Within the next week or so, the US Supreme Court may end affirmative action as we know it. The path to this began in 1997, when the University of Michigan was sued for its affirmative action programs. My guest this month is Nadia Kim, who like me was a sociology graduate student in Michigan at the time of those lawsuits. We were both organizers for Academics for Affirmative Action and Social Justice, a group doing activism and education in our community in support of affirmative action. Even as affirmative action may end, however, movements like Black Lives Matter have dramatically raised the overall consciousness about the need for racial justice. We discuss these trends, and what they imply for the kinds of research sociologists can do.
Nadia Kim will soon be Professor of Sociology at Texas A&M University. She has studied Korean/Asian Americans and South Koreans, race and nativist racism in Los Angeles and environmental (in)justice, focusing on the intersections of race, gender, class, and citizenship. Her latest single-authored book is Refusing Death: Immigrant Women and the Fight for Environmental Justice in LA (Stanford University Press). Proceeds from the sale of this book will go directly to the organizations she studied.