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Asian American and Pacific Islander Anti-Discrimination Resources

This guide is meant to inform about discrimination and violence against the Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community in the United States. The intention is to provide a starting point for developing a vocabulary to discuss and contextualize th



This guide is meant to inform about discrimination and violence against the Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community in the United States. The intention is to provide a starting point for developing a vocabulary to discuss and contextualize this discrimination and associated violence through readings and other media and to be better prepared with research and information seeking strategies. This is by no means an exhaustive list of all the resources available--it's just a starting point.

For additional related resources, please check out our Anti-Racism Resources and COVID-19 guides.

Trigger Warning: Some of the content included in this guide may include violent, disturbing, triggering images, and content that refers to racism and discrimination. Please be advised.

What does AAPI mean?

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) is a term sometimes used in the United States to include both Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans.

For more about this term, see "Asian Pacific American" in Wikipedia.

What does "Model Minority" mean?

"The model minority myth is a framework that posits that some minority groups have the capacity to successfully adapt to new, competitive, or discriminatory environments. Groups that have been characterized as model minorities include white Jews, Asian Americans, Cuban Americans, and English-speaking Caribbean immigrants, with Asian immigrants in particular being most commonly identified as model minorities in the popular culture, political rhetoric, and scholarship of the post–civil rights era. Asian Americans are depicted as able to overcome racism and marginalization through their presumed self-reliance, collective orientation, families, and ethnic retention. It is also assumed that Asian Americans reject social welfare and government intervention, instead relying on a network of co-ethnics. Finally, Asian Americans are depicted as not engaging in social protest associated with African American demands for civil rights."1 

More information about how the "Model Minority" is actually a harmful myth and stereotype can be found in the Myth of the Model Minority section of this guide.


Nopper, T. K. (2013). Model minorities. In P. L. Mason (Ed.), Encyclopedia of race and racism (2nd ed.). Gale. Credo Reference:

What does "Xenophobia" mean?

"Xenophobia is a culturally based fear of outsiders. It has often been associated with the hostile reception given those who immigrate into societies and communities. In some cases xenophobia is based on a genuine fear of strangers and the unknown. More often it has a more concrete basis, however, especially as it involves competition for jobs, or ethnic, racial, or religious prejudice."


Xenophobia. (2000). In A. G. Johnson, The Blackwell dictionary of sociology (2nd ed.). Blackwell Publishers. Credo Reference:


"Although racism and xenophobia are distinct phenomena, they are closely interrelated. Racism generally implies value-laden distinctions based on presumed or aggrandized differences in physical characteristics, such as skin coloration, hair type, facial features, and body type. Xenophobia, by contrast, is the perception that people and communities identified as “other”’ are foreign to a given community or society, that they lack the capacity for integration, and that they can bring harm to the authentic identity of the majority.

Racism is an ideological construct; it assigns a certain race or ethno-religious group a position of power and privilege on the basis of the group’s physical and cultural attributes. It involves the establishment and sustenance of hierarchical relations in which the self-appointed superior race exercises domination and control over others. Xenophobia too refers to attitudes, prejudices, and behavior that reject, exclude, and vilify its targets based on the belief that they are perpetual outsiders who cannot be included or trusted. Consequently it is sometimes difficult to make a clear distinction between racism and xenophobia because they exhibit similar motivations for exclusive behavior designed to demean others and the exercise of political violence. However, there is one element missing in racism that is often present in xenophobia: religious identity. Manifestations of xenophobia occur not only against people with different physical characteristics but also against those of similar background who are believed to hold different and presumably dangerous and hostile religious convictions."


Xenophobia. (2008). In W. A. Darity, Jr. (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences (2nd ed., Vol. 9, pp. 158-161). Macmillan  

     Reference USA.