May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month and we’re kicking it off with a post about the organization AAPI Women Lead.
Based in Oakland, California and founded by Dr. Connie Wun and Jenny Wun, AAPI Women Lead is “an intergenerational organization that strengthens the social and political power of AAPI communities through the leadership of AAPI Women-identified, women and girls in solidarity with other communities of color.”
Realizing there was limited research and support for self-identified AAPI women and girls and their experiences with various forms of violence, the co-founders wanted to help collect and share stories of struggle and survival within their communities. Studies suggest 60% of AAPI women and girls have experienced some form of abuse such as domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, sex trafficking, human trafficking, and domestic worker abuse.
The goal of AAPI Women Lead is “to challenge and help end the intersections of violence against and within our communities” and they do this through several programs:
- Conferences bring together AAPI women leaders and supporters to tell their stories and learn from one another.
- The Community Care Series is a variety of online workshops, interviews, and exercises led by community leaders to help people understand the pandemic and how to care for their health.
- The Youth-Led Mutual Aid Project Relief Fund is a series of projects “prioritizing undocumented youth-led projects, and community-based initiatives that will help our must underserved, unemployed, underemployed communities take care of one another, including mask production and distribution for our most vulnerable populations.
- A Global Campaign for Solidarity encourages people to speak out against all forms of violence.
- The Oakland Mutual Aid Collective is raising funds to provide 30,000 masks to Oakland’s most vulnerable residents.
The website also has lists of community resources focused on employment rights and mutual aid as well as resources focused on political education, self and community defense, de-escalation training, and bystander training.
If you’d like to support the work of AAPI Women Lead you can make a donation, shop for merch and help spread the word on social media. Like the AAPI Women Lead Facebook page and follow them on Twitter@AAPIWomenLead and Instagram @aapiwomenlead. #ImReady