By: Linda Chang
International Women’s Day, known as the United Nations (UN) Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace, is held annually on March 8th, to celebrate women’s achievements throughout history and across nations.
This is a day that no matter the age, ethnic background, religious preference, and educational level, all women around the world can take a giant step together and create meaningful and sustainable change for women and girls.
When I try to imagine the future, I am optimistic because I see women demanding information and opportunities in the face of social norms that say they're not permitted to do so. The role of women as community builders, the contributions of women to society in different fields, and the challenges that they encounter, have made women realize their full potential, and has encouraged them to fulfill this potential.
Women are a diverse group; the roles they play as well as their characteristics, such as, age, social status, urban or rural orientation, and educational attainment. Although women may have many interests in common, the fabric of their lives and the choices available to them may vary widely. As a result, I want to send out my appreciation to all Asian Pacific American women.
I appreciate them being so brave. I appreciate them for being so strong. I appreciate them for just being so passionate and awesome. And I really appreciate those who dare to stand up and break the silence—whether she is the girl who stands out and voices the demand for control of her reproductive health, or the woman advocating and promoting Asian Pacific American justice, or those who are becoming strong and fighting for their own fates. APA women are no longer insubstantial, we have become advocates and activists, political figures, business owners, educators, workers, volunteers, students, and much more, and they are changing the unfair social rules.
I want to say thank you to all Asian Pacific American women for being so brave! Thank you for a passion of selfless devotion and a positive energy of making change. I appreciate your power that inspires and helps all of us stand up for equality, for justice, for change, and for the future!
By Sophia Shen
Meet our newest member, Sophia Shen! After spending a day with APIAVote-Michigan volunteers and board members dropping off our needs assessment report at our February 28th Legislative Day in Lansing, Sophia felt inspired to become a member right on the spot. Here’s why:
The reason I decided to join APIAVote-Michigan is that I feel strongly about the challenges the Asian community is facing. For example, I feel strongly about the cultural and leadership style. I would like to encourage potential members to participate in civic services and raise your voice in the society. For many first generation immigrants we have insurmountable fear: we fear we will not be accepted by the main stream society, we fear our languages and communication skills are not good enough, we fear our culture is not welcomed or accepted by other cultures. We fear we are not COMPETENT enough! Now it is your time to stand up and improve your communication skills, improve your leadership skills, and increase cultural awareness to the American society.
As a new member of APIAVote-Michigan, I was invited to participate in delivering reports about Asian Pacific Islander Americans regarding education, employment, civic issues on February 28, 2013 during the legislative day. It was my great pleasure to be part of the community and raise our voice in the legislative sector. We reached out to 45+ legislators at the Capitol in Lansing, Michigan and discussed the challenges and opportunities facing the community as a whole. It was a great and fun experience.
President, Theresa, and other organization members and officials coordinated the event very well. The executive team provided proper reading materials in advice, role play/training on the spot, and carpooling. The team worked together and utilized our negotiation, time management, and leadership skills. The Senators, House of Representatives, Chiefs of Staff and Legislative Aids welcomed our comments and concerns and were very delighted that we reached out to them and raised our voice. They were excited at the idea that we will be meeting with them again for a Lobby Day on May 14th, 2013.
I strongly encourage you join the organization and become a member of APIAVote-Michigan to raise your voice in the American Society, and make a difference in our lives and our children’s lives. You can make a difference in the community, and come join us on May 14th, 2013 to express your voice at the capital. JOIN NOW to become a member.
Sophia Shen helps Chinese students to study in the best high schools and universities in the U.S. to experience the real American culture and learn the most innovative and advanced technology in the world so that they become world citizens and better leaders! She also helps American students to speak Chinese, study or travel in China and experience how the 2000 year history has impacted and awakened the country. Sophia loves what she does and is happy that her work will help so many millions improve their lives.
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