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AAPI Youth Rising Rally – March 28, 2021

On March 28, 2021, we held the AAPI Youth Rising Rally. We raised our voices in support of the AAPI community to speak out against the rise in xenophobia. Over 1,200 people at the rally supported the cause. Simon Alejandrino, a teacher at Redwood Day School MC-ed the rally. Berkeley Council Members: Rigel Robinson and Rashi Kesarwani, Harita Kalvai and Zhi Isabel Howes: Beyond Differences Teen Board Members, Stanly Pun: co-director of AYPAL, Elaine Dang: Board Member of Act to Change, Lateefah Simon: President of Akonadi Foundation, Annie Wang: Community Relations Director of #HATEISAVIRUS, Jane Bahk: author of Juna’s Jar, and over 15+ youth all spoke up. We then marched to the SF Bay pedestrian footbridge and where we heard cars honking in support as they passed by. Ms. Bahk wrote the poem below for the AAPI Youth Rising Rally.

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AAPI Youth Rising’s ONE/180 Pledge

Students, Teachers, Parents, and Allies, please consider signing the ONE/180 Pledge if you support having at least one lesson of AAPI History + Culture taught in your schools in this coming year

Why ONE/180?  Out of the standard 180 instructional days in the average student’s school year, we are asking that at least ONE of those days in the next academic year include at least ONE lesson that is dedicated to AAPI History + Culture.

Asian American History is American History. Yet only a few Asian American Pacific Islander stories are taught in K-12 U.S. schools. With the increasing awareness of the invisibility of Asian American histories, it’s more important now than ever to teach the rich culture and histories of AAPI so that we can all learn how AAPI have contributed to America’s diversity and successes. It is time to celebrate all American stories.

The ONE/180 Pledge serves as a symbolic action in support of the movement to re-imagine the way American history is taught. The pledge serves to inspire youth to ask for at least “one class.” Our pledge serves to inspire “one teacher” to take “one action” and teach at least “one class.” These “little” actions can one day mean a lot.  

From Elementary School Teacher Southey Kulkarni, the inspiration behind the pledge: “I love the significance of the ONE/180 pledge: it speaks to how real education is transmitted — person to person — and the total shift in perspective (180 degrees!) that can come from even one such brave action. As teachers, we can start with what we (think we) know. The best lesson plans start with conversations, and every classroom has the potential for a meaningful conversation about some basic questions. One day, one lesson, if it’s relevant and real, will inevitably lead to more.”

SIGN THE PLEDGE HERE: ONE/180 Pledge.

American Girl selects AAPI Youth Rising as Partner Group for 2022 GOTY!

American Girl selected AAPI Youth Rising as the partner organization for the American Girl 2022 Girl of the Year! Corinne Tan is the first Asian American GOTY and we are so honored to be the 2022 GOTY partner organization with American Girl!

Like many of us at AAPI Youth Rising, Corinne finds the courage to speak up when faced with xenophobic comments. Through Corinne’s stories authored by Wendy Wan-Long Shang, we learn about love in our homes, being proud of who we are, and advocating for positive change.

In March, 2021, we organized the AAPI Youth Rising Rally where many brave youth raised our voices. Then we launched the ONE/180 pledge in support of at least one day of Asian American history + culture to be taught during the school year. We also organized the Our Diverse Voices youth art showcase in support of learning about our diverse histories.

Representation matters and we are so happy to be a part of this year’s announcement with @AmericanGirlBrand! In an effort to make positive change, American Girl is donated to @AAPIYouthRising’s ONE/180 pledge! Watch our announcement on Good Morning America here.

AAPI Youth Rising’s Founder Mina Fedor Time Kid of the Year Top 5!

visit Time for Kids to learn more!

AAPI Youth Rising’s founder Mina has just been named TOP 5 for the 2021 Time Kid of the Year!

Act to Change

Changemakers Summit 2021

AAPI Youth Rising led a panel at the Changemakers Summit 2021 during Bullying Prevention Month on October 23, 2021. Mina, Aashi, Anna, Charlee, Siwoo, and Mila spoke on the panel. This was Act to Change’s 3rd Annual Anti-Bullying Youth Conference in recognition of National Bullying Prevention Month in partnership with Hate is a Virus,  and Stop AAPI Hate.

First Lady Dr. Jill Biden opened up the Changemakers Summit 2021! We also heard from Amanda Nguyen and many others!

Our Diverse Voices youth art showcase

AAPI Youth Rising organized the Our Diverse Voices youth art showcase in collaboration with AAPISV, Actions Towards Change, National Children’s Campaign, E14 Gallery and Rock Paper Scissors Collective. Opening Day was October 9th @ E14 Gallery in Oakland, CA during the Old Oakland Celebrates block party that drew hundreds of visitors! Over 40+ K-12 youth artists displayed their work and artist statements in response to the prompt: “What does learning about diversity mean to you and your own education as a well rounded person and citizen?”

Twin Walls Mural Company Elaine Chu and Marina Perez-Wong also unveiled their mural that depicts us marching on the bridge during the AAPI Youth Rising rally in Berkeley, CA on March 28, 2021. There were over 1200+ supporters at the rally! If you missed the art show opening, visit our Instagram for highlights.

AAPI Women Lead’s 4th Annual #ImReady2021 Movement Virtual Conference

AAPI Youth Rising’s Mina and Siwoo spoke at AAPI Women Lead’s 4th Annual #ImReady2021 Movement Virtual Conference: Our Communities, Our Healing, Our R/evolutionDecember 11, 2021 at 10am – 1pm PT.

CCCSF + Wells Fargo Foundation: AAPI Mural Project for San Francisco

AAPI Community Heroes Mural Project – unveiling in Chinatown, SF over Lunar New Year 2022!

AAPI Youth Rising’s Mina, Siwoo and Aashi were so honored to serve on a panel of judges including AAPI Local Community Heroes, Rev. Norman Fong, Cathy Lam from Chinatown CDC, former BOE Eric Mar, Josephine Chew from Wells Fargo Foundation and Caroline Cabading from Manilatown.

We spent Saturday, September 25th at CCCSF’s Ross Alley community space where we deliberated about who we would like to see represented on the AAPI Community Heroes Mural Project. We believe that the strongest way to celebrate our differences is to learn about our histories and heroes, including the many nominations submitted by over 100 Bay Area Schools. Thank you CCCSF and Wells Fargo Foundation for this incredible opportunity!

After we finalized deliberations, the AAPI Youth Rising team: Mina, Aashi, Siwoo, Anna, Bee, Charlee and newest member Kevin, all toured CCCSF’s art exhibition – WOMEN我們: From Her to Here. The exhibit is up through December, 2021. Go check it out!

Asia Society: Future of Education

ASIA SOCIETY NORTHERN CALIFORNIA – FUTURE OF EDUCATION SUMMIT – July 29-30, 2021

Boys & Girls Club + SAMSHA

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My name is Siwoo Rhie. I am going into 8th grade at Black Pine Circle School. I am of Korean descent. I joined AAPI youth rising to help raise awareness of racism towards the AAPI community. I believe that racism against AAPI is very normalized, and many others like me aspire to change that. Boys & Girls Club Presentation

Boys and Girls Club of Malibu Presentation


Working on our presentation for BOYS & GIRLS CLUB of MALIBU in PARTNERSHIP WITH SAMHSA – July 21, 2021. We lthe Social Justice unit for the Empowered Voices Program. Anna, Mila, Mina and Siwoo presented to and lead a discussion about youth activism with 12 SoCal Boys & Girls Club chapters. Shout out to @genzendigital for developing the Empowered Voices program!

Grantmakers for Thriving Youth

Grantmakers for Thriving Youth – WEBINAR. AAPI Youth on Safety, Belonging and Thriving. Webinar recording of Mina speaking on June 16, 2021 here!

National Childrens Campaign – IG Live

Siwoo Rhie had a great time talking with NCC, @nationalchildrenscampaign alongside other inspirational youth leaders and Nickelodeon star @chinguunsb @roshnichagan and @amysnam@leahh.ds. Together, we are changing our communities, one little action at a time. Watch the interview with Siwoo on IGTV!

Homeroom with Tan France

AAPI Youth Rising and our classmates from Black Pine Circle School are honored to have been selected as a 2021 Homeroom with Tan France participant. Eye, and Act To Change Advisory Council member Tan France, to increase awareness of bullying prevention and teach kids to become active anti-bullying advocates in their schools.

El Cerrito Human Relation Commission

El Cerrito Human Relation Commission – Stop Anti-Asian ViolenceCharlee and Mina shared our AYR stories and her allegory with the City of El Cerrito on Wednesday, May 12th from 6:30-8pm PST

What does an “American” look like?

Illustrations by AAPI Youth Rising’s Mina Fedor

Hwarang means warrior in Korean. Gyopo means an ethnic Korean who is part of the diaspora.

Asia Society: Asian Americans Building America

A few days after the AAPI Youth Rising rally, Mina had an interview with Asia Society’s CEO and Australia’s 26th Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on May 10, 2021 as part of a series called Asian Americans Building America. Check out Mina’s interview here!

Little Actions Make a Difference

Each day, we at AAPI Youth Rising are raising our voices and taking actions to create positive change in the world. Just some of the work we’ve done this month includes:

* Making impactful artwork to spread awareness of key issues in our community.
* Rallying our community members, schools, and teachers to pledge to teach diverse histories + stories.
* Registering people to vote.
* Speaking out about the issues affecting us as youth.

Consider taking these actions as well to make a difference!

#LiveTogether Campaign

#LiveTogether Challenge is launched by UNESCO and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea.

The #LiveTogether challenge is a global campaign about raising solidarity and inclusion in the international community in the effort to fight racism and discrimination.

AAPI Youth Rising is joining the movement and nominating our partners to participate next!

Learn more about the Instagram initiative at @live_together_campaign

City of Berkeley Proclamation

In May, the City of Berkeley awarded AAPI Youth Rising with a Proclamation acknowledging our work to better our community through youth action. Thank you to @rigelrobinson and @rashikesarwani for nominating us and to the entire City Council for this honor.

Watch our video on IGTV of the award ceremony where AYR members Charlee and Mina accept the proclamation on behalf of our group.

AAPI Youth Action Rally

Thank you to @aapiyouthaction for organizing June’s inspirational rally in Pasadena.

It’s uplifting to see other middle school youth taking action to speak up for our community. AAPI Youth Rising was honored to speak alongside trailblazers @repjudychu@PasadenaMayorGordo#senatorportantino, Susie Woo Associate Professor of American Studies at California State University, Lieutenant Anthony Burgess, AAPI Youth Action organizer Sophie Pang and local youth including @626speakout‘s Alina Wong. S/o also to @ash_citrus for marching alongside us. Together, we’re making positive change in our communities.

Watch for our reel for the events of the rally!

March for Elders Rally

Thanks @asiansunitedus for organizing the March for Elders Rally and shout out to @_cam_cake_ for representing AYR and sharing her story as a proud, Asian American adoptee, and reminding us of the diversity implicit in being American. Cooper @itadakimasutako joined in leading the march with @mina.fedor!

Check out our reel on IG!

Actions Towards Change Rally

Mina spoke out at ATC’s rally in SF.

🌸 AAPI Historical Figures Art Project 🌸

Chizu Iiyama

AAPI Youth Rising’s mission is all about raising our youth voices and taking “little” actions to make a difference.

Today, we celebrate Chizu Iiyama, a Nisei activist, social worker, and educator, who was born in San Francisco. She raised her voice as an activist during a time when it was harder to speak up. We at AAPI Youth Rising continue to be inspired by her legacy.

We hope you enjoy this drawing of Chizu Iiyama by Mila Cavagnaro, who also bravely raised her voice during the AAPI Youth Rising Rally in Berkeley, CA on March 28, 2021. The bio is written by Aashi Gupta. Thank you Mila and Aashi for sharing your beautiful creation with us and being a part of the AAPI Youth Rising team.

Fred Korematsu

Spearheading our AAPI Historical Figures Art Project, Bee Norton-Tsang spotlights Fred Korematsu with her amazing drawing!

Fred Korematsu was an Oakland-born civil rights activist who advocated for Japanese Human rights during WWII. Korematsu’s legacy continues to inspire us to raise our youth voices.

Educator and Community Heroes Spotlight

Ms. Chris Chun

We can’t say it enough — teachers continue to inspire us. Through COVID and social movements, educators have worked tirelessly to help us become the positive changemakers we all are meant to be.

To celebrate all that you do, we’re highlighting some of the teachers near and dear to our hearts. First up – Ms. Chris Chun, Asian Student’s Union Advisor and leader of the ASU in culinary adventures throughout the East Bay at @blackpinecircle.

Dr. Russell Jeung

Professor, activist, and changemaker, Dr. Russell Jeung inspires us each day with his dedication to racial justice and inclusion. In addition to his role as Professor of Asian American Studies at @sanfranciscostate , Dr. Jeung also co-founded @stopaapihate in 2020 to track and respond to incidents of hate and violence against the AAPI community. Not to mention, he’s got a great sense of style (peep the sweet shirt by @madowfutur 👀).

Thank you to Dr. Russell Jeung for sending over these materials for this highlight and for doing all that you do.

Mr. Simon Alejandrino

Burning Cheetos for science? Mr. Alejandrino knows how to light up the classroom for 7th and 8th graders at @redwoodday. On top of being a stellar educator, Mr. Alejandrino also MC’d our rally in March!

Read more about this amazing teacher and how Mr. Alejandrino links science to the “real world”.

Kate Lee

A community organizing boss and curriculum editor for the @PBS Asian Americans series, Kate Lee also oversees the curriculum development of The Asian American Education Project – an amazing resources both supported by and listed on AAPI Youth Rising’s ONE/180 Pledge [link in bio to check out the pledge]! @kaaatelee dedicates her career to fighting for more inclusive educational curriculum.

SWIPE to read more about Kate’s inspirational work ✨

Sung Yeon Choimorrow

Ms. Sung Yeon Choimorrow, Executive Director of National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum! @NAPAWF is a group dedicated to building power with AAPI women and girls in the United States so that we can have agency to make decisions about our bodies, lives, families and communities.

AAPI Youth Rising is organizing to support the HEAL for Immigrant Families Act through NAPAWF. We believe that every person should be able to get affordable health care no matter how long they have been in the U.S.  

We are all about taking little actions to make a difference. Interested in taking action? Check out: https://www.napawf.org/heal#take-action

Southey Kulkarni

Southey Kulkarni, an amazing elementary school educator, formerly with Live Oak Charter School, also inspired our ONE/180 Pledge to advocate for at least one day of Asian American History to be taught in schools K-12. Kulkarni has supported AAPI Youth Rising since the beginning and for that we’re so grateful. 

Stewart & Pat Kwoh

Stewart and Pat Kwoh, two trailblazing Asian American educators and civil rights leaders, started @asianamedu to ensure that students across the country would know a more well-rounded and true version of history. We are continually inspired by their work and look forward to learning more from their curriculum ourselves. **Inside scoop – Pic is from Womens’ March LA!**

Ms. Kwoh led the curriculum development project for Untold Civil Rights Stories: Asian Americans Speak Out for Justice and served as the project director for curriculum development for the 2020 PBS docuseries Asian Americans. A true heroine!

Mr. Kwoh is President Emeritus, founder, past president, and past executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles. A true hero!

Aaron Barlin

On top of teaching World and US Literature teacher at Piedmont High, Mr. Barlin also advises both PHS’s @asblovesyou and ASU. A fan of the Socratic method, he hopes that students can see the growth and beauty that come from discomfort and having difficult conversations, especially after all the tumult of the last year.

Mr. Barlin integrates social justice teachings into his curriculum and always finds ways to push his students to further their thought processes and raise their influential young voices for positive change. Also one to walk the talk, Mr. Barlin was also the first signatory on our ONE/180 Pledge!

Go to IG to read more about Mr. Barlin’s work.

Do Something’s AAPI Heritage Month Grant Winner

AAPI Youth Rising receives the @dosomething AAPI Heritage Month Grant! August 17, 2021 – Thanks to Do Something for recognizing our continued work to elevate youth voices! AYR will use the grant money for our upcoming Diverse Youth Voices Art Show.

Diablo Magazine – Agents of Change

AAPI Youth Rising’s Founder Mina Fedor named as Diablo Magazine’s 2021 Agent of Change – August 20, 2021. So honored to be named as one of the 17 forward-thinking members of our community who are dedicated to moving the dial, ingeniously finding solutions to today’s most pressing concerns.

Teach Our Histories CA

AYR is a partner organization to the Teach Our History Coalition (spearheaded by Diversify Our Narratives and GenUP!). The Coalition is a student-led collective in support of AB 101 – the bill mandates ethnic studies as a graduation requirement for public high schools in CA.

Through this coalition, we submitted Op-Ed pieces in support of AB 101, we have called and written to our legislators and we continue to raise awareness. We are so excited to announce that AB 101 was signed into law on October 7th! But this is just the beginning and there is so much work left to do. Check out https://www.teachourhistoryca.org/.

Voter Registration

We shape elections – The Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) electorate is a formidable community with the power to shape and influence elections down the ticket throughout the country.

Fastest Growing Population – More than 20 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) live in the United States and we’re the fastest-growing racial group in the country. By 2036, we’ll be nearly 10% of all eligible voters.

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