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Amicus Brief: Fisher v. University of Texas

November 3, 2015 News

Asian Americans Advancing Justice (Advancing Justice), the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), have filed three separate amicusbriefs urging the nation’s highest court to uphold University of Texas at Austin’s (UT-Austin) affirmative action policy.

Together, the briefs represent over 160 organizations in support of equal opportunity and affirmative action in higher education, representing the tremendous diversity within Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities, including Arab, Filipino, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander organizations. In addition, the briefs represent 53 individuals, including higher education faculty and officials. (See the full-list of sign ons to the Advancing Justice brief below)

The amicus brief filed by Advancing Justice argues that an applicant cannot be evaluated holistically without the consideration of race. In UT-Austin’s holistic review program, where test scores play a dominant role in the admissions process, it is even more crucial to consider race because these tests disproportionately limit access to educational opportunities for minority students. The brief also shows how race conscious admissions programs opened the doors of higher education for AAPI students after a century of discrimination and exclusion and continue to benefit many AAPI students who face significant educational barriers today.

A closer look at disaggregated data reveals large disparities in educational attainment among Asian American ethnic groups. Based on U.S. Census Bureau data, the educational attainment of Hmong, Cambodian, Laotian, and Vietnamese Americans is the lowest among Asian American ethnic groups and similar to those of Latinos and African Americans. Only 61 percent of Hmong Americans hold a high school diploma, while only 12 percent of Laotian Americans have graduated from college.

The Asian American Advancing Justice (Advancing Justice) amicus brief in support of affirmative action represents 141 Asian American and Pacific Islander organizations, student groups, and bar associations, as well as, 9 members of academia.

18 Million Rising

After Bruce

Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment

American Citizens for Justice/Asian American Center for Justice (ACJ)

American Educational Research Association: Research on the Education of Asian and Pacific Americans, Special Interest Group

Anakbayan Inland Empire

Arab American Action Network (AAAN)

Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF)

Asian American and Pacific Islander Research Coalition (ARC)

Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area

Asian American Psychological Association

Asian and Latino Community Services, Inc.

Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (“APIASF”)

Asian Counseling and Referral Service

Asian Immigrant Women Advocates

Asian Law Alliance

Asian Pacific American Bar Association – PA

Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Los Angeles

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, Los Angeles Chapter

Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center

Asian Pacific American Network

Asian Pacific American Women Lawyers Alliance (APAWLA)

Asian Pacific Americans for Civic Engagement – Washington (APACEvotes); (APACEC4)


Asian Pacific Environmental Network

Asian Pacific Islander Equality – Los Angeles (API Equality – LA)

Asian Pacific Islander Equality – Northern California (A{I Equality – Northern CA)

Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach (API Legal Outreach)

Asian Pacific Islander Obesity Prevention Alliance

Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council: A3PCON

Asian Services in Action, Inc. (ASIA)

Asian/Pacific Islander Recruitment and Retention Center (“REACH!”)


Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO)

Cal-State University, Northridge’s (CSUN) Dreams To Be Heard (DTBH)

California Immigrant Policy Center (“CIPC”)

Center for Asian Pacific American Students at Pitzer College (CAPAS)

Chinatown Community for Equitable Development (CCED)

Chinese American Service League

Chinese Progressive Association – San Francisco

Claremont Colleges – 7-College Asian American Advisory Board

Claremont Colleges, Kasama

Coalition of API Americans Collaborating Together to Unite the Southwest (CACTUS)

Columbia Law School APALSA

Cornell University, Asian American Studies Department

Cornell University, Society for Asian American Graduate Affairs

Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA)

Council on American-Islamic Relations (“CAIR”)

Desis Rising Up & Moving (DRUM)

East Coast Asian American Student Union (ECAASU)

Empowering Pacific Islander Communities

Famili Pe Taha

Filipino Advocates for Justice

Filipino Migrant Center

Fresno Interdenominational Refugee Ministries


Gay Asian and Pacific Islander Men of New York (GAPIMNY)

Harvey Mudd College – Office of Institutional Diversity

Hmong American Partnership

Hmong Innovating Politics

International Community Health Services

Japanese American Bar Association (JABA)

Japanese American Citizens League – Seattle (JACL – Seattle)

K-12 News Network

K.W Lee Center for Leadership



Korean American Bar Association of Southern California

Korean American Coalition – Los Angeles (KAC)

Korean American Community Services

Korean American Resource and Cultural Center

Korean Resource Center

Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance

Law Offices of Vivek Mittal

Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Inc.

Little Tokyo Service Center CDC

Marshallese Educational Initiative

Merced Lao Family Community, Inc.

Minnesota APABA

National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA)

National Federation of Filipinio American Associations (NaFFAA)

National Filipino American Lawyers Association

National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC)


Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress

Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance,Inc (OCAPICA)

Organization of Chinese Americans – Asian Pacific American Advocates (OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates)

Pacific Islander Health Partnership (PIHP)

Philipppine American Bar Association (PABA)

Pilipino Worker’s Center (PWC)

Polynesian Community Center – Alaska

Pomona College, AAMP

Pomona College, Asian American Resource Center

RAISE: Revolutionizing Asian American Immigrant Stories on the East Coast



Refugee & Immigrant Services Northwest

Rice University, Asian Pacific American Student Alliance


Scripps College – Asian American Student Union

Scripps College, Scripps Communities of Resources and Empowerment (SCORE)

South Asian American Policy & Research Institute (SAAPRI)

South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)

South Asian Bar Association of North America (SABA North America)

South Asian Bar Association of Northern California (SABA-NC)

South Asian Bar Association of Southern California (SABA-SC)

South Asian Helpline & Referral Agency (SAHARA)

Southeast Asian Coalition

Southeast Asian Community Alliance (SEACA)

Students of Color in Public Policy, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor


Taulama for Tongans

Tongan Community Service Center

Travis County Asian American Democrats (TCAAD)

UC Berkeley – Asian Pacific American Student Development

UC Berkeley School of Law, Womyn of Color Collective

UC Berkeley, ASUC Office of Senator Kathy Tran

UC Hastings College of the Law, APALSA

UC Irvine, Asian Pacific Student Association (APSA)

UCLA School of Law, Asian Pacific American Law Journal (APALJ)

UCLA School of Law, Asian Pacific Islander Law Students Association (APILSA)

UCLA School of Law, David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy (PILP)

UCLA, Asian American Studies Center (UCLA AASC)

UCLA, Asian Americans Studies Graduate Student Association

UCLA, Asian Pacific Coalition

UCLA, Samahang Pilipino

UCSB, Asian American Studies Department


United States Palestinian Community Network (USPCN)

University of Calfornia, Davis – Asian Pacific Student Alliance

University of Massachusetts Lowell

University of Michigan, APALSA

University of Michigan, Ford School, Students of COlor in Public Policy

USC Asian Pacific American Student Assembly

USC Student Coalition of Asian Pacific Empowerment (SPACE)


USF – Vietnamese American Law Society (VALS)


West Coast Asian Pacific Islander Student Union (WCAPSU)

Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience

Yale Law School, Board of APALSA

Rachel Endo, Hamline University

Jasleen Kohli, UCLA-CRS

Federick Ngo, USC Phd Candidate in Urban Education Policy

David Perez, Miami University

Janelle Wong, University of Maryland – Bethesda

Oiyan Poon, Loyola University Chicago

Diane Fujino, UC Santa Barbara

Riki Robinson, Pitzer College

Gary Okihiro, Columbia University

Suman Pendakur, Harvey Mudd Office of Institutional diversity