Change starts with us and our families.
Racism is a difficult issue to discuss, especially with our parents. Many AAPI youth are taught by our parents to stay low, keep our heads down, and not cause any trouble.
Immigrant parents faced a different set of struggles, and they focused mostly on survival and fitting into the society. But as woke and active AAPI youth, we know that fitting into the norm is not the goal anymore. We must be loud, appreciate our differences, shine in our own unique ways, and become advocates against racism within our own communities.
This year, we are honored to partner with the Leadership Conference Education Fund’s “Black Justice is Our Justice” campaign to launch a two-part workshop series entitled #LeadershipConvos, focused on what it means to be a leader within our own families to combat anti-blackness and racism. Anti-blackness is at the center of bigotry and xenophobia in America today. Fighting all forms of bigotry in this country demands that we combat anti-blackness and reckon with our ongoing legacy of white supremacy. Black Justice is Our Justice. Black Justice is Immigrant Justice. Black Justice is Asian American Justice. On January 23rd, we embark on #LeadershipConvos: Part 1.
In the hour long workshop, youth leaders will share their experiences and tips on how to talk to parents and loved ones about anti-blackness and racism. In February, #LeadershipConvos: Part 2 will be a complimentary conversation with AAPI parents and caregivers on discussing anti-blackness and Black History Month with their children.
Haddie Watson (she/her) is an 11-year-old living in Kansas City, Missouri who is passionate about social justice. Haddie enjoys reading inclusive fantasy and sci-fi books and playing with her pets. She is grateful for opportunities to bring voice to children in her community and can't wait to go to college someday!
Ryan Alexander Holmes (moderator) | Actor, Activist, Afro-Asian American Having garnered a sizable presence on social media (@ryanalexh) by using his platform to embrace his mixed Chinese/African American background through comedic story telling and poignant writings about his family’s perseverance, Ryan’s goal is to encourage others who are of mixed ethnic/cultural backgrounds to fully embrace who they are and to show the world there is unimaginable strength in discovering harmony in multiculturalism.
Kathleen Mallari is a Database Administrator at the Fresh Air Fund, a non-profit that provides free summer experiences to New York City children from low-income communities. She recently graduated cum laude from Cedar Crest College with a BA in Global Studies. Kathleen has shown her passion for helping AAPI youth with her involvement in the creation of Act to Change’s Racism is a Virus toolkit and presenting during last year’s Youth Rising Conference.
Saveri Nandigama is a senior at the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor and is studying philosophy and religion. She is also involved in campus life as the Student Body Vice President and is also the Community Engagement and Events Director for the South Asian Awareness Network. Through her various roles, she's worked with different communities to build community and understand systemic issues, like anti-blackness within communities. In the future, she hopes to go to law school to work in civil rights legal spaces.
The Leadership Conference Education Fund’s “Black Justice is Our Justice” Project