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
[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.
Julie Le, Summer Event Coordinator
Image description: Julie smiles at the camera. They are standing outdoors with lush green foliage in the background.
Julie Le started their work with APIENC as a Summer Organizer during the summer of 2018. As a second generation Vietnamese American queer person, Julie held a lot of fear and self doubt about their role as an organizer and community member. Julie’s summer with APIENC was a transformative and empowering space for them to heal and reground in their values. For Julie, APIENC is a home that reminds them of the power and comfort of building relationships with people that held them in my truths and identities. This summer, Julie is really excited to be working alongside APIENC again, and they hope to see EVERYONE at the 10 year celebration to commemorate APIENC’s legacy.
2019 Summer Organizers
Image description: Summer Organizer Huanvy is outdoors, smiling and squatting outdoors in front of jagged moss-covered rocks
Huanvy Huanvy is a rad queer second-generation Vietnamese American who loves healing, abundance, and their communities. They are currently studying Asian American Studies at Stanford. When they’re not in school and/or organizing, they’re usually spending cherished time with friends, attempting to integrate social justice into raves, or reading gay Harry Potter fanfiction. Huanvy is eternally grateful for their friends and communities that have held them and pushed them to grow, and they dream of a liberated world filled with community care.
Image description: Summer Organizer Zaha is indoors looking at the camera. There is an open door behind her.
Zaha Zaha grew up in Texas as a queer Muslim and is still trying to figure out what that means. She uses writing and advocacy to create space for herself and her community in Dallas. This summer she is excited to recognize her lineage and build the groundwork for change.
Image description: Summer Organizer Kai is smiling at the camera and is outdoors amongst maple leaves.
Kai Kai is a queer, nonbinary Korean from the Bay Area. From xyr initial politicization in high school, Kai has worked with APIENC through the POP! Camp program where xyr passion for community organizing was transformed into action. From xyr love for and commitment to the Bay Area to xyr drive to uplift our queer and trans API communities, Kai returns to APIENC as part of the Summer Organizing Fellowship to continue supporting this work. Xie enjoys creating art, journaling, and spending time with loved ones.
Image description: Summer Organizer Ryan is standing outdoors, hands in pockets. There are bushes and large trees in the background.
Ryan Ryan is a non-binary mixed-race person who moved to the Bay Area in 2008. Living through poverty and homelessness their whole life has shaped their perspective of home and belonging. They believe in the importance of storytelling as a way to build empathy and unity with others. During their free time, they enjoy making music with friends, hiking and sight seeing.
Shreya Shreya is a 2nd generation queer Bengali from San Jose, California. They believe that holding themselves and their communities accountable when it comes to addressing violence of any form is so important to building and nurturing healthy relationships and communities. They hope to further understand how their identity informs their role in creating material change and support for their own and other marginalized communities. An amateur artist, they enjoy taking pictures of friends, painting, making short films, and combining different mediums of art. They believe that making art– the process of re-imagining and creating with community is a necessary form of resistance and essential to what they hope to always do.
T T Montes is a gender non-conforming, queer human who loves cultural food as much as they love revolution. They’re 94.7% Filipinx and feel rooted in their island ancestry. Radical empowerment and decolonization has always kept them driven and focused, and they hope to carry that passion into their work at APIENC.
Nancy Chen Aloe Lai Medha Asthana Michelle Wang
Mioi Hanaoka Nancy Truong Junior Claros
Image description: APIENC Core, staff and Wildfire Facilitators (17 people total), pose in a group photo indoors, in front of big windows, smiling at the camera.
Danny Pham Lotus Dao Monica Davis Dipti Ghosh Linda Nguyen Steve Lew Amos Lim
Koko Lin Tôtal Nguyen Tracy Nguyen Sine Hwang Jensen Andy Wong Monna Wong Lily Pham
Fundraising Dragon Fruit Leadership Development Trans Justice