The Asians in the Americas symposium started in 2012 at Southeast Missouri State University as an answer and partial solution to the complete absence of any meaningful discussion of the many aspects of what it means to be Asian in the Americas in the forums that already existed. The scholars wanted to remove the topics from their status of being historical "footnotes." The symposium was the desired format because it combined scholarly research with the opportunity for in-depth conversation. The goal of the symposium that year, and each year since at Pepperdine and Rutgers, has been to expand the conversation, to cross borders and boundaries, both real and imaginary, to compare and contrast, but always with the idea that a unified study that linked the Americas and incorporated Asian in the greatest sense of the word would bring to the forefront the complexities of identity, citizenry, and Nation in discussions by and about people of Asian descent living in the Americas.