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Guide to the Asian Women United Records TAM.320

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
10th Floor
New York, NY 10012
(212) 998-2630

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

Collection processed by I-Ting Emily Chu, 2008

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on August 28, 2019
Finding aid written in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

 Record updated by Rachel Searcy to reflect 2018 accretion  , August 2019

Historical Note

Asian Women United (AWU) is a New York City based organization, formed in 1978 when the Asian American Women's Caucus split into two groups. As stated in their Statement of Purpose, AWU worked "towards a society free from race and sex discrimination through the development of women as community leaders with an understanding of the Asian woman's issues and concerns." The organization held regular meetings and produced a monthly newsletter entitled In Touch. AWU organized many events including a concert, fundraising events, a mother/daughter social, and various workshops. AWU also participated in International Women's Day, the Women Working Together conference, the Coalition of Asian Women's Groups, and Asian/Pacific American Heritage festivals. Leftist and feminist in its ideological roots, AWU also took official stands on issues such as abortion rights, immigration and refugee policy, discrimination against Asian Americans and distorted images in the mass media, and the Silver Palace Restaurant strike, ILGWU Local 23-25 organizing and other labor struggles.

AWU's first president, Goldie Chu, was active at the local, state and national levels. She was a delegate to the First International Women's Year gathering in Houston, Texas in 1977 and became vice-chair of the National Women's Political Caucus. Other AWU activists included vice-president Angie Cruz, Liz Young, Jacqueline (Jackie) Huey, Joyce Wong, Ginger Chih, Lolita Lacson, Ruby Tsang and Grace Lyu-Volckausen.

In 1982, Wing Productions made a documentary film called, Ourselves, which was both a portrait of key members of AWU and a celebration and examination of several generations of Asian American women's experience. It was shown on PBS stations and in screenings in a number of cities.

In 1986, the organization adopted a less formal structure; in place of regular business meetings it proposed to convene occasional reunions and maintain less formal networks of communication.