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Showing posts from July, 2014

Troubleshooting

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I was supposed to go work in the office for my internship on Sunday and Monday to make up for the days I missed last week on vacation, but I was lazy and went in for part of Monday instead. I did some errands in the meanwhile so it's good to get some stuff done.

On Tuesday, we had some unexpected last minute emergencies come up and had to deal with it with the rest of the office. I didn't do a lot but everyone did such a great job supporting each other and troubleshooting. Ruben could not come to the office on Tuesday, so Vivian helped me take care of AYA's session on Tuesday. Thankfully, RAISE (Revolutionizing Asian American Immigrant Stories on the East Coast) came in and did a workshop, which was awesome, and that took up a good chunk of time.

RAISE works with undocumented youth to create safe spaces, share the experiences of undocumented Asian immigrants, and organize the youth to advocate for humane immigration policies. They do courageous and important work and it wa…

Back from Vacation

I was away from my internship for a few days to visit my godfamily in Virginia Beach. I call them my godfamily because that is one conventional way to explain our relationships. I actually know them through the Fresh Air Fund, which I wrote about in my college essay. Anyway, one of my "god"sisters and her family live in Virginia Beach. I took a few days to hang out with them and my godmom. The two young boys are fun to hang out with, they have such interesting personalities, and they loved the beach! They showed me all their favorite shows and favorite restaurants and hung out with me in the water!
I learned a lot and processed a lot of things I've been thinking about the past few weeks and months. It was a great few days to recharge and spend time with loved ones.
After a long and uncomfortable bus ride back to NYC, I went back to work the next day. Someone from the Red Umbrella Project came in and talked about the U.S.'s history of oppressing Asians and Asian women…

Triggers

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Due to some scheduling changes, the AYA session tomorrow needs a workshop, so I'm working on the previously postponed Patriarchy workshop. Except this time we are focusing in on street harassment as a way to talk about patriarchy, homophobia, and transphobia.

So I'm looking up videos made by women that talk about street harassment, and a lot of videos have been made on this issue by white women. Which is awesome, but since we are trying to fight for racial social economic and gender justice, and the youth relate better to their own identities, I decided to look for Asian women speaking out against street harassment.

During the retreat, we did an activity called Life Maps, where we have to illustrate our life journey and pin point moments that inspired us to fight for justice and join CAAAV or AYA. I focused in on my experiences with street harassment growing up, and how sometimes the harassment would be mixed in with other elements of oppressing, including my race and ethnicit…

Back to the Grind

Today's my first day back at the internship since our retreat this past weekend. Yesterday kind of flew by, since I just napped all day and watched cartoons and helped my mom make lunch for me to bring to the office for the week. I almost forgot until this morning that the youth are coming in today, because our regular summer programming starts! So we meet with them every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

The retreat was long and tiring but really great. We were slightly delayed on Friday because the van reservations were messed up. But we moved along anyway and got things started. Everyone was a little tired but in good spirits. We got started on checking in, agendas, and logistics. Then we started on workshops on systems of oppression and white supremacy, which is pretty heavy stuff.

Over the course of the weekend, we learned a lot about the history of CAAAV, the history of Asian Americans in the U.S., how and why youth should organize, and the gender and sexuality workshop I wor…

AYA Retreat Summer 2014

Tomorrow is the retreat!!!

Ruben and I have been working on the retreat details for this weekend. I stayed late today to help out. Even though there's a lot to be done, it seems like a lot has been prepared, so things should run smoothly tomorrow. We have about 6 workshops slated for the weekend, along with teambuilding and fun activities planned. I finished planning for the obstacle course and scavenger hunt, thanks to Ruben and Umma, one of the youth, who helped me look for things in the office that we can bring to the retreat and hide in the great nature.

Ruben and I also worked with Anj on the gender and sexuality workshop. We were going to do a patriarchy workshop but it is quite early on in the summer program and the youth probably would do better with some more foundational stuff on gender and sexuality, so we started a new workshop from scratch. It was kinda hard trying to find engaging ways to teach definitions about many umbrella terms, but I think we have some good idea…

AYA Summer 2014 Orientation

On Saturday, the day after July 4, was the AYA Orientation! The youth facilitators worked really hard to prep for all the workshops they were leading, and Ruben, Vivian, and I helped out to make a lot of logistics happen, and a lot of prep work involved writing up chart papers, whether it is the agenda, the different goals, group agreements, etc.

Saturday was super hectic! Not only did the new youth come, but a few of the current youth showed up as well, and it was a little unexpected but it was a merry crowd enjoying lunch and mingling together. I had never seen this many youth in our office space before, so it was a little overwhelming, but very exciting nonetheless.

We started out with going over the agenda and overall orientation goals, then we dove right in with some checking in and introductions. The bulk of the conversation during orientation was focused on the policing conversation. Since policing work is one focus of AYA and CAAAV, we began to talk about what Stop & Frisk…

Movimiento Por Justicia del Barrio

Through CAAAV, I found out about an opportunity to attend an organizing symposium held by another grassroots nonprofit in NYC - Movimiento por Justicia del Barrio (Movement for Justice in El Barrio). The first day of the symposium was Wednesday, and it was pretty interesting. There were about 20 or so of us, mostly interns and organizers from different non profits all over the city, including the Education from the Inside Out Coalition, Citadel Global (Spelling?), Damayan, Southern Bronx River Watershed Alliance, and Children and Youth First, represented by my dear friend, Amanda Brown!
We went over some basics of organizing and got on the same page as everyone else since we all come from different backgrounds and organizations. We went over things like the role of organizers, the role of facilitators, and the role of members. We learned about the politics of listening and how important it is to listen when we are doing grassroots work with local communities. The Zapatistas in Mexico …

Your liberation is my liberation

On Friday, a couple of people from CAAAV and I volunteered as security marshals for the Trans Day of Action.

I had never done security stuff before, especially not for a big rally that deals with actual police. I was pretty nervous to do the security training before heading out to the action. The training helped give me an idea of what it will be like, but the rest is still rather unclear. It sounded like it won't cause too much trouble though, so I remained optimistic and headed out to the event. It was a great sunny Friday and people were gathering on the pier for the rally, to volunteer, or just tanning on the lawn in general.

As security marshal, I got a free t-shirt to wear. I was so excited to DIY design my free tshirt with the scissors they provided. I missed getting free t-shirts at Rice all the time and being able to let my creative juices flow! People complimented my t-shirt afterwards, and it made me feel great.

We had further security training, after which we began our…