Our issues include youth and women empowerment, increased language access, revenue generation and increased resources for our communities especially for culturally competent health care, education, immigrants, and low-wage workers, particularly through this current pandemic.
Our theory of change includes multiple strategies for power, developing leadership and organizing capacity within Asian American communities and targeting Asian American women and young people in particular around relational organizing and political education will move local state and federal progressive policy and help elect progressive candidates to champion those issues. We believe that an election is an opportunity to increase engagement and build organizing relationships with our constituency, and that positive electoral and policy wins are one tool for empowering our communities. Election cycles are opportunities for leadership development and candidate recruitment through the organizing process.
Rising Voices engages the Michigan Asian American community by organizing voters to participate in local, state and federal elections, fostering the development of Asian American candidates, relational organizing, political education and election protection.
What We Do
Rising Voices works to advocate for community welfare resources as well as provide healing and listening sessions that give Asian American community members the opportunity to dialogue, build community and heal together in a safe and welcoming space.
Rising Voices Amplify uplifts the work of Asian American artists who celebrate our communities and provide crucial representation of the Asian American experience while presenting visionary perspectives of a better world and brighter future we hope to build.
Sample Past Work
To promote candidates reflective of or responsive to the Michigan Asian American community Rising Voices endorsed six candidates for statewide offices who were successfully elected in 2021. View our endorsements here.
2021 HEALING SESSIONS
In response to increased rates of AAPI hate crimes and the March 2021 shootings of Asian American women in Atlanta Rising Voices held a series of healing sessions to promote self-care practices to decrease anxiety, provide community connection and collective rest in collaboration with Taproot Sanctuary in Detroit.
RISING VOICES AT DLECTRICITY
In 2021 Rising Voices collaborated with acclaimed photographer Jarod Lew to document the Michigan Asian American community. The photographs captured Asian American leaders from various communities including South Asian, Hmong, Chinese, Filipino and Burmese organizations. The photos were exhibited at DLECTRICITY, Detroit's Nighttime Festival of Art and Light in September, bringing Asian American representation to thousands of visitors over one weekend.
OUR STAFF & BOARD
Laura is a fourth-generation Japanese American who believes strongly in building the capacity for people to come together to exercise their collective power, grounded in their history and identity. She seeks to apply her skills as a lawyer and interest in food and storytelling to move the projects of Rising Voices forward.
Dim was the Civic Engagement fellow at Rising Voices of Asian American Families and an APALA Fellow. She is now a Community Organizer for Rising Voices. Born in Mandalay, Myanmar, Dim grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She was raised by two Zomi immigrants who personified radical politics and actions in their everyday lives. At the University of Michigan, Dim studies History and Political Science with a minor in Asian Studies. She’s passionate about serving Asian American communities with new ways to engage and organize.
Aamina was born in the Midwest and has straddled between living in primarily Michigan and Pakistan. A deep commitment to wanting to help create spaces where everyone feels like they truly belong drives her. She believes in the power of Rising Voices to give Asian American women and families in Michigan a “home”.
Hassan Sheikh is deputy director for Dearborn’s Economic and Community Development Department. Sheikh was previously director of Hamtramck’s Community and Economic Development Department. He was brought in to rebuild the department after it was phased out during the city’s emergency management He also worked under former Hamtramck City Manager Katrina Powell.
Regina is a Chinese/Cantonese American interested in developing stories; she believes that they are the key to our individual and collective power. Through Rising Voices, she aims to help provide the spaces for these stories to be discovered and shared, and for us to rewrite the existing narrative of our communities, build solidarity, and take collective action.
Jasmine was born in Detroit to an immigrant Filipino-American family, where she was raised by her activist parents to always engage in action and speak truth to power. Jasmine graduated from Michigan State University with a BA in International Relations at James Madison College and from Columbia University with an MFA in Film Directing. Jasmine will apply her skills in narrative storytelling and communications to help build APIA community and empowerment.
Sheela loves living in Michigan where AAPI power is a recognized strength. She brings a work history of policy, communications, and strategy to Rising Voices to further empower Asian Americans in politics. Sheela believes there are few things in life more rewarding than watching folks realize their own power, and loves creating the resources – political research templates, bootcamps, audio based interviews – for these opportunities to flourish.
Karen Ahn is a co-founder, Executive Director, and Chief Teaching Officer at the Michigan Teacher Education Network (MITEN), an organization that asks educators to collaboratively reimagine and create a more just educational experience for children — especially those who go unseen in our racialized society. Previously, she served as the Director of Partnerships at TeachingWorks at the University of Michigan, where she worked with teacher educators (professors, school leaders, and mentor teachers who prepare teachers) all over the United States to disrupt patterns of inequity through teaching. She also was a school leader at a charter school in Detroit, Michigan, and began her career in education as a lower elementary school teacher. Through all these roles, she has been committed to providing children with a much better and far less harmful school experience through improvement of self and improvement with others.