Asian Student Alliance

Asian Student Alliance

Asian Student Alliance (ASA) consists of educators, students, and community members in the Greater Atlanta area who have come together under the following vision and mission statements: Vision Statement: We exist to build student leaders and amplify youth voices for AAPI students and allies. The mission of ASA is to

Asian Student Alliance

Asian Student Alliance (ASA) consists of educators, students, and community members in the Greater Atlanta area who have come together under the following vision and mission statements: Vision Statement: We exist to build student leaders and amplify youth voices for AAPI students and allies. The mission of ASA is to build leadership capacity among AAPI students by fostering a safe space to navigate their intersectional identities and empowering them to become active world-class members of their global community. This further develops an inclusive and equitable learning environment for all students. Asian Student Alliance was created in response to the Atlanta spa shootings that occured on March 16, 2021, and took the lives of 8 people, 6 of whom were Asian women. This sparked a group of educators to reach out to other AAPI administrators and teachers to create a safe space for each other and our AAPI students. Through their efforts, Asian Student Alliance was formed. At the first in-person meeting with teachers and students, we began planning and successfully held our first annual student leadership conference that summer. As a student-centered organization, we strive to bring visibility to AAPI youth experiences, amplify their voices, foster leadership, and increase awareness and knowledge of AAPI history in schools across Georgia. We create opportunities for students to develop their leadership skills through internships, monthly meetings, networking opportunities, and the annual student leadership conference. We collaborate with our community to create meaningful, impactful, and sustainable change.

About the Organization:

Asian Student Alliance (ASA) consists of educators, students, and community members in the Greater Atlanta area who have come together under the following vision and mission statements: Vision Statement: We exist to build student leaders and amplify youth voices for AAPI students and allies. The mission of ASA is to build leadership capacity among AAPI students by fostering a safe space to navigate their intersectional identities and empowering them to become active world-class members of their global community. This further develops an inclusive and equitable learning environment for all students. Asian Student Alliance was created in response to the Atlanta spa shootings that occured on March 16, 2021, and took the lives of 8 people, 6 of whom were Asian women. This sparked a group of educators to reach out to other AAPI administrators and teachers to create a safe space for each other and our AAPI students. Through their efforts, Asian Student Alliance was formed. At the first in-person meeting with teachers and students, we began planning and successfully held our first annual student leadership conference that summer. As a student-centered organization, we strive to bring visibility to AAPI youth experiences, amplify their voices, foster leadership, and increase awareness and knowledge of AAPI history in schools across Georgia. We create opportunities for students to develop their leadership skills through internships, monthly meetings, networking opportunities, and the annual student leadership conference. We collaborate with our community to create meaningful, impactful, and sustainable change.

organizational budget

$0 - $50,000

existence for

0-5 Years

Organization benefits AAPIs residing in the following state(s):

California • Georgia

organizational budget

$0 - $50,000

existence for

0-5 Years

Organization benefits AAPIs residing in the following state(s):

California • Georgia

The Issue:

The model minority myth is pervasive in all areas of our society, and one of the first places AAPI children and youth experience racial encounters is in the K-12 school setting. Academically high-performing students of all races and intersecting identities are often overlooked when it comes to receiving social-emotional support. Pair that with the false narrative that academics come easily for AAPI students, and the issue is exacerbated. In recent years, studies have shown a correlation between a sense of belonging and achievement (Korpershoek et al., 2020). Without belonging, students are at a higher risk of not meeting their full potential. Of course, there are anecdotes of those who excelled and went on to lead successful lives in spite of being in an undignifying environment. As a society, we tend to glorify those who overcome seemingly impossible obstacles, especially those rooted in systemic inequity. However, these success stories do not justify the harm; even the grittiest, most resilient child needs to be taken care of.
A majority of the students we serve are from Gwinnett County, which has about 6,000 Asian American high school students. A vast majority of our student leaders and conference attendees testified that they have experienced microaggressions, disconnect with their teachers or non-AAPI peers, and added pressures to perform in school. These gaps in belonging for AAPI students can be largely attributed to the differences between the dominant white American and Asian American cultural values and a lack of understanding and acceptance of AAPI experiences. AAPI perspectives and stories are often overlooked in U.S. history, and inaccurate representation creates a social climate where we are expected to silently assimilate. Furthermore, AAPIs are oftentimes not recognized as leaders because of the stereotype that we are docile. These narratives, once internalized, further serve to silence our voices and decrease agency. College and career readiness are dependent on more than just good grades. Social-emotional wellness and positive identity reinforcement are key to leading a healthy life and can provide students with the necessary tools to successfully navigate new environments and social situations in a diverse setting.

The Solution:

Monthly Workshops & Outings: For the monthly workshop meetings, directors and student leaders, which include interns and committee chairs, create and lead workshops for AAPI high school students and allies on important and relevant topics through the unique lens of AAPI culture and experiences. Some examples of these topics include exploring cultural values, AAPI history, building coalitions with marginalized groups, self advocacy, and more. We create a brave space for students to connect with one another through engaging activities, share and discuss personal experiences, and brainstorm ways to apply their learning, thus boosting their social-emotional wellness. The outings help expand our reach and create opportunities to further build a sense of belonging.
Annual Leadership Conference: The conference is designed by ASA students for their AAPI high school peers and allies in the metro-Atlanta area. ASA students invite an expert keynote speaker and diverse adult panelists. Our students build connections with and boost local AAPI restaurants and businesses at this event. Students connect our participants with community organizations. They execute creative plans to increase reach. And they partner with adult community leaders to co-facilitate workshops for their peers. The process of planning the summer conference offers students an opportunity to practice their collaborative leadership skills.
Internship Incubator and Paid Student Internship Program: This program was designed in order to increase student agency, voice, and leadership capacity, and to address issues of access to leadership opportunities. The internship incubator program is application-based, and students who are accepted become committee chairs over Social Media, Community Outreach, or Sponsorships and Partnerships. After a full school year, they have an opportunity to apply for a paid internship position. The interns serve as student advocates and liason between students and directors. These students work closely with the directors to brainstorm, plan, and execute ASA initiatives, as well as receive mentorship.
ASA Cohorts (Coming in Fall 2023): The cohort will consist of 25 students who apply and are accepted into the semester-long program. They will identify areas of needs in our immediate communities and create solutions to collaboratively address a specific issue through an innovative project.

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