Honoring Asian Americans, Pennsylvania nonprofit advocates for AAPI studies in classrooms

By Jennifer Lee

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

DOWNINGTOWN, PA (WTXF) -- "In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, FOX 29 went into a classroom at Downingtown S.T.E.M. Academy to meet a student who is advocating for AAPI education in Pennsylvania classrooms.

"Shawn Zhu, 16, is a sophomore who plans on pursuing a degree in Computer Science after high school. In his spare time, he volunteers with Make Us Visible (MUV) PA, managing the social media content for the organization."

Read more at Fox 29 News.

A love letter to my younger self

Exploring Asian identity at annual Cherry Blossom Festival

by Hannah Pajtis, News Editor | May 1, 2024

PHILADELPHIA -- "As a mixed race woman of Korean descent, I’ve often felt like I’ve been viewed as different in my predominantly white hometown of York, Pennsylvania.

"I rarely saw Korean culture, let alone Asian culture, represented or celebrated around me. And, despite being an advocate for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) issues since high school, I haven’t felt as connected with my Korean heritage as I’ve hoped...

"...Among the various cultural programs and activism groups, one table stood out to me: Make Us Visible PA... 

"...On Make Us Visible PA’s table were children’s books about AAPI leaders, complete with colorful illustrations of the many kinds of Asian Americans. For the first time in my life, I was viewing children’s books about people who looked like me. I couldn’t stop thinking about my younger self, about how much better she may have understood herself if she learned about even just one person that looked like her.

"In this rare moment, my identity was a topic of conversation, but not in the way it has been in the past. My Korean identity wasn’t designating me as separate from history, but bringing me closer to it. I felt pride, happy to have a connection to a group of strong, change-sparking leaders. But I also felt sadness, disappointed in myself for not knowing the names of the people in the coloring book prior to today..."

Read the rest of Hannah's story at St. Joseph's University The Hawk Newspaper.

Two local state senators introduce legislation for AAPI curriculum to fight anti-Asian hate

By Nydia Han and Heather Grubola
Tuesday, October 3, 2023

"PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Two local state senators have introduced a bill to create a more inclusive curriculum, saying it would reflect the diversity of Pennsylvania and help fight anti-Asian hate.

" 'It is so important to be able to see yourself and for other people to be able to see you. And so this would direct the State Board of Education to develop an inclusive Asian American and Pacific Islander curriculum,' said State Senator Nikil Saval, (D) Pennsylvania District 1."

Read more at 6 ABC Action News.

[Conestoga High School] Asian American Culture Club partners with Make Us Visible

by Jeffrey Heng, Staff Reporter | April 25, 2023

Berwyn, PA -- "...Conestoga’s Asian American Culture Club sponsored [MUVPA co-Director Kenneth] Hong in February as a guest speaker, who worked with club members to create postcards to send to state representatives and spread awareness of AAPI advocacy.

“I think working with Make Us Visible gives students that idea of what’s out there,” AACC club adviser and history teacher Stephanie Matula said. “We have a growing Asian American population, and it’s important there is representation and visibility in curriculum. (I’m) hoping that in the future we can try to make different steps in Conestoga to have a wider array of representation.”

The AACC plans to have more cultural activities throughout April in preparation for AAPI Heritage Month in May, including a spirit week, bake sale and guest presentation. Hong believes that normalizing the presence of Asian American culture in the community is an important cause...

Read the complete article at The SPOKE.

Senators Collett & Saval Unveil Legislation to Fight Anti-Asian Discrimination with More Robust Education

"Harrisburg, Pa. May 31, 2022 − In an effort to improve education and fight the recent rise in bias crimes against people of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) descent in the Commonwealth, State Senators Maria Collett (D12-Montgomery/Bucks) and Nikil Saval (D-1 Philadelphia) have circulated a memorandum for co-sponsorship for legislation that would commission and urge schools to incorporate AAPI curriculums and materials."

Read the Senators' entire press release.

State Rep. Patty Kim stands with State Sen. Nikil Saval, Rep. Todd Stephens, Stephanie Sun (Exec. Dir. Governor's Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs), Make Us Visible PA's Ji Denise Hellenbrand and other supporters of HB 1917 at the Capitol Rotunda in Harrisburg on May 23, 2022.
(Credit: Joe Hellenbrand / Make Us Visible PA)

‘This is Something We Need:’ Rally Held in Harrisburg to Integrate AAPI Studies into Public School Curricula

By Hannah Nguyen
Tuesday, May 24rd 2022

"I hope and encourage every school district to go ahead and teach these important lessons so that our students can understand the terrific contributions of Asian Americans here in America,” said state Rep. Todd Stephens, who co-sponsored the bill."

Read more at North Penn Now.

Educate to Combat Hate: Advocates Rally for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

By Brendan Scanland
Monday, May 23rd 2022, 5:26 PM EDT

Updated: Monday, May 23rd 2022, 5:27 PM EDT

"HARRISBURG, Pa. (WICU) - ... “We need to educate to combat the hate,” said State Representative Patty Kim (D-Dauphin). 

"Rep. Kim is the sponsor of House Bill 1917. The bipartisan legislation would require the Department of Education to develop a K-12 curriculum that includes AAPI history, as well as AAPI contributions to American society. "

Read more at ErieNewsNow.

Pennsylvania parents, students push for AAPI education in K-12 classrooms

By Nydia Han
Tuesday, May 24, 2022 11:06AM

"HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Pennsylvania parents and students rallied on the Capitol Steps in Harrisburg on Monday in support of the AAPI History Inclusion Act. The bill calls for the inclusion of Asian American and Pacific Islanders studies in schools and is co-sponsored by one of our local lawmakers."

Read more at 6 ABC Action News.