#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.