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

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Boston – March 26, 2016

2016 Community Catalyst Awards Boston

Purchase tickets for the Boston Community Catalyst Awards
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Washington, DC – April 9, 2016

2016 Community Catalyst Awards DC

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NQAPIA is Hiring! Help us build an LGBT AAPI Movement!

Job Annoucement

NQAPIA Organizer

February 2015





Washington, DC

Job Status


Reports to

NQAPIA Executive Director


Commensurate with professional experience

Position Summary

The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) seeks an Organizer who will engage NQAPIA’s alliance of local lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTQ) Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) organizations and mobilize the community on variety of efforts, including immigrants’ rights, increasing LGBTQ AAPI visibility, and coordinating and recruiting for trainings, conferences, and leadership Summits. (Exact title may be changed depending on experience.)

The ideal candidate should be a strong team player with a strong interest/background in grassroots organizing, community mobilization, immigration, social justice, and AAPI and LGBTQ issues to further support our programming and local and national field actions.


The National Queer Asian Pacific IslanderAlliance is a federation of LGBTQ AAPI organizations. We seek to build the organizational capacity of local LGBTQ AAPIgroups, develop leadership, promote visibility, educate our community, enhance grassroots organizing, expand collaborations, and challenge homophobia and racism.


Membership Engagement and Leadership Development: Build relationships with local AAPI LGBTQ organizations. Encourage and support local advocacy and mobilization around immigrants’ rights and social justice. Promote leadership development through NQAPIA trainings at Leadership Summits and conferences.

Immigration Advocacy: Maintain NQAPIA’s advocacy work on immigrants’ rights. Support local field activities, provide national coordination with to amplify collective voice around immigrants’ rights, and connect with policy advocates in Washington, DC. Attend monthly meetings of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA).

Media: Support NQAPIA’s communications work to amplify messages in the media (news media, social media, etc.) around immigrants’ rights, issues affecting AAPI and LGBTQ communities, and LGBTQ AAPI visibility. Promote NQAPIA’s “Uncovering Our Stories” campaign to highlight AAPI LGBTQ immigration issues.

Skills and Experience

Organizing Experience: At least 2-3 years of grassroots organizing experience (or related experience). Strong ability to cultivate individual relationships to inspire and support others to take action.

Leadership Development Skills: Strong ability to promote and train new leaders and facilitate meetings.

Strong Self-Starter: The ability to develop new ideas on how to accomplish goals and the wherewithal to get the work done.

Knowledge of Immigration: Working knowledge of immigration, immigration policy, and immigrant communities is helpful.

Knowledge of AAPI LGBTQ Communities: Relationships with AAPI LGBTQ organizations, leaders, and advocates is helpful. Knowledge of Asian, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and/ or Pacific Islander languages is not required, but definitely a plus.

Passion for Social Justice Work: Motivation to create change and dogged persistence will be critical to run a campaign with many moving pieces.

Comfortable with Technology and Virtual Communication: An ability to work with local partners across the country across different communications platforms (e.g., telephone, e-mail, social media).

Education and Training: A college degree or 4-5 years of commensurate experience in the field is required.


Salary is competitive and is dependent on skills and experience. Health insurance, vacation, and other benefits are included.

To Apply

Submit a one-page cover letter describing your qualifications and a current resume to Glenn Magpantay at with the subject line “NQAPIA Organizer.”

Organizer PDF Job Description

Applications due by Feb. 23, 2015 or until filled.

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!







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.


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.

NQAPIA Hosts Pride Meetup in Washington, DC: June 6, 2013

As we all know, June is LGBT Pride month!  As if we’re not all exhausted from May and AAPI Heritage Month, we’re bringing the gang back together for another month of action.And what better way to  We are kicking it off show off our pride with some sexiness and sass at our first ever NQAPIA Pride Meetup.  Of course, we’re multitasking to add to the fabulousness:

  • Join us to Phone Bank for comprehensive immigration reform.  On a scale of 1 to necessary, this bill is CRUCIAL for undocumented members of the LGBT community, who would need our utmost support.
  • Join us to talk about AAPI and LGBT Months:  Want to dish about Pride and Heritage?  Want to find out how to get involved with Capitol Pride?
  • Join us to welcome the fabulous Mark Ro Beyersdorf back to his old DC stomping grounds, and listen to him discuss the new book from the Dari Project about LGBT Koreans.

Light refreshments will be provided.  How can you NOT join us?!?

To RSVP, click here.

Here are some photos from previous Dari Project Book Launches:

dari coordinators nyc launch



sf launch pic

Uplifting all voices: A call for inclusive immigration reform debate // Thurs, April 25, 2013 (DC)

Join APALA-DC, NAPAWF-DC, and NQAPIA on Thursday, April 25 for a conversation about comprehensive immigration reform and what it means for those whose needs and voices have been largely marginalized by the dominant national conversation: including temporary workers, LGBTQ Asian immigrants, and immigrant survivors of violence. Hear the latest on the immigration reform debate locally and nationally, share your own stories, and find out how you can advocate for immigrants’ rights in your community.
*Refreshments provided.

Featured speakers

Josef Calugay
Founder of Katarungan: Center for Peace, Justice and Human Rights in the Philippines

Erwin De Leon
Research associate, the Urban Institute’s Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy

Linda Khoy
Community member whose sister is facing deportation



Thursday, April 25th, 2013
6:30 pm


Communications Workers of America
501 3rd St NW
First Floor Conference Room
Washington, DC 20001

Special thanks to our partners

Asian Pacific Islander Queer Sisters (APIQS)
The DC Center for the LGBT Community

Rainbow Lunar New Year Celebration: A Multiethnic Happy Hour for Progress

Photo Caption:  From L-R, Lisbeth Melendrez Rivera (Unid@s), Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA), Ben de Guzman (NQAPIA) 

RSVP on Facebook:


Come join a diverse coalition of organizations serving LGBT People of Color to celebrate the Year of the Snake, as we welcome the most diverse Congress ever.  Joining us will be Congressman Mark Takano (D-CA), the first ever LGBT person of color elected to the Congress.

Monday, February 11, 2013- 6:30pm

Café Asia

1720 I Street, NW (Farragut West Metro- Blue/Orange)


Light Refreshments will be served, come have a drink with us to celebrate ALL of our communities’ achievements!


Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS)

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA)

Asian Pacific Islander Queers United for Action (AQUA)

Asian Pacific Islander Queer Sisters (APIQS)

Center for Black Equity


League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)

Latino GLBT History Project

National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF)

NAPAWF- DC Chapter

National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC)

National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA)

The Raben Group





Trainings for AAPI Election Protection Program–This Week!

NQAPIA is a partner with the Election Protection Program with the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund.  We’re excited to bring our local networks on Election Day to make sure that our communities are best able to take part in the political process.

Your help is needed to make sure this happens!  The exit polls we will help gather ask questions about same sex marriage in Asian American languages- if we don’t have enough volunteers, we will not be able to get the best data directly from our communities in the languages they speak.

Sign up to volunteer here, and attend any of the trainings below.  For more information, contact Ben de Guzman via e-mail at


Tues., Oct. 23 – Philadelphia, PA

12N – Duane Morris, 30 South 17th Street, between Chestnut and Market
6PM – Pepper Hamilton, 3000 Two Logan Square, Eighteenth and Arch Streets

6PM – University of Pennsylvania APALSA, Gittis 2


Wed., Oct. 24 – Washington, DC

12N – Crowell & Moring, 1001 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, between 10th and 11th Streets

4PM – Georgetown Law School, 600 New Jersey Ave, NW, McDonough, Room 164
6PM – Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, 901 New York Avenue, NW, at K Street


Thurs., Oct. 25 – Boston, MA

12N – Ropes & Gray LLP; Prudential Tower, 800 Boylston Street, at Fairfield

2:30PM – Suffolk University Law School,120 Tremont Street, Room 275
6PM – Edwards Wildman Palmer, 111 Huntington Avenue, at Holyoke


Fri., Oct. 26 – Boston, MA

12PM – Harvard Law School APALSA

3PM – New England Law, 154 Stuart Street, Room 303


Tues., Oct. 30 – New York, NY

6PM – Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, 4 Times Square, 42nd St. east of Broadway

NQAPIA Internships Available: Winter and Spring 2013


Winter and Spring 2013

The fabulous life of an NQAPIA Intern!

Looking to work for social justice in AAPI LGBT communities?  Want interesting work with a fabulous team and a grassroots network of fabulous organizations?

NQAPIA is seeking talented young people for internships in the following areas:

  • National Advocacy for LGBT AAPIs  

Interns will attend high level national policy meetings, congressional briefings, and other events to raise the concerns of LGBTs in mainstream civil rights issues, and of AAPIs in LGBT rights issues.


  • LGBT Immigrants’ Rights and Immigration Reform

The intern will work directly with queer Asian immigrants and media professionals to develop testimonials and personal narratives that can be posted on websites, printed for publication, and developed for audio and video distribution.  The goal is to bring the real lives of queer Asian immigrants to the fore and to inspire others to come out and take action.  The intern will also assist in coordinating community press conferences and other community meetings.

  • Multilingual Visibility Campaign

NQAPIA aims to improve the visibility of LGBTs in the mainstream AAPI community and of AAPIs in the broader LGBT community.  Interns will assist in developing a multilingual education campaign that includes outreach to the Asian ethnic media and educational pieces translated into several Asian languages.

  • Capacity Building Resources, Workshops, and Trainings

Interns will also have an opportunity to participate in activities to build the capacity of AAPI LGBT organizations, with a focus on planning a Leadership Training and Issue Briefing Summit for member organizations.


Description of Internships

The intern will learn strategies in using public policy, grassroots organizing, and the media to advance social justice.  Interns are supervised by NQAPIA professional staff.  Interns work primarily on research and writing, policy advocacy, community outreach and organizing, and administrative support.  Successful intern applications will stress qualities such as experience and passion for the issues and communities served, skills relevant to the activities described, and additional traits such as attention to detail, organization skills, and professional demeanor.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis starting immediately.  These internships are not paid positions, but academic credit can be arranged.  During the Winter and Spring terms, interns work anywhere between 25-40 hours per week.  Internships are usually last about ten weeks and generally are expected to run between January and May (depending on the term) on a schedule agreed upon by the intern and NQAPIA.

Internships will be based in NQAPIA’s Washington, DC headquarters near Dupont Circle.  On a case-by-case basis, internships may be based elsewhere, again as agreed upon by both the intern and NQAPIA.


To Apply:

Any bilingual ability should be stated in the resume.  Bilingual ability is helpful but not required. Applications should also state the number of hours the intern is able to work per week.  Send a resume and cover letter to:

NQAPIA Intern Search

1322 18th Street, NW

Washington, DC 20036


Electronic submissions strongly preferred.  Please write: “Intern Applicant” in the Subject.


For more information, contact Ben de Guzman at or 202-422-4909. 

NQAPIA Submits Statement at Senate Hearing on Hate Crimes

On September 19, NQAPIA joined a standing room only audience (which spilled over into an overflow room) to witness the Senate Hearing on Hate Crimes and Domestic Extremism.  The hearing focused on hate crimes, particularly in the aftermath of the devastating shooting of a Sikh gurdwara (temple) in Oak Creek, WI.


NQAPIA submitted testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will now be included in the proceedings from the Hearing.  The testimony is below.

Included as part of its testimony is the  joint statement of solidarity from the LGBT community that NQAPIA drafted and was signed by over 30 national and local LGBT organizations from around the country.


photo credit: SAALT


Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights

815 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510


Re:            Hearing, September 19, 2012, Hate Crimes and the Threat of Domestic Extremism

Dear Subcommittee Members:

The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) applauds the Subcommittee on holding today’s hearing on this very important topic.  Events around the country and abroad have put these issues of intolerance and extremism at the top of the news, and we think it is important to call for reasoned voices and non-violence to address the issues of the day.  As a federation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) organizations, we know the impact of violence in our communities because we are subject to the intersections of racism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, and anti-religious sentiment.   

The unconscionable rise of violence in recent months that has devastated our communities has made these intersections and their impacts real for NQAPIA and the communities we serve.  The South Asian LGBT organizations we work with tell us all too real stories about discrimination and bigotry they face, not only because of the color of their skin and their religious traditions, but also because of how they live their lives as LGBT people in their families and communities.  Our work with faith partners such as the Queer Muslim Working Group reveals the impact that not only anti-Muslim sentiment from religious fundamentalists has on our communities, but the impact of homophobia and transphobia as well.

NQAPIA drafted an LGBT sign-on letter that over 30 local and national organizations joined in solidarity with the victims of the August 5 shooting at the Sikh gurdwara in Oak Creek, WI and the August 6 fire at a mosque in Joplin, MO to specifically articulate the impact that such violence has on us as LGBT communities (that letter is included here as part of our statement of record).  The debates around extremism and violence only became more fraught with urgency when a gunman shot at the Family Research Council a few short days later and we joined another statement from the LGBT community to oppose violence as a means of resolving differences.

Hate crimes continue to be a serious problem.  Recent FBI statistics that document over 6,600 hate crimes may actually be undercounting the severity of the problem.  A 2005 study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics suggests that the actual figures may be as high as 15 times what is being reported.  The domestic extremism that opens up the political and cultural space to somehow rationalize violence and hate crimes has no place in our communities.  We know that religious freedom and First Amendment protections are not mutually exclusive and that both can and must be held in balance to ensure our civil liberties.

Violent acts that target people for the characteristics that make them different defy the pluralism that makes America thrive.  The intersections of hate violence and domestic extremism are complex and we commend you for taking this on.  They encompass a range of issues related to homophobia, xenophobia, and anti-religious sentiment both locally, and in an international context.  We urge the Committee to make findings on the causes of and solutions to this violence and to take action to prevent hate before it is too late to act.  The times that we live in demand solutions that think big and refuse to oversimplify and we stand ready to work with you to create and implement those solutions.



Ben de Guzman

Co-Director for Programs

National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance