Mina, Founder + Executive Director
I spoke about the rise in xenophobia against the AAPI community due to COVID-19 at my school assembly at the beginning of the pandemic back in 2020, at a time when no one was talking about it. After a year of witnessing the increase in anti-Asian sentiment and violence toward my community, I decided to take more action. Originally I had a little idea to hang a sign in support of the AAPI community over the I-80, one of the busiest intersections in CA. This small idea evolved into the AAPI Youth Rising Rally.
On March 28, 2021 community members representing the diversity of the Bay Area came together in solidarity with the AAPI community at our rally in Berkeley, CA. Originally, I had hoped for 70 participants. To my surprise, over 1,200 participants joined the crowd. On a bright and sunny day, we heard from many brave youth as we raised our voices. A first-grader even spoke up! We then marched to the SF Bay Pedestrian Footbridge and hung our signs on the overpass while we heard motorists honk in support. It was an inspirational day for all of us. In that moment, we realized that even as middle-schoolers, we can make a difference. These small actions add up.
College Preparatory School, Oakland CA, Class of 2026
Anna, Editor in Chief
My favorite memory is from way back at the beginning of our group, where we were all sitting around the table in Mina’s yard, making buttons, designing the website, and writing some posts from our newly formed Instagram together. We were all laughing because none of us had any clue as to what we were supposed to do. At that moment, we were all together in unison, sharing our confusion and excitement as one organization.
Lick Wilmerding High School, San Francisco CA, Class of 2026
Aashi, Creative Director
Getting involved with your community can help it become a better place to live for all community members.
Bishop O’Dowd High School, Oakland CA, Class of 2026
Charlee, Communications Director
I believe it is important for young people to get involved in their communities because we are the future, and if there is something that you believe is not right, you can do something about it.
Albany High School, Albany CA, Class of 2026
Siwoo, Social Media Manager
My favorite memory with AAPI Youth Rising was when we got to present our slideshow for the Boys and Girls Club, sharing it with others was a fun experience.
Head Royce School, Oakland CA, Class of 2026
Jaslene, Website Manager
I help the AAPI Youth Rising website by using my coding knowledge to update pages and modify graphic design. I aim to support the cause overall because, as an Asian-American, it is very important to raise awareness against injustice to help better the lives of minorities.
Burlingame High School, Burlingame CA, Class of 2026
Maxwell Wong, Project Director
I’ve enjoyed supporting AAPI Youth Rising as a supporter through attending the rallies and speaking on behalf of AAPI at conferences. I enjoy debate, playing the piano, and learning languages.
Head Royce School, Oakland CA, Class of 2025
Cooper, Finance Director
I ask all of you to I ask all of you to consider getting yourselves more involved in activism. At first I was apprehensive, like many people are, but making that first step of going to an event and contributing to making the world a better place is absolutely amazing and is already going above-and-beyond what most people do.
Bishop O’Dowd, Oakland CA, Class of 2025
Sean, Community Outreach Director
I like listening to music, reading, talking to his bird and hanging out with his family. I hopes that through AYR, multiple young voices will be able to spread diversity in the world and make it a better place.
Montessori School of El Cerrito, El Cerrito CA, Class of 2027
Ethan Su, Middle School Director
Ethan is interested in the AAPI youth community because he enjoys learning about people’s experiences, and understanding where they are coming from. Ethan is interested in applying game theory principles to real life scenarios for racial and social justice. During his free time, he likes to read about historical facts and quantum physics.
Mandarin-Immersion School, San Francisco CA, rising 8th grader
Not listed: Troy, Community Outreach Director