When Stop Hate OSU, a rapid response team of OSU students, was formed to respond to the Atlanta shooting on March 16th, 2021, many thought this was the first time AHPID (Asian, Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and Desi) students at OSU had really come together to protest widely. But this is untrue. Articles from The Lantern and oral histories from current and past OSU staff and faculty show that students have been advocating for themselves and for others from at least the 1980s until the present. So, this current student mobilization is building on decades of grassroots movements and pushing forward to incorporate social media, the arts, education, and other group-building. There seems to be a cycle of activism and protests involving timely and ever greater goals, which are put into motion by students and then responded to by the university. OSU AHPID students have responded to current events, expressed themselves, and fought for inclusivity and in solidarity many times over and will continue to do so. This exhibit is dedicated to the efforts of those AHPID activists and advocates—who were AHPID themselves but also included BIPOC and white students—at OSU over the years and aims to explore the connections between past and present activism and solidarity.
Throughout this exhibit, I will be using the term AHPID because it is inclusive, more specific than “Asian American,” and, I believe, inspires solidarity without losing the important differences in experience. I modeled this term after the PBS Voices episode of A People’s History of Asian America entitled “Are You “AAPI” or “Asian American”? It's Complicated.” However, when I am quoting from Lantern articles, talking about past terminology (like “Asian American,” which is still widely used), or using categories students specifically self-identified as, I will use those terms instead of AHPID. The use of the many iterations of AHPID terminology varies from person to person; all can be valid in the right context.