The Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies Program had its origins in the demands of students, faculty, and activists in the Third World Liberation Front, an organization of African American, Asian American, Chicanos, and Native Americans on the UC Berkeley campus and at San Francisco State University in the late 1960’s.

In 1969, UC Berkeley organizers would demand scholarly programs that would focus on the understudied histories and situations of African Americans, Asian Americans, Chicanos and Native Americans.

Out of this movement came Ethnic Studies as a college (at SFSU) and as department at UC Berkeley. Asian American Studies was created out of this social movement, transforming the landscape of intellectual, political, and community work throughout universities in the U.S. and the world.