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

Youth Leadership Summit Alumni Receive Funding for Projects on Campuses and Communities in California, Illinois, Maryland, and Washington, DC.
For Immediate Release

Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC (Advancing Justice | AAJC) announces today it has awarded four stipends to student leaders to support campus-based and community-based projects that elevate our communities’ stories and experiences and advance dialogue, advocacy, and civic engagement within our communities. In September, Advancing Justice | AAJC hosted its 2020 Youth Leadership Summit in its first-ever virtual format across five-days, convening college students online for a week-long program 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. Advancing Justice | AAJC awarded four stipends to support five Summit alumni in their continued work on campus around issues impacting our communities and creative approaches to elevating our stories, experiences, and leadership.

Amber Nguyen, Georgetown University

Amber is a board member of Georgetown University’s Asian Pacific Islander Leadership Forum (APILF). APILF is dedicated to celebrating, affirming, and mobilizing Asian and Pacific Islander students, as well as acting in solidarity with marginalized groups on campus. This Spring 2021 APILF will host a three-part, virtual summit to advocate for the implementation of an Asian American Studies (AAS) program at Georgetown. The first session will inform students about the history and legacy of AAS organizing on campus. The second session will be an informal “meet and greet,” through which community members foster relationships with core faculty supporters and student organizers. During the final session, participants will visit with administrative faculty members and potential AAS professors to convey the significance of AAS. Mobilizing Georgetown community members is crucial to illustrate the demand for AAS and build generational momentum. Through this three-part summit, APILF ultimately hopes to advance an education that values Asian American experiences and empowers students with the necessary knowledge to dismantle systems of oppression.

Amy Ho, University of California, Los Angeles

Amy is the External Associate Director of the 2nd Annual Southeast Asian Students for OrgaNizing Conference (SEASON) at UCLA. SEASON is a 3-day, 2-night conference that aims to bring together Southeast Asian students from across the nation to equip them with organizing skills, identity-building frameworks, and opportunities for coalition building to allow them to become better advocates for the community. SEASON provides Southeast Asian students and allies with a safe network to strategize and mobilize around the volatile and racist treatment of Southeast Asians in the U.S. in order to improve community conditions. In light of the current movement for racial justice and the continued xenophobic attacks on Asian Americans, this year’s conference theme, Soaring to New Heights, will focus on building cross-community solidarity. SEASON will be a vehicle for Southeast Asian students to strategize for a better future for their own communities as well as other communities of color.

Ananya Kalahasti and Charlie Nguyen, Johns Hopkins University

Ananya and Charlie are student leaders with Disaggregate Hopkins, a student-led initiative advocating for the disaggregation of racial/ethnic categories in university data collection at Johns Hopkins University and beyond. The initiative joins students and those across the country who recognize that data must capture the complexity of our lived experiences to address inequities in education. Disaggregate Hopkins has four goals: first, to administer a survey to build a disaggregated snapshot of Hopkins students to elucidate the need for data disaggregation; to educate others about the importance of data disaggregation; to engage in conversations with administration in pushing for university policy change; and to outline recommendations for more inclusive resources across the institution.

Joselle Escobar, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Joselle is one of the Coordinators for the Filipino Americans Coming Together Conference (FACT) hosted by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Philippine Student Association. FACT is the largest student-led Filipino-Interest conference in the Midwest, attracting over 1,300 delegates annually from across the United States in the past. Youth from across the nation have come to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus to attend workshops, discussions, panels, and speaker presentations regarding our communities while developing leadership skills, professionalism, and extensive networks. Joselle is looking forward to bringing these same aspects to a week-long online format and expanding the conference’s attendance base to increase access to FACT across the country. This year, the Philippine Student Association at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign seeks to empower delegates at this year’s conference to further educate and engage with each other in meaningful ways as a community to advance Filipino Americans and other minority communities as a whole.

Advancing Justice | AAJC is proud to host the Youth Leadership Summit in partnership with State Farm. We are excited to support the creativity and leadership of our young leaders on campuses across the country.


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