For DonorsFor Applicants

Advancing Social Justice for Asians Scholarship

1 winner$500
Application Deadline
Apr 10, 2022
Winners Announced
May 10, 2022
Education Level
Recent scholarship winners

As the coronavirus spread through nations across the world, anti-Asian discrimination has followed closely behind.

While the public spotlight has focused on discrimination against East and Southeast Asians in the United States, the broader story of violence and discrimination against Asians, along with the complex intersectionalities of Asian American history, continues to be ignored. The recent anti-Asian hate crimes are not in fact a reaction to COVID-19, but rather a symptom of hundreds of years of discrimination, exclusion, and objectification.

In order to address anti-Asian sentiment and attacks upon the Asian community, the ICFAC scholarship fund was founded. The ICFAC Advancing Social Justice for Asians Scholarship Fund covers the advancement of studies for topics surrounding social justice for Asians – from supporting those pursuing learning and research in the topic, to sustaining ICFAC’s continued community initiatives, educational events, a variety of other resources and opportunities, and building the fund.

The Advancing Social Justice for Asians Scholarship will be awarded to a graduate or advanced degree student with an interest in advancing social justice for Asians. Those interested in pursuing a career in law, politics, journalism, education, community organizers, and social justice activists are encouraged to apply.

To apply, please write an essay about why you are passionate about advancing social justice for Asians, what actions you have taken in support of Asians and how you will use the scholarship award to continue to do social justice work for the Asian community.

Selection Criteria:
Published June 4, 2021
Essay Topic

Please write a proposal with a little bit about yourself, your goals and why you are passionate in advancing social justice studies for Asians, how you have endeavored to take action, and how you will use the resources granted.

400–600 words

Winners and Finalists

Winning Application

Ashley Koh
University of North TexasDenton, TX
As a child of immigrants, I walked the tightrope between two vastly different cultural worlds: the majority culture of White American society and my Korean immigrant home. From an early age, I acted as a cultural broker in the family and felt protective of my parents. I often tried to shield them from discrimination and microaggressions, namely by translating and speaking English for them. Likewise, my parents were protective of me and my Korean identity. However, the western ideals I adopted such as autonomy and egalitarianism often clashed with my parent’s collectivist and patriarchal views. My parents' unfamiliarity with the U.S. education system also led me to journey my academic career largely on my own. I, like countless other bicultural children, struggled to balance the tightrope of two cultural worlds. When I entered Wheaton College, a predominantly White school, I found solace in the school’s Asian Student Union. In the union, I underwent a form of racial socialization. Learning about how racial stereotypes impact my self-concept led me to identify the internalized racism that I carried with me throughout childhood. As I started to uproot the internalized racism and receive social support from my Asian American peers, I began to appreciate the strengths in my Korean culture and my parents. During my junior year, I became the Vice-President of the Asian Student Union, which allowed me to also advocate for the empowerment of other minority students on campus. I pioneered collaborative events with the Black and Latinx Student Unions to initiate conversations about interracial conflicts and alliances. Through these gatherings, I learned about our varied and shared experiences of racism. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S., the surge of xenophobic rhetoric and anti-Asian discrimination motivated me to join the COVID-19 Anti-Asian Racism lab, as a way to advocate for Asian and Asian American mental health. Under the mentorship of Drs. Charles Liu and Tao Liu, we conducted a longitudinal study to investigate how the pandemic and a variety of psycho-social factors impact the frequency of experienced racism and the mental health outcomes of Asians in the U.S. Using our national sample, we found that experiences of racism were associated with increased symptoms of depression, anxiety, and somatization. I had the privilege of presenting the findings at the Asian American Psychological Association Convention and was struck by the power of research in advocacy work. The various presentations on Asian American mental health underscored the importance of studying the effects of vicarious racism, acculturative stress, and bi-cultural development on Asian Americans. Thus, I aim to continue researching aspects of acculturation and racism, as these are formative yet under-studied aspects of the Asian American experience. I am currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at the University of North Texas. The Advancing Social Justice for Asians Scholarship will help finance my education and will allow me to continue to advocate for mental health research for Asians and underrepresented communities.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Apr 10, 2022. Winners will be announced on May 10, 2022.

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