Asian Studies Program receives Freeman grant for minority serving institutions

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: Mar 2, 2005

HONOLULU — The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Asian Studies Program has received a three-year $300,000 grant from the Freeman Foundation to develop Asian studies programs in minority-serving institutions.

The goal of the program is to infuse Asian topics into courses at Minority Serving Institutions with significant African American, Native American, Asian American and Hispanic populations. Through the program, faculty members selected through a national competition will come to UH Mānoa during the summer for workshops, which will be followed by study travel to an Asian country or region. Participants will use the material and experiences to include Asia in classes such as history, political science, culture studies and literature at their home institutions.

"UH Mānoa is ideal for this project with our extensive Asian resources. Mainland colleges come to us for winter break and summer short courses, and our professors often lead teacher workshops elsewhere, such as the East-West Center. In addition, UH Mānoa is itself a minority-serving institution with a large Asian heritage population," said Ricardo D. Trimillos, chair of the Asian Studies Program and author of the proposal.

An underlying goal of the program is to encourage a diversity of American perspectives on Asia. Knowledge of Asia is becoming increasingly important today with the region‘s growing importance in globalization, transnational concerns and political events. Planning has already begun for the first year of the grant, which will focus on Korea. Anticipated future sites include Indonesia and Japan.

The Freeman Foundation is committed to bringing a greater understanding of Asia to the United States through education. The UH Mānoa Asian Studies Program also holds a Freeman grant to strengthen undergraduate education. The Asian Studies for Minority Serving Institutions project builds upon a program begun by the UH Mānoa Center for Southeast Asian Studies and its previous director, Stephen O‘Harrow.