Intriguing Activism Movements


Coalition of Immokalee Workers: I would research the methodology used to create change in improving wages and working conditions for growers of large retail food chains and supermarkets


Pebble Mine: There are valid arguments for those for and against the building of the gold-rich mine in Alaska. I would analyze the rhetoric of both sides.


AIDS Activism: I would focus on how activists helped change the perception of AIDS and how they created greater focus on AIDS treatment and healthcare.


Activism against Sexual Assault on Universities: I would argue that activism has only been low to moderately effective in reshaping the perception/gravity of sexual assault and punishing the assailants


Activism against Affirmative Action in Universities:

Many white and Asian Americans feel that affirmative action favors underqualified minority groups in university admission and purposefully discriminates against Asian Americans and whites. These claims have even led to lawsuits against universities like Harvard and UNC at Chapel Hill. I think first it is necessary to examine whether there is validity to these claims.

Some arguments point out that Asian Americans are not just one monolithic community whose members all hold the stereotype of being financially well-off and high-achievers. After delving into the history of affirmative action, I would examine whether affirmative action actually produces its intended results and whether the negative repercussions outweigh its successes. Without having done much research, at this point I hypothesize that more transparency in the process of university admission can help reduce the adverse effects of affirmative action. I think this topic can also extend itself to the debate whether minority groups such as blacks and Latinos are still under subjugation in today’s America. In other words, it is controversial whether minority groups are subjected the same disadvantages as they were in the past.


3 thoughts on “Intriguing Activism Movements”

  1. I think the affirmative action idea would definitely have a lot for you to explore! I also think that it would be really cool if you included something about the student atmosphere surrounding affirmative action at Stanford because I personally have heard a lot of different reactions to the idea of it from different peers, and I believe that there is a lot to dissect in just looking at the range of opinion about the subject even within our campus.


  2. In addition to delving into the history of affirmative action, you might also want to look into current racial biases, and other deciding factors as well when it comes to affirmative action, such as home environment, gerrymandering, and the oppression of certain cultures throughout the history of the USA. A look at which group actually benefits the most from affirmative action could also be helpful. Finally, a closer look at different Asian ethnicities and their relationship with America in terms of locality (East asian, Southeast asian, and South asian) could prove helpful as well.


  3. I really appreciate the nuance of this topic and how you mention that affirmative action shouldn’t be treated like a one-size fits all policy, but rather a fluid set of corrective policies that need to be modified with changing times. I’d like to contest one of your tangential points about minority groups like blacks and Latinos. Even if the socioeconomic differences between two ethnic groups is collapsed, that doesn’t mean that affirmative action should be stopped. For instance, the lack of role models in STEM for certain ethnic groups may be a huge factor in the lack of diversity of STEM classes. Just as how initiatives to increase gender diversity in STEM will help capture the talents of women that were previously discriminated against, it is important to increase the number of role models for different demographics in order to overcome long-standing cultural stigmas. I don’t believe bridging socioeconomic gaps is the key to solving this problem. All things considered, the question of when affirmative action should be ended becomes even harder to answer.


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