Southeast Asians Struggle For STEM Representation

Dec. 31, 2021
Hmong, Vietnamese, Filipino, Laotian, and Cambodian Americans all fall under the broad category of Asian, but their experiences in the U.S. can vary greatly from other Asian groups.

Because Asian Americans are often categorized as one broad group – and one that is not seen as underrepresented in STEM – they are often not afforded certain fellowships, grant funding and educational opportunities that are meant for underrepresented groups, such as Latino, Black, and Indigenous people, according to NPR. Yet the experiences of Hmong, Vietnamese, Filipino, Laotian, and Cambodian Americans in the U.S. when it comes to education levels can vary greatly from other Asian groups such as Chinese, Korean, Indian and Japanese.

According to NPR, Asian Americans have been calling attention to the issue in government data collection for decades and advocating for data disaggregation in the Asian American community. Disaggregation would make an individual’s country of origin more apparent rather than grouping people together from the continent. This detail, says NPR, would allow policymakers, health care professionals, educators and institutions to examine the nuances of different Asian populations, rather than lumping all Asian Americans together into one category – and effectively shutting them out of certain opportunities.

Read the entire article here.

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