APIENC is powered by queer and trans Asian and Pacific Islander people. We are led primarily by young, trans and non-binary folks, for the entire QTAPI community. Our work is powered by volunteer members who directly understand how our lives have been shaped by different oppressions and legacies of resistance. Programs are led by leaders in volunteer committees, strategy is created by our Core Committee, and staff help to guide and facilitate our collective learning.
Sammie Ablaza Wills, Director
Photo from Brooke Anderson Photography [Image Description: Sammie, wearing overalls, stands in front of a line of marching people. They hold a megaphone up to their mouth, while looking to the side.]
Sammie is an enthusiastic, queer, non-binary Pilipinx organizer passionate about supporting people in reclaiming their inherent power and dignity. Their political journey started with witnessing xenophobia against their family, fighting budget cuts in public schools, and learning about trans Pilipinos fighting colonization. It’s from these knowledges that Sammie has worked to trained hundreds of young, trans, queer, Asian people to lead from values of abundance and interdependence. Originally starting at APIENC as a Summer Organizer, Sammie has served as the Program Assistant, Community Organizer, and now Director. Their current role of Director involves supporting all those at APIENC, ensuring the organization stays a stable one rooted in abundance, and uplifting the next generation of organizers through APIENC’s Leadership Development program. Outside of their organizing work, Sammie enjoys spending time with friends, telling stories, making song parodies, and lifting weights. They believe that anything can be turned into a chant and brought onto the streets (literally and emotionally).
Jasmin Hoo, Community Organizer
Image description: Jasmin is smiling and looking up. Visible on her right ear is an earring with a drawing of Yuri Kochiyama.
Jasmin is a mixed race, queer, cisgender woman raised outside of Boston and re-located to San Francisco in 2005. Jasmin’s work has ranged from supporting actors to become socially conscious teaching artists in the Bay Area community as the American Conservatory Theater’s Associate Director of Education & Community Programs to leading workshops on creating anti-oppressive and affirming spaces as co-founder of The Remix Cultural Consulting Collective. Currently, Jasmin brings her experience and drive to APIENC, alongside organizations such as Asians4BlackLives and the Bay Area Transformative Justice Collective. She continually works to heal, to practice healthier patterns, and to bring this same opportunity for growth, connection, and change to the community. Outside of her organizing endeavors, Jasmin expresses her dedication to community and healing in her love of theater. She also delights in the culinary (both cooking and eating), astrology, moving herself through dance or a good hike, and a good laugh, especially when it’s from listening to one of her favorite podcasts, 2 Dope Queens.
Yuan Wang, Community Organizer
Image Description: Yuan sits indoors in front of a green background and behind a bowl of noodles, holding a spoon and chopsticks, smiling happily at the camera.
Yuan is a trans/genderqueer second generation Chinese-American born in Fremont, California and raised in New Jersey. They were shaped by the organizing communities they worked with in New York City, where they supported housing justice campaigns and facilitated language justice workshops at CAAAV, helped create safer, queer-inclusive sexuality education workshops at the Masakhane Center in Newark, and led after-school programs for Asian American and immigrant youth at the Teen Resource Center in New York. They bring this wealth of experience, passion, and belief in strength in community to APIENC, embracing connections and uplifting those around them. Yuan’s role in APIENC focuses on Trans Justice, organizing alongside trans and non-gender conforming APIs. Their time at APIENC has been transformative and constantly affirms for them their commitment to share care, vulnerability, and kindness for all those in our communities. Outside of APIENC, Yuan finds joy in playing guitar, making music with friends, and everyone’s favorite: karaoke. Their enthusiasm for nurturing growth has started to bloom in the garden as well, as they begin to learn to help vegetables and fruits flourish alongside the people and movements they are invested in.
Cassie Persaud, Organizing Fellow
Image description: Cassie is indoors leaning against a wall.
Cassie (they/them) is a non-binary queer Indo-Caribbean person, currently living on Munsee Lenape and Canarsie Land (so-called “Ozone Park, New York”). At the age of 16, they started their organizing journey at Desis Rising Up and Moving (DRUM) based in NYC, where they worked specifically on education and gender justice projects. They enjoy creative writing and talking about astrology.
Connie Hsu Huanvy Phan Jessica Mitchell Junior Claros Kyle Ching
Michelle Wang Mioi Hanaoka Nancy Truong Ralph Leano-Atanacio
Image description: APIENC Core (including staff) and Wildfire Facilitator Michael, pose in a group photo outdoors, smiling at the camera.
Andy Wong Anirvan Chatterjee Chay Tadeo Desiree Thompson Dipti Ghosh Elliott Fukui Jenna Rapues
Rai Dang Sine Hwang Jensen Steve Lew Total Nguyen Tracy Nguyen Vince Crisostomo
Fundraising Dragon Fruit SKATE Crew (Leadership Development) Trans Justice Ecological Justice League (fka “TTAC”, Think and Take Action Cohort)