Assist-A-Scholar Campaign

The Assist-A-Scholar Campaign is an Association for Asian Studies initiative to ensure that all Asianists, regardless of socioeconomic or employment status, can be members of the AAS and enjoy equitable access to the benefits of membership.

Assist-A-Scholar was our 2021 member sponsorship campaign aimed at ensuring that everyone in the Asian Studies community can access the benefits of AAS membership. This initiative was composed of two stages:

Stage 1: Between May 17 and August 20, 2021, we solicited donations to this campaign from anyone in the AAS community with the means to contribute. All donations were matched 100% by funding from the Henry Luce Foundation.

Thanks to the generosity of the Association for Asian Studies community and the Henry Luce Foundation, our Assist-A-Scholar membership campaign raised a total of $20,810.

Stage 2: During September and October 2021, the amount raised during the first stage was used to fund more than 450 AAS memberships for Asianists who could not otherwise afford membership in the association.

We are very thankful to everyone in the AAS community who has made this campaign a success and helped us provide equitable access to membership for all. 

Why is it important to Assist-A-Scholar?

Many members of the Asian Studies community face a range of institutional and socio-economic obstacles: among them are the disappearance of tenure-track positions and rise of contingent labor; the weakening of protections for those who do have tenure; and increasingly limited funding for research and professional development. While all these issues previously existed, the COVID-19 pandemic has served to accelerate and intensify them. The AAS seeks to ensure that Asianists who have encountered such challenges can still access the benefits of AAS membership and participate in our community of Asian Studies scholars and professionals.

I donated because…

Having myself benefitted from AAS membership throughout the years, I would like to help in some small way to make this opportunity available to others, especially at a time when it’s more critical than ever before to feel connected to others in the field.

Michelle C.Wang

Georgetown University

I donated because…

I can. It was hard to maintain membership when I was a graduate student and just out of college. I want to make it easier for others, now that I can.