2022 Ripples of Change Fellowship

Ripples of Change Fellowship

Like droplets of water that flow outward to create ripples, Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders for Civic Empowerment Education Fund (AAPI FORCE-EF) centers and builds the political force of young people, elders, workers, tenants, immigrants, refugees, and working-class families and communities fighting for justice.

When our communities come together in collective action, we empower ourselves to redefine democracy and transform our government from one that prioritizes superprofits for the wealthy, into a government that prioritizes care for our people.

Our 2022 Fellows

AAPI FORCE-EF seeks to train new leaders who will make waves in our movements for social justice and build lasting power for progressive change. Over the course of eight weeks, Ripples of Change fellows will learn fundamental skills in digital and electoral organizing through social media outreach, voter engagement, and get-out-the-vote tactics.

Abigail Dizon 

“My growing experience in political understanding has shaped my activism and informed the way I want to support the Long Beach Filipinx community. ⁠During my ROC fellowship, I’ve been inspired by insightful guest speakers, my supervisors, and my peers. I’ve also gained valuable insight on how community activism works from an organizers perspective. ⁠

I look forward to implementing the skills I learn through the fellowship in my personal growth as an activist.

Daniel Ynchausti

“Rooted in community, nothing is more important to me than organizing around the issues that affect myself and the rest of the Filipinx diaspora from locally in the San Gabriel Valley to back home in the Philippines.⁠

In the future, I hope to work as a community organizer and policy director for a nonprofit or NGO. I enjoy writing, spending time with friends, and trying out new food spots. During my fellowship, I hope to develop my understanding of grassroots progressive change and grow in radical love.”

Isa Sasi

“I currently work within the NHPI community and I love the challenges it brings me.⁠This fellowship reminds me of how much work goes into advocating for my Pasifika people and how much more is needed to go. It also makes me more appreciative of all the hard work the Aunties and Uncles put in before me.

I feel like I am barely touching the surface, and I am very blessed to continue the work alongside my elders.”

Morgan Yen

“Through this fellowship, I’m learning about Asian American & Pacific Islander community activism and I’m inspired by how students led the fight for ethnic studies. I’m committed to advocating for the development of anti-racist curriculums on the state and national levels.⁠

I’m excited to continue growing in my political and cultural understanding through this fellowship and hope to inspire younger generations to fight for their histories!”

Samuelu Fesili

“As a part of this fellowship, I am learning how to better educate and inspire our Pasifika communities about being politically active. 

In the words of the late and great Haunani-Kay Trask, ‘Cultural people have to become political’.

I want our Pasifika voices to be active agents of resistance against the systemic exploitation, silencing, and erasure of our peoples, our cultures, and our islands.⁠”

Statement: Recall Election

Statement: We Celebrate our Grassroots Mobilization Efforts in the September 14 Special Election

Community Organizations Reached Thousands of AAPIs to Vote Through Field and Ethnic Media Outreach


October 7, 2021

Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community organizations reached and mobilized thousands of AAPIs to vote in the September 14 special election. 


“We did this because we needed to. We did this to protect immigrant working class AAPI communities facing anti-Asian hate crimes and a raging pandemic disproportionately affecting Pacific Islanders more than any other group in California. This campaign was about protecting our communities from a clear threat against the progressive wins we’ve had and advancing the racial, economic and environmental justice issues we are fighting for every day.” said Rozlind Silva, AAPI FORCE-EF’s Civic Engagement Organizer.


Our community organizing network led the state’s biggest AAPI-focused get out the vote operations as a core member of the multiracial alliance, Million Voters Project (MVP) which mobilized AAPI, Latinx, Black, and Youth voters across the state. In the four weeks since MVP and AAPI FORCE-EF  kicked off the GOTV campaign, the groups’ community-led operation to turn out voters of color turned this recall election into a base building opportunity. 


Daisy Maxion, Filipino Advocates for Justice’s Civic Engagement Organizer said, “Our outreach programs expanded the electorate by making sure Asian immigrant voters understood what was at stake in this election. By not voicing our vote, we  would roll back decades of progress in protecting low-wage workers, addressing the current spike in anti-Asian violence, and making sure corporations pay their fair share in California.” 

Outreach teams spanned the state, with get out the vote operations in Sacramento, Fresno, San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Orange County, and San Diego. Our field partners include Asian Solidarity Collective, California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative, Empowering Pacific Islander Communities, Filipino Advocates for Justice, Hmong Innovating Politics, and Orange County Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (OCAPICA). Canvassers and volunteers had direct phone and door conversations with over 6,000 Asian American and Pacific Islander voters across the state of California, with voters contacted in English, Tagalog, Hmong, and Vietnamese.


Through our partnership with the Secretary of State’s office, AAPI FORCE-EF and local partners also reached voters through TV, radio, print, and digital advertisements

  • Hmong Innovating Politics’ Communications Associate & Language Specialist spoke about the importance of voting on KBIF 900AM Hmong Radio and Hmong TV Network.

  • Shared thousands of print flyers with general information about the special election and the necessary education about how ballots were distributed.

  • Translated materials that demystified the recall ballot were boosted on social media channels most used by community members. 


Every conversation made a difference. With voters, our network of passionate phone bankers and door-to-door canvassers emphasized that everyone in California should earn fair wages, have clean air and water, live in a safe, affordable home and be able to care for our families. We let them know that their votes would decide the future of California.

By making sure our neighbors and peers filled out their ballots, we empowered ourselves to keep us safe and protect the progress our movement has made to protect immigrant, refugee, and working class communities. 


AAPI For Civic Empowerment Education Fund is a network of Asian American and Pacific Islander organizations across California dedicated to strengthening and expanding democracy, while growing the political participation of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Steering committee organizations include Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Chinese Progressive Association, Filipino Advocates for Justice, Hmong Innovating Politics, Khmer Girls in Action, and Pilipino Workers Center. Our partner organizations include Asian Solidarity Collective,  Asian Youth Center, AYPAL, CA Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative, Empowering Pacific Islander Communities, Jakara Movement, OCAPICA, and South Bay Youth Changemakers.

#AAPIpower Storytelling

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month 2021

#AAPIpower Storytelling Project

We are celebrating #AAPIpower - from community organizing to raising a family to surviving war/colonization, our people possess and manifest power in many ways. This project aims to share and honor your story.

#AAPIpower is...

resistance. joy. community.

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. This month, we honor our heritage, which is rooted in #AAPIpower. AAPI power looks like:

  • Asian American laborers fighting against corporate greed to earn workers’ rights. 
  • Pacific Islander communities working in the forefront of movements against militarization and fighting for decolonization. 
  • AAPIs showing up in solidarity with Black lives and other oppressed peoples.
  • Immigrants and refugees daring to dream and envision a world beyond which they know. 
  • Elders refusing the erasure of their culture by passing down language and traditions.
  • AAPI youth imagining and working toward the creation of a world where we can all thrive.

Celebrate #AAPIpower with us by sharing your story.

Art by Eduardo Daza Taylor IV. (instagram)

storytelling toolkit

Developing your #AAPIpower story

What is the #AAPIpower Storytelling project?

This story collection project is led by AAPI FORCE-EF and centers narratives of #AAPIpower in light of APA Heritage Month. Due to the increase in physical violence against Asians, social media newsfeeds have been saturated with narratives of Asian American victimization. To counter these narratives and empower the community, this project will celebrate narratives of #AAPIpower – from community organizing to raising a family to surviving war/colonization, our people possess and manifest power in many ways. This project aims to share and honor your story. 


AAPI FORCE-EF (AAPIs for Civic Empowerment Education Fund) is an alliance of community organizations serving Asian American and Pacific Islanders across the state of California. We work on campaigns that center the needs of working-class Asian immigrant, refugee, and Pacific Islander families. We work together with organizations across the state to build the power necessary for positive change in our communities.

Who is eligible to participate in this storytelling project?

We welcome people who identify as Asian American and/or Pacific Islander to submit your story of #AAPIpower! Stories should center someone who identifies as Asian American or Pacific Islander. Your story can be about yourself, someone in your life, or a historical figure who inspires you! We welcome participants and stories of people from all ages and locations! If you have any questions about eligibility, feel free to contact Rozlind@aapiforce.org!

How does the process work?

Fill out this google form with a 50-200 word story about someone who demonstrates #AAPIpower (it can be yourself!). Share photos and visuals to accompany your story, and we will share your story on social media to celebrate #AAPIpower! While we are thankful for all the stories submitted, we may not be able to share all the stories we receive due to volume. We encourage everyone to self publish your story and use #AAPIpower to celebrate your story!

What visuals should I include alongside my written story?

You can upload up to 5 images to accompany your story! Visuals can be a photo of the person you wrote about, a photo of yourself, a photo of an object that symbolizes what you talked about, or an illustration.

What is #AAPIpower?

AAPI power encompasses a variety of things – joy, resilience, culture, resistance. From a community organizer who fought against voter suppression or a parent/guardian who works tirelessly to care for their child, #AAPIpower is demonstrated in different ways.

We encourage you to celebrate everyday acts of #AAPIpower, such as an immigrant daring to dream and envision a world beyond which they know, or an elder passing down their language and traditions. 

Tips for storytelling:

  • Try to show, not tell. Help a reader step in your shoes by describing tapping into human senses (seeing, touching, hearing, feeling, smelling). 
  • Explain things that the reader might not understand. If this is a tradition in your culture, or if you reference a saying in another language, help us understand your story by breaking it down!


  • Who is someone in your life who inspires you?
  • Who has helped you get to where you are today?
  • Who/what makes you feel joy?
  • Who/what makes you feel loved?
  • What’s an example of something that you or someone else has overcome? How did they overcome it?

Sample Story

From Lan N.

#AAPIpower is my Vietnamese refugee parents working alongside their neighbors to keep each other fed and safe. While my parents and their neighbors have never heard of the term “mutual aid” or attended any webinars about building pods, they live and breathe the values of mutual aid and community care. My parents grow Vietnamese fruits in their garden, which they trade with a neighbor who grows vegetables. With this communal trading, my parents could go weeks without risking a trip to the grocery store. One of my parents’ neighbors is a young family who lives in the apartment complex behind my parents’ house. They often share meals and treats with each other. They exchange things so often that my parents built a pulley system with a basket attached to the fence behind their house so that the two families could exchange gifts without having to walk around the block. My parents and their neighbors’ love and care for each other is #AAPIpower.

Event May 14th: Journeys to Victory

Event: Journeys to Victory

Celebrating AAPI Organizers and Movement Builders

Happy Asian Pacific American Heritage Month! This APAHM, we are hosting a virtual celebration uplifting AAPI organizing and movement builders. On May 14th @ 5PM, AAPI FORCE-EF member and partner organizations will share their victories from political and community campaigns. We will also uplift community artists and cultural workers who breathe life into our movements

The first few months of 2021 brought us new yet familiar hardships. We’ve struggled through anti-Asian violence manifesting in both interpersonal and systemic forms; however, when we look at our AAPI history and heritage, we understand without a doubt that our people are resilient survivors, and continue to fight fearlessly for justice and equity every day!

Check out the organizations presenting:

  • South Bay Youth Changemakers

  • Chinese Progressive Association

  • Filipino Advocates for Justice

  • Pilipino Workers Center

  • Empowering Pacific Islander Communities

  • Khmer Girls in Action


  • DJ Rodel

  • TBD

We hope to explore some of the amazing on the ground work by AAPI organizers and artists to carry on our legacy of resistance, and center the fact that we have always been so much more than victims. We are fighters. We are empowered leaders. We are students, parents, grandparents, artists, activists, and we will continue to carry the torch forward in our struggle towards justice!

Journeys to Victory is a virtual celebration that will be hosted on Zoom, on May 14th from 5PM-7PM PST. Join us as we recenter ourselves in our AAPI identities and our powerful history, and continue our long journey towards victory. See you there!

Event: AAPIs 4 Environmental Justice

Event: AAPIs 4 Environmental Justice

Earth Day is just around the corner, which means it is once again time for mega-corporations to capitalize on “greenwashing” their image, while they continue to protect their profits over people and our planet.

Climate crisis is happening now. The recent extreme winter storm ravaged Texas, the Midwest, and Southeast, leaving hundreds of thousands of families without power, water, and heat for weeks. In California, we continue to face extreme heat waves, wildfires, and power outages year after year. None of these are “natural disasters” when we know climate change is a product of people’s actions driven by capitalism.


From Wallstreet to Big Oil to corporations that privatize public resources, pollute our air and land, and develop unsustainable models of business, low-income communities, communities of color, and indigenous peoples continue to bear the brunt of harm most intensely. Many Asian American and Pacific Islander communities have historically faced environmental destructions and injustices, struggled living near toxic sites and polluting power plants, and organized at the intersections of land, housing, workplace safety, etc.


Now more than ever, we feel the urgency to build towards an alternative and protect our future. What work can we do to promote environmental justice in our local communities? How do we hold corporations accountable in the larger fight against rapid climate change?


Join AAPI FORCE-EF, Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN), California Environmental Justice Alliance (CEJA), Independent Guåhan, and Pacific Climate Warriors for an expert panel of activists and organizers delving into AAPI organizing environmental justice issues, and learn how you can contribute concretely to progressive efforts and calls to action!


The panel will be hosted as a webinar on Zoom and broadcasted on Facebook live on April 13th at 5:30PM PT. We will also be hosting a 15 minute Q&A with the panelists that you won’t want to miss!

Co-sponsor: Project by Project San Francisco

RSVP to AAPIs 4 Environmental Justice:

Introducing our panelists:

My name is Ashley Phuthama, I am a youth leader at Asian Pacific Environmental Network. I’m in 10th grade, and was born and raised in Hercules, CA. My history with APEN started in 2019 when I attended their Youth Academy program. I come from a Laotian family, and I appreciate APEN’s background in Laotian immigrant and refugee organizing, this is why I’m excited to be a part of APEN’s youth leadership and give back to my community. 

Mabel Tsang – As Civic Engagement Program Manager for CEJA and CEJA Action, I work to build the political power, self-governance and self-determination of EJ communities and communities of color burdened by health, economic and environmental impacts. I build the bridges of accountability between California’s elected leaders and voters, manage ballot measure campaigns, and expand democratic participation for environmental, racial and social justice by centering and including members of our community who have been historically barred from voting. I’ve successfully led the campaign to beat down Proposition 70 which preserved critical public funds to fight climate change.

Michael Lujan Bevacqua, Ph.D. (Familian Kabesa yan Bittot) is the co-chair for the organization Independent Guåhan, which is dedicated to educating the Guam community about the need for decolonization and joining the world as an independent country. He hosts a weekly podcast on Facebook for the group called Fanachu! With his brother Jack, they run a creative collection called The Guam Bus that publishes Chamoru language books, comics and learning materials (www.theguambus.com).  

Kevin Lionga Aipopo (all pronouns, Pacific Climate Warriors) is a community advocate, storyteller, and student leader based in traditional Kalupuya, Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde, and Atfalati lands (Beaverton, Oregon). Their work centers around the intersections between their ethnic identity as a Black American and Samoan person and their gender fluidity. Kevin uses their platforms to interrogate systems of power, challenge normalcy, and uplift voices within their communities. Through interpersonal connection, community organizing, poetry, and education, they have found space as an emerging voice for Black, Indigenous, Queer, Trans, and Climate liberation

Statement: Asian Organizations Across the Bay Area Join Forces to Demand Action Against Violence

Statement: Asian Organizations Across the Bay Area Join Forces to Demand Action Against Violence

February 9, 2021

We, the undersigned organizations, denounce violence against members of Asian American communities in San Francisco, Oakland, and the greater Bay Area. We stand in solidarity with victims, survivors, and families who have suffered loss and pain.

These violent assaults have made the especially difficult circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic even more painful. From our Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese elders to our youth, our Asian American communities are traumatized, afraid, and outraged during a time when we are also experiencing disproportionate impacts of the pandemic. These include mass unemployment, safety risks to frontline workers, insecure housing, the shuttering of our local small businesses, and a surge in anti-Asian racism.

In the past year, we have seen an escalation of violence and other incidents against Asian American communities. The Stop AAPI Hate reporting center documented 2,808 hate incidents in 2020. Over 700 of these occurred in the Bay Area. And while we should not make any assumptions about the reasons behind these recent incidents — whether racially motivated or not — they have profound impacts on our Asian communities across the country and internationally. Our elderly community members, along with their families, are fearful of being in public alone, simply going for a walk, and living their daily lives. And survivors of interpersonal violence and their families have historically not received enough culturally-competent and language-accessible support across government systems.

We recognize that violence affects all of us and all of our communities. We must invest in long-term community-centered solutions that create spaces for cross-racial healing that address underlying causes and create ways for all to thrive. We believe that our strength is in unity, not division, and that our histories and our futures are intertwined. That is why we are committed to working with Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Pacific Islander communities for long-term shared vision and solutions to stop the violence in all our communities.

We also recognize that it is up to us to keep our communities accountable and to holistically respond to generational trauma and violence. It is up to us to imagine what real safety could look like for our people, and to build the future we want to see — one that is grounded in accountability, justice, and care for each other.

As the Lunar New Year approaches, we must all come together to protect the safety of our community members who are feeling vulnerable during what should be a celebratory time. The cities of San Francisco and Oakland leadership must immediately increase culturally-relevant and trauma-informed investments that:

  1. Ensure victims and survivors of all backgrounds and language abilities receive full supportive services so they can recover and heal.
  2. Expand intervention- and prevention-based programs and invest in basic needs and community-based infrastructure that we know will end the cycle of violence and keep all of us safer.
  3. Resource cross-community education and healing in Asian American and Black communities that humanizes all of us rather than demonizes or scapegoats any community of color.

As organizations with a long history of protecting and advancing the rights of communities of color, we know that an over-reliance on law enforcement approaches has largely been ineffective and has been disproportionately harmful to Black communities and other communities of color. We believe the solution to violence is to empower our communities with resources, support, and education — this is how we make all of our communities safe.

See below for a list of the 93 organizations that have signed our statement.

1990 Institute



AAPIs for Civic Empowerment Education Fund (AAPI FORCE-EF)

AAPI Women Lead

APA Family Support Services

APALA, Alameda County Chapter

APALA, Inland Empire Chapter

APALA, San Diego Chapter

APALA, San Francisco Chapter

APALA, Orange County Chapter

APAPA, San Francisco Chapter

API Equality – Northern California

Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus

Asian American Women Artists Association

Asian Health Services

Asian Immigrant Women Advocates

Asian Pacific American Democratic Caucus of Alameda County

Asian Pacific Islander Council of San Francisco (API Council)

Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center

API Equality Northern California (APIENC)

Arab Resource & Organizing Center (AROC)

Asian Immigrant Women Advocates

Asian Law Alliance

Asian Pacific Environmental Network

Asian Pacific Fund

Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach

Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council

Asian Refugees United

Asians 4 Black Lives

AYPAL: Building API Community Power

Bay Rising

Cal-Nev Philippine Solidarity Task Force (UMC)

Center for Empowering Refugees and Immigrants (CERI)

Chinatown Community Development Center (CCDC)

Chinese for Affirmative Action

Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco

Chinese Health Initiative San Mateo County

Chinese Progressive Association

Communities as One

Community Youth Center

CSU East Bay Ethnic Studies Department

Donors of Color Network

East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (EBASE)

East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC)

Family Bridges

Filipino Advocates for Justice

Filipino Americans in Science Technology Engineering Arts and Mathematics (FASTER)

Filipino Community Center

Hella Heart Oakland

Hmong Innovating Politics

Japanese American Citizens’ League (JACL), Berkeley Chapter

Japanese American Citizens’ League (JACL), Contra Costa County

Japanese American Citizens’ League (JACL), Eden Township

Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), NorCal-W. Nevada-Pacific District

Japanese American Citizens’ League (JACL), Sacramento Chapter

Japanese American Citizens’ League (JACL), San Francisco Chapter

Japanese Americans For Justice

Inner Eye Arts

Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity

Korean American Community Foundation of San Francisco

Korean Community Center of East Bay

Legal Assistance to the Elderly

The Lunar Project

Malaya Movement SF

Mujeres Unidas y Activas


New Breath Foundation

NICOS Chinese Health Coalition

Nihonmachi Outreach Committee

North East Medical Services (NEMS)

Oakland Asian Cultural Center

Oakland Rising

Parent Voices Oakland

Pin@y Educational Partnerships

Pine United Methodist Church – San Francisco

Prism Foundation

Project by Project

Rose Pak Democratic Club

Rotary Club of San Francisco Chinatown

San Francisco Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines

San Francisco Rising

Santa Clara County Asian Law Alliance

SFSU: Department of Asian American Studies

Silicon Valley Rising

SOMA Pilipinas: Filipino Cultural Heritage District

South Bay Youth Changemakers

Southeast Asian Development Center (SEADC)


Stop AAPI Hate

Tuff Love Self-defense

Urgent Action Fund

West Coast Children’s Clinic

Join Our Movement

Join Our Movement

What's at stake:

With this election, our lives, health, and rights to determine our future are on the line. 

Will you do your part and join us in mobilizing voters for what may be the most important election of our generation?

Here are THREE ways you can get involved:

1. Attend our Voter Forum

A vertical flyer featuring an image of a group of youth holding up signs that promote voting, superimposed on an orange gradient background. Text reads: “CA AAPI Progressives’ Voter Forum. Tuesday September 9th, 5:30-7:30pm. bit.ly/cavoterforum. With this election, our lives, health, and rights to determine our future are on the line. Join our coalition of progressive AAPI organizations to discuss how civic engagement strategy can complement grassroots organizing and learn about the racial and economic justice initiatives that are on the California ballot this year.” Image includes organizational logos of Khmer Girls in Action, Chinese Progressive Association, Filipino Advocates for Justice, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, AAPIs for Civic Empowerment Education Fund, API Equality-LA, Empowering Pacific Islander Communities, Pilipino WOrkers Center, South Bay Youth Change Makers

This November, we have the chance to win some major structural and systemic changes through electoral work. As we’re living through a global pandemic, our communities are facing unsafe working conditions as essential workers, the threat of eviction, food insecurity, and so much more. We must vote to shape our future.

We’re teaming up with progressive AAPI organizations across the state to discuss how civic engagement strategy can complement grassroots organizing and to learn about the racial and economic justice initiatives that are on the California ballot this year. Some of the propositions on the ballot this year are historic opportunities to transform our state, built upon battles that our groups have been fighting for decades!

Tune in on Tuesday, September 29th, 5:30-7:30pm to learn more about these statewide initiatives, discuss local city + county initiatives in localized breakout rooms, and get plugged into opportunities to help our AAPI communities get out the vote!

RSVP at bit.ly/cavoterforum

2. Write postcards to infrequent AAPI voters

postcard that says "from: volunteer, to: infrequent AAPI Voter". Yellow banner reads: "Sign up to write postcards to infrequent AAPI voters!".

In November 2018, 36% of registered voters in California did not cast a vote. Every election, millions of registered voters opt out of the election for a variety of reasons. Although who or what you vote for is confidential, WHETHER OR NOT you vote is public record. We need YOUR help to contact registered voters who haven’t voted in a while and share why their vote matters.


Sign up to write to infrequent voters, and we’ll give you:

  • A list of registered voters who haven’t voted and their contact information
  • An invitation to a training and collective writing session to build community with other volunteers on October 5th, 6-7pm PST.
  • Postcards and envelopes to mail to your recipients (you’ll need to purchase your own stamps)
  • A few extra postcards with original artwork for you to keep for yourself or send to your loved ones
  • A chance to inspire voters!


Special thanks to Amplifier for providing the artwork featured on the postcards!

3. Call AAPI voters

Out of all the racial groups, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are the LEAST LIKELY to be contacted about elections. Will you do your part in helping us change that?

We’re calling voters to educate them on Prop 15 (Schools and Communities First), a historic ballot initiative that will restore $12 billion to our schools and community programs by closing corporate property tax loopholes.

Join us and make calls to shape our future!

Podcast: Reclaiming the California Dream

Podcast: Reclaiming the California dream


Reclaiming the California Dream is a limited podcast series featuring amazing stories from deeply rooted California community members and what their community means to them. By working together to pass the Schools and Communities First Act, we can sustain our culture, provide stability for our families and build a future where all Californians have access to quality health care and education we deserve.

Reclaiming the California Dream is brought to you by AAPIs for Civic Empowerment Education Fund (https://aapiforce-ef.org) and Project by Project San Francisco (https://projectbyproject.org).

Produced by Raymond Luu. 

Listen to the podcast trailer:


To stay up to date on our episode releases, follow Reclaiming the California Dream on Spotify here.

#ChooseUs Week of Action

#ChooseUs Week of Action

While workers in California struggle to make ends meet, corporate billionaires get richer. That is not acceptable. Community groups, unions, policy groups and philanthropy groups across California are coming together to launch the: 

#ChooseUsNotBillionaires CALIFORNIA WEEK OF ACTION (July 31 – Aug 7th)

We demand that Gavin Newsom and our elected officials #ChooseUs — the people of California — not wealthy corporations. Every day from Friday, July 31st to Friday, Aug 7th, we will demand that legislators invest in a just #RecoveryForAll that reverses historical inequities and creates collective benefits for us all.

Why are we having this week of action?

  • Too many of California’s politicians allow wealthy corporations and their lobbyists to bend the rules and determine our policy and budget priorities.
    • The rich make billions, while essential workers earn less than a living wage. Renters are forced to pay sky high rent to live in unstable housing. Immigrants live in fear and exclusion. All the while, schools, and neighborhoods remain underfunded.
  • With an uprising in the midst of a pandemic, we have a historic opportunity to choose our fellow Californians – Black families, students, essential workers, renters, and immigrants – over billionaires and corporations.
  • Right now, and this election year, is our moment to rewrite our collective future so that all of us – not just a wealthy few – are safe and thriving.
    • This moment isn’t about a lack of resources, especially in a state that is as wealthy as California. There is enough for everyone to have what we need to stay healthy, safe, and connected. The choices we make now on how to use the abundant resources we have will determine our future.
  • California’s leaders must choose, do you work for corporate billionaires or us?
    • We see now more than ever that the status quo that favors the wealthy – and leaves the rest of us sick, poor and over-policed – is an act of systemic racism and inequality. California’s lawmakers must choose a path forward that protects health, safety, and long-term economic well-being for all of us.
  • We are powerful when we act together. We choose us. We choose California. We need Governor Newsom and our other elected leaders to choose us too.
    • Now is the time to #ChooseUs!

There will be in-person and digital actions demanding that California protects essential workers, Black lives, immigrants, students, and renters. Will you #ChooseUs over billionaires?


AAPI FORCE-EF Condemns Trump’s Memorandum Excluding Undocumented Immigrants from Census Count

AAPIs For Civic Empowerment Education Fund Condemns Trump’s Memorandum Excluding Undocumented Immigrants from Census Count


July 22, 2020

Media Contact: Lan Nguyen, Lan@aapiforce.org

In yet another attack on immigrant communities, President Trump issued a Presidential Memorandum yesterday requiring the U.S. Census Bureau to exclude undocumented individuals from being counted for the allocation of congressional seats. This memo is unconstitutional and is being challenged by legal advocacy groups.


This is a continuation of Trump’s ongoing efforts to defund and disempower immigrant communities. In 2018, the Trump Administration announced a plan to include a question about citizenship status on the 2020 Census, but the attempt was blocked by the Supreme Court last year. The 2020 Census questionnaire does NOT have a question asking about citizenship, and no such question will be added.


Trump’s memorandum is shameful and racist by insinuating that undocumented people do not count as “persons” living in each state. He is wrong. Undocumented immigrants live, work, and go to school in every state, and practice civic engagement in a variety of ways to make our communities thrive. Our undocumented communities count.


“This memorandum continues Trump’s campaign to sow fear amongst all immigrants and discourage our communities from taking action in the streets and at the ballot box in a moment where their political activity could prove decisive in the 2020 election,” says Timmy Lu, executive director of AAPIs for Civic Empowerment Education Fund (AAPI FORCE-EF).


Data from the U.S. Census is used to determine representation in the U.S. House of Representatives, along with allocation of federal funds. Immigrants, along with communities of color, are deemed “hard to count”, with the AAPI population having the lowest Census response rate of any race. This leads to less of political power in Congress, and fewer resources for local communities. California is already at risk of losing representation due to a Census undercount and with 1 out of 8 Asian immigrants being undocumented in California, Trump’s memorandum presents a direct threat to the health, well-being, and political power of our communities. 


“We expect that our undocumented communities will continue to do what they have been doing in the face of past attacks: supporting their families, making a positive impact in the communities they reside in, and being politically engaged, which includes completing the Census,” says Lu.