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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

 

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

 

Job Posting: Immigration Project Consultant/ Intern

 

Immigration Project Consultant/ Intern Job Description

September 2013

 

Title: Immigration Project Consultant/ Intern

Location: Washington, DC

Job Status:  Part-time, temporary

Reports to:  NQAPIA Co-Director of Programs

Compensation: Commensurate with professional experience

 

 

Position Summary:

The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) seeks staff for our Immigrant Rights Program who will hit the ground running as the historical debate on comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) moves to the House of Representatives. NQAPIA’s immigrant rights program focuses to uplift the LGBTQ AAPI analysis and to more closely link the LGBTQ and AAPI movements with the immigrant rights movements. The ideal candidate will be a strong team player with a strong interest/background in public policy advocacy, immigration, social justice, AAPI and LGBTQ issues to further support our programming and local and national field actions.

Depending on the experience of the candidate, this position may either become a consultancy (for someone with professional experience) or an internship (for a student or recent graduate).  The position will be short term, running from September to December (with the possibility for extension into 2014) and depending on negotiations, can range from part time to full time (25-40 hours/ week).

This position will be based in NQAPIA’s Washington, DC office near Dupont Circle.

 

Qualifications: 

Candidates should possess strong writing skills, experience in the legislative process and/or advocacy fields, with an ability to work well under pressure and meet tight deadlines. Candidates should be team-oriented, able to work independently and solve problems creatively.  Proficiency in languages other than English are is helpful but not required.  This position is a temporary and flexible position that potentially includes a monthly stipend.

 

Specific Responsibilities for the Job

This position will support NQAPIA’s policy advocacy work on immigrants’ rights.  Project responsibilities include, but are not limited, to the following efforts:

Media: 

  • Securing earned and/or paid media for our work on immigration;
  • Write up e-blasts, Op-Eds, newsletters and other material as needed;
  • Assist in writing and updating policy advocacy fact-sheets and talking points;
  • Maintaining relationships with mainstream, ethnic, and LGBT media

Working with Local Organizations: 

  • Organizing and supporting postcarding actions and events;
  • Providing communication with and information for local groups about CIR;
  • Working with member groups and other partners to plan local work

“Uncovering Our Stories” Campaign:

  • Assisting in media rollout, distribution and promotion of stories

Policy:

  • Provide support for coalition work;
  • Stay up to date on immigration policy reform news as it impacts our advocacy efforts;
  • Support analysis of immigration policy and legislation

 

To apply, please submit a one-page cover letter describing your qualifications and time availability as well as a current resume to Ben de Guzman via e-mail to <ben_deguzman@nqapia.org> with the subject line “NQAPIA Immigration Position.”

Intern Corner: The NQAPIA Experience

By Steven

This summer went by so fast. It feels as if I only introduced myself to Ben, my supervisor, a week ago. However, ten weeks have passed, and what has happened in between has strengthened my understanding of the non-profit world, DC’s AAPI community, and the issues that affect the people we serve. From starting my first day of work with a White House reception that Barack Obama attended to marching fifty blocks through New York to advocate for Trayvon Martin and his family last weekend, I felt like each moment in this internship positioned me at a historic milestone.

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Intern Corner: Justice for Trayvon Martin & The OCA National Convention

Justice for  Trayvon Martin by Steven

When the Trayvon Martin murder happened, it struck me as yet another crime against people of color that some refuse to acknowledge as racism. However, it was the verdict that exempted George Zimmerman from murder that felt like a slap in the face.  When these hate crimes happen, it reminds me of the bias that individuals still hold, though I would always respond with the hope that justice will somehow address oppression. But when our “justice” system fails to declare these actions as crimes, I am reminded that our institutions actually protect racism.

Read more

Intern Corner: ENDA & Immigration Reform

United We Dream: Flash Mob at the Capitol by Elizabeth

This Wednesday, I had the opportunity to participate in United We Dream’s action at the Capitol for immigration reform. After a mock citizenship ceremony on the Senate lawn, over 500 DREAMers and immigrants’ rights activists gathered slowly in the Capitol Visitors’ Center. Led by little DREAMers in elementary and middle school, we recited the Pledge of Allegiance and sang the national anthem together. It was the first time the Pledge has brought tears to my eyes; probably the first time I’ve ever really heard it said with meaning and purpose accompanied by action. The energy was incredible, and as the Star Spangled Banner ended, the group began to chant, “Sí, se puede!” as police escorted us out.

Read more

Intern Corner: ENDA & Immigration Reform

United We Dream: Flash Mob at the Capitol by Elizabeth

This Wednesday, I had the opportunity to participate in United We Dream’s action at the Capitol for immigration reform. After a mock citizenship ceremony on the Senate lawn, over 500 DREAMers and immigrants’ rights activists gathered slowly in the Capitol Visitors’ Center. Led by little DREAMers in elementary and middle school, we recited the Pledge of Allegiance and sang the national anthem together. It was the first time the Pledge has brought tears to my eyes; probably the first time I’ve ever really heard it said with meaning and purpose accompanied by action. The energy was incredible, and as the Star Spangled Banner ended, the group began to chant, “Sí, se puede!” as police escorted us out.

Read more

Intern Corner: July 5th

What About My Story? by Steven

While perusing Google for more information on bullying and LGBT youths, I did not manage to find any articles on the experiences of AAPI LGBT students. That is really unfortunate, because once we intersect race with sexual orientation, the way our youths experience bullying becomes much more complicated. What does it mean to be doubly oppressed, to be thought of as abnormal for both not being straight and not being white? These are the questions that we need to ask to better support our AAPI LGBT youths.

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Intern Corner

Citizenship is Not Enough by Elizabeth

This was an intense week to be in Washington! I experienced political whiplash, from the gutting of the Voting Rights Act to victories for marriage equality to the passage of a complex immigration reform bill. In the midst of all of this, I was delivering 2,700 postcards to senators in support of comprehensive immigration reform. On my lunch hour, I was on the phone with congressional constituent services, dealing with my family’s immigration issues. Read more

Intern Blog: Immigration Is Also Our Issue

By Steven

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to observe a panel on immigration reform that featured Jose Antonio Vargas. I attended the event with two of my friends, both of whom are also AAPI interns in D.C. this summer. At one point during the panel, the moderator framed the current immigration bill as a civil rights movement for Latinos. When he said that, all three of us cringed. I heard stories of undocumented AAPI experiences that belong to a Pakistani child who immigrated for facilities that treat cancer, a Chinese immigrant who overstayed her visa because her father’s rash prevented everyone in their family from being fingerprinted, and more. This issue affects our communities on multiple levels. It’s an AAPI issue that attacks the way our different communities honor family and challenges our claim to being American.

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