Asian Americans United

From KeyWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Asian Americans United is based in Philadelphia. it is closely associated with Freedom Road Socialist Organization.


In 1985, Debbie Wei, and others started to have small gatherings of like-minded individuals with an eye to creating an organization which would work to build a broad base to support Asian American communities in Philadelphia. They were far from a “group without a cause” – we were actually a group with too many causes to address at once and a need to define a vision.

At the time, the major area of concern for us was the rising tide of anti-Asian violence nationally and in Philadelphia in particular. That situation had gotten so bad that the Philadelphia Human Relations Commission called for a series of meetings to address the anti-Asian violence. But AAU decided early on that it was the institutional failures in the City which needed to be addressed if we wanted to get to the root. The Human Relations Commission itself had no Asian commissioners and no Asian staff. The School District had very little support for Asian students and their families and the programs which were in place were dismal in their failure to meet students’ needs. The Police Department lacked bilingual staffand a program to deal effectively and competently with the Asian communities’ concerns. In fact, the Police Department in Philadelphia was found to be the source of much of the violence.
Under these conditions, AAU found itself fighting battles on a large number of fronts and searching desperately to develop leadership witin the ranks of the Asian American community. In 1986, we began to develop a vision for a youth program. What resulted was the Summer Pilot Project – later to become the Community Youth Leadership Project.
AAU was working to organize Southeast Asian tenants in the Admiral Court apartment complex at this time. There were serious questions facing us as to how to organize across so many ethnic and linguistic lines. We developed the Summer Pilot Project because it could address a wide range of issues. We could provide a service through the tutoring program for children who were tenants in Admiral Court, helping to develop stronger links with the families there. We could, through the school experience, help parents begin to sense a degree of unity so they could organize first for their rights as tenants, and then for their rights as parents. We could develop indigenous leadership among the high school and college age youth we hired to tutor kids. Finally, through the evolution of our own school program, we could begin to develop a strategy to address educational reform issues.[1]

Backing Biden

Asian Americans United November 2020.


— with Carolynne Liu, Kim Huynh, Alix Mariko Webb, Nancy Dung Nguyen, Wei Chen, Tai Joselyn, Ken Hung, Chris Lin, Sophie Song, Kay Yoon, Minghui Wu, Sinta Penyami, Hyeonock Mel Lee, Kim Dinh, Jenny Chen.

2011 MidAutumn Festival

Asian Americans United September 5, 2011:


AAU artist Kathy Shimizu is back to work on MidAutumn Festival :-) Cheers to all our friends! Please share this flyer & the FB event page! — with Lai Har Cheung, Maitrivia Liem, Hon Lui, Chi-Ser Tran, Matt Tae, Srey Boss, Tai Joselyn, Alia Nakashima, Renyu Wu, Ling Lin, Debbie Wei, Duong Nghe Ly, Brandon Huynh, Debora Kodish, Doua Xiong, Lizzy Lee, Wei Chen, Karen Worley and Oh Peou.

Corbett protest

Asian Americans United May 12, 2012:


On Tuesday May 15th, Governor Corbett is coming to Prince Theater in Philadelphia to address the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. During his time as Governor, Corbett has made massive cuts to education, medical assistance, and social services while he is spending $685 million on new prison construction. His recent budget alone proposes $264 million in cuts to higher education, $319 millio... See More — with Lai Har Cheung, Xu Lin, Alice Vuong, Judy At Aau, Paul Socolar, Masaru Edmund Nakawatase, Erika Almiron Niz, Mica Root, Wei Chen, Nancy Dung Nguyen, Desi Burnette, Maxine Chang, Helen Gym, Betty Lui, Erika Funk, Ellen Somekawa, Joan May T. Cordova and Alix Mariko Webb.

AAU Summer Program 2012

Asian Americans United May 31, 2013:


AAU Summer Program 2013 Bubble Tea Happy Hour on Tuesday, June 4 (5-7pm at Tea Talk)!! Come join us to support our amazing summer program and meet this year's crew of teachers!! Consider making a donation to support our youth leaders even if you can't make it!! More details/ticket info here: — with Ruben An, Yvonne Zhang, Cy Alex Chen, Yuxiao Chen, Zixin Lin, Edward Deng, Allen Cao, Chris Wong, Brandon Tran, Tien Nguyen, Antonio Nanthavongsa, Wei Chen, Xu Lin, Judy At Aau and Ellen Somekawa.

Asian Americans United This is a pic of last year's amazing group of teachers!!

AAU Summer Program 2013

Asian Americans United June 11, 2013:


Thanks to those who came/supported the AAU Summer Program Bubble Tea Happy Hour! If you would still like to make a contribution to our summer program, please donate through our website at — with Chris Wong, Wei Chen, Brandon Tran, Hee Young Yim, Alix Mariko Webb, Trang Dang, Edward Deng, Doua Xiong, Tai Joselyn, Lai Har Cheung, Srey Boss, Lizzy Lee, Dawn Werme Pratson, Eric Joselyn, Maxine Chang, Kotaro Fujita, Yingci Chen, Mary Yee, Kay Yoon, Claire Yoo, Matt Tae, Xu Lin and Erina Zheng.

AAU Summer Program staff

Asian Americans United June 27, 2013:


Introducing the 2013 AAU Summer Program staff! Go AAU go!!! — with Jiahong Zhang, Xu Lin, Wei Chen, Chris Wong, Huidan Mei, Erina Zheng, Brandon Tran, Jieying Chen, Adriene Khon and Yingci Chen.

AAU Mid-Autumn Festival

Asian Americans United, September 13, 2013:


MID AUTUMN FESTIVAL TOMORROW! We encourage you to post pictures using #phillymaf2013 and #asianamericansunited on fb, twitter, & instagram!! See you at the festival! — with Brandon Tran, Binh Ta, Yingci Chen, Huidan Mei, Xu Lin, Neeta Patel, Jieying Chen, Betty Lui, Wei Chen, Amy Lee, Yuxiao Chen, Ellen Somekawa, Alice Vuong, Edward Deng, Judy At Aau, Chris Wong, Maxine Chang, Tai Joselyn, Helen Gym, Adriene Khon and Joan May T. Cordova.

Asian Americans United - 28th Anniversary

Asian Americans United November 19, 2013:

Cheers and thanks to all who volunteered (Go AAU, go!), sponsored, hosted, donated, presented, emceed, deejayed, cooked, mixed sangria, performed and celebrated at AAU's memorable 28th anniversary benefit concert/dance featuring Nobuko Miyamoto with Theo Gonzalves! Intergenerational groups presented AAU's Standing Up for Justice Awards to Grayce Uyehara, John Elliott Churchville, and 1Love Movement. Emcee Kao Khue wove the program together like poetry.

Nobuko wrote and sang a new song for the first time: ”You are the ones we've been waiting for...” And all joined in singing: ”We are the ones we've been waiting for.”

...with so much gratitude for all who build communities and work for justice.


<3 — with Eric Joselyn, Duong Nghe Ly, Matt Tae, Regina Liu Kerr, Lai Har Cheung, Srey Boss, Chi-Ser Tran, Grace Rustia, Emily P. Lawsin, Scott Kurashige, Mary Yee, Laurent Widjaya, Paul Uyehara, Alix Mariko Webb, Rorng Sorn, Senn Font, Linh Nguyen, Bryan Mercer, K. Naroen Chhin, Masaru Edmund Nakawatase, Neeta Patel, Tai Joselyn, Doua Xiong, Renyu Wu, John Elliott Churchville, Kavita Levy, Judy At Aau, Theo Gonzalves, Ana Cruz, Janeya Hisle, Ellen Somekawa, Wei Chen, Helen Gym, Sookyung Oh, Dawn Werme Pratson, Xu Lin, Betty Lui, Peter Van Do, Nobuko Miyamoto, Kao Nhia Kue, Jean Hunt, Teresa Engst, Alice Vuong and Maxine Chang.

Asian Americans United - 30th Anniversary

Helen Gym December 15, 2015.


30th anniversary of Asian Americans United - what a crew! — with Linda Deafenbaugh, Chi Joselyn, Betty Lui, Jay Zou, Ed Nakawatase, Eric Joselyn, Maxine J. Chang, Teresa Engst, Wei Chen, Lai Har Cheung, Alix Webb, Sachie Hopkins Hayakawa, Judy At Aau, Mary Yee, Xu Lin, Neeta Patel, Kay Yoon, Paul Uyehara, Ken Hung, Debora Kodish and Alice Vuong.

Asian socialists unite


Nancy Dung Nguyen, August 11, 2016;

It's not over yet for us, but one of the best moments this summer was when youth from VietLead, Asian Americans United, and Youth United for Change came together to being the long process of building across, between, and beyond. We completed a crazy 8-mile neighborhood walk to learn about hard-won fights that keep together Chinatown, the remaking of South Philly through Washington Ave, the hyper-gentrification in Point Breeze, and the formation of Cambodia Town. By the end of it, we were tired as F - but proud of what we have seen our people be able to do. Philly, watch out. We are taking it and remaking it towards of vision of justice, equity, resilience, complexity, and love. — with Kat Engleman, Duong Nghe Ly, Lan Dinh, Thanh Nguyen, Anne Tran, Wei Chen, Sarun Savouthchan and Bro Chi Minh.


Asian Americans United November 3, 2014:

  1. PhillyAPIVote

Asian Americans United's youth group, the Chinese Youth Organizing Project (CYOP), during their training and preparation before their door knocking campaign in Chinatown Philadelphia and South Philadelphia.

With walkie talkies in hand, turf-divided maps, scripts, clipboards, voter information materials in English & Chinese, & courageous hearts, 2 dozen youth worked to empower Asia... See More — with Wei Chen, Stephanie Frank Singer, Duong Thang Ly, Stephen Magnotti, Duong Nghe Ly, Taylor Burckhalter, Lan Nguyen, Viet Luu, Linh Pham, Nancy Dung Nguyen, Miguel Rivera, Sarun Chan, Ellen Somekawa, Helen Gym, Minh Nguyen-Rivera, Annie Seng, Xue Yan Zhang, Xu Lin, Brandon Huynh and Miguel Esteban Andrade at Asian Americans United.


Asian Americans United January 21, 2017:


With Alix Mariko Webb, Neeta Patel, Andy Toy and Jenny Chen.


Asian Americans United's 2009 revenue of $181,338 jumped to $304,352 in 2010, fell to $280,375 in 2011, then dropped 37 percent to $177,774 in 2012, as government grants and other contributions shrank, according to federal tax records.[2]


2015 Board

As of 2015;[3]


As of 2015;[4]

2011 board

Asian Americans United June 11, 2011:

Welcome to AAU's Board!


Ally Vuong, Maxine Chang, Mia-Lia Kiernan, Judy At Aau, Helen Gym, Alice Vuong, Xu Lin, Masaru Edmund Nakawatase, Maxine Chang, Joan May T. Cordova, Betty Lui and Ellen Somekawa.

AAU 2008 personnel

Asian Americans United leaders 2008.

Executive Director

Board of Directors Joan May T. Cordova, Helen Gym, Betty Lui, Ed Nakawatase, Neeta Patel, Suzanne Young.

Programming Committee Joan May T. Cordova, Helen Gym, Betty Lui, Ed Nakawatase, Doanh Nghiem, Neeta Patel, Pin Phoeung, Adrienne Poon, Kathy Shimizu, Ellen Somekawa[5]

AAU 2008 Mid-Autumn Festival Organizing Committee

Thanks to Mid-Autumn Festival Organizing Committee members: Alex Buligon, David Chan, Ming Chau, Jenny Chen, Maxine Cheng, Michael Chow, Joan May T. Cordova, Jennifer Huh, Ken Hung, Willy Ip, Debora Kodish, Xin Shen Liu, Betty Lui, Hon Fung Lui, Jian Yong Mai, Dun Mark, Neeta Patel, Kathy Shimizu, Ellen Somekawa, Jack Tam, Wing Tang, Kevin Vo, Ally Vuong, Debbie Wei, Allan K. Wong, and Lisa Yau, who worked for months to organize the Festival.[6]

Donors 2008

Alexander Chang, Jeffrey Fin Pan & Jung Fin Pan, Kathy Shimizu & Gregor Reid, Michelle Myers, Nordon Bauder & Alice Bauder, Jean Hunt, Marlene Ramsay & Joseph Ramsay, Andrea Gaskins-Battle, Dr. Joan May T. Cordova, Robert Eng, Barbara Baskin & Jon Berger, William Maston & Sylvia Maston, Neeta Patel, Bernard Kolman & Judith Kolman, David Fava, Scott Kurashige & Emily Lawsin, A. Hirotoshi & Sumie Nishikawa, William David Murphy & Rebecca Rathje, Gregory Laszakovits & Karin Laszakovits, Frank Parisi & Joan Autrey, Flora Mae Teague, Kimberly Henning & Kristofor Henning, Diane Rhonemus, Bernadine Joselyn, John Malinowski & Debora Frazer, Hao-Li Tai Loh & Dr. Evan Loh, Lois Davidson, Deborah Maskar, Bruce Shimmel, Susan Langmuir, Yleen Joselyn & Gary Joselyn, Sarah Furnas, Katherine Miller & Max Molinaro, Carol Rogers, Amy Brodkey, Ed Nakawatase, Sovannary Heang, Lisa Lee & David Lee, Kao Kue, Bao Tran, Shui Wah & Yin Ping Lui, Sunni Massey & Sheri Massey, Kay Yoon & Kenneth Hung, Emilia Rastrick, Lai Har Cheung & Kotaro Fujita, May Hing Lee, Dawn Pratson, Deb Dorn, Jeannie Lei, Michael Chow, Pheng Lim, Mayuko Iwaki, Erica Young, Cesar Herrera, Anh Ha, Patricia Sandiford, Fernando Chang-Muy & Len Reiser, Carl Ackerman & Julie Ackerman, Joseph Sun & May Sun, Deirdre Obrien Knight, Robin Manteleone, Alisa McCann, Lai Yee Hom & Arjun Yodh, Ying Shek Wong, Georgeanne Fong, Adrienne Poon, Chiu-Man Poon & Karen Poon, David Luftman, Carl Somekawa & Mari Somekawa, Carolyn Thompson, Roger Somekawa, Heng Han, Jenny Lum McCunn, Ruthanne Lum McCunn, Peter Kent, Michi Tashjian, Rodelia Fontanilla, Yingying Gu, Dr. Herbert Horikawa and Miiko Horikawa, Tejoon Jung, Amelia Laytham, Sally Moua, Tien D. Nguyen, Dr. Lawrence Tom & Mary Tom, Qiuyan Wang, Rendell for Governor Campaign, Mary Yee and Paul Uyehara, Betty Foo, Ignatius Wang, Ivan Novasak, Patricia Kozu, Helen Gym & Bret Flaherty, Kathleen Uno, Cindy Rosenthal & Art Read, Dr. Hsing Cheng Loh and Jean Loh, Suzanne Young & David Rammler, Sham-e-Ali, Taria al-Jamil & Husayn al-Jamil, Yun Frowine, Debbie Wei & Ming Chau, Gregory Warshaw & Lisa Warshaw.[7]


Asian Mosaic Fund, Bread and Roses Community Fund, The Philadelphia Foundation, Douty Foundation, Emergency Aid Foundation, Samuel S. Fels Fund, Greater Philadelphia Traditions Fund, Allen Hilles Fund, National Endowment for the Arts, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Philadelphia Cultural Fund, Seybert Institution, Union Benevolent Association, William Penn Foundation, Henrietta Tower Wurts Memorial, Youthadelphia.[8]