Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC Awards Stipends to Five Student-Led Community Projects

Youth Leadership Summit Alumni Receive Funding for Projects on Campuses and Communities in California, Georgia, Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island
For Immediate Release
Danielle Wong 202-657-7348

Washington, D.C.—Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC (Advancing Justice | AAJC) announces today that it will award five stipends to student leaders to support campus- and community-based projects that elevate Asian American stories and advance dialogue, advocacy, and civic engagement within our communities.

In April, Advancing Justice | AAJC hosted its Spring 2021 Youth Leadership Summit (YLS) virtually across five days, convening college students in a week-long intensive program which included advocacy trainings and leadership development workshops focused on immigration, racial profiling, anti-hate advocacy, and community and civic engagement. The Summit provides a unique opportunity for young Asian American advocates from across the country to interact with their peers and learn from and network with national leaders. Advancing Justice | AAJC will award four Spring 2021 YLS alumni with stipends to support their continued work on campus and in their communities.

Advancing Justice | AAJC will launch applications for the Fall Youth Leadership Summit on Monday, August 2.

An Nguyen (She/Hers), University of California, Berkeley 

As a first-generation college student and a team member of UC Berkeley’s Asian and Pacific Islander Recruitment and Retention Center, An has experienced firsthand the socioeconomic inequalities that exist within the Asian American and Pacifc Islander (AAPI) community and society at large. Her background and experience in California’s Bay Area, an area struggling with a housing affordability and homelessness crisis, has made her passionate about examining the impacts of gentrification on communities of color. An will use the stipend to launch a multimedia project on the growing gentrification in Oakland Chinatown and its effect on the community. The multimedia project will include a documentary, a collection of photographs of Oakland Chinatown displayed on a digital platform, and a collection of infographics focusing primarily on statistics which will be shared with the local community via local organizations. An’s goal is to highlight the large geographic concentration of low-income AAPIs living in America's highest-cost cities, which are the primary epicenters of gentrification and displacement.

Annie Li (She/Hers), Emory University 

Annie previously served as Co-Vice President of Finance for Emory University’s Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Activists (APIDAA), a student organization dedicated to Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) activism and academia. Her work at Fair Fight during the past election in Georgia reinforced the importance of the AAPI vote, and highlighted the shifting demographics of the state, the South, and the country. This year, Annie and APIDAA will use the stipend to organize a speaker series on Asian Americans in the South. The group will invite three speakers for three separate events, focusing on the following areas: Chinese Americans in the Mississippi Delta, Southeast Asian refugees in Clarkston, and South Asians in Houston. Emory University is located in Atlanta, a city with a rapidly growing Asian immigrant electorate. Through this project, Annie and APIDAA will educate their campus on the diverse history of the American South. Moreover, this project will coincide with the opening of Emory’s Asian Student Center in Fall 2021, providing an opportunity to garner faculty and administrative support for the student space and for developing a broader network for Asian students at Emory.

Celia Le (She/Hers), Columbia University

Celia is passionate about storytelling and creating platforms for marginalized communities to tell their stories. Celia is a co-founder and producer of the Chân Lý (Truth/Axiom) Initiative, a digital documentary project which aims to tackle the issue of misinformation and to bring awareness to important issues in the Vietnamese diasporic community through infographics, video, and narration. The initiative’s videos will provide more context to issues related to the Vietnamese Americans and overall diaspora community not found in traditional news reporting. Celia wants to highlight the many injustices Vietnamese Americans and Southeast Asian Americans have faced due to language barriers such as vaccine distribution injustice, lower levels of educational attainment, and increased deportations. By doing so, the Chân Lý Initiative will provide much-needed context on these injustices, trials, and tribulations of the Vietnamese diaspora, and reach a more substantial truth.

Nelson Lin (He/Him), Brown University

Nelson is a co-founder of Brown University’s Asian American Political Alliance (AAPA), an organization focused on Asian American political engagement and community building in Providence, Rhode Island. Providence is home to many Southeast Asian refugees who have organized for Asian American rights in immigration, mental health, education, and community safety. In collaboration with Brown Asian Sisters Empowered and the Southeast Asian Studies Initiative at Brown University, Nelson will use his stipend to host a book club and panel discussion about the book “Generation Rising: A New Politics of Southeast Asian American Activism by Dr. Loan Thi Dao.” Together the groups will learn more about the development of Providence Youth Student Movement, a grassroots, LGBTQ+ youth-led organization of Southeast Asian Americans whose families live in Providence. The group will also coordinate workshops and a communal learning space that is open to Asian American student organizations from Providence high schools and colleges, and the group will host the author Dr. Dao for a book talk to discuss her work with students during the school year. Nelson hopes that this project at Brown University will create a foundation for students to engage with and support future community-based movements toward justice and equality for the Asian American community in Providence and beyond.

Nyx Hauth (They/Them), Berklee College of Music

Nyx is proud of their Asian American heritage and works to advance their community through leadership in cultural organizations and political advocacy. They believe that art has an essential role to play in advocacy and activism, which has inspired Nyx to use the stipend to produce a music album project with fellow AAPI students at the Berklee College of Music. The album will serve as a means for AAPI students at Berklee to voice their experiences and build community with other student artist-activists in the process. The album will be shared on all social media platforms and will be performed live at the Berklee Performance Center, with all proceeds going to the AAPI organization of the artists’ choice. Nyx hopes the album will provide AAPI students a platform to speak their truth and activate the Berklee community to take action against the injustices the AAPI community faces.