Image description: Fluffy pink clouds with a glowing Earth underneath. Above reads: “Our World, Our Solutions” with glowing yellow stars on the sides. In the center reads the text: “Raising $15,000 by 11/22 for Trans and Queer API Liberation.” Toward the bottom is the circular yellow APIENC logo and the donation link "apienc.org/donate".
Image description: Fluffy pink clouds with a glowing Earth underneath. Above reads: “Our World, Our Solutions” with glowing yellow stars on the sides. In the center reads the text: “Raising $15,000 by 11/22 for Trans and Queer API Liberation.” Toward the bottom is the circular yellow APIENC logo and the donation link “apienc.org/donate”.
by Sammie Ablaza Wills | November 9, 2020

Now, we do as we’ve always done.

The day after the 2016 election, I woke up, logged onto social media, and saw outcries of anger and fear from my friends. On that day, I wrote a commitment to myself, and an invitation to others:

“We are the people that power our movements. We are the people working towards change that lasts beyond one election cycle. We must take care of each other, so we can take care of this world.”

In the following days and weeks, I took to the streets with so many others and felt the depth of unrest in this country. I chanted in rhythm, felt the cold of the night, and ran as tear gas exploded into the crowds. 

Image description: In Nov. 2016, Sammie draws on a large portion of butcher paper taped onto a wall indoors that reads "Community Garden" and has colorful illustrations of plants and words.
Image description: In Nov. 2016, Sammie draws on a large portion of butcher paper taped onto a wall indoors that reads “Community Garden” and has colorful illustrations of plants and words.

More than the fear and anger I felt during that time, I most vividly remember what it meant to be in community. I remember the debriefs at Shooting Star Cafe, the check-in texts and calls to make sure we all got home okay, and the APIENC community garden that we created at my apartment, planting seeds for what we wanted to cultivate during such a terrifying time. We wrote things like self-determination, queer magic, creativity, and liberation. 

During the past four years, those seeds grew into sprouts, into full plants, found new pots and richer soil, and were propagated throughout hundreds of members and volunteers that came into our organization. We grew programs that redefined community safety, built intergenerational networks of care, and trained trans and queer APIs to lead movement work for the long haul. 

Now, as the results of the 2020 election come in, as Trump is defeated and as the Biden/Harris ticket makes their victory speeches, we know that organizing from Black, Indigenous, Arab, Latinx, and Asian people has made this moment possible. This victory wasn’t decided in a single moment, it was won through countless organizers watering the seeds of our needs. We also know that we cannot abandon our garden just with one incremental win—we will continue to steward this work until all of us are free. 

Today we’re launching “Our World, Our Solutions,” a fundraising campaign that aims to raise $15,000 by 11/22, to help APIENC continue planting seeds and cultivating community power. For every problem that trans and queer Asian and Pacific Islander people face, we know that we can create a visionary solution rooted in our values. When we aren’t protected, we create community safety teams. When we are invisibilized, we document our own stories. When we are isolated, distressed, and anxious, we dig deeper into the skills of vulnerability and interdependence.

Image description: Fluffy pink clouds with a glowing Earth underneath. Above reads: “Our World, Our Solutions” with glowing yellow stars on the sides. In the center reads the text: “Raising $15,000 by 11/22 for Trans and Queer API Liberation.” Toward the bottom is the circular yellow APIENC logo and the donation link "apienc.org/donate".
Image description: Fluffy pink clouds with a glowing Earth underneath. Above reads: “Our World, Our Solutions” with glowing yellow stars on the sides. In the center reads the text: “Raising $15,000 by 11/22 for Trans and Queer API Liberation.” Toward the bottom is the circular yellow APIENC logo and the donation link “apienc.org/donate”.

Building these solutions takes an everyday commitment to visioning, reflecting, and organizing. This is APIENC’s purpose, and we need your support to make sure we can continue working towards that purpose. 

Can you donate $35 to kick-off our campaign and grow the seeds of trans and queer API liberation? 

Here are some other amounts that are significant to us:

  • $181 – for the 181 transgender APIs who responded to our community needs assessment
  • $100 – for the 10 workshops on asking for help and setting boundaries that the Dragon Fruit Network held to support our people during COVID-19 
  • $50 – for the 50 member organizers leading APIENC’s committees through abundance and self-determination
  • $40 – for the 40 people who joined our recent Dragon Fruit Network intergenerational social to connect and build relationships
  • $20 – for the 20 members of our fundraising team, growing our community’s resources in crisis

To close our campaign, we’re inviting all of our members and accomplices to a virtual release party for Up to Us: A Community-Led Needs Assessment of TGNC APIs in the Bay Area! This event, happening on Sunday, November 22nd, is the culmination of two years’ worth of research, analysis, and strategy-building. Now, as part of shaping our solutions, we invite you to learn more about our world. RSVP directly at this link

We’re in it, together, until every one of us is free. We need you here with us, too. 

With love and in solidarity,
Sammie