Donate $10 (or more) for 10 interns in our 10th year!
For Give Out Day this year, we are fundraising to sustain and grow the API Equality-LA internship program.
Our internship program serves to introduce young leaders who are passionate about social justice for API and LGBT communities to community organizing and advocacy work. The program provides students and recent graduates with the theoretical foundations and practical skills to effectively organize in API and LGBT communities.
This year, we challenge you to help us raise $5000! With your donation of $10 or more, we want to fully fund 10 internship stipends as we celebrate our 10th anniversary this year!
A few of our past interns have kindly shared their stories about their experience working with API Equality-LA.
Keep the program going with a donation today!
Shaomay, Summer 2014 Intern
Becoming more conscious of my identity as a queer womxn of color has never hit me harder since moving back home after graduating and leaving the safe bubble of college where most of my friends respect and affirm my identity. Queer. Womxn. Person of color. Each have their own set of struggles and stigma. Despite this, my intern experience at API Equality-LA has taught me to assert my own agency and resist against oppression. The people here has shown me how beautiful, brave, and strong we can be in the face of rejection. I have met many affirming and encouraging people here who really empower and support me. For that, I am incredibly thankful and lucky to have interned at API Equality-LA.
Vanessa, Spring 2014 Intern
I interned with API Equality LA in the Spring of 2014 as a Health Justice Intern. The internship was recommended to me from a friend, and I considered my capacity before filling out an application. Thank goodness I did, because I was able to meet the most amazing and inspirational people through this internship, divulge vital information about healthcare to the API community, and learn about allyship. I was able to learn and grow with my fellow interns, Gershwin Merencillo, Peterson Pham, Andrew Nguyen, and Asad Haider, and my role models, Tran Le and Brian Nguyen, all of whom I still hold very near and dear to my heart. I learned that allyship meant more than just parades, but holding space and making space for people that are more affected by certain issues than you are. It is not a game of oppression olympics, but it’s about understanding that oppression affects all of us differently due to our intersections of our identities. As a non-Asian person of color, I learned not only about the importance of solidarity because these issues affect us all, but also about recognizing that an issue doesn’t have to affect me personally for it to be important or for me to care. Each individual person taught me so much, and I am grateful for their endless patience, and for the opportunity to cultivate myself through the API Equality LA Internship process.
Alex, Fall 2013 Intern
I'm incredibly grateful to have worked at API Equality-LA at the time I did; it was at an important transitory period in my life, starting college fresh and discovering new ways to articulate my politics, and, additionally, the organization was also undergoing its own transformation, expanding in new, ambitious fashions after their successful mobilization of APIs in support of marriage equality. Even though I don't identify as queer, I found myself interrogating what it means to be an ally more closely and learning to constantly complicate my ideas of what social justice looks like, which never would've been possible without all the staff and volunteers whose passion drives this work. Special thanks to Brian, Tran and Eileen for all their dedication and vision, and for making my internship an experience!
Elliot, Summer 2013 Intern
I interned at API Equality LA because I wanted to learn more about how organizing can be used to influence policy in areas that matter a great deal to me. But what I ended up learning was so much more. The interns who I worked with were all incredible, extraordinary individuals. Many of them were in the top of their class and some were already on their way to successful careers. But no matter how smart or comfortable they appeared to be, the other interns I worked with were struggling with issues of their identity as much as I or anyone else in our position was.
There are very few civil rights organizations that specifically address issues affecting queer people of color, so many assume all LGBT people have the same problems and one solution can solve all LGBT problems, including the immigration issues that undocumented LGBT people are faced with. But it was only through my time at API Equality LA that I could see how the hypervisibility of Asian Pacific Americans as presumed foreigners/immigrants combined with the simultaneous invisibility of Asian Pacific Americans in discussions on gay rights render LGBT Asian Pacific Americans more vulnerable, though this vulnerability is hidden by the model minority trope.
I am so fortunate to be living in a time when we have learned to celebrate difference, but when difference is viewed in singular terms and one is thought to represent all, there is still work to be done. Though the other interns and I were facing identity issues in our own way, we were able to find our own beauty in each others’ differences, and I hope that API Equality LA can remain a place where other interns can find themselves, each other, and their community for years to come.
Andy, Summer 2013 Intern
API Equality LA is a leader and champion for the LGBTQIA API community that has nurtured me into consciousness as an Asian American. When I worked as an intern, they not only taught me about the historical and systemic oppression our communities have resisted, but they also provided me the tools and networks to join in that legacy of resistance. And APIELA is broad in its understanding of resistance. I served in their campaign for immigration reform along with their health insurance enrollment programs for the Affordable Care Act. Through my experience with APIELA, I have become a more whole person and unapologetic in both my queer and Asian American identities.