Asia Society Texas Center

Asia Society Texas Center

Asia Society Texas Center believes in the strength and beauty of diverse perspectives and people. As an educational institution, we advance cultural exchange by celebrating the vibrant diversity of Asia, inspiring empathy, and fostering a better understanding of our interconnected world. Spanning the fields of arts, business, culture, education, and

Asia Society Texas Center

Asia Society Texas Center believes in the strength and beauty of diverse perspectives and people. As an educational institution, we advance cultural exchange by celebrating the vibrant diversity of Asia, inspiring empathy, and fostering a better understanding of our interconnected world. Spanning the fields of arts, business, culture, education, and policy, our programming is rooted in the educational and cultural development of our community — trusting in the power of art, dialogue, and ideas to combat bias and build a more inclusive society.

About the Organization:

Asia Society Texas Center believes in the strength and beauty of diverse perspectives and people. As an educational institution, we advance cultural exchange by celebrating the vibrant diversity of Asia, inspiring empathy, and fostering a better understanding of our interconnected world. Spanning the fields of arts, business, culture, education, and policy, our programming is rooted in the educational and cultural development of our community — trusting in the power of art, dialogue, and ideas to combat bias and build a more inclusive society.

organizational budget

4 MILLION - 5 MILLION

existence for

31+ YEARS

Organization benefits AAPIs residing in the following state(s):

National • Texas

organizational budget

4 MILLION - 5 MILLION

existence for

31+ YEARS

Organization benefits AAPIs residing in the following state(s):

National • Texas

The Issue:

According to research conducted by the National Commission on Asia in the Schools, the overwhelming majority of K-12 educators have little content knowledge or training related to Asia. Limited curriculum resources exist, with a glaring absence of Asian American perspectives in the K-12 curriculum. Research studies evaluating U.S. History textbooks revealed that Asian American leaders were mentioned in only 15% of the textbooks, and those mentions consist of less than one page total of the entire textbook. Additional studies show textbook information as outdated, inaccurate, and harmful in reproducing stereotypes of Asian Americans. While many teachers, administrators, and policymakers recognize the need to educate students about other cultures, many schools lack the know-how, resources, and support necessary to provide such instruction. The AST leadership team created an Advisory Council comprised of educational, cultural, and business leaders. AST has visited 20+ museums in 6 cities, hosted a series of focus groups with 30 educators and 120 students, connected with school districts and community leaders, and formed a Global Educator Steering Committee and Teen Council. From our research, students and educators expressed an urgent need for content about Asia, particularly in a student centric platform. Selected student quotes from focus group: “I’m graduating high school this year, and I’ve never read about Asian American leaders. We focused on Western civilizations, but never spent much time learning about Asia.” “No more video lectures! Give us something that looks like it is made for us.” Selected educator quote from focus group: “We need trustworthy, reliable resources for teaching about Asia. I don’t have time to vet and search for materials.” Through meaningful discussions with our community members, we also recognize the mental toll impacting Asian and Asian Americans. From the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, hate crimes against Asian Americans rose 339% between 2020 and 2021. Also, according to Stop AAPI Hate and Edelman Data & Intelligence, one in five AAPIs experienced a hate incident in the past two years. We deeply believe education, especially with the youth, is the key that will bring a future of understanding and unity.

The Solution:

Later this year, AST is launching a bold new Education Project, comprised of two distinct but complementary initiatives: an onsite exhibition and an online learning platform. Focusing on the online learning platform, Asia in the Classroom consists of commissioned graphic novels, interactive blocks, and free and paid educator resources, which will transform the way educators teach about Asia within Texas and across the United States.
The platform contains 14 original graphic novels, featuring the cultures of Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam, and India. Each graphic novel offers a unique and immersive journey through detailed artwork and engaging character dialogue. The platform will also include 24 interactives and a separate educator portal to enhance and assess student learning. AST will continuously add new curriculum to the educator portal using innovative pedagogy, including lesson plans, downloadable PDFs, presentation slides, and on-demand professional development courses. The content developed for Asia in the Classroom is reviewed by the Scholars Circle, ensuring the information is a trustworthy resource for students and educators. Members are from Rice University, the University of Houston, University of Texas at Austin, St. Thomas University, and Houston Community College. The goals of the Education Project are to spark curiosity, build empathy, and develop global competency for students and educators.

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