Nkauj Iab Yang, Program Director at Banteay Srei, and Joshua Fisher Lee, AYPAL Project Director, share out findings from a 500 API youth survey conducted by Banteay Srei, AYPAL, and The Spot Youth Center during the API Men’s Forum at the State Building in Oakland on Thursday April 14th.
There has been a lot of movement on work towards improving the lives of Boys and Men of Color (BMoC) since the announcement of the My Brothers Keeper (MBK) initiative by President Obama back in 2014. However, nationally, this work often does not adequately encompass the experiences of Asian and Pacific Islander young men, if at all. At a local level, AYPAL has been representing for the API voice around BMoC issues and the city’s MBK initiative through our participation with the Alliance for BMoC convened by Urban Strategies Council. AYPAL organized a convening along with the Offices of Assembly Members Tony Thurmond, and Rob Bonta, Alameda County Supervisors Keith Carson, and Wilma Chan, and numerous community organizations to inform policy makers, foundation leaders, and community members about the unique issues facing BMoC in our communities. AYPAL alum Sou Saechao, and Spencer Pulu spoke movingly on a panel that took audience members through the migration/immigration, to education, to incarceration, to deportation, to re-entry pipeline moderated by community leader and AYPAL advisory board member Eddy Zheng of the Asian Prisoner Support Committee. Survey data was also presented to emphasize the need for disaggregated data for better understanding the needs of our community, which has become increasingly made visible by Banteay Srei, AYPAL, and The Spot Youth Center staff and youth through presentations of the data to decision makers like these. Special thanks to Mina Sanchez of the Asian Community Collaborative of Alameda County, and to the Oakland Public Education Fund, and The California Endowment, for support of AYPAL’s work with / for API young men.