Education Through Struggle (Asian American History Mural)

Darryl Marr, 1993. Mixed media on steel. Commissioned by CAPSA, UCLA Asian American Studies Center. 16' by 8'. Campbell Hall, 3rd floor, UCLA, Los Angeles.


Texts and plaques:

Education Through Struggle. The struggles which culminated in the 1968 San Francisco State College strike continue in the present. As the heirs of that first self-determining ethnic studies movement, we continue the battle for ethnic self-determination even today. Here we reclaim our humanity and engage our communities. Today, we recognize that the price of self-determination is eternal vigilance. This mural continues in that tradition while commemorating the efforts of the past.


In choosing the images for the 25th Anniversary Commemorative Mural, we have focused on the issues of identity, community, and education. The two men walking forward were part of the multicultural coalition of the Wounded Knee protest in the 60’s. Today we join in continuing their collective struggle in battles such as immigrant rights, affirmative action, and justice for workers. As we make our own mark on the world, we must do it in concert with our community.


Even in the future we must be vigilant. In an age of continuous technological revolution, we confront all manner of racist media representations and commodifications. Are we mere UPC bar codes, flat phosphor images locked in a videotape loop, digitized graphics on optical storage? Thus, the image in the middle warns us against being commodified or having an identity imposed upon us, and the thumbprint to the left signifies the organic origins endemic to our struggle for self-determination.


Individual efforts – such as scholarship (center right) – are important but collective sacrifice – activism – is essential. Scholarship and collective effort must go hand in hand. Without them, Asian Americans cannot effectively combat racism, discrimination, and other forms of social injustice. As Asian Americans, the price of our freedom is never paid in full. We must constantly confront threats to our freedom. Continuing in a tradition of collective struggles, we must apply these traditions to the present, and thus forge new strategies toward future effect. It is without a doubt that education is the goal that comes out of our struggles, but we must not forget that education is the fuel for the spirit of social equality. It is both a means and an end to our struggle.


Commissioned Artist: Mar, Darryl


Collaborating Artists: Acoba, Darren; Chee, Sarah; Chen, Edith; Chen, Eunice; Cho, Andy K; Cho, Claudia; Hagihara, Ayako; Kann, Tracy; Lai, James; Le, Sunny; May, Gene; Tso, Alina; Van, Tommy; Vergara, Bong; Wong, Jennifer.


Contributors: Arguelles, Dennis; Aquino, Desiree; Baldwin, Erc; Bao, Quy Huong; Batan, Gladys; Cabral, Veronica; Castor, Catherine; Chang, York; Cheng, George; Chin, William; Cho, Joseph and Lucy; Cho, Soyon; Ebio, Raul; Fujino, Diane C.; Gee, Dolly M.; Hagar, James; Hayashi, Masataka; Higuchi, Day and Charlotte; Hong, Jin Y.; Hong, Thomas; Ji, Keren Ryun; Kang, Alyssa; Kameya, Roger K.; Kurashige, Scott; Lau, Julia; Lee, Marjorie; Leong, Russel; Liu, Stephen C.; Maeda, Charles; Mar, Bryan; Mar, Marvin and Colleen; Moon, Paul; Munoz, Saundra; Mendoza, Derek Jay; Mendoza, Sylvia R. and Rainaldo L. Sr.; Nakano, Roy; Nguyen, Quynh; Oh, Catherine; Omatsu, Glenn; Park, Elain; Park, Kyeyoung; Park, S. Chuck; Ratanpreukskul, Timothy; Seng, Lauren; Serrano, Arnold M.; Serrano, Zenny and Adolfo; Shin, Young; Sing, Rene; Smith, Sabrina; Steffens, Tamayo; Sy, Levin; Takarabe, Chiyo; Tran, Khai; Wat, Eric; Wu, Teresa S.; Asian Immigrant Women Advocates; Japanese American Community Center, San Fernando; Samoan Federation; Undergraduate Student Association Council, UCLA President Office; Undergraduate Student Association Council, UCLA Financial Support Commission. Funded in part by the UCLA Asian American Studies Center, Concerned Asian Pacific Students for Action (CAPSA), and the California Arts Council.


Captions within the mural:


Text next to the mural, as of September 2019: The UCLA Asian American Studies Center acknowledges the Tongva peoples as the traditional land caretakers of Tovaangar (Los Angeles basin, Southern Channel Islands). We are grateful to have the opportunity to work with the American Indian Studies Center for the taraaxatom (indigenous peoples) in this place. As a land grant institution, we pay our respects to the Tongva Honuukvetam (Ancestors), ‘Ahiihirom (Elders), and ‘eyoohiinkem (relatives/relations) past, present and emerging. With respect and in unity, Asian American Studies Center.






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