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Seattle's Asian American Movement

Asian Coalition for Equality (ACE)

The Asian Coalition for Equality (ACE) was founded in the late Spring of 1969, and was the first civil rights organization in Seattle whose mission was to mobilize Asian Americans in multi-racial solidarity campaigns and promote Asian American consciousness. Below and to the right are links to documents, writings, photos, and interviews about ACE’s brief but important activism.

Rev. Mineo Katigiri was ACE’s leader and spokesperson.

Mineo Katagiri

University of Washington

In July, 1969, ACE-affiliated undergraduate and graduate students confronted Charles Evans, head of the University of Washington’s Special Education Program (SEP) and demanded that Asian Americans be included in the UW’s affirmative action recruiting which had previously only included Black, Chicano, and Indian students. Their success inspired them to lay the foundations for the UW’s first Asian American student organization.

Woody Wong, Larry Matsuda, and Tony Ogilvie Confront the UW Administration.

Woody Wong, Larry Matsuda, and Tony Ogilvie Confront the UW Administration.

Black Contractor and Worker Solidarity

In August and September of 1969, ACE mobilized Asian Americans to participate in direct action protests led by the Central Contractors Association that demanded the desegregation of the region’s construction industry. Afterward, ACE activists challenged police repression of the protests.

Social Clubs

In late 1969 and into the early 1970s, ACE actively sought to pressure local elite social clubs to open their membership to people of color.