Our issues include youth and women empowerment, increased language access, revenue generation and increased resources for our communities especially for culturally competent health care, education, immigrants, and low-wage workers, particularly through this current pandemic.
Our theory of change includes multiple strategies for power, developing leadership and organizing capacity within Asian American communities and targeting Asian American women and young people in particular around relational organizing and political education will move local state and federal progressive policy and help elect progressive candidates to champion those issues. We believe that an election is an opportunity to increase engagement and build organizing relationships with our constituency, and that positive electoral and policy wins are one tool for empowering our communities. Election cycles are opportunities for leadership development and candidate recruitment through the organizing process.
In January 2021 MAAP collaborated with partner Detroit Action in recruiting volunteers and canvassing for the successful campaigns of Senator Jon Ossoff and Senator Raphael Warnock, contributing to the record turnout in Georgia of APIA voters.
MAAP collaborated with partners such as Asian American Midwest Progressives to provide voter support and resources for the 2020 General Election.
MAAP endorsed eleven candidates for statewide offices who were successfully elected in 2020, including some who broke barriers as the first Asian American officials to hold their offices. View past endorsements here.
We Are America
Asian Americans came to Michigan with the dream for a better life. The policies of the Trump administration have gravely harmed our communities. As the fastest growing voter population, our voices will be a deciding factor in the future of our country. Michigan Asian American Progressives and Michigan Action will uplift and amplify the voices of our communities as we cast our ballots and demand change.Posted by Michigan Asian American Progressives on Wednesday, October 7, 2020
OUR STAFF & BOARD
Laura is a fourth-generation Japanese American who believes strongly in building the capacity for people to come together to exercise their collective power, grounded in their history and identity. She seeks to apply her skills as a lawyer and interest in food and storytelling to move the projects of Rising Voices forward.
Regina is a Chinese/Cantonese American interested in developing stories; she believes that they are the key to our individual and collective power. Through Rising Voices, she aims to help provide the spaces for these stories to be discovered and shared, and for us to rewrite the existing narrative of our communities, build solidarity, and take collective action.
Dim was the Civic Engagement fellow at Rising Voices of Asian American Families and an APALA Fellow. She is now a Community Organizer for Rising Voices. Born in Mandalay, Myanmar, Dim grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She was raised by two Zomi immigrants who personified radical politics and actions in their everyday lives. At the University of Michigan, Dim studies History and Political Science with a minor in Asian Studies. She’s passionate about serving Asian American communities with new ways to engage and organize.
Jasmine was born in Detroit to an immigrant Filipino-American family, where she was raised by her activist parents to always engage in action and speak truth to power. Jasmine graduated from Michigan State University with a BA in International Relations at James Madison College and from Columbia University with an MFA in Film Directing. Jasmine will apply her skills in narrative storytelling and communications to help build APIA community and empowerment.
Aamina was born in the Midwest and has straddled between living in primarily Michigan and Pakistan. A deep commitment to wanting to help create spaces where everyone feels like they truly belong drives her. She believes in the power of Rising Voices to give Asian American women and families in Michigan a “home”.
Sheela loves living in Michigan where AAPI power is a recognized strength. She brings a work history of policy, communications, and strategy to Rising Voices to further empower Asian Americans in politics. Sheela believes there are few things in life more rewarding than watching folks realize their own power, and loves creating the resources – political research templates, bootcamps, audio based interviews – for these opportunities to flourish.
Hassan Sheikh is deputy director for Dearborn’s Economic and Community Development Department. Sheikh was previously director of Hamtramck’s Community and Economic Development Department. He was brought in to rebuild the department after it was phased out during the city’s emergency management He also worked under former Hamtramck City Manager Katrina Powell.
Sonia Patel is a community leader, political activist and former public relations executive at Ford Motor Company. The president of the Canton Democratic Club, she earned her MA in Communications from Michigan State University.
Karen Ahn is a co-founder, Executive Director, and Chief Teaching Officer at the Michigan Teacher Education Network (MITEN), an organization that asks educators to collaboratively reimagine and create a more just educational experience for children — especially those who go unseen in our racialized society. Previously, she served as the Director of Partnerships at TeachingWorks at the University of Michigan, where she worked with teacher educators (professors, school leaders, and mentor teachers who prepare teachers) all over the United States to disrupt patterns of inequity through teaching. She also was a school leader at a charter school in Detroit, Michigan, and began her career in education as a lower elementary school teacher. Through all these roles, she has been committed to providing children with a much better and far less harmful school experience through improvement of self and improvement with others.