Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC) announced it has awarded four stipends to student leaders to support campus-based projects that elevate Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) stories and experiences and advance dialogue, advocacy, and civic engagement within our communities.
In September, AAJC hosted its 2017 Youth Leadership Summit, an annual three-day convening for college students with advocacy trainings and leadership development workshops focused on civic engagement. The Summit provides a unique opportunity for young advocates from across the country to interact with their peers as well as learn from and network with national leaders. AAJC awarded stipends to support four Youth Leadership Summit alumni in their continued work on campus around issues impacting AAPI communities and creative approaches to elevating AAPI stories, experiences, and leadership.
Amy Miao, Brown University
The Asian/American Political Alliance at Brown is planning a film series on the prison industrial complex to spark discussion about our communities’ relationships to prisons and policing and highlight linkages between the prison industrial complex and global systems of violence such as militarism, imperialism, Islamophobia, anti-Blackness, and settler colonialism. Focusing on the experiences of a Palestinian woman in an Israeli prison, the cultural resistance of Native Hawaiian men while incarcerated, and Eddy Zheng‘s activism for Asian American studies from within San Quentin State Prison, the film series will investigate why prison abolition is an Asian American issue. Amy is a part of the leadership team for the Asian/American Political Alliance.
Miru Osuga, University of Pennsylvania
Campaign for America (CFA) is a year-long fellowship program that trains young professionals to become full-time staffers on political campaigns. CFA promotes a political pipeline for campaign staffers of color, especially those who identify as low socioeconomic status. CFA Fellows learn how to manage a campaign at Campaign School, a week-long training program, where they are equipped with technical skills, mentorship, and access to a professional network. Fellows are connected to campaigns and work as paid, full-time staffers until Election Day 2018. Miru is a part of the leadership team for CFA.
Ronit Dastidar, University of Florida
Created in 1993, Def Talent Jam (DTJ) draws Filipino Student Organizations from across the nation to Gainesville, FL, for competitions of sports, dance, and culture. DTJ is a special dance competition where participants showcase their narratives and imaginative interpretations of this year’s theme, Glory, within their set. Many sets correspond to facets of the Asian American experience and expose the audience to issues affecting our communities, including the narrative of immigration and naturalization. The DTJ weekend also consists of seven distinct events involving over 1,400 participants from Florida and Georgia. Ronit is the Executive Director of DTJ XXV, overseeing a 24-member planning committee.
Vy Doan, Pomona College
The Vietnamese Student Association (VSA) hosts an annual two-day retreat for all Vietnamese-identifying students from across the five Claremont Consortium colleges. This year’s retreat focused on contemporary issues the Vietnamese American community faces, such as intergenerational trauma, language barriers, and educational inequities. The annual VSA retreat is an opportunity to vocalize and unpack students’ stories, to critically explore identity politics, and to engage in intimate community building that connects theoretical frameworks to lived experience and praxis. Vy is the former president of VSA and currently plays an advisory role for the organization.
Read more at AdvancingJustice-AAJC.org.