WASHINGTON (April 26 2011)— The Asian American Justice Center, a member of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice, announces the release of a ground breaking study, “Accurate Data: Next Steps in Giving Asian Pacific Americans Equal Access to Public Contracts.”
Conducted by researchers Paul Ong and OiYan Poon of the University of California, Los Angeles, the study reveals startling inequalities of Asian American participation in government contracting in the industries of construction, architecture, engineering and technology in San Francisco and Atlanta.
Relative to the number of available Asian American contractors, only a very small number actually obtain government contracts. The lower rates of utilization are attributed to discrimination, institutional barriers, and a lack of access to social capital and financial resources.
The report reveals that when faced with problems from prime contractors such as changed orders or reduced payments, many Asian American business owners feel powerless to report unfair treatment in fear of losing potential contracts. Issues such as these emphasize the continued need for inclusion of Asian Americans in government contracting programs and comprehensive research on Asian American participation in government contracting.
“Asian Americans continue to fare worse in these industries than non-Hispanic whites, but because they are sometimes perceived to be faring better than other minorities, Asian Americans are mistakenly excluded from minority contracting programs,” said Marita Etcubanez, AAJC’s director of programs. “More nuanced and complex research is needed to bring these racial inequalities to light.”
This study was completed in partnership with the Asian American Institute in Chicago. AAJC and AAI work to defend and advance Asian American participation in minority contracting programs through the Asian American Contractor Empowerment Project. The study complements past AACEP work, such as “Equal Access: Unlocking Government Doors for Asian American Businesses” and “Asian Pacific Americans and Public Contracting: Equal Opportunity Laws and Procedures,” both published in 2008.
The full report and additional information about equality in government contracting can be found on the AAJC website at http://www.advancingequality.org/affirmativeactionpubs.
The Asian American Justice Center (www.advancingequality.org), a member of Asian American Center for Advancing Justice, works closely with its sister organizations – the Asian American Institute in Chicago (www.aaichicago.org), the Asian Law Caucus (www.asianlawcaucus.org) in San Francisco and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (www.apalc.org) in Los Angeles – to promote a fair and equitable society for all by working for civil and human rights and empowering Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other underserved communities.