2016 Community Catalyst Awards

NQAPIA’s 2016 Community Catalyst Awards dinners will be held in New York, Boston, and Washington, DC. These events are a chance for us to come together, share a multi-course banquet, enjoy performances by AAPI artists, and honor incredible organizations and leaders in the LGBTQ AAPI community.

When you get involved with the Community Catalyst Awards, you not only show your support in celebrating, but this is also an opportunity to raise money for continued organizing and advocacy in the LGBTQ AAPI community.

Click on the images and links to learn how to get involved in New York, Boston, and Washington, DC.

New York – March 12, 2016

Community Catalyst Awards NYC

Purchase tickets for the NYC Community Catalyst Awards
Become a sponsor for the NYC Community Catalyst Awards
Share the NYC Community Catalyst Awards event on Facebook

Boston – March 26, 2016

2016 Community Catalyst Awards Boston

Purchase tickets for the Boston Community Catalyst Awards
Become a sponsor for the Boston Community Catalyst Awards
Share the Boston Community Catalyst Awards event on Facebook

Washington, DC – April 9, 2016

2016 Community Catalyst Awards DC

Purchase tickets for the DC Community Catalyst Awards
Become a sponsor for the DC Community Catalyst Awards
Share the DC Community Catalyst Awards event on Facebook

 

 

Twitter Chat & National Call

RiseUp! NQAPIA Week of Action on Immigration

Twitter Chat

Saturday, 4/18
4-5 p.m. EDT/1-2 p.m. PDT

 Twitter Chat

Join us for a twitter chat during our Week of Action on issues impacting LGBT AAPI immigrants & our allies, including profiling, detention, deportation, DACA/DAPA, the executive action, and more.

Tweet under #RiseUpNQAPIA to join in!

Contact communications@nqapia.org for more information.

National Call was on Monday, April 13th 

A mp3 of the recording will be available asap.

For information please email pabitra_benajamin@nqapia.org

Speakers included:

Kris Hayashi
Transgender Law Center (TLC)
Sarath Suong
Providence Youth Student Movement (PrYSM)
Sasha W.
National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA)

Transitions: New Knowledge and New Arrivals

The 13th Annual Philadelphia Transhealth Conference took place this week, and NQAPIA was on hand along with 3,000 of our closest friends in trans and gender non-conforming communities from around the country. NQAPIA led a workshop on “Creating Multilingual Resources for Parents of Transgender AAPIs” and brought together an informal meet-up of our friends and family to share a meal and share information about local and national work.

Many of our friends and allies provided great programming throughout the conference. We has a total #nerdcrush at the opening keynote for Janet Mock as she talked about her upbringing in Hawai`i, the current conversations about transgender women of color, and what it means for all of us. The Friday keynote featured our friend Harper Jean Tobin from the National Center for Transgender Equality about her work on a wide array of issues of concern to transgender communities, including NCTE’s work on immigration and immigration detention centers, with which NQAPIA has been a proud partner.

This week, NQAPIA also welcomed our summer 2014 intern. Rothana Oun comes to us from Georgia State University via the internship program at OCA: Asian Pacific American Advocates. His own journey to Washington, DC has been an interesting one, and throughout the course of the summer, he will be sharing highlights with us all. Below is his first installment:

 

My name is Rothana Oun. I am a first-generation college senior at Georgia State University in Atlanta,GA, studying Creative Writing, Asian Studies, and Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies. I am second-generation Asian Pacific Islander American (APIA). Of Cambodian/Chinese/Thai descent, which means, to make use of the retronymic slash, I do/am Asian. I do/am many things in addition to a myriad of identities and performativities of which I am proud to partake in. That is to say, I not only do/am Asian, I do/am Queer as well.

This summer, I am interning with NQAPIA (The National Queer Asian Pacific Alliance) through OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates in Washington DC. An Atlanta native more acquainted with grass-roots community organizing, advocacy, and activisms on a state and local level, I have traveled from the South to D.C. to learn more about politics on the federal level, API (Asian Pacific Islander) and Queer politics in particular, and about the processes of policy and legislation in the so-called political heart of the nation.

Today, in fact, marks the end of the first week of my internship. And I’ve done so much it seems already. But I can’t wait to do and experience more.

On my first day at work, for example, I did my first spreadsheet ever on Excel, which I have to admit was kinda cool in a “not so sexy way” experience to have working in a formal office-environment. Even more excitingly, I attended an ice-cream social on my first day, and after work, my boss took me out to meet up with some of his friends/colleagues  from the Queer Southeast Asian Network who happened to be in town for a conference. This event marked the first time in my life that I had ever come face-to-face with fellow Southeast Asians—who not only openly identified as Queer, but who were also involved in progressive and/or radical politics.

Back home in Atlanta, whenever I attend a local demonstration, protest, rally, or participate in radical/progressive spaces, I find that I am often the only Southeast Asian, and most times than not, the only API present in such contexts. So meeting these Queer Southeast Asian activists was exhilarating and honestly one of the best things that I have ever experienced. Most, if not all of the cool peeps that I met that night are now my friends on Facebook, which means of course, that our connections are now pretty legit lol.

Cheers! To networking, to building family aways-aways from home.

Until next time, yours truly,

The Rothster

 

NQAPIA Announces National AAPI Action for LGBT Pride Month

Photo Caption: NQAPIA with NCAPA member organizations celebrating APA Heritage Month

 

NQAPIA ANNOUNCES NATIONAL AAPI ACTION FOR LGBT PRIDE MONTH

National Asian American Groups to Issue Month Long Series of Statements Supporting LGBT Equality

 

For Immediate Release: Friday, May 30 2014

Contact:

Ben de Guzman, NQAPIA

E-mail: ben_deguzman@nqapia.org

Phone: 202-422-4909

 

Washington, DC: The National Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) is pleased to announce a special initiative with members of the  National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) in recognition of June as LGBT Pride Month. Over the course of the month, NQAPIA and ten NCAPA member organizations will release statements that reaffirm support for LGBT equality from various Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities.

NCAPA is a coalition of thirty-one national AAPI organizations around the country. Based in Washington, DC, NCAPA serves to represent the interests of the greater AAPI communities and to provide a national voice for AAPI issues.

NCAPA as a coalition released a Statement on LGBT Equality and Justice in recognition of National Coming Out Day last October. This effort in June provides NCAPA member groups to make even more direct statements of solidarity with LGBT communities.

June has been recognized as LGBT Pride Month to commemorate the Stonewall Riots in June 1969 that sparked the modern LGBT movement. From Presidential proclamations, to local parades and festivals, the month features celebrations across the country.

“NQAPIA is a proud member of NCAPA,” said Ben de Guzman, NQAPIA Co-Director. “These statements that we will be rolling out over the next month in collaboration with our national AAPI advocacy partners will clearly demonstrate the commitment we share to LGBT equality as part of our overall work for social justice.”

The current NCAPA members that are taking part in this initiative include:

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA)

Asian Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF)

Center for Asian Pacific American Women (CAPAW)

Japanese American Citizens League (JACL)

National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC)

National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA)

National Asian Pacific American Families Against Substance Abuse (NAPAFASA)

National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF)

OCA: Asian Pacific American Advocates

South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)

Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC)

Washington, DC Special Screening of “Documented” and Q&A featuring filmmaker Jose Antonio Vargas- June 1, 2014

We are pleased to present a special screening of Jose Antonio Vargas’ film, “Documented” during its opening weekend in the nation’s capital.

 

Tickets are general admission- we STRONGLY encourage people to buy tickets online in advance here.

 

For the Sunday June 1 5pm showing, Jose will be on hand for a Q&A panel with leaders of local and national LGBT, Filipino American, and Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) organizations. Further information is below. Please note: you MUST buy a ticket for general admission to see the film as you would normally in order to stay afterwards for the Q&A. The venue is a small, independent theater, so seats will go quickly. We encourage people to come early and stay late!

 

Information for “Documented” Screening

Sunday, June 1, 5pm
West End Theater
2301 M Street, NW
5:00 PM Showing

Q&A Panel Featuring Local and National Advocates

Jose Antonio Vargas, Filmmaker and founder, Define American 
Mara Keisling, Executive Director, National Center for Transgender Equality
Marita Etcubanez, Former Co-chair, Kaya: Filipino Americans for Progress- DC Chapter
Ben de Guzman, Co-Director for Programs, National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance 

Co-Sponsors

National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA)
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
National Center for Transgender Equality
Kaya: Filipino Americans for Progress – DC Chapter
Asian Pacific Islander Queers United for Action (AQUA-DC)
Asian Pacific Islander Queer Sisters (APIQS)
KhushDC: South Asian LGBT Organization in Washington, DC

 

Check our our Facebook page here.

NQAPIA Partners Come to Washington, DC: Bringing the Local Flavor

Photo Caption: NQAPIA partners with staff from the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus

 

The flurry of activities in Washington, DC around Asian American/ Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month continued this week, but took on a distinctly queer tone as local partners from NQAPIA’s network came to the nation’s capital to take part in the action happening here.

NQAPIA board and staff joined representatives from Satrang in Los Angeles, DeQH in Madison, i2i in Chicago, VAYLA in New Orleans, GAPIMNY in New York, and PrYSM in Providence in Washington to bring their local stories and their local concerns to national policymakers. On Monday, May 12, we joined other community advocates from around the country co-convened by NQAPIA in collaboration with the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) and the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to a special roundtable with the Department of Homeland Security. We joined our straight and cis-gender allies from other AAPI communities to bring our LGBT perspectives to bear at an important time as the agency is now reviewing its policies around deportations.

The following day, NQAPIA partners, joined by our allies at OCA: Asian Pacific American Advocates, and Asian Americans Advancing Justice: AAJC, had eleven meetings with offices of members of Congress to talk about immigrants’ rights and the issues happening in our communities. We met with members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus as LGBT constituents, and also met with members of the LGBT Equality Caucus, as AAPIs and immigrants.

By making sure that our AAPI brothers and sisters know of our concerns as LGBT people, and that our LGBT allies continue to keep immigration as a priority, our local partners made a unique impact in their short time in Washington, DC.

 

 

Check out some of the pictures below!

 

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NQAPIA Celebrates AAPI Heritage Month- Washington, DC Style

caption: George Takei, with Greg Cendana from the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance and NQAPIA’s own Ben de Guzman

May, as Asian American/ Pacific Islander Heritage Month, is celebrated in Washington, DC every year with a series of events that highlight the best and brightest in the community. High end receptions, smart discussions of cutting edge issues, and rubbing elbows with leaders and celebrities from around the country is par for the course.

This year, LGBT communities are playing a key role in much of the festivities. The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders kickoff on Tuesday, May 6, included swearing in of the new members of the President’s Advisory Commission of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, including openly LGBT commissioners Michael Byun and actor Maulik Pancholy.  Hector Vargas served as an openly LGBT Commissioner since 2011 and stepped down as his service completed. Vice President Joe Biden addressed the audience at the Department of the Interior, as did a panel of leaders, including Pancholy as well as AAPI LGBT rockstar Helen Zia.

The Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies celebrated it’s 20th anniversary at their Gala later that night. The legendary George Takei gave a keynote address, and straight allies Paul Song, head of the Courage Campaign, and his wife, media personality Lisa Ling.

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caption: NQAPIA friends at APAICS Gala from L-R- Shivana Jorawar (NAPAWF/ KhushDC, Ben de Guzman, Ben Chou (AQUADC), and Bruce Thao (Shades of Yellow)

While it’s easy to have the glitz and glamour distract our attention, the last week or so has also been highlighted by significant news on the policy front that will have real benefits for our communities. On April 29, the Department of Education issued guidance clarifying protections for transgender students under Title IX. This week, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Attorney General Eric Holder announced guidance that will keep the schoolhouse doors open for students regardless of immigration status.

At a roundtable with Secretary of Labor Tom Perez, NQAPIA and other AAPI leaders brought community concerns to the highest levels of the government. Next week, NQAPIA will be leading a delegation of queer AAPI advocates from around the country to another roundtable with the Department of Homeland Security and to meetings with Congressional offices. Keep an eye out for the latest from NQAPIA at these events via Facebook and Twitter.

It’s important to recognize heritage and celebrate progress we’ve made, but we know it’s also important that policy victories that make real change are what we fight for and make the celebrations all the sweeter.