None of it would be possible without you! #APENLAunch

by | Jun 30, 2023

Photos by Jireh Deng.

Thank YOU for making our #APENLAunch a success! None of it would be possible without you!

Thank you to the allies, friends, family, donors, vendors, APEN Oakland and Richmond members, and our very own APEN staff. Each and every one of you made launching our Los Angeles organizing project memorable and powerful.

I just joined the APEN team this past April, and it has been so moving to see how many people are ready to stand in solidarity with our organizing for a Just Transition. Together, we:

  • Heard from one of APEN’s founders, Torm Nompraseurt, about his fearless and passionate organizing with Laotian refugee families in Richmond after the 1999 Chevron refinery fire
  • Got to know local Asian business owners who have been excited to get involved in fighting for a clean environment in their neighborhoods
  • Were welcomed by our friends and allies in the South Bay: Communities for A Better Environment, Earth Justice, and East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice, to further the work with Clean Air Act Implementation and Refinery Regulations
  • Met up with new members of our LA base who are spreading the word about the issues going on their communities and the solutions that we will be working towards

We are establishing deep connections here in the South Bay and our launch party last month was a beautiful celebration of the new chapter in APEN’s history!

“Our members always talked about their vision to build people power. Today is the continuation of the vision we had to build power for Asian immigrants and refugees across the state.”

-APEN Co-Director Vivian Yi Huang

Someone faces away from the camera wearing a sweatshirt that says "Rooted and Resilient"

Photo by Jireh Deng.

We acknowledged the land we are on, the land of the Tongva Taraxat Paxaava.

Photos by APEN staff.

We had a fun photobooth showcasing the diversity of California and celebrating Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. 

Photos by Jireh Deng.

We served delicious Filipino food from Gemmae Bakeshop led by mother-daughter duo Prescilla and Catherine Tolentino, savory Korean American fusion vegan and gluten free food from MoonBowls, and sweet customized APEN donuts from Simone’s Donuts, run by the Eap family from Thailand and Cambodia.

Photos by Jireh Deng.

We had beautiful set of performers:

  • DJ Jedi: a local DJ dedicated to uplifting communities across Southern California through his DJing and activism. 
  • Bootleg Orchestra: a Los Angeles and Long Beach based trio that creates electronic/soul music inspired by and for the community. They released their debut album MAKIBAKA in 2021 and are currently working on a mini-documentary on the role of art and music in creating a new and just society. 
  • Laotian dance by APEN Youth Leaders, Ashley and Alida: Ashley and Alida have been APEN youth leaders for the past 4 years, leading the work on resilience hubs planning and advocacy in Richmond.
An organizer speaks into a microphone. Another next to him holds an APEN tote bag.

Photo by Jireh Deng.

We expressed gratitude to the community building we have done already and will be continuing to do with our environmental survey, door knocking, and summer programming.

Kids play in front of a mural

Photo by Jireh Deng.

We dove into the process of creating our APEN Mural by Bodeck Luna, a renowned artist who grew up in the South Bay. An immigrant artist from Manila, Philippines, Bodeck creates pieces that explore the relationship between nostalgia, social empowerment and decolonization.

As the new community organizer for APEN LA, I’m excited to continue building our LA base, to fight for environmental justice for working class Asian immigrants and refugees, and to bring solutions to community issues together!

Learn more about our work and explore the APEN LA Mural here.

We are here to stay! #APENLosAngeles #APENLAunch #APENLA

Interested in getting involved with our Los Angeles organizing? Use the form below to sign up and our LA team and I will follow up with you.

A group of people dance in a circle holding hands.

Photo by Jireh Deng.