Why I’m proud to support APEN’s community visioning

by | Aug 2, 2023

When I was a policy advocate, everything felt like an emergency. It was always ACT. DO. REACT. It was so rare that I’d have an opportunity to slow down enough to truly listen and check in with my community about what we’re doing and where we’re going together.

So I was incredibly impressed when earlier this year, APEN staff let us know their summer plans. Instead of getting caught up in the never-ending cycle of urgency, they wanted to listen and co-create with APEN’s membership through a series of community visioning workshops to plan for the next 15 years of APEN’s grassroots organizing.

This is a brave decision – and an important one. But it isn’t surprising, coming from APEN. APEN’s organizing has always been rooted in the lived experiences, stories, joy and creativity of our communities and families.

For example:

My kids came with me to attend APEN’s Los Angeles Launch earlier this year — and they had a blast. They admired the bold colors and Asian heroes on the new mural. They danced with new friends, who welcomed them with open arms. They chowed down on Filipino food – an extra-special touch for our multi-racial family and me as a Filipina mom.

Aysha Pamukcu stands holding her two kids in front of a colorful mural smiling at the camera

At APEN, this is what organizing looks like: people connecting with each other and dreaming big together. Making sure everyone feels welcome, no matter your age or what language you speak at home. This is one of the reasons I am so proud to be on APEN’s Board of Directors.

To keep bringing people together and build a long-term vision rooted in radical joy, APEN needs our help. We need to collectively raise $10,000 by tomorrow to fund APEN’s community visioning workshops this year – and we’re only 45% of the way there.

This sort of work doesn’t generate headlines or social media clicks. It’s hard to fundraise for.

But it is so, so important. Our communities deserve the time and space to share and build a collective vision.

Will you join me in supporting APEN’s grassroots organizing by donating today?

It’s APEN’s birthday! We’re hosting a festive night market in Downtown Oakland on July 20, and we’d love to see you there.

Click here to save your spot.