By Rosy Turner | Contributing Writer
Photo courtesy of the author.
The Asian American Alliance (AAA) Agency was founded in 2017 with hopes of promoting and fostering a spirit of inclusion and understanding of the world at F&M. In its seven years, the agency has created a space of learning and community building. The weekly meetings include student-led discussions and interactive activities where members can connect and learn about events and issues that pervade the Asian American community on a campus, national, and international scale. This is a safe space for connection, discussion, and validation of the experiences of Asian Americans.
AAA also hopes to spread Asian culture awareness to the F&M community as a whole and host several cultural events throughout the school year. A major goal of the organization this year is to build relationships with other groups on F&M’s campus to promote inclusivity and establish rapport. Karen Zhang, the current community outreach coordinator, shares how she joined AAA “hoping that we can talk about shared experiences and learn about different Asian cultures, and it did not disappoint.”
I have been a member of AAA since I was a freshman and each year I find myself filled with more and more pride with what this organization provides for the F&M community. I have watched this organization grow from a club to an agency. I have made some of my closest college friends through it. Each year, I become more and more involved, acknowledging and valuing how AAA has helped me become more comfortable with my identity. Now, I am honored with the position of co-president which has been a rewarding experience. As my executive board and I plan events for the 2022-2023 school year, we keep in mind the mission that AAA serves to follow.
Some note-worthy events this semester include our Lunar New Year Celebration, hosted at the Writer’s House. The turnout was amazing, with nearly 80 students attending! The event consisted of a presentation about the Year of the Rabbit and some fun interactive Zodiac sign trivia. We then served a wide array of traditional Asian dishes and ended the night with a game of “spoons.” This event is always one I look forward to because it is a time for our organization to share some Asian traditions (food and games) with the campus as a whole.
Just recently AAA held our first educational student-led discussion event on Black and Asian Solidarity: Harm of the “Model Minority.” It is events like these, where history and experiences can safely be shared, which help bring POC communities together.
The fun does not stop there! AAA has several major upcoming events that we want to share with the entire campus community. At the end of February, we are hosting a movie night for Everything Everywhere All At Once. This event will be followed by a student-led discussion about intergenerational trauma with Mi Gente Latina. Our second annual Night Market is scheduled for April. This is an event hosted by AAA that brings all organizations together on campus to sell items, recreating a traditional Chinese night market.
To wrap up the school year, the AAA will host an AAPI dinner in collaboration with the Asian American history class taught by Mark Villegas. This event will provide a platform for students to present their research on important historical events and figures in the Asian American community. As the Asian American Alliance continues to grow, we strive to build a sense of community and belonging, not just within the Asian American student body, but the F&M campus as a whole.
Junior Rosy Turner is a Contributing Writer. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.