Affirmative Action


DIVERSITY Banner_200.JPGAffirmative action has been under attack for decades, and AALDEF has been there to defend it since the 1970s.

Click here to read more about our activities and achievements. Affirmative action encompasses a broad array of race, ethnicity, and gender-conscious programs to promote equality of opportunity and racial diversity. This includes recruitment and outreach efforts as well as recognition of how a candidate enhances an institution's overall diversity, but never quotas. Quotas have long been illegal. Diversity considerations enable qualified individuals to gain fair access to employment, educational, and business opportunities.

The Model Minority Myth
Some people argue that Asian Americans do not need diversity considerations, and are hurt by it. They view Asian Americans as a "model minority" which has successfully integrated into all walks of society.

The truth is that Asian Americans are not a "model minority." Reports that Asian Americans have the highest household income and are generally academically successful hide a larger reality. For example, while Asian Americans may have household incomes equal to or greater than whites, they also have, on average, more individuals contributing to a family's household income. This helps explain the higher household (but not per capita) income level.

While some Asian ethnic groups have low poverty rates, other segments - particularly Southeast Asians and recent immigrants - have poverty levels far exceeding the national average. Asian Americans in the workplace also face a "glass ceiling," which limits their advancement into management and executive positions, and earn less than white counterparts with comparable education.

Similarly, Asian Americans are often portrayed as "whiz kids" who are overrepresented in the nation's top educational institutions. While a segment of our student population is highly visible on many university campuses, this has masked the hidden educational needs of other Asian Americans.

Benefits of Affirmative Action Policies
Asian Americans benefit from affirmative action in many ways, including enabling underrepresented Asian Americans to achieve equal access to college, reducing the isolation of students of color on campus, and preparing youth to be leaders in our multicultural society. For a full discussion on the benefits of diversity considerations, see our FAQs on the recent Supreme Court case, Fisher v. UT-Austin.


11.9.17

Nov. 15-16: AALDEF calls on Asian Americans to mobilize in DC for a clean DREAM Act

11.6.17

AALDEF to conduct exit poll & monitor poll sites in NJ, VA, NYC, & Boston on Election Day

10.30.17

Feb. 15, 2018: AALDEF lunar new year gala honoring Preet Bharara, Linda Greenhouse, and Chan Lee

10.8.17

Oct. 24: AALDEF "M. Butterfly" theater party and talkback with playwright David Henry Hwang

9.24.17

Oct. 1: DACA renewal clinic at Flushing Library

9.5.17

AALDEF denounces ending of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals; new DACA fact sheet

8.23.17

Federal appeals court upholds ruling in AALDEF case that Texas election law violates Voting Rights Act

8.7.17

AALDEF denounces introduction of RAISE Act to restrict legal imigration

7.17.17

AALDEF exit poll presentations in Miami, Las Vegas, Atlanta & San Diego

5.11.17

AALDEF statement on the president's voter fraud commission

5.9.17

Screening of new PBS film "Chinese Exclusion Act" and Q&A with Ric Burns and Li-shin Yu on May 23

4.18.17

New AALDEF report: The Asian American Vote in 2016

3.15.17

AALDEF joins amicus brief in State of Hawaii's challenge to revised Trump travel ban

3.6.17

AALDEF condemns Trump Administration's revamped anti-immigrant travel ban

2.17.17

AALDEF joins Korematsu Center amicus brief in challenge to Trump travel ban in Brooklyn federal court