July 2013 Newsletter

July 3, 2013

PRIDE WEEKEND API Equality – Northern California staff had a busy PRIDE this past weekend! We kicked off this year’s PRIDE by celebrating Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality at the Castro “Day of Decision” Block Party and joined Transmarch in solidarity with trans and gender non-conforming people. On Saturday, our interns Sammie and Iris represented at the API Fire townhall, kicking off the “Our Families Matter” campaign, a joint project with Asian Students Promoting Immigrant Rights through Education (ASPIRE). We began collecting postcards from attendees and listened to a panel of individuals working for immigration reform.

On PRIDE Sunday June 30th, 2013, our volunteers marched with the API Pride Contingent alongside community activist Crystal Jang and California Assembly member, Phil Ting. At the API Pavilion, APIENC’s volunteer team helped us gather an additional 220 postcards to show support for fair and humane immigration reform for “Our Families Matter.” ASPIRE leaders and APIENC interns co-created a photobooth asking, “Who’s Missing from Immigration Reform?” We loved all the enthusiastic support of those who participated, holding up signs such as “Humanity” and “Community” while contributing their own, such as “Queers” and “Family reunification.” You can check the album out on our Facebook page here: facebook.com/apiequality.

API Equality – Northern California is in solidarity for fair and humane immigration reform, and “Our Families Matter” is an educational campaign to help spread the word regarding immigration reform and how it adversely affects both API and the LGBTQ community. By opening up dialogue to see the common humanity between all of our communities, we are working together with ASPIRE to support these intersections between immigration, identifying as Asian Pacific Islander, and being LGBTQ. If you would like to be involved in our campaign, please contact swills@apiequalitync.org and ixie@apiequalitync.org.

BREAKTHROUGH CONVERSATIONS 

We’re changing hearts and minds, one Breakthrough Conversation at a time! For the last six months, we trained over 30 volunteers to have Breakthrough Conversations with their non-LGBT friends and family who were identified as “conflicted” or “unsupportive.” The project challenged our participants to conduct conversations with specific messaging that speaks to people’s values and experiences. Some volunteers found this project as a means of rebuilding relationships and connecting to people they wouldn’t have otherwise talked to. Our volunteer Suny Um (left) rekindled his relationship with his father after 8 years of silence.

With the enthusiasm of our Breakthrough volunteers, we surpassed our goal of tracking 100 conversations! This means that we will be better equipped to talk to non-LGBT API friends and family about LGBT issues. Stay tuned for updates on our conversation trainings!

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UPCOMING EVENTS

DESI Q CONFERENCE 2013 We will be presenting workshops at this year’s DesiQ Conference with some of our partners from Khush DC, NQAPIA, and Trikone!  If you plan on attending DesiQ, join us this Friday, 7/5, at 9:30am for our Community Organizing workshop or at 4pm for Marriage Equality: Developments in the US.

Check out the full conference schedule: http://desiq.org/

7/10 VOLUNTEER INTEREST MIXER Even though we’re making some recent political gain in our movement, we know there’s a lot of work to be done to make sure that LGBT API people feel safe, valued, and connected to their communities. Right now we’re focusing on three main areas: increasing visibility of our experiences, developing queer API leaders, and building strong alliances with other communities. Connect with us by coming to our Volunteer Interest Mixer! You’ll get to meet other volunteers and API Equality – Northern California staff and learn more about our work with oral histories, communities of faith, and immigration reform.

When: Wed, July 10th  6:30PM – 8:30PM
Where: 17 Walter U Lum Place
Click here to sign up!

National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) Leadership Summit
API Equality Northern California is a member organization of NQAPIA, which seeks to build the capacity of local LGBT AAPI organizations, invigorate grassroots organizing, develop leadership, and challenge homophobia, racism, and anti-immigrant bias. This summer, we’ll be joining 39 other LGBTQ API organizations at NQAPIA’S Leadership Summit in Honolulu, HI where we will be training movement leaders on a variety of skills.

Click here to view summit agenda.

NQAPIA is a federation of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander (API) organizations.