Fall 2015 – Welcome to Team APIENC!

At API Equality – Northern California, our work is powered by our dedicated volunteer committees and rising leaders. We’re so excited to welcome Fei, BB, Shilpa, and Kalani to Team APIENC this fall. Read on to find out more about who they are, what they do with APIENC, and why this work is meaningful to them.

A photo of our Dragon Fruit Project team!

Hoi-Fei Mok, Artist-in-Resident, Dragon Fruit Committee

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Fei was born and raised in San Leandro, CA and graduated from Wellesley College, MA with a BA in Biochemistry and University of Melbourne, Australia with a PhD in Environmental Science. As a student activist, she helped organize Wellesley’s pilot queer mentoring program and co-founded University of Melbourne’s women of color collective, among other projects. Since returning to the Bay Area, Fei has joined APIENC as an artist-in-resident to create artwork inspired by the stories of the Dragon Fruit Project. She feels this necessary work is grounding and community building, and plays a part in creating a new society where people are in tune with each other and the larger ecosystems. Outside of DFP, Fei manages Wellesley Underground, makes art of all kinds, and works on finding just and equitable pathways to ecological renewal.

 

BB (xiongyi) Wei, Intern

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BB Wei is the 2015 Chan Fellow from China, who is now studying at UC Berkeley and at Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou, China. As a gay man himself, he is passionate about LGBT issues and is currently working on translating Dragon Fruit Project materials into Chinese. He looks forward to helping to disseminate information to the API LGBT community, and to outreach to LGBT NGOs in China.

 

 

 

Shilpa Rao, Communications Intern

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Shilpa was raised in Danville, CA and is currently a senior at San Ramon Valley High School. At school, she is a co-editor in chief of the school newspaper, The Wolfprint. As a Communications Intern at APIENC, she works on the editorial calendar and helps with short-form dissemination of the Dragon Fruit Project on social media. She is glad for the opportunity to use her journalism skills to help bring together individuals in the LGBTQ API community and fight for equality. In her free time, she enjoys playing the flute and exploring the Bay Area.

 

Kalani Valdez, Intern

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Kalani is a Native Hawaiian, gay, cis-gendered male from Honolulu, Hawaii. He is a senior at the University of San Francisco. He is majoring in Politics and minoring in French Studies and Music. He is working with APIENC as a trans justice outreach intern during the Fall of 2015. He is particularly interested in the relationship between the gay community and the trans community. Kalani believes that the trans community needs allies from the gay community to fight alongside them for justice and basic rights. During his free time, Kalani likes to surf, sing, and hang out with his friends at the park or beach.