Through organizing apprenticeships, leadership exchanges, and regular member trainings, APIENC’s Leadership Development work builds generations of thoughtful leaders who are committed to trans justice and racial justice.

Opportunities for leadership have been regularly denied to young, trans, queer, and API people. The visions of leadership that show up in our societies do not reflect the experiences and backgrounds of marginalized people, and thus do not reflect the solutions innovated by those closest to the root problem. Systemic exclusion of trans and queer API leaders has meant that our communities, our cultures, and our institutions have always come up short in the fight for justice.

Image description: Two summer organizers (Huanvy, Rai) are standing next to community organizer (Yuan) and smiling indoors. Yuan is holding a green plant and a drawing of themself.

To build more just and restorative futures, APIENC facilitates programming that makes space for trans and queer API people to reclaim their power, ground in history, and practice concrete skills. By proactively investing in emerging leaders, we are laying the groundwork for a leaderful movement that can address our material conditions and support larger movements for change.

Being in a space dedicated to learning and growing with other queer and trans API folks together while centered around tenderness, interdependence and vulnerability was something I had never experienced before. It was at the LEX (Leadership Exchange) where I first experienced healing, and although I’ve learned that healing can take many forms, this was where I first experienced what healing could feel like. It was terrifying, vulnerable, warm, butterflies in my stomach, heart in my throat, and safe all at the same time. It was falling in love with a community. – Gemma Datuin, 2017 LEX Participant

Summer Organizer Program

The Summer Organizer Program, previously called our Summer Internship, is an organizing apprenticeship designed to pass on political history, build social justice skills, and transform the values of rising trans and queer API leaders. Over the 8-week long program, participants are welcomed into a community that sees their full humanity, offers compassion, and challenges them to be their best self. Since the inception of the program in 2010, Summer Organizers have taken the lessons and relationships grown at APIENC and applied those towards schools, creative projects, and other social justice spaces.

Image description: two summer organizers are marching on the street. One is chanting into a bullhorn.

API Queer Justice Leadership Exchange (LEX)

Launched in the summer of 2015, LEX is an intensive leadership training for trans and queer API people and allies. Inspired by the deep impact of cross-community exchanges, intergenerational conversations, and grassroots organizing institutes, LEX participants are trained in concrete skills of community organizing such as 1-1 relational meetings, conflict resolution, and radical welcome. Participants leave the program with stronger connections, values, and organizing skills, resulting in powerful spaces of inclusivity and cross-movement collaborations.

Image description: A large group of trans and queer API people and allies are sitting or standing outdoors in front of a building. Some are raising fists.

Membership Trainings

APIENC is powered by community members who directly understand how we have been denied existence and humanity. To do our work effectively, we are constantly improving our craft. Throughout the year we create programming for our member leaders to deepen our skills understanding of history. These trainings help develop APIENC members to take on more responsibility within the organization, and in our broader movement ecosystem.

Image description: A group of trans and queer API people are sitting indoors. They are looking in the same direction.

Learn More


Reflections from a Summer of Growth 🌱 and Stars ✨

Grounding Ourselves in Each Other: Yuan and Teo’s Summer Reflections


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2018 Summer Organizer Program – “The Way I Am” Cover


Physical, Emotional, and Material: Reflections on Community and Care

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A Day in the Life of an APIENC Intern


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2016 Summer Internship Program

Image description: Two summer organizers (Huanvy, Rai) are standing next to community organizer (Yuan) and smiling indoors. Yuan is holding a green plant and a drawing of themself.
Image description: two summer organizers are marching on the street. One is chanting into a bullhorn.
Image description: A large group of trans and queer API people and allies are sitting or standing outdoors in front of a building. Some are raising fists.
Image description: A group of trans and queer API people are sitting indoors. They are looking in the same direction.