She is a Nobel Peace Prize nominee, has helped pass protections for sexual assault survivors unanimously through the US Congress and is training to become an astronaut — and she’s only 27.
Amanda Nguyen visited Cornell on Sept. 19 as the keynote speaker for the 10th-anniversary celebration of the Asian and Asian American Center, bringing with her a tale of Asian American determination, political will and activism that parallels the history of the A3C itself.
The center was borne out of a need to “make this campus more responsive to the specific needs of students of Asian descent,” after several suicides by Asian students and incidents of “anti-Asian assaults” sent shockwaves through the Cornell campus during the 2002-03 academic year, according to Prof. Derek Chang, history and Asian American studies.
A task force was then convened and issued recommendations. But it was not until 2009 — after the University faced years of sustained pressure from student activists, with help from alumni, faculty and staff — that the A3C opened its doors.
“Institutional leaders, rather than initiating change themselves, were pushed to it by stakeholders,” Chang said. “This center was created by you, and this center is for you.” Follow link to finish reading this article.