Chinese for Affirmative Action

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Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA) is a San Francisco-based advocacy organization. Founded in 1969, its initial goals were equality of access to employment and the creation of job opportunities for Chinese Americans. The group broadened its mission in the subsequent decades.[1] As of 2007, its stated mission is "to defend and promote the civil and political rights of Chinese and Asian Americans within the context of, and in the interest of, advancing multiracial democracy in the United States"[2]

Major campaigns[edit]

CAA represented the plaintiffs in Lau v. Nichols, a 1974 United States Supreme Court case expanding access to bilingual education.[1][3]

In 1978, CAA successfully advocated that the United States Census break down the single "Asian" category on the questionnaire into multiple distinct groups, to help better understand the Asian American population. In 1999, CAA helped advocate increased outreach in undercounted communities for the 2000 Census.[1]

From 1982 onwards, CAA was involved in the national campaign on behalf of Chinese-American hate crime victim Vincent Chin.[4]

In 2000, CAA helped organize a national coalition in support of Taiwanese-American scientist Wen Ho Lee.[1][5]

In 2003, Chinese for Affirmative Action, the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, and the Asian Law Caucus jointly launched Asian Americans for Civil Rights and Equality (AACRE), a Sacramento, California-based organization doing progressive Asian American state-level political advocacy.[1][2]

In 2014, Chinese for Affirmative Action actively supported the Senate Constitutional Amendment 5 (SCA 5) to limit the number of Asian American students entering public universities in California. Numerous real Asian American organizations strongly protested their position and often compared them to the JACL during Japanese Internment in the 1940s. College professors have been using CAA's action to stimulate class discussion in Asian American history courses.[citation needed]


CAA funding comes from non-Chinese groups- such as the Jewish Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund.[6]


Asian admission quotas[edit]

In the 1990s, CAA sided with the San Francisco Unified School District in defending a consent decree that capped attendance at Lowell High School from any given racial group. Per the policy, Chinese-American students had to score higher to attend than other groups. CAA's stance was at odds with that of most Asian parents, who opposed the policy.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "CAA - Four Decades of Civil Rights Leadership". Chinese for Affirmative Action. Chinese for Affirmative Action. Retrieved 2007-11-13. 
  2. ^ a b "AACRE Partners". Asian Americans for Civil Rights and Equality. Archived from the original on 2007-07-03. Retrieved 2007-11-13. 
  3. ^ Fine, Doris R. (1986). When Leadership Fails: Desegregation and Demoralization in the San Francisco Schools. Piscataway, New Jersey: Transaction Publishers. p. 119. ISBN 0-88738-079-4. 
  4. ^ Yip, Alethea. "Remembering Vincent Chin". AsianWeek. Archived from the original on 2007-03-18. Retrieved 2007-11-13. 
  5. ^ Koo, George (2000-10-13). "The Impact of the Wen Ho Lee Case on Asian Americans". Committee of 100. Retrieved 2007-11-13. 
  6. ^ "Chinese for Affirmative Action". Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund. 
  7. ^ Schultz, Jeffrey D. (2000). Encyclopedia of Minorities in American Politics. Greenwood Press. p. 302. ISBN 1-57356-148-7. 

External links[edit]