Asian Texans for Justice

Asian Texans for Justice

ATJ was founded to be a voice for our state’s diverse AAPI community — to claim our space and inspire Texas to invest in our stories. We envision a future where all people feel bold in their belonging. Our mission is to connect Asian Texans of all identities to meaningful

Asian Texans for Justice

Our mission is to connect Asian Texans of all identities to meaningful civic action to build personal and political power for future generations. From the beginning, our team has committed and lived out the values that we fight for. Rooted and centered in the community we serve, our team is composed of seasoned community organizers with deep expertise in advocacy, policy, AAPI organizing, and campaigns for years. Our team is led by senior strategist Alice Yi, has mobilized Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities in Austin for over 25 years and our Executive Director, Lily Trieu has worked in the Texas House of Representatives on the House Committee on Public Education in the 86th Legislative Session and served as Teach For America’s Director, Texas Public Affairs - leading state level advocacy and policy for the nonprofit organization. At ATJ, we are proud of our cutting edge visuals and communications to our community-centric organizing. From the former AAPI Constituency Organizer for the Texas Democratic Party, to an award-winning Communications director, and a seasoned creative director who’s worked for countless advocacy organizations, our staff is composed of passionate AAPIs doing work for our community.

About the Organization:

Our mission is to connect Asian Texans of all identities to meaningful civic action to build personal and political power for future generations. From the beginning, our team has committed and lived out the values that we fight for. Rooted and centered in the community we serve, our team is composed of seasoned community organizers with deep expertise in advocacy, policy, AAPI organizing, and campaigns for years. Our team is led by senior strategist Alice Yi, has mobilized Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities in Austin for over 25 years and our Executive Director, Lily Trieu has worked in the Texas House of Representatives on the House Committee on Public Education in the 86th Legislative Session and served as Teach For America’s Director, Texas Public Affairs - leading state level advocacy and policy for the nonprofit organization. At ATJ, we are proud of our cutting edge visuals and communications to our community-centric organizing. From the former AAPI Constituency Organizer for the Texas Democratic Party, to an award-winning Communications director, and a seasoned creative director who’s worked for countless advocacy organizations, our staff is composed of passionate AAPIs doing work for our community.

organizational budget

$50,000 - $100,000

existence for

0-5 Years

The Issue:

Texas has the third largest population of Asian American Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in the United States with over 1.5 million people. In 2020, the U.S. Census reports that the AAPI community is the fastest growing racial group in Texas, growing 66% since the last Census.
Still recovering from the lingering impact of xenophobia and racism stemming from the COVID-19 response over two years ago, AAPI communities are still attacked and brutalized, physically and politically. Just this year in Dallas, Texas we saw another racially motivated shooting and in the 2021 legislative session, our AAPI communities were left in the lurch of Texas’s most recent redistricting session.
Voter turnout in 2020 was unprecedented, with nearly double as many AAPIs voting compared to 2016. And yet 282,328 registered AAPIs still did not vote that year, and with young AAPIs turning 18 every day, these groups - and unregistered folks - present opportunities to expand the electorate.
In response to our huge turnout growth (82%), our state responded to our growing voice by gerrymandering and redistricting the AAPI community to divide and draw us out of our political power. As a community that represents over 50 ethnicities and speaks more than 100 languages, the AAPI community is a vibrant group that represent all aspects of life in Texas. It is time we had our voices heard in every hall of power.
However, the political process in Texas continues to be confusing and deliberately exclusionary. With limited language access resources from the state and a fragmented grassroots system of organizers in an enormous state, the barriers to advocacy and participation continue to be high for the AAPI community. There are no AAPI-serving organizations at the statewide level to convene, educate, and mobilize the community in the most urgent times of need.
Targeted by our state’s restrictive voting laws, unfairly drawn districts, and lack of civic and political infrastructure, AAPI Texans are left without a meaningful way to enact lasting change in our communities. Until we can be included in policymaking decisions, our communities will continue to be vulnerable and marginalized in our state.

The Solution:

ATJ was founded to be a voice for our state’s diverse AAPI community — to claim our space and inspire Texas to invest in our stories. We envision a future where all people feel bold in their belonging. Our mission is to connect Asian Texans of all identities to meaningful civic action to build personal and political power for future generations.
Currently, there is no statewide organization devoted to advancing social justice, civic engagement, and advocacy of the Texas AAPI community. ATJ’s strategic programming focuses on:
  • Advocacy & Civic Engagement
  • Community & Coalition Building
  • Youth Leadership Development
ATJ, in partnership with other AAPI organizations, created and executed the largest investment in AAPI turnout in our state’s history in the 2022 Primary elections. From identifying priority policy areas, to enacting statewide campaigns, and creating advocacy tool development, we invest in AAPI civic engagement from organizing, voter engagement to issue-based advocacy. Currently, ATJ is building a statewide movement to advocate for the creation and state approval of an Asian American Studies election course for Texas public high schools. The lasting impact on this course will go on for decades and have an important role to play in combating xenophobia and racism against AAPIs.
By building a community, unity, identity, & sense of belonging, ATJ facilitates collaboration and coalitions by uplifting other statewide AAPI-serving organizations. Through sub-granting, organizing around data and evidence-based priority issues, and statewide “Day of Action” at Texas legislature for rallies, marches, testimony, and advocacy days
We believe in investing and building the bench of the next generation of leaders. ATJ is leading the movement by piloting the first statewide AAPI centered civic engagement institute. This year, we started our inaugural class of Civic Engagement Fellows, our flagship 10-week Fellowship program to lead a community project on the 2022 Elections and build "The AAPI Organizer's Vision-book." The next generation of leaders deserve organizers that embody the community, represent them through lived experiences and understand the needs of the community with the collaborative vision-book to make it easier to become an AAPI organizer in 2022 and beyond.

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