As we transition to Fall, we reflect on the Summer which is our busiest time of the year. CYI continues to adapt to the unique challenges we all experience in 2020. Our youth successfully organized Summer Leadership Institute and Chinatown Beautification Day with over 200 youth. As our country reckoned with racial injustices in our society, SLI youth confronted anti-Blackness in Asian American communities and CBD youth learned how others were building and advocating for a different future. The discussions and reflections were all done remotely, uncharted territory that our youth staff executed beautifully.
Summer Leadership Institute: Educating and Empowering Remotely
Congratulations to SLI, under the leadership of Jenna Hua and Meg Young, for a successful summer! Like many of CYI’s programs, and programs across New York City, SLI went virtual. Despite the many challenges this posed, SLI staff were able to adapt and flourish with a digital format, by turning all-day workshops into frequent engagements throughout the week and working with participants on summer long projects. SLI Facilitators Amanda Cui, Serena Shibu, Frances Leung, and Janine Liu led conversations on anti-Blackness and the mental health stigmas within the AAPI community, the model minority myth, yellow peril, and other issues to prepare today’s high school youth to be the next generation of young activists.
For one of the projects, Amanda facilitated a recorded discussion on anti-Blackness with five participants and how they experience it within themselves, their families, and their communities. You can view it here! The SLI team also raised more than $750 in donations to For the Gworls, The Okra Project, and Black Excellence Collective organizations that support Black Trans people.
“AAPI representation and lunchbox politics have dominated the discourse of AAPI politics. But we wanted to dig a little deeper into what we can do to help.” -Jenna Hua
Special thanks to SLI Advisor, and current Board Member Brian He, and former Board Member Jen Chang for their time, advice, and all around support to the SLI team!
Chinatown Beautification Day: Activism in the Digital Age
hinatown Beautification Day started in 2003 to protest New York City’s and the federal government’s divestment of resources from Manhattan’s Chinatown. Although this pandemic has made it impossible for hundreds of Asian American youth armed with brooms and dustpans to take to the streets of Chinatown, CBD’s mission remains relevant and Asian American high schoolers across the city made it known.
In just a few months, CBD Advisor David Ye assembled a team of CBD Coordinators: Amanda Cui, Yuriko Zhang, and Aurora Hom. They planned, outreached, and executed the 2020 CBD Youth Conference. The CBD team, and their army of outreach representatives, were able to:
✔️ Secure Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou as CBD2020’s keynote speaker
✔️ Organize 8 unique workshops
✔️ Attract 400+ RSVPs
✔️Maintain nearly 200 participants throughout the day
✔️ Inspire hundreds of youth to civically engage in their communities
During a time of uncertainty, the 2020 CBD Youth Conference showed us that activism is just one click away!
Welcoming Our New Board Members
CYI welcomed five new members to the Board this summer – Sue Yee Chen, Brain He, Hazem Ibrahim, Zoe Li, and Audrey Pan. They are a mix of folks both familiar with and brand new to CYI, but all passionate about youth empowerment and social activism. The board members reside in different cities across the United States and are taking advantage of the new age of virtual collaboration. Longtime CYI contributors, Vincent Fang and Winnie Huang, have stayed on to orient and work with the new members.
Board Members provide oversight, institutional vision, and support for CYI’s three programs. Board Members also provide executive support, fundraise, and train youth staff prior to the start of each program. The Board is instrumental in maintaining partnerships within the community to ensure CYI programs reach all youth in need and have the greatest impact.
Read their bios and get to know them here!
Your donation to CYI will help us sustain our work to empower New York City youth with the knowledge and skills necessary to address the needs of Chinatown, Asian Americans, and other underrepresented communities. Since 2000, CYI has provided a safe and supportive environment to build a legacy of leaders who strengthen awareness and self-identity and community issues through project initiatives through our:
- Summer Leadership Institute
- Chinatown Literacy Project
- Chinatown Beautification Day and Youth Conference
- Hate Crimes Prevention Art Project
You can put your gift to work immediately by making a safe, secure contribution online through the following options: https://cyinyc.org/donate/
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