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Research & Advocacy

Cultural Preservation Policy and AAPIs: Reimagining Historic Preservation in AAPI Communities

AAPI Nexus Journal: AAPIs 2040 Issues ("Special Issue on AAPIs 2040" 14:2 (Fall 2016))


The UCLA Asian American Studies Center, UCLA Center for Neighborhood Knowledge, Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies, and member organizations of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans have released two AAPI Nexus Journal publications that challenge AAPI community leaders to examine where we've been, where we are, and where we want to be in 2040.


Guest-edited by S. Floyd Mori and Elena Ong, the special "AAPIs 2040" issues contain essays by community leaders and scholars. Using population projections of AAPIs in 2040, these publications serve to inform policy makers at the local, state and federal level on AAPI communities and the AAPI electorate, and to help develop and advocate for leadership and a policy trajectory that will serve as a foundation for AAPIs in America's future.


Dr. Michelle Magalong and Dr. Dawn Mabalon co-authored an essay in the 2016 issue entitled, “Cultural Preservation Policy and Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders: Reimagining Historic Preservation in Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities”.


Historic and cultural preservation is a significant issue for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) seeking to safeguard important historic places, preserve unique cultural practices, and receive official recognition of civic contributions. However, few sites associated with AAPI history and cultures have been recognized as landmarks. With the fiftieth anniversary of the Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the Department of the Interior and the National Park Service have embarked on an Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Initiative to explore how the legacy of AAPIs can be recognized, preserved, and interpreted for future generations. To understand what we could be commemorating on the act’s fifieth anniversary, this essay offers policy recommendations for preserving, landmarking, and interpreting AAPI historic and cultural sites into 2040 and beyond.


This article was developed from a policy brief developed and presented at the 2012 National APIA Historic Preservation Forum in Los Angeles. A PDF copy of this essay can be found here

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Equity and Social Inclusion from the Ground Up: Historic Preservation in Asian and Pacific Islander American Communities 

Bringing together a broad range of academics, historians, and practitioners, this second volume (published in 2020), Preservation and Social Inclusion, in the Issues in Preservation Policy series documents historic preservation’s progress toward inclusivity and explores further steps to be taken.

Dr. Michelle Magalong contributed to this volume with her essay "Equity and Social Inclusion from the Ground Up: Historic Preservation in Asian and Pacific Islander Americans Communities," with an exploration of the importance of community participation in historic preservation for underrepresented communities through the lens of APIAHiP's educational and advocacy work in elevating community-based efforts within APIA communities and in partnerships with preservation agencies and organizations. 

View the online version of the article here

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A response to the National Council for Preservation Education's open letter on racial diversity (August 2020)

In July 2020, an open letter from the leadership of the National Council for Preservation Education (NCPE) to their membership on racial diversity in historic preservation was published (link to the open letter here).

Given the content of this open letter, a group of preservation scholars and practitioners created a response letter. The undersigned are preservation educators, students, and practitioners who believe that racial equity is of utmost importance for the future of historic preservation. In response to the recent open letter from NCPE on racial diversity and inclusivity in teaching preservation to the membership of the National Council for Preservation Education, the response letter made the recommendations and observations to illuminate the need for more impactful and systemic reforms than those listed in the letter. Transforming the field of historic preservation is essential and paramount given the diversity of our nation, its people, and its built environment. Addressing systematic racism and anti-Blackness is one step forward, and NCPE as a national organization must address more impactful and systemic reforms. A PDF copy of the response letter can be found here

Note: Members of APIAHiP and allies were involved in this response letter. The PDF of the response letter is hosted on this website but is not an official statement from APIAHiP.

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