Advocacy

Providing a voice on issues impacting the Asian community

Overview

AACI advocates for civic engagement, health care access and social justice for the Asian community. We support coalition building, leadership development and advocacy to help immigrants integrate into the community as a whole.

Advocacy at AACI

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Advocacy Program:

South Bay First Thursdays

Overview

South Bay First Thursdays (SBFT) is focused on engaging young Asian and Pacific Islanders (API) interested in supporting community activities and organizations throughout the South Bay Area. Consisting of early-to-mid career professionals from the nonprofit, corporate and government sectors, SBFT provides a forum for networking, shared learning among peers and community service opportunities. SBFT organizes a monthly dinner to discuss an issue or event important to the API community. Panelists with knowledge of the topic are invited to share expert opinions. After the panel, audience members break -out into small groups to brainstorm and discuss.

Recent Event Topics

  • API Activism: History and Evolution of Movements
  • Movies & a Mixer: Showcasing API Filmmakers from around the Bay Area
  • (re)present: Showcasing API Talent in the Arts
  • Bound to Perfection: Mental-Wellness in API Women
  • API Gangs: Gang Violence in Our Community

Did You Know?

  • Raising awareness in the community. In 2010, SBFT hosted sessions on critical topics such as hepatitis B, diabetes, problem gambling and domestic violence.
  • Pipeline for civic leaders. SBFT has become a pipeline for future civic leaders, with volunteers becoming commissioners, nonprofit advocates and legislative staff.

Contact

For more information, contact Kenneth Wong, kenneth.wong@sbft.org

Visit SBFT Website:
www.sbft.org

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Advocacy Program:

Advocacy

Overview

The Advocacy Program at AACI provides a voice to Asians in Santa Clara County, advocates on issues of equality and social justice, and builds relationships among local Asian groups and policymakers. The program addresses issues of equality and social justice while promoting civic engagement and local leadership among Asians.

Recent Initiatives

  • Asian American Voices. The Silicon Valley Asian American Voices project uses multimedia tools to tell the stories of Asian American immigrants, engage the community on cross-cultural issues, bridge understanding between diverse communities, and inspire action in support of immigrant communities. The project created a “Asian American Voices” DVD and discussion kit, website, social media campaign, policy brief, community dialogues, and community educator program.
  • Census 2010. AACI played a key leadership role in the census by canvassing neighborhoods to promote the importance of participation, conducting ethnic media outreach, and serving as a Census Questionnaire Assistance Center in order to bring adequate federal funds and resources to the local community. Participation rates increased 10% within AACI’s targeted neighborhoods.
  • Cultural Sensitivity. In response to recent police incidents involving members of the Asian community, AACI advocated for San Jose law enforcement to have more cultural sensitivity and mental health training. AACI hosted community meetings, provided training and worked with city leaders to improve safety and communication.

Did You Know?

  • Making it count. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Santa Clara County’s Asian population grew from 25.4% in 2000 to 31.7% in 2009. From 2007 to 2008, as stated in a May 2009 San Jose Mercury News article, Santa Clara County added more new Asian residents than any other county nationwide

For more information, please contact Jorge Wong at jorge.wong@aaci.org or call (408) 975-2730 x230

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Advocacy Program:

Asian Pacific Islander Justice Coalition

Overview

The Asian Pacific Islander Justice Coalition of Silicon Valley (APIJC) is a network of organizations that advocates for social justice, and seeks to unite and empower the Asian Pacific Islander Community. APIJC seeks to be a united voice of positive change on the issues that affect the Asian community, including immigrant rights, social and human services, race relations, anti-Asian violence prevention and awareness, API-focused legislation, voting rights and language access.

Coalition Activities

  • Rapid Response Network. APIJC has an infrastructure for timely advocacy on critical issues and mobilization through public statements, press releases, press conferences, letter writing and petitioning. When an issue arises, through the Rapid Response Network APIJC is equipped to respond immediately to the community.
  • Monthly Dinner Meetings. APIJC’s monthly dinner meetings provide members an opportunity to network and collaborate on issues affecting the Asian community. The meetings are held on the fourth Monday of each month from 6:00-7:30 P.M. at a designated location.
  • Community Events and Trainings. APIJC sponsors and hosts community events promoting civic engagement and trainings that enhance the work of our member organizations.
  • Community Calendar. APIJC maintains a calendar of API events to promote community involvement and participation.

Did You Know?

  • How it All Started. In the summer of 2006, AACI joined with the Asian Law Alliance, the Asian Pacific Bar Association, and the Japanese American Citizens League of San Jose to address the need of connecting Asian-focused organizations into a unified voice of advocacy in the Silicon Valley. In response, they formed the Asian Pacific Islander Justice Coalition of Silicon Valley (APIJC). AACI currently provides administrative and technical support for the coalition.
  • APIJC is not a 501(c)3 organization; rather, it is a network of organizations united in a shared effort to ensure the well-being and uphold the rights of Asians in Silicon Valley.

Contact

For more information, visit http://apijustice.org/.

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Advocacy Program:

Asian American Voices

Overview

The Silicon Valley Asian American Voices project uses multimedia tools to tell the stories of Asian American immigrants and to educate, advocate, and engage people on related community issues. The project features an “Asian American Voices” DVD & Discussion Kit, interactive website, social media campaign, policy brief, community dialogues, and community educator program. Through these tools and activities, the project deepens understanding of the immigrant experience, builds trust between diverse groups of people, and inspires action in support of immigrant communities.

www.asianamericanvoices.org

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Advocacy Program:

Leaders for Education, Advocacy and Democracy

Overview

Leaders for Education, Advocacy and Democracy (LEAD) works with high school and college youth to foster a strong sense of civic engagement and community leadership within underrepresented communities in the Bay Area. Students are selected from a pool of applicants to participate in a rigorous internship program that involves professional and leadership development, community organizing training, and a field internship with a partner office. They learn from a range of topics, such as professional writing, office etiquette, ethnic and racial history, critical thinking, public speaking, resume building, and project management. Additionally, they work throughout the internship to host a community event that puts their professional training into practice.

Through diverse means of increasing civic participation, the goal is to expose students and community members to the value of public service, to give insight as to how the government is run, to build bridges between the community and public officials and to encourage more underrepresented groups to participate in mainstream politics and community service.

Students also get mentored by community and private sector leaders to get insight on effective methods of skill development for the professional world.

Past Community Engagement Projects

  • Creek Cleanup: Students organized an informational session with the Santa Clara Valley Water District to teach about water conservation and pollution, and gathered almost 100 volunteers to clean up the litter from a section of Coyote Creek.
  • Community Health Fair: Students planned and executed a health fair that offered resources to East Side San Jose residents on diabetes, high blood pressure, hepatitis B, and other health conditions prevalent in the community. They also held a panel of hepatitis B awareness among API communities.
  • National Night Out: Students worked alongside community associations to plan the annual celebration that unites local neighborhoods and advocates for prevention crime and drug prevention.
  • Immigrant Narratives: Students coordinated a campaign to highlight the lives and stories of immigrants to celebrate the contributions of immigrants and empower other immigrant communities. Components of the campaign included video narratives of these stories, artwork inspired by immigrant narratives, a student resolution and petition to call for more comprehensive curriculum regarding immigrant contributions throughout American history, and an event to showcase all of this work.

Did You Know?

  • Empowering generations of leaders. Since starting its internship program in 2000, 452 interns have come through the program.
  • Creating partnerships with government and non-profit offices. LEAD has worked with 76 government and community offices to provide a comprehensive internship experience that combines professional development with community engagement and political awareness.
  • Registering voters to mobilize the community. LEAD students have registered almost 6700 voters through the course of 13 years of service, empowering the electorate to make change through the ballot box.

Contact

For more information, contact Kenneth Wong, kenneth.wong@aaci.org
Read about the Youth Leadership & Civic Engagement Merger with AACI

Visit our site at: lead.aaci.org

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