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AARC Guiding Principles

Rise Up: Group photo at SEACA

Rise Up: Group photo at SEACA

STEP: Planting a garden

STEP: Planting a garden


The AARC is committed to engaging the Inland Valley and Los Angeles Asian American and Pacific Islander community.  Inspired by the Asian American Movement’s imperative to “serve the people,” the AARC partners with community-based organizations on programs that empower communities. These programs enhance students’ educational experiences by developing their leadership skills and challenging them to create the change they believe in. Our service programs:


  • RISE UPworks with first-generation college-bound students from immigrant and refugee backgrounds in Los Angeles’ Chinatown to explore issues of identity through art.


  • Saturday Tongan Education Program (STEP) serves the Inland Empire’s Tongan community by providing academic support, cultural connections, leadership development, and other opportunities to explore personal identity. Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are the second fastest growing minority population in the U.S., but experience high levels of poverty and are often underrepresented in national surveys. This lack of recognition has manifested in an overall lack of understanding of and pride in Tongan identity. Through tutoring, STEP provides resources to support the community’s well-being and empowerment.


  • Empower U aims to provide a space for students to explore their identity and history through workshops and discussions. It started as a collaboration with Pomona High School. Youth discuss topics such as personal background, history, race, gender, and class and explore how they intersect. The goal of these discussions is to help develop students’ self-confidence and understanding of themselves and their communities.



The AARC seeks to engage the Pomona College, as well as the larger Claremont Colleges community about APIA issues. Engagement programs aim to bring diverse communities together to create dialogue about unheard narratives. We have organized study breaks, film screenings, and have invited experts to speak on many topics related to the Asian American communities.  The AARC also seeks and creates opportunities to co-program with other offices and organizations at Pomona College and across the Claremont Colleges.  


Production of Resources

The AARC serves as a resource center for Asian American Studies materials at the Claremont Colleges. The AARC works to meet the co-curricular needs of our student body by working in collaboration with the Intercollegiate Department of Asian American Studies. We seek to support the production of new research, periodicals, and videos that help to inform the community of various topics and issues relevant to the Asian American and Pacific Islander experience. See our past events here.