asian American Perspective (Winter 1977): 31.

We are preparing excitedly for our conference in Houston on November 4th.  We hope that the conference can be a starting point for a future as impactful as Rita’s.

AAPI Women on the Move!

We are on the Move!

October 06, 2017

Thank you to all of our generous donors who are helping support our student research project. We have reached 65% of our goal! We are still looking to raise $615 more to help us get to Houston. Our research team has been hard at work interviewing the amazing delegates who attended the conference.

Pauline Nguyen, a UCI senior in the Campuswide Honors Program who grew up in Westminster, California (Little Saigon), recently interviewed Gloria Kumagai from Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Ms. Kumagai grew up in the Twin Cities, where her parents had relocated after being interned during World War II.  She was active in the Minnesota Asian American Project in the mid-1970s and would play an important role in integrating women of color perspectives into the public school curriculum in St. Paul.

Her advice to Pauline, as a younger generation Asian American woman, is to learn about the women’s movements that came before her.  Pauline, whose grandmother was the first female judge in South Viet Nam, seeks to follow in her footsteps.  Pauline is writing about her grandmother for her honors thesis and is applying for law school. Pauline and the rest of the student team look forward to learning from other amazing role-models like Gloria Kumagai at the upcoming commemorative conference.  Please help us get there!   

We are all so excited to be inspired at The National Women’s Conference: Taking 1977 Into the 21st Century. Only 28 more days until we are on the move!

AAPI Women on the Move!

Choose a giving level


Maggie Gee

“I’m very optimistic about the world and will be alright… You can make changes. I think just one small person can make a little bit of change.” Your contribution of $10 to AAPI Women on the Move will cover the cost of a meal for one student. Thank you for your kind donations!


Yuri Kochiyama

“Remember that consciousness is power. Consciousness is education and knowledge. Consciousness is becoming aware….Tomorrow’s world is yours to build.” Your contribution of $25 to AAPI Women on the Move will cover the cost of local transportation for a day and will bring us a step closer to activist role-models, such as Yuri Kochiyama. Thank you for your kind donations!


Grace Lee Boggs

“Activism can be the journey rather than the arrival.” Your contribution of $50 to AAPI Women on the Move will cover the cost of meals for a day for one student. Your donation brings us a step closer to our journey! Thank you for your kind donations!


March Fong Eu

“If there is one field where women must be especially self-sufficient, it is politics.” Your donation of $100 to AAPI Women on the Move will cover the cost of lodging for two days per student. Thank you for your very generous donations!


Mitsuye Yamada

“We need to raise our voices a little more, even as they say to us, ‘This is so uncharacteristic of you.’ Invisibility is not a natural state for anyone.” Your gracious donation of $300 to AAPI Women on the Move will cover all airfare costs from Southern California to Houston, TX for one student. By donating you help us bring our voices to the conference. Thank you for your gracious donations!


Patsy Takemoto Mink

“It is easy enough to vote right and be consistently with the majority. But it is more often important to be ahead of the majority and this means being willing to cut the first furrow in the ground and stand alone for a while if necessary.” Your gracious donation of $500 to AAPI Women on the Move will cover the cost of lodging in Houston for ALL students. Thank you for your very gracious donations!

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