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.
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
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.