Asian American & Pacific Islander Initiative

About Us

Upcoming Events

upcoming-events
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Teach For America’s Asian American & Pacific Islander Initiative, in partnership with The Collective and Leadership For Educational Equity, is hosting its 2017 Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Policy Leaders Summit .
May 16, 2017 to May 18, 2017
1
6:45 PM EDT
Washington, DC
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Teach For America's National Asian American & Pacific Islander Alliances and the Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership (CAPAL) is pleased to co-host the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM) Reception.
May 18, 2017 to May 19, 2017
0
9:00 PM to 12:00 AM
EDT
555 13th St NW, Washington, DC 20004
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Part of the 2016-17 Corps Member of Color Summer Series, the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Corps Member Summit will bring together AAPI second year corps members and community leaders over a weekend during AAPI Heritage Month in Oakland, CA.
May 19, 2017 to May 21, 2017
1
3:00 PM EDT

Why We Take A Stand

  • Overview
  • In the Classroom
  • In the Community
  • For DACAmented Individuals

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.

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

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The State of Education

Meet AAPI Classroom Leaders

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Salma Akhtar
Mississippi 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."
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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."
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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.

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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.

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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.