How We Live

We are not a monolith nor the Model Minority.

We are a diverse community who face many challenges in living our everyday lives.

Mainstream news often fail to address our need for an intersectional view of race, gender, and culture.

Not a Monolith

More than 24 million or 7% of the U.S. population are of Asian decent. Many of us share a collectivist culture, and value family and education. Yet we are heterogeneous in immigration path, sub-culture, religion, educational attainment, and income.

Vietnamese Americans have likely immigrated to the U.S. as refugees, are registered Republicans, and practice Buddhism. Asian Indians have likely immigrated to the U.S. on a work or student visas, are highly educated, are registered Democratics, and practice Hinduism.

An overwhelming majority of us, 71%, see ourselves closer to people of color. We face wide income disparities and have lower wealth than White Americans, despite the portrayal of us as being successful, White-adjacent or fitting into the Model Minority stereotype.

Not Your Average Narrative

Nearly 60% of Asian Americans are foreign-born compared to only 14% for the overall U.S. population. Foreign-born Asian Americans make up 1/3 of the total U.S. foreign born population.

Our immigration paths are different. Burmese, Cambodian, Hmong among other Southeast immigrants came to the US as refugees with limited language proficiency and education. Many Asian Indians and Chinese immigrants since 1990 came to the U.S. on highly skilled work visas or international student visas. Over 107,000 adoptees from China (86,000) and South Korea (21,000) were placed with U.S. families.

For many of us, the 1.5+ generation will be better off than our parents’ generation, contrasting the current narrative of a younger American generation worst off than their parents’ generation. More of our Asian elderly are poor and face language barriers. Our collectivism also means that more of us provide economic support to parents and extended family.

We belong and are not forever foreign. We have been here many generations, provided outsized contributions and called America home.