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18 Million Rising
18 Million Rising
18 Million Rising
18 Million Rising is a small but mighty team of 6, and growing. We are Southeast Asian, East Asian, mixed race, queer and non-binary, first generation and immigrant. We are organizers and artists, cultural workers and creatives - beyond our paid roles at 18MR. At 18MR, we center community leaders who share our organizational values and can steward our movement fights to even greater heights. Irma Shauf-Bajar (she/he/siya) is 18MR’s Interim Executive Director. Irma provides leadership and motivation to the staff to achieve 18MR’s collective vision and direction in developing our programs, campaigns and fundraising efforts. With 15 years of grassroots local, national, and international community organizing work, Irma has worked to advance political organizing and power in immigrant, economic, racial justice, LGBTQ+, gender and social justice movements. He brings over 20 years of experience as a leader, manager, and mentor in the non-for-profit sector. Bianca Nozaki-Nasser (she/her) is our Creative & Strategy Director. She joined 18MR in 2018, bringing with her 9 years of experience developing creative strategies for brands, nonprofits, and start-ups. She is a designer, media-maker, and educator living in Los Angeles, California. Her work addresses the ways gender, race, and culture are embedded into relationships, systems, and technology. Bianca has led national and international workshops and design research programs. In addition to her work at 18MR, she is a co-founder of the Antiracist Classroom (@antiracistclassroom), an initiative to counteract racism and white supremacy in design education and practice. Laura Li (she/her) joined 18MR in 2017 as a Campaigner and is now our Organizing Director.. She is an organizer, digital campaigner and strategist who has been organizing Asian Americans for 10 years. Most recently, she was a Campaign Consultant for the Proteus Fund on criminalization issues affecting Muslims, Arabs and South Asians and supported the launch and organizing of the #NoMuslimBanEver campaign. She also organizes with Asian Pacific Islander Resistance based in Washington D.C. Laura holds a B.A. in Politics from Oberlin College and is a Fulbright recipient where she was based in Curitiba, Brazil.
About the Organization:
$500,000 - $1 MILLION
Asian Americans are in a pivotal moment in 2022. We continue to endure the impacts of white supremacy through violent attacks, cruel immigration policies, and an inhumane criminal justice system. In the face of state violence and negligence, Asian Americans are organizing like never before: young activists are leading mutual aid efforts in solidarity with Black communities; student organizers are walking out for educators; and our undocumented and incarcerated siblings lead the fight for just immigration reform. Many of us are asking difficult questions about public safety and community-led solutions to violence. In 2021, 18 Million Rising (18MR) struggled with these questions and officially “came out” as an abolitionist organization, which was met with gratitude and curiosity by others grappling with similar concerns. As our communities take on new challenges in 2022, 18MR is gearing up to meet the needs of our members and networks. Emerging Asian American activists and future community leaders are seeking out spaces for political growth to cultivate their organizing skills and deepen community. As a trusted organization in the digital organizing space, 18MR has laid the groundwork to be this place.
Our organizing strategy focuses on strengthening our ecosystem through building a powerful movement infrastructure for Asian Americans organizing online, while seeding political education moments throughout our programming. This means skilling up emerging community leaders with the tools and knowledge needed to build stronger and sustainable movements; and strengthening our partnerships through campaigns, projects, and actions that will ignite our communities to defend and protect one another. Our 2022 plan for building community power and fighting for a more just future for our communities includes: Launching a Digital Organizing virtual training series to sharpen the digital organizing skills of emerging community leaders, grassroots organizers and community partners Shifting narratives by designing powerful digital first campaigns with impactful, engaging, and compelling storytelling, political education, and cultural content, such as an upcoming partnership with the Center for Political Drug Healing Collaborating with community partners like Asian Prisoner Support Committee on local and regional campaigns which push for grassroots solutions to injustice, including the fight to get ICE out of California and to pass the VISION Act Designing impactful and creative political education campaigns to build on our growing abolitionist framework for organizing Asian Americans