Asian American & Pacific Islander Alliances

About Us

Why We Take A Stand

  • Overview
  • In the Classroom
  • In the Community
  • DACA Recipients

Overview

The effort to end educational inequity must include the leadership of individuals who share similar backgrounds with the students most affected by injustice.

Less than 1.5 percent of our nation’s teachers identify as AAPI—a number that does not reflect the percentage of AAPI students or the changing student demographics in our schools. More than 4 percent of our student population identify as AAPI. The AAPI community is also the fastest-growing racial group in the United States—representing more than 48 ethnicities, over 300 spoken languages, varied socioeconomic status, and distinctions across immigration history, generational status, culture, and religion.

Kaycee Gerhart (Colorado ’09) reflects on the importance of AAPI teachers:

 

In the Classroom

Leaders from diverse cultural backgrounds can foster increased intercultural understanding in an interconnected global climate.

In classrooms across the country, our corps members are working with passion and commitment to give their students an education that will expand their opportunities in life.

Hoang Pham (Los Angeles ’11) shares his passion for dance with his elementary students:

In the Community

We believe it’s crucial that we continue to advance conversations about education and opportunity in the AAPI community. Students, schools, and the entire education system lose out on the lack of diversity in the education workforce.

That’s why we’re committed to forming strong relationships and partnerships with AAPI organizations to raise awareness about the most critical issues faced by AAPI students and to collaborate on teacher recruitment, training, and support to accelerate our collective efforts.

George Dong (Chicago ’09) leverages his experience as a non-native English speaker in his role as a high school English teacher:

 

DACA Recipients

Asian immigrants make up 11 percent of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. If you are brought to the U.S. as a child, you should be able to pursue an education and career without fear of deportation. This is why we’re committed to actively recruiting eligible individuals with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status to our teaching corps. Close to 9 percent of TFA corps members with DACA status, often referred to as ‘Dreamers,’ identify as AAPI.

Read more about our support for DACA recipients and joining TFA as a ‘Dreamer.’ 

Kareli Lizárraga (Colorado ’13) shares her story about being undocumented in America and becoming a teacher:

 

Upcoming Events

We’re currently planning our next event. Please check back soon for details.

The State of Education

Creating Safe Spaces

safe-spaces

Meet AAPI Classroom Leaders

Head shot of a young woman with very long straight dark brown hair smiling in a courtyard, wearing a pearl necklace and a pink dress.
Salma Akhtar
Greater Delta: Mississippi & Arkansas 2014
"I am somebody that my students may not have otherwise encountered. Using my identity to enlighten my students about the variety of cultures that exist in the world and to break stereotypes has been so crucial to me."
Close head shot of a young man with thick straight black hair smiling, wearing a cream shirt and red bow tie, in front of a cream background.
Draco Chu
Los Angeles 2014
"Oftentimes I have to explain myself and correct stereotypes, but it doesn’t mean that I have to change who I am. I just have to be proud of who I am, illustrate that for my students, and inspire them to be proud of who they are, whatever their identity may be."
Head shot of a young man with short black hair and black framed glasses smiling in an office, wearing a light purple polo shirt.
Jonathan Park
Los Angeles 2013
"There are different kinds of Asian Americans, and I think a lot of people don’t see that. One of the first places where we can help shed light on these issues is in school where students are allowed to be curious and ask inquisitive and thought-provoking questions. That’s how people learn."

Read More About Our Community

Sarah Ha

Developing A New Generation of AAPI Teachers

Teach For America is committed to growing the number of AAPI classroom and school system leaders to reflect the rapidly growing student population.

A young man with buzzed black hair and a thin mustache smiling in front of an orange background, wearing a black wool pea coat, a white dress shirt, and a dark blue tie.

All Students Count: Changing the AAPI Narrative

Gold Chhim explains why data disaggregation is needed to shed light on the realities faced by those grouped under the “Asian American and Pacific Islander” umbrella.

Headshot of a middle aged female with long dark brown hair wearing a black blazer and a silver necklace.

Op-Ed: AAPI Role Models Matter

Heather Tow-Yick illustrates the need for students to see leaders who look like them, including the 2.6 million of our nation's students who identify as AAPI.

Sammi Wong

Op-Ed: Promoting Bilingualism From An Early Age

Sammi Wong describes how many AAPI students feel pressured into making a choice between their home language and English.