Spotlight - Announcements
Spotlight - CCSRE Students

Promoting Racial Justice Through Community Care at Stop AAPI Hate

CCSRE is proud to celebrate YuYu Yuan, an outstanding 2023 Undergraduate Praxis Fellow. A rising junior and CSRE major, YuYu is passionate about racial justice and community building. Over the summer, YuYu worked with the Community Capacity team at Stop AAPI Hate (SAH) to research capacity-building among young people. Capacity-building involves strengthening individual or community skills and abilities so that young people can achieve their goals, solve problems, and thrive. In response to findings showing that young people often fear self-expression, YuYu designed and created a Youth Storytelling Zine that teaches students how to build solidarity through Story Circles. 

YuYu's mentor, SAH Youth Programs Director, Aisa Villarosa, explains, "YuYu's Youth Storytelling and Community Care Zine is a compelling guide for young folks to come together, grieve, and heal individually and collectively, especially as xenophobia, attacks on LGBTQ+ rights, and racialized hate continues to be a barrier to safety and thriving for young people across the country."

CCSRE's 2023-2024 Graduate Community Engagement Fellow, Sophie Allen, had the chance to ask YuYu a few questions about her fellowship project and experience working with SAH: 

SA: How do you hope students use the Youth Storytelling Zine? 

YY: I hope students can feel empowered by the Youth Storytelling Zine and that it can encourage creating communities of care and understanding. I know how overwhelming and isolating school can feel. With the amount of hateful legislation and rhetoric being shared right now, it's hard to feel like someone is on your side and there for you. Ultimately, I hope students can use the zine as a tool and a beginning to social justice work. 

SA: What would you like other people to know about SAH or your summer fellowship work?

YY: I loved working with Stop AAPI Hate. Everyone there is so dedicated to social justice work and getting rid of hate. It's a really unique organization. The whole team was very supportive and has so much care for the communities they work with. I hope to continue working with SAH or organizations similar after graduation. 

SA: How has this fellowship impacted your understanding of race and ethnicity? 

YY: I've learned about systems of oppression and the histories that have been erased and the profound consequences of those actions. This fellowship helped to contexualize the things I'm learning about race and ethnicity. I could apply the knowledge that I've gained which allowed me to be much more empathetic and understanding of the issues oppressed communities faced. I've also learned how powerful communities are when faced with oppression and how important it is to listen to the community and work with them rather than for them. 

SA: From your perspective, what is the role of community care in social justice movement? 

YY: The role of community care in social justice movements is continuity. Social justice movements aren't isolated to just one issue–rather, movements are part of the larger fight for equality. It is important to emphasize care because movements can be exhausting, and without a community to help shoulder the burden, it is very easy to lose motivation.