United States Heartland China Association

United States Heartland China Association

USHCA's Student Programs are student-run and student-led. This ensures that what is important to students is being actively addressed and talked about in our programming. Our Third Space team embodies the experiences that are shared in the Story Circles, and while our Student Leaders and members come from all around

United States Heartland China Association

USHCA's Student Programs are student-run and student-led. This ensures that what is important to students is being actively addressed and talked about in our programming. Our Third Space team embodies the experiences that are shared in the Story Circles, and while our Student Leaders and members come from all around the world, they are concentrated in our US Heartland Region and in China. Our diversity is what makes this platform strong, and the success we have had online proves to us that we can do this on a large scale. While language can be a barrier, it can also be a bridge to human understanding. We promote culture-sharing as a method of crossing that bridge, whether through a study abroad experience, learning about another culture or language, or engaging with important geopolitical issues. We emphasize accessibility and equity regardless of community members' geographic, political, socio-economic, or personal background. The Heartland Region is a classically underserved, overlooked, neglected region of the United States, and minority communities living in this region experience the brunt of many of societies' imbalances. The USHCA works with community colleges, HBCU's, and rural communities to bring awareness to the struggles of Chinese Americans and other AAPI's through our work. We already have these connections, and have proven that we can do this work very successfully. Unlike nonprofits or entities on the East and West coasts of the United States, we are a small, grass-roots organization that builds on the foundation of our small, more rural communities. Our work ensures that their needs are represented and addressed on a wider scale.

About the Organization:

USHCA's Student Programs are student-run and student-led. This ensures that what is important to students is being actively addressed and talked about in our programming. Our Third Space team embodies the experiences that are shared in the Story Circles, and while our Student Leaders and members come from all around the world, they are concentrated in our US Heartland Region and in China. Our diversity is what makes this platform strong, and the success we have had online proves to us that we can do this on a large scale. While language can be a barrier, it can also be a bridge to human understanding. We promote culture-sharing as a method of crossing that bridge, whether through a study abroad experience, learning about another culture or language, or engaging with important geopolitical issues. We emphasize accessibility and equity regardless of community members' geographic, political, socio-economic, or personal background. The Heartland Region is a classically underserved, overlooked, neglected region of the United States, and minority communities living in this region experience the brunt of many of societies' imbalances. The USHCA works with community colleges, HBCU's, and rural communities to bring awareness to the struggles of Chinese Americans and other AAPI's through our work. We already have these connections, and have proven that we can do this work very successfully. Unlike nonprofits or entities on the East and West coasts of the United States, we are a small, grass-roots organization that builds on the foundation of our small, more rural communities. Our work ensures that their needs are represented and addressed on a wider scale.

organizational budget

$100,000 - $500,000

existence for

16-20 YEARS

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

California • New York

organizational budget

$100,000 - $500,000

existence for

16-20 YEARS

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

California • New York

The Issue:

Young AAPI's across the American Heartland (20 interior states from the Gulf to the Great Lakes) experience the brunt of this cultural incompetence at home, at school, and at work. They are critically under-served, professionally and academically, and experience higher levels of xenophobia than AAPI's on the East and West coasts of the United States. The US Heartland China Association seeks to address this imbalance and promote Asian heritage and cultural awareness in cultural, educational, and business circles throughout the US Heartland. We have successfully done so amongst industry professionals, but are seeking a greater budget to better address these imbalances in K-12, college, and young professional communities while making intercultural learning more accessible. Our Student Programs actively address these issues in their communities on a small scale. With a full time staff and paid internships for our community, we would be able to address these issues very successfully on a much larger scale, providing a huge benefit to increasing cultural competency, increasing feelings of community in more rural areas, and promoting cultural awareness through Chinese language and cultural exchange in Heartland communities. In the American Heartland, there is a lack of knowledge of Asians and Asian Americans, which often results in misunderstandings and, more seriously, hate crimes. This is a fixable issue. Through spreading an awareness of cultural acceptance via educational channels, we can continue to address this systemic, societal issue that plagues the United States.

The Solution:

In addition to the US Heartland China Association's regular programming that addresses issues stemming from a lack of intercultural awareness amongst the professional community, the USHCA's Third Space program actively addresses this issue among students and young professionals in weekly and biweekly Story Circles and other Student Programs, such as student forums. Third Space is an online ecosystem and community based off of UNESCO methodology that is designed to be a space for nuanced and vulnerable story sharing, conversations, and critical reflection on our shared prejudices, curiosities, and cultural pride, as well as a space to educate those not part of the AAPI community in respectful and genuinely inclusive ways. We truly believe that educating the future leaders of tomorrow while they are in school, college, or as young professionals provides our society with the greatest potential for positive change. USHCA's Story Circle community currently has over 500 members , and that number is growing with each week. The Story Circle provides attendees with a voice, a language practice room, a truly global experience, and heightened sense of cultural appreciation, all while building and contributing to a community of peer learners outside of their classroom or workplace. Now known as Third Space, "第三空间," our mission has never changed: we aim to unite and connect the Chinese diaspora, American, Chinese, Chinese-Americans, and Chinese internationals in the US (and overseas), while preparing AAPI's for leadership in a future in which diversity and difference can become our strength , rather than a separating force. Receiving this grant would ensure that this work is long lasting, and can be spread to as many communities across the Heartland and abroad.

Get Updates about the Gold Futures Challenge

Join our email list to receive challenge updates!