North Carolina Asian Americans Together

North Carolina Asian Americans Together (NCAAT) is the first pan-Asian social justice organization in North Carolina and one of the only such organizations in the South. NCAAT emerged in 2016 in an urgent effort to help Asian American voices in North Carolina to be heard and represented. Our mission is to support equity and justice for all by fostering community among AAPIs and allies statewide through civic engagement, leadership development, community development, and grassroots mobilization. The organization serves all North Carolina residents who identify as Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI), an “inter-ethnic-pan-Asian American self-defining political group.”

Here's the Issue:

Fighting systematic erasure and the rampant co-opting of our lived experiences by mainstream media has long been a struggle for Asian Americans. The myth of the “model minority” affects multiple generations of AAPIs and attempts to pacify and silence parts of our community while elevating a false ideal stereotype: the unaffiliated, relatively wealthy, highly educated, and non-confrontational Asian American immigrant. Unfortunately, this widespread ignorance of the real diversity of AAPI identities, interests, and concerns has proven to have dire consequences, particularly during COVID-19. Assessing Asians Americans as a monolith conceals the needs of lower-income, working-class, and refugee peoples, and such misconceptions have led to some communities receiving no outreach regarding vaccine safety or access; others have been plagued by misinformation. When our stories are inaccurately told, they become manipulated against our community interests. NCAAT seeks to empower AAPI peoples with the agency and voice to represent themselves and their communities.

Our Solution:

iNCite storytelling workshops mobilize people powered through narrative change, and the Asian Solidarity and Action Project actualizes this change through community-led projects. iNCite stories is collaboration between Migrant Roots Media, NCAAT, and Amplified Voices.

In the workshop series, participants from AAPI and BIPOC communities in North Carolina will reflect on their own life stories within a larger historical context. The program spans 3 weekends and offers a $500 stipend, a mentor, and a series of skill-building educational workshops. Participants get to reflect deeply on the community, then collaboratively generate creative solutions on how to organize our community power.

iNCite stories acts as a creative starting point transitioning into NCAAT’s Asian Solidarity and Action Project (ASAP), a 5-month program that uplifts community voices, stories, and projects. Selected project leaders will receive a $1,000 – $1,500 stipend, consultation with a mentor of their choosing, and ongoing program planning support.

We're the right people to do the work because:

As the first pan-Asian social justice organization in NC and one of few in the South, NCAAT provides local Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders with organized and culturally-competent support that creates a pipeline for the next generation of leaders. In light of the harmful attention and violence turned upon us, in large part due to hateful rhetoric perpetuated by large or mainstream media sources, it is more important than ever for members of our community to raise their voices and share their stories. Our organization provides spaces for amplifying voices from underheard segments of Asian communities, and we provide the linguistic and narrative toolkits to correct misrepresentation, and supersede negative stereotypes and false myths about the AAPI community.

We work toward structural change alongside other BIPOC communities to dismantle systems of white supremacy. These communities are represented by our partner organizations and co-hosts Migrant Roots Media and Amplified Voices NC.

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