In the fight to end educational inequity, everyone is needed. Learn about the partnerships that are helping us connect across communities and bringing diverse perspectives to the table.
Asian American & Pacific Islander Initiative
In 2014, we launched the Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) Initiative to work alongside other organizations to deliver on the promise of equal opportunity for every child. The Initiative aims to grow the field of AAPI teachers and raise awareness of the academic and socio-economic realities facing many AAPI students. To accomplish this, we collaborate with AAPI leaders and organizations committed to ending educational inequity for all children.
Why We Take A Stand
- In the Classroom
- In the Community
- For DACAmented Individuals
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.
Listen to Kaycee Gerhart's (Colorado Corps ’09) reflection on the importance of AAPI teachers in our classrooms:
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. You can join them. Sign up to learn more today.
Hoang Pham (LA Corps ’11) shared his passion for dance with his elementary students. Watch them perform:
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 Corps ’09) reflects on how he leverages his experiences as a non-native English speaker in his role as a high school English teacher:
For DACAmented Individuals
Asian immigrants make up 11% 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. This school year, 9% of our DACAmented Corps Members identify as AAPI.
Learn more about Teach For America’s support for the DACAmented community and admissions process for DACA recipients.
View more about our work with DACA recipients:
Creating Safe Spaces
The State of Education
Meet AAPI Classroom Leaders
Read More About Our Community
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.
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.
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.
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.