Bob Wing, 1969 TWLF Student Striker


Bob Wing has written about and engaged in social justice organizing and activism since 1968. His first organizing experience was in the 1969 UC Berkeley Third World Liberation Front (TWLF) strike, an experience that instilled a deep sense of purpose and commitment in Wing’s lifework. TWLF was a campuswide coalition of students of color that demanded an autonomous Third World College and a relevant curriculum for communities of color, led by students and community. The Civil Rights, Black Power, and anti-Vietnam War movements inspired Wing, as well as many other Asian-Americans, to join the TWLF movement at UC Berkeley. Academic freedom and the desire to learn more about the histories and experiences of people of color in the U.S. and abroad also inspired him to join TWLF’s efforts. Soon after going on strike, Wing joined the Asian American Political Alliance (AAPA), one of the key student organizing groups in UC Berkeley’s TWLF coalition. During the 1969 TWLF strike, he attended nightly organizing meetings, helped to plan tactics and slogans, and provided community support. TWLF’s efforts paid off. After a violent 9-week confrontation between students and university-deployed police and national guardsmen in their thousands armed with tanks and helicopters, the university finally gave in to the TWLF’s demands, and an autonomous Ethnic Studies Department at UC Berkeley was established. 

After the 1969 TWLF strike, Wing made his life’s energy as a racial justice writer, activist, and strategist. From 1975-1977, Wing taught Asian American Studies at UC Berkeley and briefly served as the chairperson for that department. Wing eventually went on to become a founding editor of ColorLines, a leading national publication on power, race, and organizing. In the early 2000s, Wing helped found the bilingual newspaper War Times/Tiempo de Guerras, which voiced its opposition to the Iraq War, and was voted national co-chairperson of the anti-war coalition, United for Peace and Justice. Wing lived and worked in North Carolina, where he joined the Moral Monday Movement (now the nationwide Poor People’s Campaign) and the Organizing 2020 radical teachers’ conference. Wing remains connected to racial justice work in the U.S. South and has written and published on numerous topics throughout his life, including Asian American histories and social movements, racial justice, racial formation, and the Middle East, among others. Wing currently resides in Los Angeles, California, and is a proud father, grandfather, godfather, and father-in-law.

Please visit Bob Wing’s website to learn more about him and peruse his writing.