The Vermont Connection


Asian Americans may not be considered “people of color” (POC) in higher education because of stereotypes of Asian Americans such as the model minority myth. White supremacy creates a racial hierarchy that creates a misperception that Asian Americans are not marginalized compared to other POC in order to cause strife among all racial minority groups. In higher education, this racial hierarchy manifests through exclusionary practices in diversity programming, recruitment, and admissions that can lead to the disconnection of Asian Americans from the rest of the POC community. Issues regarding affirmative action and the recent Harvard lawsuit are salient examples that are indicative of Asian Americans’ separation from “typical” POC groups in society and higher education. The exploration of this topic through scholar- ship and the author’s personal narrative as an Asian American in higher education will lead to recommendations for creating connections to the POC community for and with Asian American students while highlighting inequitable practices and policies.