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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.wagner@nyu.edu


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

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Asian Women United
Source - dnr: Wong, Joyce B.
Source - dnr: Yee, Evelyn
Title: Asian Women United Records
Dates [inclusive]: 1977-2004
Dates [bulk]: 1978-1986
Abstract: Asian Women United (AWU) was a nonprofit organization formed in 1978 that was based in New York City. With a distinctly feminist point of view, the organization sought to support, educate and empower Asian-American women. AWU explored Asian-American women's history and culture and undertook to mobilize community women in the political arena. AWU organized many events including a concert, fundraisers, a mother/daughter social, and various workshops. The organization 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. The materials in this collection include newsletters, flyers for events hosted by Asian Women United, flyers for events held in coalition with other groups, workshop notes, meeting notes, administrative files, correspondence, newspaper articles, photographs, oversized collages, and two audiotapes.
Quantity: 2 Linear Feet in 2 manuscript boxes and 4 flat file folders
Language: Materials are in English.
Call Phrase: TAM.320

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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.

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Scope and Contents

The materials in this collection include: the Asian Women United newsletter (In Touch), flyers from events hosted by Asian Women United, flyers from events done in coalition with other groups, workshop notes, meeting notes, administrative files, correspondence, black-and-white and color photographs (ranging in size from 1"x2' to 8"x10") from various events, and newspaper articles. The collection also contains the collected notes that would be put into  IKON #9: The AWU Anthology. Additionally, there are select pamphlets about Asian-American and women's issues collected by AWU members, twelve art collages (measuring 18"x24") that address a variety of Asian women's issues, and two audiotape cassettes labeled "Older Women in Community Politics – at Laura's."

Arrangement

Folders are arranged alphabetically.

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Chu, Goldie
  • Wong, Joyce B.
  • Yee, Evelyn

Document Type

  • Articles.
  • Newsletters.
  • Correspondence.
  • Fliers (printed matter)

Subject Organizations

  • Asian Women United

Subject Topics

  • Asian American women
  • Asian American women -- Health.
  • Asian American women -- Social conditions.

Subject Places

  • New York (N.Y.).

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Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Any rights (including copyright and related rights to publicity and privacy) held by Asian Women United were transferred to New York University in 2004 by Joyce B. Wong. Permission to publish or reproduce materials in this collection must be secured from the Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive. Please contact tamiment.wagner@nyu.edu.

Preferred Citation

Identification of item, date; Asian Women United Records; TAM 320; box number; folder number; Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University.

Related Material at the Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union, Local 64 Records (WAG 242)
May Chen Papers (WAG 301)

Separated Material

One set of the newsletter In Touch was separated into the library catalogue.

Audiovisual Access Policies and Procedures

Audiovisual materials have not been preserved and may not be available to researchers. Materials not yet digitized will need to have access copies made before they can be used. To request an access copy, or if you are unsure if an item has been digitized, please contact tamiment.wagner@nyu.edu with the collection name, collection number, and a description of the item(s) requested. A staff member will respond to you with further information.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Asian Women United Records and Photographs were gathered during an AWU reunion in 2004, which was hosted by the New York University Asian/Pacific/American Institute and later donated to the Tamiment Library, NYU. Graphics and photographs from this donation were originally separated and established as separate collections, the Asian Women United Photographs (PHOTOS 217) and Asian Women United Graphics (GRAPHICS 023). Collages initially added to Asian Women United Graphics (GRAPHICS 023) were donated by Evelyn Yee in 2004. In 2013, photographs and graphics from these collections were reincorporated into the Asian Women United Records and Photographs (TAM 320). The accession numbers related to these gifts are 2004.004, 2004.006, 2004.014, NPA.2005.241, and NPA.2008.019. And accretion of exhibition panels was received in 2018 with no documentation regarding its provenance; the accession number associated with these materials is 2019.091.

Processing Information

Photographs were separated from this collection during initial processing and were established as a separate collection, the Asian Women United Photographs (PHOTOS 217). Twelve art collages were also established as their own separate collection, Asian Women United Graphics (GRAPHICS 023). In 2013, both the photograph collection and the collages were reincorporated into the Asian Women United Records and Photographs (TAM 320).

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Container List

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 Activities in Coalition with other Women's Groups (including Coalition of Asian Women's Groups)
early 1980s
Box: 1 Folder : 2 Administrative Files
1979-1980
Box: 1 Folder : 3 Articles about AWU (group)
1979-1984
Box: 1 Folder : 4 Articles about AWU (individual)
1977-1979
Box: 1 Folder : 5 Articles on Asian Americans
1980
Box: 1 Folder : 6 Asian American Legal Issues: Information and Pamphlets
early 1980s
Box: 1 Folder : 7 Asian American Organizations, Conferences, and Events
1980-1982
Box: 1 Folder : 8 Asian American Plays (including David Henry Hwang's "The Dance and the Railroad" and "FOB" and Genny Lim's "Paper Angels")
1981-1982
Box: 1 Folder : 9 Asian American Women's Caucus
1978
Box: 1 Folder : 10 Asian Pacific American Heritage Festival
1979-2004
Box: 1 Folder : 11 Asian/Pacific Women on the Move Conference
1980
Box: 1 Folder : 12 Asian Women's Film Fest (International Women's Day): "Mitsuye and Nellie" and "Ourselves"
1982
Box: 1 Folder : 13 AWU Journal (proposal and notes)
1978-1982
Box: 1 Folder : 14 AWU Timeline (by Goldie Chu)
1977-1986
Box: 1 Folder : 15 Brochures: Drafts and Final
late 1970s-early 1980s
Box: 1 Folder : 16 Bylaws
1978
Box: 1 Folder : 17 Concert: Mellow Yellow Madness (with Sumi Tonooka , Amerasia, and Alex Chin)
1981
Box: 1 Folder : 18 Correspondence: General
1978-1986
Box: 1 Folder : 19 Correspondence: Regarding Protests and Support (including Silver Palace Restaurant and the Simpson-Mazzoli bill)
1980-1984
Box: 1 Folder : 20 Election of Officers
1978
Box: 1 Folder : 21 Employee Activities Committee of the American Broadcasting Company
1981-1982
Box: 1 Folder : 22 Events Hosted by AWU
1980-1985
Flat-File-Folder: 6 Exhibition Panels
undated
Flat-File-Folder: 7
Flat-File-Folder: 8
Box: 1 Folder : 23 Fifth Anniversary Celebration
1984-1985
Box: 1 Folder : 24 General Meeting: Notes, Minutes, and Attendance
1980-1984
Box: 1 Folder : 25 Goldie Chu (AWU's first president): Notes
1985-1986
Box: 1 Folder : 26 IKON #9: The AWU Anthology: Notes
1988
Box: 2 Folder : 1 International Women's Day and International Working Women's Day
1981-1984
Box: 2 Folder : 2 Letterhead
undated
Box: 2 Folder : 3 Mailing Lists
c. 1980s
Box: 2 Folder : 4 Membership Lists
1979-1981
Box: 2 Folder : 5 Membership Questionnaire
1981
Box: 2 Folder : 6 Newsletter: In Touch
1978-1985
Box: 2 Folder : 7 Notes by AWU Members
c. 1980s
Box: 2 Folder : 8 Ourselves(film): Publicity and Comment
1982
Box: 2 Folder : 9-10 Photo Album #1
late 1970s-1980s
Box: 2 Folder : 11 Photo Album #1 - Photocopies (in original order)
late 1970s-1980s
Box: 2 Folder : 12 Photo Album #2 - Prints and Photocopies
late 1970s-1980s
Box: 2 Folder : 13 Reaching the Young Women of Chinatown: A Youth Diversion Program Specifically for Recent Immigrants
1979-1981
Box: 2 Folder : 14 Remarks Prepared for the Hearings of the Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy
1980
Box: 2 Folder : 15 Retreat, Annual
1979-1986
Box: 2 Folder : 16 Reunion
Sep 25, 2004
Box: 2 Folder : 17 Women Against Pornography Notes
1982-1982
Box: 2 Folder : 18 Women's Rights Pamphlets and Flyers
early 1980s
Box: 2 Folder : 19 Workshops
1978
Box: 2 Folder : 20 Audiotapes and Access Compact Disks: "Older Women in Community Politics – at Laura's" (2 cassettes and 2 CDs)
1984
Flat-File-Folder: 1 Left Art Collages
circa 1982

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