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How Anti-Asian Sentiment from the Past Informs Racial Injustice in the Present

In this workshop, we will connect the dots: Why is anti-Asian sentiment during the COVID pandemic not a new phenomenon and rooted in US imperialism? Participants will learn about the xenophobic history of Angel Island as a site of immigrant gatekeeping as well as notions of the Yellow Peril in the early 20th century. Participants will also participate in interactive activities about the Model Minority Myth and racial identity development. While this workshop is open to all, the intent
is to create an affinity space for people who self-identify as a part of the Asian
Pacific Islander American diaspora.


Ricco Siasoco (he/him/his) is an educator, writer, and consultant with 20 years of school leadership experience. He is currently a Grade Dean at the Urban School of San Francisco. Prior to joining Urban, Ricco was the Director of Equity & Inclusion at the Chadwick School, where he served as a member of the senior leadership team and led the school’s K-12 efforts to foster an equitable community through policy, protocols, and best practices. He has also served in diversity and teaching roles at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School and at Prep for Prep, a leadership development program that supports the most able students of color. Ricco began his educational career as an adjunct assistant professor in the English department at Boston College, where he taught undergraduate courses in English composition, literature, and Asian American Studies and developed a college transition program for first-generation college students. 

Ricco has presented at numerous conferences, including the NAIS People of Color Conference, NYSAIS Gender and Sexuality Diversity Conference, National Conference on Race and Education, and National Partnership for Educational Access, among others. He holds degrees from Boston University and Bennington College. He is completing his Ed.D. in English Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Ricco has a strong interest in the arts and serves on the board of Kundiman — one of the nation's leading literary organizations, dedicated to nurturing readers and writers of Asian American literature. Ricco's passions are vegetarian cooking and writing, and he recently published a collection of short stories entitled The Foley Artist (Gaudy Boy 2019).

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