Asian Texans for Justice
Texas, focus on civic engagement, serving pan Asian Americans
About the Organization:
We connect Asian Texans of all identities to meaningful civic action to build personal and political power for future generations.
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.
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.
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.”