Azerbaijan Society of America (ASA) was established in 1957 in New Jersey by the first wave of the post-World War II era Azerbaijani immigrants to the United States. Many of these settlers represented the generation of Azerbaijan’s first independence and secular democracy (1918-1920), later persecuted and exiled by the Soviet Bolshevik regime. As their homeland remained under the Soviet occupation, the founders of ASA were, in fact, the first Azerbaijani group to raise the national tricolor in North America for nearly 35 years prior to Azerbaijan’s second independence.
The United States recognized the independent Republic of Azerbaijan on December 26, 1991, and established diplomatic relations with it in 1992. Meanwhile, with the post-Soviet economic turmoil and the raging Karabakh conflict came the second wave of Azerbaijani migrants to the U.S. As the only Azerbaijani-American grassroots organization, ASA embraced this new post-Soviet generation of Azerbaijanis and assisted in their integration into the American society. With the newly independent state of Azerbaijan, ASA also prioritized the enhancement of the U.S.-Azerbaijani bilateral ties within its mission:
To advance Azerbaijani-American grassroots and to facilitate their representation;
To preserve a sense of Azerbaijani-American identity through educational and public initiatives;
To cultivate cross-cultural partnerships built upon diversity, tolerance and mutual respect;
To contribute towards enhancing ties between the U.S. and the Republic of Azerbaijan based on a shared vision of liberty, secular democracy, the rule of law, global security and open markets;