Hiya! I’m Sophia, the USG Delegate for APASA this year. It’s only a few weeks into the semester, but APASA is ready to do some important and necessary work within the APA community! Over Labor Day weekend, four APASA representatives attended the West Coast Asian Pacific Islander Student Union (WCAPSU) fall summit at the UC Davis. With the theme of “(re)Visioning Values,” the summit had a focus on three pressing issues in the APA/API community: mental health, affirmative action, and anti-blackness.

11891473_10153655751848291_2137764237459014368_o

Going into the weekend, I was unsure of what to expect. For all three of the APASA representatives, this was our first WCAPSU summit. We arrived in Davis past midnight on Friday and woke up early the next morning to begin what would become two days of brainstorming and organizing with students from 10 different campuses throughout California.

received_10153552139573818

The opportunity to meet with students from so many schools was definitely what made the summit special for me. Being able to see what resources other students have at their campuses and what USC can learn from other schools, public and private, was really useful to me as an advocate.

Leaving the summit, I think a lot of the attendees really connected with ideas of allyship and accountability. We, as young APA leaders, need to work on being better allies. The APA community has too often contributed to anti-blackness, and we need to hold ourselves accountable. Luckily we got a few tips from Franchesca Ramsey (Chescaleigh on Youtube) about allyship:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dg86g-QlM0

While we ourselves need to be more accountable, we also need to hold our schools accountable to the APA community (and we have the power to do that)! That is why one of my primary goals this year is building more coalitions with APA leaders at other campuses as well as with USC’s other cultural assemblies.

received_10153552140413818

The WCAPSU summit gave me a lot of hope. What inspired me throughout the weekend and continues to push me forward in this work is the knowledge that we as a community are incredibly resilient. APAs have the power to make changes on our campuses, and we know it is possible because other students have already begun to do so.

Fight On!

-Sophia Li