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Celebrate our

2021 Calling for Allyship Program Celebration: Gen Z Roundtable & Winners' Recognition !

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Congratulation to Winners in:

College Division  - Autumn Zaragoza

High School Division - Scott Lee

Middle School Division - Alissa Cheng 

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Our Proposal Winners

College Division

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Explain the problem(s) you plan to address in your plan

 

In my plan, I want to address the "Ignorance is Bliss" mentality that most people have when it comes to Indigenous issues, in particular : the lasting effects of residential schools. If they are not directly being affected, they have the privilege to turn away instead of help the community. Further, Indigenous communities don't have their issues placed into the public eye due to a lack of proximity to whiteness. My program will directly address this complacency and prompt viewers to take action. Residential schools are no longer happening, but colonization is not a single event. It is something that is on going and that many still suffer from through generational trauma and identity erasure. 

 

Explain the problem(s) you plan to address in your plan

 

My action plan is to create an art installation. The working title of the installation is "Do You Care Now?". This installation would be made of a four walls and broken up into sections. One wall will contain images of children in residential schools with death rates and survivor accounts next to them as well as a preface on the cultural significance of the hair of Indigenous people and how cutting it is not equivalent to a haircut now, but a total removal of history, tradition, and spirituality. The second wall would be a constantly playing video of a residential school survivor and their accounts as well as their family's of the lasting effects. The third wall will have alcoholism rates amongst Native communities, suicide rates, percentages of knowledge fo their Native tongue, and overall trackers of alienation and depression as a result of these schools. The final wall will have residential school pictures with mirrors where the faces of the children and adults who lost their kids would be, prompting viewers to place themselves in this position while the title of the exhibit hangs over head. There will be postits offered on the side with pens allowing for people to leave notes about what they learned and how they felt. It would be able to be filmed for a digital format in which one could do a 3D gallery walk and use the camera for the mirror portion and comment instead of leaving postits. This causes people to feel more sympathy for Native American's and hopefully causes them to continue to be involved. At the end, they will be prompted but not forced to donate to the National Indian Health Board or other mental health and land back efforts.

 

What resources will you need to accomplish your plan? How will you get funding for those resources (sponsorship, fundraising, etc)? 

 

I would need a space primarily. If possible, a rented gallery space would work, but if not, a land space on which a few walls could be built or a lowes/home depot shed could be placed. I would need the rights to images of residential schools that can be purchased. Other materials would be: mirrors postits, projector, white paint for walls , electricity for lighting/ a/c, rent, any licensing needed depending on the space. If construction was necessary, wood for walls and floors that would be constructed in a garage and be in strictly digital format for the public. Access to a camera for 3D conversion. I would gain this money through sponsorship and fundraising hopefully from Native orgs and cultural centers around San Diego and donations of unused supplies from galleries/ museums interest in decolonization and allyship initiatives such as the Museum of US in San Diego.

Autumn Zaragoza
UC,San Deigo
La Jolla, CA

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Explain the problem(s) you plan to address in your plan

 

There is considerable progress in societal acceptance of diversity, and it shows a growing trend of acknowledgment of the cultural existence and contributions of minorities. That said, it cannot come to the detriment of the very communities who have built these cultures.

 

We currently live in a time where we are culturally aware, but not necessarily active in efforts to support the communities of those cultures.

 

For example, my former neighborhood of Koreatown in Los Angeles has had a tide of increased business and tourism due to the growth of Korean culture. That said, this influx has caused a wave of gentrification that has forced many local minority-owned businesses to close and many natives in search of other areas to call home.

 

Rather than an issue of intention, this is more often than not unintentional. People are not aware of the impact that they can have on these minority communities, and how their actions could damage the very culture and people they want to appreciate.

 

There has to be a way for minority communities to thrive off this movement, and not merely survive. Before many more historical, ethnic enclaves disappear into diaspora, there exists a need for immediate action to address the survival of our homes.

 

What is your action plan to address the problem? How does your solution foster allyship?

 

Regardless of our differences, all of us need to eat. Sometimes we cook for ourselves, but other times we go out to eat. When ordering from a local restaurant, in-person or at home, these establishments link us together as a community. Introducing us to new cultures and people through a culinary experience, these local restaurants have great importance within our neighborhoods. 

 

Project Fold will be an initiative to add to the role restaurants play within our communities. Inspired by how important news spread through Ancient China through horse carriers, Project Fold will partner with local restaurants to provide informational flyers alongside meals. These flyers, folded up into origami horses, will detail local issues and social causes that need support financially or voluntary aid. Using the vast network of regulars that come to some of our favorite spots to eat, Project Fold seeks to create an equitable future by bringing both awareness and methods of solution to issues that perpetuate inequality to our local communities.

 

The steps for Project Fold will focus primarily on implementation and then expansion. For the introductory phase, it will be a limited run to understand what can be improved and to gain general experience in managing this project. I have contacted three local restaurants on their potential participation in this project, and they have all expressed willingness to help implement Project Fold. For these three restaurants, I plan on personally giving each, 100 flyers folded up into origami horses over the course of a week. Based on the feedback I get, I will make adjustments for a better experience and then move on to expanding the project further. With 20 interested volunteers, the goal will be to have Project Fold have a presence at 25 restaurants within Los Angeles.

 

The API community is very active in the culinary world, and we can use our presence to foster allyship in a multitude of ways. With restaurants having a diverse range of patrons on a daily basis, we can educate and highlight ways in which people can better inequalities and their own personal stigmas. By introducing the culture and people behind the food to patrons, it betters the understanding of a shared community, and also importantly gives us the awareness needed to stand up for one another in times of need.

 

What resources will you need to accomplish your plan? How will you get funding for those resources (sponsorship, fundraising, etc)? 

 

Resources necessary for the success of this initiative can be categorized into research, production, and logistics. For research, we would like to tap into the help of community leaders and members for guidance on what to write for our monthly pieces. This team can also manage outreach and community response, taking into consideration recommendations or wishes from the community on how to improve our project. For production, we would require access to printing and copying services, as well as volunteers who can fold the documents into our origami cranes. For logistics, depending on the location of restaurants and our team’s proximity to them, we would need resources to either have costs of packages delivered covered or rely on local area volunteers to receive and deliver packages for us. 

 

Most of our resource needs are planned to be met by volunteers, with whom we plan on networking through community events and school-based events. We plan on hosting regularly scheduled meetings as well as a brief training camp before starting the project. The only monetary need is for printing purposes, and if a community sponsor cannot be found, fundraising and donations are avenues to pursue the funding of needed printing resources.

Winner in
High School Division

Scott Lee
North Hollywood High School,
Los Angeles, CA

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Winner in 
Middle School Division

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Explain the problem(s) you plan to address in your plan 

 

A problem I want to address is the hate that the AAPI group gets because of their given stereotypes, race, and features. Some people (“whites”) look down on Southeast Asians, like Hmongs, Vietnamese, Cambodians, and Laotians due to their education and because of that, we get treated differently. When we are in public some people act rude to Asians because our English may not always be as fluent as others. What society does not understand is that our families' histories can lead them to not have a high education like other people. For example, my parents and their siblings have missed more than half of their education because of a genocide that happened in Cambodia between 1975 and 1979. Also, Vietnam went through a war called “The Second Indochina War” between 1955 and 1975 which  caused them to have a low education too. Things like war make it hard for some Asians to have an education and be able to reach the ´´standards´´ in the U.S. Our histories are not taught in schools, so people do not know about our experiences and it makes our history invisible. This may lead to people making assumptions and stereotypes about us which is what I want to address and help resolve.


 

What is your action plan to address the problem? How does your solution foster allyship?

 

My plan is to help more people learn about Southeast Asian history and stop the assumptions and stereotypes by starting a digital book project about students' families' histories. I want to make a digital book since it is easier to share. My idea is to form a team with students in my school first since there is a lot of diversity at my school and many of the students have families with immigrant backgrounds, but our history is not represented well in the classrooms. I want three to six Southeast Asians students, between the ages of 12-14 to be on my team because I think starting at a young age can have an impact on our future by helping their allyship grow. When I have formed my team, I want everyone to spend time together and get closer to each other. Once we are comfortable with each other, the team can meet and start the digital book project about our family's history. It is important that I incorporate my team members' ideas, thoughts, and opinions too. We can fill the digital book with  photos, poetry, short stories, interviews, recipes, and even games. To learn more about Southeast Asian history, we can include other Southeast Asian students from my school and have them share their families' histories too. This project will take more than one meeting and can be tough for families to talk about, especially if it has caused them to have PTSD.When we finish, we can share the digital book with everyone by asking the principal to have the digital creative book link posted on the school’s website and have him send the link to parents, students, and guardians emails too. In the future, I would also like to add other communities from my school to this project such as Black, Latinos/Hispanic, and more so people can stop assuming things that are untrue because, just like with the Asian community, people do not hear about our experiences or history causing them to assume and stereotype us, which is happening to other communities too.  Additionally, this project would help address the problems of stereotyping and can make history from different communities be more visible to make an equitable future. Since our history feels invisible, this digital book project would be a great way to be able to share it with other people. 

 

What resources will you need to accomplish your plan? How will you get funding for those resources (sponsorship, fundraising, etc)?


 

To make this plan happen I want leaders from the IHUB At DICE Organization to speak in meetings with me and my team members to give me and my team more of an understanding about allyship and it could help us grow a better practice of allyship. Another resource that I need from the IHUB At DICE Organization is a stipend for my team members. I think it would be fair to get some type of reward such as money for our work. The organization and my team can host a bake sale fundraiser together where we would have different communities bake their cultural baked goods and set it up with the flags and a description of where the baked goods came from, the name, and what is in it. We could also have some copies of the recipes by each of the baked goods so people can take home and try to make it. During the fundraiser we can share our digital creative book on a big projector screen and have traditional dances performances from different communities. That way more people can learn about history and culture from different communities and we can raise money too. Leaders from the organization, stipend, and a bake sale fundraiser are the resources I will need to accomplish my plan.

Alissa Cheng
Horace Mann Middle School
San Diego, CA

 Honorable Mentioned Proposals

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High School Division

Sophia Wang
Millburn High School
Short Hills, New Jersey

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The problem(s) you plan to address in your plan

 

In the past few years, prejudices have been rising more than ever and not enough actions are being taken to ease them. The future is in our hands, and we should do our best to influence it towards a path where equity is achieved. In my proposal, I plan on addressing a problem faced by many minority groups in the United States. When a person first moves to America, he/she can face this problem: language barrier. Without being able to communicate to others who speak English, one might feel excluded and intimidated in the community. As a result, it can lead to introversion, which is known as the quality of being shy and reserved. This quality can have many cons. For example, introverts can experience anxiety when interacting with other people, they feel uncomfortable talking in front of a group of people, and worse, they can restrain themselves from voicing their own opinions. Introversion can have long-term effects, and minority groups are more prone to the difficulties brought by the quality as they face more oppression compared to the majority group. The goal of this proposal is to help lessen the burden of introversion caused by intimidation and assist people with the power to open up about their own opinions. 


 

What is your action plan to address the problem? How does your solution foster allyship?


 

In order to accomplish this goal, I plan on creating a discord server where people can feel free to open up about themselves anonymously and without being judged. It will be necessary to have at least 5 moderators. Rules will be created prior to anything else to ensure a safe and pleasant environment. In the server, there will be multiple different chat channels with different topics. For example, there will be an announcement channel where moderators are able to post encouragement notes as reminders that being an introvert is acceptable and not a burden. There will be another chat channel where people are able to talk about their experiences as introverts and any difficulties they face. Moderators will be able to respond to these messages and provide any advice relevant to the discussion topic. Other members can also participate in the discussion while keeping everything appropriate. Members inside the server will be able to connect with other members by chatting about any advice or concerns related to introversion through both text and voice channels, where both will be moderated. People will be reminded that others want to hear your opinions and it is acceptable that some might need help and encouragement to voice their opinions. To keep the server lively, I also plan on hosting small games such as kahoots and drawing games where any member can participate. This will hopefully increase everyone’s comfort level with social interaction and eventually reduce the amount of anxiety introverts experience. Discord is a popular platform with over 150 million active users, and the platform itself contains a feature where the server can host a “stage” in which people are free to talk in a voice channel. One way this server can be spread is through this feature, since this “stage” will appear on discord’s page and anyone interested in the subject will be able to join the server and involve themselves in the discussion. Members already in the server will also be able to invite others on discord through a simple click which sends an invite link. Other ways to spread awareness include social media apps such as Instagram, Snapchat, and Reddit. This server as a whole will serve as a reminder that you are not alone in this world as an introvert and it can be changed if you take small steps at a time.

This community will foster allyship by fighting and overcoming introversion caused by the intimidation for being a part of the minority groups in the United States. 


 

What resources will you need to accomplish your plan? How will you get funding for those resources (sponsorship, fundraising, etc)? 

 

In order to achieve this proposal, the resources necessary are the creation of a discord community server, at least 5 volunteer moderators, flyers to spread the awareness of the server, and the time dedicated to maintaining the community. The moderators will create multiple channels each for a different discussion topic as well as voice channels for talking. They will also establish a rules and guidelines channel that will be displayed to everyone once he or she joins. The server will require constant maintenance by the moderators to ensure everything stays appropriate. A flyer will need to be made, and it will contain information on what the community server is about, how it is monitored, what activities you can participate in, and an invite link. People will need to post the flyer on any social media or they can reach out to their friends and families. At the end of the day, anyone who reads the information provided in the server will hopefully feel more open-minded about how introversion is acceptable and that the server is a safe community. Once people come together and are not afraid to voice their thoughts, a better future is already being fostered.

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Middle School Division

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Doris Chiang
Jackson Academy of Math and Music;
Morgan Hill, CA

Explain the problem(s) you plan to address in your plan 

 

As often reported in the media, a lot of times there is a tension between the black community and the police force. There have been many cases of black people being injured or killed by police when they were innocent. The black community feel they are discriminated against by the police as being violent and prone to crimes. Yet from the police’s point of view, they encounter many violent crimes involving black individuals, and they feel the need to put in extra precaution. Although, statistically, there is a higher rate of violent crimes committed by the black individuals in some areas, we have to keep in perspective that this tendency can not be simply attributed to their “race/skin color”, but a social economic issue that is specific to individuals. Family reasons or mental health reasons, etc., are most often the reasons that contributed to crimes mentioned above.  However, the black community in general are kind, loving and hard working.

 

Numerous tragedies that happened in the past, involving police brutality against the black community, has caused people to reject and devalue the police.  However, we believe rejection/division can never solve the problem.


What is your action plan to address the problem? How does your solution foster allyship?


 

Our vision is for the black churches across the country to take the lead and initiate actions of love to the policemen in the community that they live in.  They can do this by simply visiting their local police stations and delivering them donuts/handwritten cards/children’s choir once a year on National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.

 

This action of love, although simple, will help police see black people in a positive context, as well as to know their love and gratitude, which will combat the bias/discrimination gradually, over time (if this is repeatedly done on an annual basis).  This will give police officers across the nation a strong impression and will remind them that the black community is not violent, but is actually very loving and caring.

 

Love is one of the most effective solutions for hurt relationships, tension, and hate.  As the followers of Jesus, Churches should stand up as leaders to proclaim forgiveness, love, and understanding.  There is a deep wound in our society caused by the multitudes of mistakes made in our history.  The Christian community should be the ones that have the strength to initiate healing.

 

Our proposal is to write letters to black churches throughout the United States and urge them to do the following:

1. Promote among their congregation & get a head count for how many people would like to visit the police station.

2. Call the police station before January 9(National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day) & tell them about the plans (include the planned activities  and # of people going). Set up a convenient time for both sides.

3. On the planned day, bring Krispy Kreme donuts. Other suggested activities:

Prepare handwritten cards/posters made by children; Bring children's choir to sing a song at the event; Have  the pastor deliver a short 5 minute message relating to love, appreciation, unity, forgiveness, & salvation etc., as it is appropriate.  The event should last for about 20 minutes.

4. During the visit, we recommend taking pictures and videos to share on social media, even bring the press, if possible. 

 

Thank you for reviewing our proposal.  We believe by standing in solidarity, we, the Generation Z, will be able to mend the wound caused by mistakes in history;our future will be free of racism and division.  One day we will reach a strong multicultural society in love and unity.

 

What resources will you need to accomplish your plan? How will you get funding for those resources (sponsorship, fundraising, etc)?


 

We would research to find out the contact information of black churches through out the United States, and then write letters to them to propose this action of love. 

This proposal does not need money to carry out.

 Jasmine Wu
Valley Christian School
San Jose CA

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Princeton High School

Princeton, NJ

weEMPOWER leadership team

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The problem(s) you plan to address in your plan

 

In 2021, the need to combat systemic injustice has never been more evident. The historic power of certain groups has carried through to society today, both in interpersonal relationships and the business world. Historically-empowered folks are afforded a multitude of opportunities over those with higher qualifications, simply because of how they identify. Even so, they judge marginalized groups for not succeeding in their metrics. These issues’ roots derive from leadership opportunities discriminating against a certain race or gender, challenging course offerings discouraging marginalized students from enrolling, and simple dress code rules formed through a misogynistic lens that attack females (especially Black women). POC and gender minorities have restricted opportunities and limited voice, as they are spoken over by cishet white males, who hold more sociopolitical capital. The overrepresentation of historically empowered groups over the race and gender minorities are visible ranging from educational institutions, as young as for pre-teen, to  the real-world workplaces, specifically business fields. Simply put, those who need it do not have a voice.


 

What is your action plan to address the problem? How does your solution foster allyship?


 

Due to the current socioeconomic climate, many people have been inspired to demand change in society. But, because historically empowered groups have a louder voice than the rest, marginalized groups are silenced. WeEMPOWER, a minority empowerment group at Princeton High School (that both contestants are involved in), will host #SpeakYourTruth, a leadership conference, collaborating with other clubs and groups within Princeton focusing on wide-ranging topics from politics to performing arts. This convention offers opportunities for participants to raise their voice in welcoming communities and join workshops that will lead them into the path of their future career. The three activities occurring are panels with guest speakers, application-based competitions where participants collaborate to solve problems, and workshops which allow them to explore fields and learn about social justice and activism. Through panels, guest speakers will give career-based advice to students and explain about their experiences of work in specific fields with various gender and racial backgrounds. These panels will educate the participants regarding minority challenges in the workforce and teach them about how we as a younger generation can learn to fix those injustices. Application-based competition will operate to grow teamwork, where participants are given prompts to find solutions for. Through this, youth from different backgrounds will voice their opinions about current issues occurring in the world and simultaneously allow others with different backgrounds to educate themselves about their struggles. These competitions also allow for debates on common issues to create a compromise between ideologies. For participants who don’t wish to participate in the primary events, workshops and career and activism fairs will be provided where they can learn about different career options in and out of the 6 fields of study, and the experiences of minorities in those positions. Finding common solutions and compromise while unlearning internalized biases will foster crucial ideals for budding youth. By learning and educating themselves, as well as sharing their own experiences, people who participate in our network will help build a step further into building equibility and allyship in the Princeton community.  


 

What resources will you need to accomplish your plan? How will you get funding for those resources (sponsorship, fundraising, etc)? 

 

An aim at #SpeakYourTruth is to increase accessibility to activism and opportunities; hence, we will be providing an entirely free convention. This will require fundraising. Our avenues for raising money will include sponsorships from businesses and organizations, hosting events beforehand, and, if necessary, soliciting money at #SpeakYourTruth for extras. The first category is arguably the most crucial — for us, it will consist of reaching out to businesses (specifically ones owned by women and POC) and both giving out and selling their items to provide mutual benefit. If students, with newly acquired merchandise, show their prizes and gifts from the convention, they and their friends will be more incentivized to shop at these businesses. Through past events organized by Harmonie, Siya, and others, we have gained experience in contacting local stores and will utilize this skill to fundraise for incentives and food. Additionally, events such as bake sales and fundraisers will push to get us the funds necessary to achieve a good result. WeEMPOWER has hosted various fundraisers over the past two years, and we will continue this year. Lastly, if necessary, we will charge money for WeEMPOWER merch or extra food if costs are too high.