Leadership development is an integral part of APIENC’s work. We understand that our organization and larger social justice movements need to proactively invest in young and emerging leaders who are committed to queer and trans liberation and racial justice. Currently, our Leadership Development takes form in our Summer Organizer Program, our API Queer Justice Leadership Exchange (LEX), and our regular volunteer training opportunities. Learn more about some of these programs below!

ABOUT OUR SUMMER ORGANIZER PROGRAM  Every year, APIENC embarks on an intensive summer program to develop the next generation of LGBTQ API social justice and cultural change leaders. The Summer Organizer Program, previously called our Summer Internship, is a transformative opportunity to build organizing skills and strengthen values in service of social change. At APIENC, we know that LGBTQ API people are targets of interpersonal abuse, state violence, and systemic oppression both historically, and in this current political climate. Leadership development for our own queer, trans, and gender nonconforming API people is critical in addressing our material conditions and in supporting larger movements for change.

Image description: A group of APIENC staff and volunteers smile and pose in front of the San Francisco public library

Summer Organizers receive in-depth trainings on a variety of topics, and employ dynamic approaches for intersectional and multi-issue based organizing.  Each organizer contributes to the LGBTQ API community by impacting the organization’s history and current projects.

Summer Organizers will build meaningful relationships with partner organizations committed to queer & trans API justice throughout the summer, and all organizers participate in our API Queer Justice Leadership Exchange. Throughout the summer, interns will also also have the opportunity to take leadership in our Dragon Fruit Project, an intergenerational oral history project that documents and disseminates the lives of LGBTQ API activists from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. Overall, organizers get to bring their full selves each day, work hard, laugh a lot, and have a blast.

Hear what past organizers have to say about their experiences:

ABOUT THE API QUEER JUSTICE LEADERSHIP EXCHANGE Launched in the summer of 2015, the API Queer Justice Leadership Exchange (LEX) is a transformative leadership development project for API LGBTQ people and allies. Inspired by the deep impact of cross-community exchanges, intergenerational conversations, and grassroots organizing trainings that have taken place during our Summer Internship, the LEX is an opportunity to continue supporting and building intentional, values-based organizers that have the tools to create spaces of radical inclusivity–spaces in which we can bring our full selves at all times.

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Image description: Sammie stands in front of the Queer API history timeline while talking to a group of APIQJLEX participants in the CAA community room

LEX participants are trained in concrete skills of community organizing such as 1-1 relational meetings, conflict resolution, and radical welcome. Each training is grounded in the histories of LGBTQ API people, challenging leaders to think about their own position within social justice spaces, and reflect on the successes and pitfalls of social justice movements. Participants are encouraged to find points of growth, challenge notions of community scarcity, and transform a collective vision of community power.