When I entered college at Fresno State, I was in search of an Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) organizing group on campus. I was unsuccessful in finding an AAPI student club that focused on organizing and community development, so I decided to look towards nonprofits and organizations in my community. In my senior year, I learned about Hmong Innovating Politics (HIP). Since I began volunteering with HIP, I got the opportunity to learn more about the work they do, which is electoral organizing and civic engagement in the community. This is important because folks in my community do not know how to vote, read in English, or where to submit their ballot. After volunteering at HIP, I decided to apply to the Seeding Change fellowship this summer and am currently placed at HIP as a fellow. This organization is helping me grow and building me as a community organizer.
I am fortunate to work at HIP, where I got the opportunity to grow my interest in grassroots social justice movement and to organize. I was born and raised in a disenfranchised community that I deeply care about, and I am passionate about helping my community to be involved in the electoral process. My community has always been underrepresented and are living through paycheck to paycheck, crime, and dysfunctional school systems.
Through my participation at Seeding Change this summer, I have the chance to do the work that I am committed to do: to motivate youths in my community to be involved in civic engagement so that change will occur in my community. I always searched for solutions to change my community; through this fellowship I decided to approach tying my community with electoral work to empower my community and a way to move my community from violence to civic engagement. I am participating in the activities the nonprofit is actively doing and I get to create my own project with the assistance of Seeding Change and HIP. I am currently working on a short film that showcases the torment of living in a disenfranchised community. The folks I interview in this project will get to speak out about healthcare, education inequality, and poverty.
There is no organization like Seeding Change that exists to grow Asian American movements; during this fellowship, three important workshop that I took away is learning how electoral nonprofits organize, immigration rights and the current political system, and understanding settler colonialism. This national fellowship connected me to Asian youths that are also motivated to move their community forward. Sustaining this organization means future fellows will have the opportunity to learn about their roots and where they fit in history, from there fellows begin the small actions to move their community forward.
I would love for you to support this important work! Will you help me reach my goal of at least $200 by donating $5, $25, $50 (or what you can) to my page?
“We plant the seeds that one day will grow. We water seeds already planted, Knowing that they hold future promise.” - Oscar Romero, “Future Not Our Own"