DOI: 10.3390/educsci14030305 ISSN: 2227-7102

The Asian American Dilemma in DEI: Finding Space in the Diversity Debates

Carrie Liu Currier
  • Public Administration
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, better known as DEI, has transformed higher education. Since its inception in the 1960s, DEI has experienced a series of highs and lows. In response to racial justice activism that emerged in 2020, DEI initiatives started to gain more traction. However, several new challenges threaten the future of DEI. The 2023 Supreme Court ruling striking down the use of affirmative action in admissions, the conservative backlash against Critical Race Theory, and the increase in racially targeted violence have slowed the momentum of DEI initiatives across the country. In addition, certain groups, like Asian Americans, face a unique dilemma in the diversity debates as racial and ethnic minorities that are considered overrepresented in higher education. This essay examines where Asian Americans fit in the diversity debates today and explores what the situation looks like for Asian Americans in higher education when DEI is under attack. It concludes by offering suggestions for making Asian Americans more visible and what institutions should be doing to enhance wellness for minorities on campus.

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