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Asian American & Pacific Islander Alliances

The Asian American & Pacific Islander Alliances (AAPI) work alongside other organizations to amplify, strengthen, and elevate the leadership, stories, and visibility of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander educators and students.
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About the AAPI Alliances

The effort to end educational inequity must include the leadership of individuals who share similar backgrounds with the students most affected by the injustice, and led by those with personal proximity to the problem and its complexity. That's why we launched the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Alliances in 2014. It's crucial we grow our base of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) teachers in order to better reflect our nation's AANHPI students and anticipate the changing student demographics in our schools.

Teach For America’s AAPI Alliances works alongside organizations committed to deliver on the promise of equal opportunity for every child and help grow the leadership of AANHPI educators inside and outside of the classroom. Grounding ourselves in the long legacy of cross-racial and multi-ethic solidarity and struggle, we center in critical relationships. We are mobilizing a connected and culturally responsive AANHPI leadership coalition of educators, students, partners, collaborators, and co-conspirators who are committed to advocating around the critical issues most impacting AANHPI students.

The AAPI Alliance joined Act To Change, Hate Is A Virus, and Stop AAPI Hate at their second annual Changemakers Summit. Changemakers Summit 2022 is a national AAPI Youth Conference created in partnership with Act to Change and Hate Is A Virus. Designed to support, connect and develop the next generation of AAPI youth activists, the conference this year will center around the theme of Intergenerational & Intersectional Activism. Mina Fedor, of AAPI Youth Rising, interviewed Soukprida Phetmisy at their closing event on the topics of intergenerational organizing and maintaining self-care in activism. We aim to remove barriers on the pathway toward a child centric educational ecosystem in order to one day realize educational equity for all children.

Connect With Us

Stay in touch with our work and latest events. Connect with us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for additional updates, or send us an email to get in touch. 

Upcoming Events

We Are Not A Stereotype: Imagining Asian Education | SXSW EDU in Austin, TX 

March 6-9, 2023

The AAPI Alliance is headed to SXSW EDU in March 2023! Soukprida Phetmisy, Senior Managing Director of the AAPI Alliances, will join Liz Kleinrock (Teach and Transform), Andrea Kim Neighbors (Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center), and Vishavjit Singh (New York City Fire Department (FDNY)) for their workshop, We Are Not A Stereotype: Imagining Asian Education, which aims to shed light on the experiences of Asian American students and educators, and how to support and sustain Asian Americans through curriculum and pedagogy.

Members of the Asian American Pacific Islander Initiative posing for a group photo with Congresswoman Judy Chu. AANHPI CM summit staff group photo AANHPI 2018 Summit Session Lindsey Bailey (Hawai’i ‘12) teaches 3rd grade at Makakilo Elementary School in Makakilo on Oahu.

Our AANHPI community in action.

AAPI Heritage Month: Belonging in America

Susie Kim was a 2013 New York City Corps Member. As an Asian American, she tries to instill in her students a sense of belonging so that they can learn to be advocates for themselves and their communities.

Why We Take A Stand

We’re committed to working in partnership with AANHPI leaders and organizations to recruit and train AANHPI teachers, raise awareness of the unique academic and socio-economic realities facing many AANHPI students, and expand opportunity for all children.

Moving Beyond Dispelling the "Model Minority Myth"

We work to raise awareness of the "model minority myth," the pervasive public perception that members of the AANHPI community are universally successful academically and economically secure. This stereotype harms AANHPI students who would otherwise benefit from programs and resources targeting vulnerable and underserved communities. Too often, AANHPI students are left out of national discourse around educational equity.

This harmful stereotype also masks the heterogeneity of the AANHPI community, the fastest-growing racial group in the United States. It consists of more than 48 ethnicities, over 300 spoken languages, varied socioeconomic statuses, and distinctions across immigration history, generational status, culture, and religion.

As a result, obtaining more data on AANHPI students (i.e. "data disaggregation") has become the primary civil rights issue in education for members of the AANHPI community. In 2014, Teach For America joined more than 180 national, state, and local organizations endorsing the federal All Students Count Act, calling for AAPI data disaggregation in K-12 public schools. Additionally, in 2017, TFA again advocated for stronger and more refined federal efforts in AAPI data collection and reporting, this time alongside nearly 250 other organizations, and today we remain part of the "All Students Count" coalition and continue to push for more accurate and specific data so as to better understand the needs of a diverse community and target resources more effectively. We currently work with local, state, and national partners to advocate for data disaggregation.

What We Do

Creating Safe Spaces in Schools

In the AANHPI community, bullying is often compounded by cultural, religious, and linguistic barriers that can keep AANHPI youth from seeking and receiving help. Anecdotal evidence has shown that certain AAPI groups – including South Asian, Muslim, Sikh, Micronesian, LGBTQ,immigrant, refugee, and limited English proficient youth – are more likely to be the targets of bullying.

Creating safe spaces for students is a priority at Teach For America, and we endeavor to support safe learning environments for all students. Teach For America is proud to join the diverse coalition of over 60 organizations supporting Act To Change, a public awareness campaign working to address bullying.

Read more about our resources for educators working with students in marginalized communities.

The following percentage of Asian American subgroups reported bullying in schools as a "very serious" problem, according to CAP and AAPI Data 2014:

  • 42% Native Hawaiians & Pacific Islander
  • 44% Vietnamese
  • 45% Cambodian
  • 46% Filipino
  • 52% Indian
  • 71% Hmong

According to statistics compiled by the federal government's AAPI Bullying Prevention Task Force:

  • 67% of turbaned youth surveyed in Fresno, CA reported being bullied
  • 50% of Asian American students in NYC public schools report “biased-based harassment"
  • 87% of Sikh American students experience bullying to some degree at school
  • 5-6x Bullied students were 5 to 6 times more likely to miss school than those who were not bullied

In The Community

We believe it’s crucial that we continue to advance conversations about educational equity in the AANHPI community. Students, schools, and the education system lose out on the lack of diversity in the education workforce. That's why we're committed to cultivating and building relationships and partnerships with AANHPI organizations to raise awareness about the most critical issues faced by AANHPI students and to collaborate on teacher recruitment, culturally competent teacher preparation and professional development, and leadership capacity building among leaders in our network.

Our partnerships and collaborations expand the leadership and professional development of Teach For America's AANHPI corps members, alumni, and staff to ensure that our organization is in greater service to students and the community. Together, we offer opportunities for corps members, alumni, and staff to grow their professional networks, participate in workshops and conferences, and build awareness, skills, and mindsets to impact their communities through local action.

DACA Recipients

Asian immigrants make up 16 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. About 12 percent of TFA corps members with DACA status identify as AANHPI. Read more about our support for DACA recipients and joining TFA as a DACA-protected corps member. 

  • 69% of Asian American and Pacific Islander students are foreign-born
  • 11% of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. are Asian American
“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.”

Salma Akhtar

Mississippi Corps Member 2014

Meet Our AANHPI Leaders

About 30 years ago, there were a total of 15 Asian American and Pacific Islander corps members at Teach For America. Over the years, our leadership network has grown to nearly 4,000 leaders. 

Although 6 percent of our student population identify as Asian American,Native Hawaiian, and Pacific islander (AANHPI), approximately

2.5 percent of our nation’s teachers identify as AANHPI. Teach For America (TFA) is the largest provider of AANHPI teachers in the United States, and 7 percent of our corps members identify as AANHPI - a number that more accurately reflects the diversity of our classrooms.

In 2020-2021, 415 AANHPI corps members were placed at 177 charter schools and 191 traditional public schools across the U.S.That year, TFA AANHPI educators reached 29,668 students at 368 schools.

Our corps members and alumni work in leadership positions across the private and public sector. We are teachers, school leaders, systems leaders, social entrepreneurs, policy, advocacy, and organizing leaders, and elected officials. Meet some of them below.

Help us amplify AANHPI leadership and stories:

  • Nominate someone for a spotlight on @aapitfa 
  • Lead a workshop or speak/panel at an AAPI Alliances or partner event
  • Author an education equity issue op-ed for 
  • Pitch a story for One Day Studio

Our Community Partners

Our partnerships are vital to building the capacity to mobilize a connected, thriving, culturally competent and community responsive leadership coalition working to advance educational equity for all children.

Teach for America's Partners

Learn more about our partners by choosing their logo from the selection below.

AANHPI Community Resources

We've compiled a list of resources to support teachers, students, professionals and other members of the AANHPI community.