AAWPI is a civic education and leadership development organization for Asian-American women. Our signature program is a State House internship, training and mentoring program for college students that is open to interested participants on a nonpartisan basis.
In 2009, AAWPI was founded by a group of Asian-American women leaders in Massachusetts in response to several troubling realities. There was a realization that the needs of Asian-American women in the areas of mental health, women’s health, and domestic violence have been unmet and, oftentimes, overlooked by government. Locally and nationally, no formalized network currently exists to mentor, train, and support Asian-American women interested in advocacy and government. And, statistics show that when Asian-American women see government, they rarely see a reflection of themselves. Less than 1% of state legislators across the country are Asian-American women.
As Asian-American women, we want better. And, we believe our work to change these realities begins here at home in Massachusetts. As the state’s fastest growing racial group, Asian-Americans make up almost 7% of the state’s population, with higher proportions of Asian-Americans living in cities and towns like Quincy (24%), Lowell (21%), Malden (20%), Lexington (20%), Brookline (16%), Cambridge (16%), Burlington (13%) and Boston (9%), among others.
Our mission and our goals, too, reflect a commitment to building not only a strong community of Asian-American women advocates and leaders but a commitment to building and strengthening bridges across communities of color. We have a deep understanding that we, as Asian-American women, are part of a wider community of people who believe in a more inclusive and democratic government. Ultimately, AAWPI’s vision is a movement to empower Asian-American women that involves and strengthens us all.