Selected Public Writing


Where Did the Term ‘Asian American’ Come From?

Education Week, June 3, 2021

Since the COVID-19 virus began to spread widely in the United States in March 2020, Asian Americans have been blamed for the ills of the pandemic. They have been targets of harassment, verbal and physical attacks, and hate incidents based on the false connections made between the origins of the virus in Wuhan, China, and Asian Americans in the United State. Amid this violence and harassment, it is imperative that we all learn about the demographics, histories, and contemporary experiences of the different national-origin groups that comprise Asian America.

How We Can Engage with Race and Racism in Research: Developing a Racial Analysis

William T. Grant Foundation, Reducing Inequality Series, May 26, 2021

Given the renewed attention to racial violence and inequality over the past year, scholars are thinking about ways to more deeply engage with race and racism in their own research. Although race is a social construct with no biological basis, it remains one of the most powerful and persistent group boundaries in American life today. What does it mean to develop a racial analysis?

Immigrant Protest: Why it Matters for the 2020 Election

With Helge Marahrens and Emily Meanwell, National Center for Institutional Diversity, October 27, 2020

Over the past four years, we have seen continued attacks on the foreign-born populations in the U.S., as anti-immigrant sentiment and federal directives have become a cornerstone of the Trump campaign and administration. As we near the historic 2020 presidential election, scholars and pundits alike will be watching to see how immigrants vote. Yet voting is only one way that citizens can engage in the political process and make their voices heard.

For a full list of Dina Okamoto’s public writing, view her CV.