Diane Fujino

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Diane Fujino

Diane Fujino research and teaching interests center on Asian American social movements, Japanese American radicalism, Afro-Asian solidarities, race and gender studies, and biography and oral history. Samurai among Panthers: Richard Aoki on Race, Resistance, and a Paradoxical LifeHer study of legendary activist Yuri Kochiyama developed into the first biography of an Asian American woman activist, Heartbeat of Struggle: The Revolutionary Life of Yuri Kochiyama (Minnesota Press, 2005), and a gendered analysis of leadership in an essay in Want to Start a Revolution: Radical Women in the Black Freedom Struggle. Her edited book, Wicked Theory, Naked Practice (Minnesota Press, 2009), examines the Afro-Asian influences on the music and Left politics of Fred Ho. Fujino's current project, Samurai Among Panthers, studies the life of Richard Aoki, Hearbeat of Struggle Covera leader of the Black Panther Party, Third World strike at UC Berkeley, and Asian American Political Alliance. She published the first historiography of Asian American social movement studies in The Journal of Asian American Studies (2008). She has also published essays in a range of scholarly and activist journals and anthologies, including Social Justice, Journal of Men's Studies, AFRO/ASIA, Teaching Asian America, Dragon Ladies, andLegacy to Liberation.

Fujino is associate professor and chairof Asian American studies and an affiliate faculty member of Black studies at UC Santa Barbara. Before coming to UCSB, she earned her Ph.D. in psychology from UCLA, was an Institute of American Cultures postdoctoral fellow at UCLA Asian American studies, and a postdoctoral fellow at the National Research Center on Asian American Mental Heath.

Fujino teaches courses on the Asian American Movement, Third World Wicked Theory Coversocial movements, Japanese American history, Asian American gender and sexuality, Asian Americans and the Black radical imagination, and a freshman seminar on Yuri Kochiyama. She initiated the Community Studies and Peer Advising programs in Asian American studies at UCSB and also taught an experimental high school outreach course on Puerto Rican history and resistance, in conjunction with the art exhibit, "Not Enough Space," exhibited at La Casa de la Raza in Santa Barbara. She serves on the Board of the MultiCultural Center and the Chancellor's Outreach Advisory Board at UCSB as well as the Scholars Committee of the Japanese American National Museum. She was featured in "AOKI: A Documentary Film," was invited to give the keynote address before the first-year and transfer student class at the 2009 New Student Convocation, and speaks on Asian American resistance and Afro-Asian politics and broadly on education, political prisoners, and activism.


ASIAN! or Asian Sisters (& Brothers) for Ideas in Action Now!, began in November 1994 in Santa Barbara, California, after students in an Asian feminism class attended a Los Angeles rally protesting Jessica McClintock's failure to pay Chinese garment workers. Diane Fujino, Robyn Rodriguez, and Cheryl Deptowicz established ASIAN! as a radical political group to uplift humanity, with an emphasis on improving conditions facing Asian and Asian American women. As mentioned the group, the name changed to include "brothers," but the focus on women's leadership remained. Given the lack of radical activism in Santa Barbara and in fine with ASIAN!'s belief that systemic oppression underlies and connects multiple issues, ASIAN! has organized political forums and campaigns around, among other topics, garment workers; sex industry; political prisoners, particularly focusing on Puerto Rican POWs and letter writing to California political prisoners; and anti-imperialist struggles in the United States, Philippines, Hawai'i, North and South Korea, Okinawa, Puerto Rico, and Africa. ASIAN! has introduced political issues to the campus community and its membership by bringing prominent radicals to speak on the UCSB campus, including Yuri Kochiyama, Geronimo ji Jaga, Ramona Africa, and Rafael Cancel Miranda. [1]

Palestine delegation

US Prisoner, Labor and Academic Delegation with colleagues from the Institute for Women's Studies at Birzeit University, Birzeit, Palestine, March 29, 2016
At a moment of growing resistance to state violence and injustice the world over, a delegation of nineteen anti-prison, labor and scholar-activists from the United States traveled to Palestine in March 2016. Our delegation included former US-held political prisoners and social prisoners, former Black Panther Party members, prison abolitionists, trade unionists and university professors. We are the first US delegation to Palestine to focus specifically on political imprisonment and solidarity between Palestinian and US prisoners. Our delegation also focused on recent labor struggles in Palestine for bread and dignity, and on the struggles of Palestinian intellectuals to assert the rightful claims of Indigenous Palestinians to their land, culture and history.