FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 22, 2023
Media contact: Zowee Aquino (firstname.lastname@example.org / 757-842-0138)
Asian Americans Support Equity
Annandale, Virginia – Hamkae Center condemns the filing of this petition by the Coalition for TJ, represented by the Pacific Legal Foundation. Asian Americans should be celebrating how a policy change corrected a systemic failure to identify many qualified students and created opportunities for them, including low-income Asian Americans, to attend a prestigious public high school.
Given the facts of the situation, Hamkae Center questions the actual motives of the Coalition for TJ in pursuing this baseless case. These facts include:
- that Asian American applicants are accepted at a much higher rate than students of any other racial group;
- the mean grade point average (GPA) among those applicants was higher than it had been in five years;
- more girls, English language learners, economically disadvantaged students, Black, and Latino are now attending; and
- the Fourth Circuit Court found that: ‘In the 2021 application cycle, Asian American students attending middle schools historically underrepresented at TJ saw a sixfold increase in offers, and the number of low-income Asian American admittees to TJ increased to 51 — from a mere one in 2020.”
Controlling access to education has been a way for people in power to protect their own status and exclude others from reaching their full potential. Virginia has a sordid history precisely with this sort of organized activity to deny targeted groups of students, specifically Black students, access to public education. Rather than learning painful lessons during this ugly period in history, some Asian Americans would rather side with conservative activists.
Now, more than ever, Hamkae Center is calling for Asian Americans in Virginia to be in solidarity with communities of color and support inclusive K-12 public school policies so that education cannot be used to divide us. And together, we can turn our attention to the real longstanding and critical K-12 education issues that kids in Virginia face, like teacher shortages, inadequate funding for public schools, and student safety.
Hamkae Center is a community-based organization with a mission to organize Asian Americans in Virginia to achieve social, economic, and racial justice. Alongside its community members, Hamkae Center works to build a future in which low- and middle-income, immigrant, people of color, and all marginalized communities can fully participate in U.S. society and work together as makers of lasting change.
We are the Virginia affiliate of the NAKASEC Network. Other members include HANA Center (Illinois), Woori Center (Pennsylvania), MinKwon Center for Community Action (New York), and Woori Juntos (Texas).