May 8th, 2024


As we begin Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage month, a time when we celebrate and uplift our community’s voices, NCAPA is extremely concerned about the violent repression and increasing militarization we have witnessed at universities across the country. Students and faculty are exercising their First Amendment rights to peacefully organize, and we urge administrators to prioritize the safety of all protesters – especially our Muslim, Jewish, and Palestinian American colleagues with whom we live, go to school and work, and organize. We denounce individuals who are taking advantage of these largely peaceful gatherings to engage in Islamophobic and antisemitic violence and further sow division.

We reject the idea that universities can either protect the protestors, or ensure the general safety of students on campuses. The two are deeply intertwined. In fact, we have witnessed multiple incidents where sending police onto campuses has escalated violence, jeopardizing the safety of students, faculty, and community members. As institutions that agitate for equity, safety, and change, we are deeply disturbed by the message these police raids send to all young people. We believe these actions demonstrate an alarming lack of respect for students, and show that young people are not truly welcome in spaces where decisions about their livelihood and sense of wellbeing are made.

As Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders, we work together to shape our own future as part of broader movements for civil rights and racial justice. We understand how this moment of civil disobedience by university students builds on the legacy of the historical struggle for justice – from the Civil Rights Movement, to the Anti-Vietnam War Movement, to the Movement for Black Lives. We urge administrators to uphold their stated values of encouraging diversity of thought and freedom of speech.

Based in Washington, D.C., the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans is a coalition of forty-one national Asian Pacific American organizations. We represent the interests of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) communities and provide a national voice for our communities’ concerns.