by Van Anh Tran, ’13, + Healy Ko, ’13
The Listen to the Silence (LTS) staff and the Asian American Students Association (AASA) are proud to announce that we will be holding Stanford’s 17th annual Asian American issues conference on Saturday, February 2, 2013. LTS began at Stanford in 1995 out of the need to increase the visibility of Asian American issues and to educate those in the community and beyond about the conditions of the Asian American community. The conference goals have since expanded to include the empowerment of Asian American students to take direct action to improve their communities and work towards social justice in solidarity with other communities. Through the various workshops hosted by students, nonprofits, and community leaders, LTS provides a platform for discussion about the intersections of history, identity, and social change as an avenue for taking action and creating cross-cultural and cross-campus coalitions. In the evening, we will have a concert celebrating Asian American artists. Ultimately, the LTS conference aims to provide tangible tools and resources to inspire, educate, and empower participants to work towards creating a more equitable and fair society as part of the broader movement for social justice.
This year’s Listen to the Silence conference is titled, Click, Connect, Engage: From Social Media to Social Justice, and will focus on social media as a platform for activism in the Asian American community.
The Asian American Movement has come a long way since the 1960s — a time when the anti-war movement, the Third World Liberation Front, and the Civil Rights Movement informed how the Asian American community fought for social justice. What was apparent as social activism has since transformed in the twenty-first century through the emergence of a new platform for activism. The popularity of social media and new media, such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, has given Asian Americans more visibility. From the rise of Jeremy Lin to justice for Private Danny Chen, from the YouTube generation to the bone marrow drive campaigns, Asian Americans have used the Internet to be active agents of change, empowering the community to be visible in the mainstream.
Click, Connect, Engage: From Social Media to Social Justice aims to provide an avenue through which the Asian American community can better utilize social and new media as a vehicle for activism, grassroots mobilization, and coalition building to enact meaningful social change within and beyond the community. With a formidable online presence through user-created content and interconnected networks, Asian Americans are now considered an untapped demographic by traditional media, demonstrating both the previous invisibility as well as the current strength of the community. Yet, while the Internet has given greater visibility to the Asian American community, being seen is not enough. This year’s conference, Click, Connect, Engage, seeks to raise awareness of the different issues affecting our community and to address these issues using the resources that are right at our fingertips. We hope this conference will provide an outlet to discuss the role of Asian Americans in these online spheres and empower the community to effectively take advantage of this new frontier for social justice.
Registration for the conference is OPEN here: http://aasa.stanford.edu/lts/index.html. Please keep checking back as we will be updating information regarding our workshops, our keynote speakers, and our concert performers. We invite you to register and join us as we continue to learn, build, and grow together in an effort to work toward social justice!