May 25, 2016

We All Need to Advocate

By Hong Yan Tan

In celebration of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, APANO is bringing our audience content all month-long, all centered on the theme of Building Power. Each week will see a different topic, all connected by our central theme. This week’s topic: Education Justice.




By Hong Yan Tan

Three years ago, my daughter was in preschool. My daughter left her classroom one day while in school. I found her walking on the street, outside of the school driveway. That was so dangerous! I was thoroughly dissatisfied with teacher's work and her not being responsible for child's safety . I asked that my daughter be transferred, but the teacher and head start superintendent used every conceivable means to obstruct me. They used their official power to stop me and they tried to gloss over their errors. I tried to complain but nobody listened to me. I felt it was unfair. That is when a Chinese head start staff, Qing Tan, introduced me to APANO's education manager Jeanice Chieng, who worked hard to help me. My daughter successfully transferred to another school and is happy in her new school.

I am so appreciative of APANO and Jeanice. APANO and Jeanice have been of great influence. I recognized how important it is to educate myself. We are living in U.S, which has different culture than my home country. We will not just obey and accept it when we experience racism. We have to stand up, and speak out about our story.

Since I have joined APANO's Chinese parents leadership class, I have been so happy to get to know a lot of friendly Chinese parents. I was so touched when we shared our life experiences in our first class. I teared up for a lot of parents who shared their difficult time and racist experience within the education system and their lives. I feel APANO is a safe place for us to share and heal. I learned about API history and know that white people still have the power and privilege and control much.

I want my kids have a success life in school. As for me, I would like to use my parental rights against racial injustice . In the future, I hope we can live in a world with no oppression, and no racism in this country. We all need to advocate. Thank you.


APANO’s work includes organizing around education justice to make sure our parents, youth, and young adults have the support, resources, and skills to shape solutions. To support this work, please consider donating to APANO so we can continue our education justice. As if that was not a good enough reason, as awardees of the Coulter Foundation, all donations to APANO at $100 or more will be matched dollar for dollar- that means you can double your gift and extend its impact!

Want to see what others have created for AAPI Heritage Month? Find a list of our Heritage Month posts here!

Follow APANO during heritage month by using hashtags #APIsBuildingPower and #AAPIHM, and follow us on Facebook or Twitter: @APANONews.