Who We Are

APIENC is powered by queer and trans Asian and Pacific Islander people. We are led primarily by young, trans and non-binary folks, for the entire QTAPI community. Our work is powered by volunteer members who directly understand how our lives have been shaped by different oppressions and legacies of resistance. Programs are led by leaders in volunteer committees, strategy is created by our Core Committee, and staff help to guide and facilitate our collective learning.

Staff

Sammie Ablaza Wills, Director

[Image Description: Sammie, wearing overalls, stands in front of a line of marching people. They hold a megaphone up to their mouth, while looking to the side.”

Sammie is an enthusiastic queer, non-binary Pilipinx person with a vivid love for their chosen family, social justice, and grassroots organizing. Their politicization has been a process: it’s been in seeing how xenophobia has affected their family, in how their high school never had enough funding, in the erasure of queer Pilipino people in their communities, and in the daily violence against trans people. It’s from this that Sammie has worked to trained hundreds of young, queer, trans, Asian people in the SF Bay Area and across the nation. Sammie is dedicated to ethnic studies, racial justice, and environmental justice, working closely in collectives such as Asians4BlackLives and Movement Generation. Sammie believe that anything can be turned into a chant and onto the streets (literal and emotional). At all times, they strive to share ways for people to reflect on their ancestors, be vulnerable, and tell their stories.

Jasmin Hoo, Community Organizer

Image description: Jasmin Hoo is indoors and smiling while looking up.

Image description: Jasmin Hoo is indoors and smiling while looking up.

Jasmin is a mixed race, queer, cis gender woman who grew up outside Boston, MA and moved to San Francisco in 2005 to be near all the mixed race queers! Since moving to the Bay Area, Jasmin has been working with students, teachers, artists, and communities to cultivate social justice and transformation through education, activism, and the arts. Jasmin holds an M.A. in Equity and Social Justice in Education from San Francisco State University and a B.A. in Performing Arts for Social Change from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. In her free time, Jasmin enjoys seeing plays, hiking, dancing, and spending time with friends and family.

Yuan Wang, Community Organizer

Image Description: Yuan sits indoors in front of a green background and behind a bowl of noodles, holding a spoon and chopsticks, smiling happily at the camera.

Yuan is a trans/genderqueer second-generation Chinese-American person who was born in Fremont and grew up in central Jersey. Yuan first joined APIENC as a summer organizer in 2018 and returned to the team as a staff-person supporting APIENC’s trans justice work! Yuan comes to APIENC after working in health education with youth in Newark & New York, focusing on gender & sexual orientation. They love to play guitar, sing with friends, listen to & celebrate others’ stories, and are learning to help plants & veggies grow!

Teo Octavia, Summer Event Coordinator

Image description: Teo is standing, smiling at the camera, in a large brightly-lit greenhouse filled with a variety of plants and a pond.

Image description: Teo is standing, smiling at the camera, in a large brightly-lit greenhouse filled with a variety of plants and a pond.

teo (they/them) is an organizer, storyteller, and healer. they identify as a plant parent, octavia butler enthusiast, lover of all things fluffy & squishable (e.g. dogs & plushies), and long-time admirer of food (especially foods that are vegetarian friendly, spicy, southeast asian, and/or from QT/POC/family-owned restaurants). teo loves thinking, dreaming, and talking about ancestry & lineage, ethnic studies, music, poetry & writing, and community-based film & art-making. rooted in personal hxstory and experience, teo believes in the power of grassroots organizing, coalition-building, and creative storytelling to uplift the voices of queer and trans people of color, communities impacted by systems of incarceration and deportation, low-income & working-class communities, and youth of color fighting to build liberatory futures grounded in healing.

Core Committee

At APIENC, our volunteer members power our work. Our volunteer committees include: Fundraising, Dragon Fruit, Leadership Development, Trans Justice, and Communications. APIENC’s Core is a collective of individuals who are most active in the day to day work of the organization. The Core helps to guide programs, make decisions about partnership, strategize about the long-term direction of the organization, and build APIENC as a political home for LGBTQ API people.

Avery Nguyen Cynthia Fong Austin Truong
Sam Aloe Lai Michelle Wang  Ralph Leano-Atanacio
Mioi Hanaoka Nancy Truong Junior Claros
Medha Asthana Nancy Chen
Image description: APIENC Core, staff and Wildfire Facilitators (17 people total), pose in a group photo indoors, in front of big windows, smiling at the camera.

Image description: APIENC Core, staff and Wildfire Facilitators (17 people total), pose in a group photo indoors, in front of big windows, smiling at the camera.

Advisory Council

The Advisory Council is comprised of individuals with a diverse array of expertise, experiences, and backgrounds which include intern alumni, former staff, educators, community leaders, historians, parents, healers, organizers, and fundraisers. They support our work and leadership through their advice, knowledge, and expertise.

Anirvan Chatterjee Danny Pham Lotus Dao
Monica Davis Dipti Gosh Linda Nguyen
Steve Lew Amos Lim Alison Lin
Koko Lin Tôtal Nguyen Tracy Nguyen
Sine Hwang Jensen Andy Wong Monna Wong
Lily Pham