Chinese Youth Organizing Project (CYOP)
Since 2010, AAU has started working with a group of underserved Chinese immigrant youth on different issues they face. These youth have named their group “Chinese Youth Organizing Project” (CYOP). Throughout the school year, the youth meet every Friday for two hours to address some of the problems they see everyday: school violence, low school attendance, low high school graduation rate, language barrier (English as second language), low exposure to artistic and recreational activities, limited or no knowledge of the college application process, social oppression, etc.
AAU’s youth programs develop youth to become individually, socially, and politically aware, exercise their voice and participate in active struggles for justice. Through this work, we create leaders who sustain, fight for, and give back to our communities. This past summer, 26 youth leaders interviewed over 120 community members about the biggest issues they faced and presented their findings in an open forum.
WHAT WE'RE UP TO
In 2014, CYOP started its first 6-week summer program, which aims to develop youth to become individually, socially, and politically aware, exercise their voice and participate in active struggles for justice. Through the summer program, we create leaders who sustain, fight for, and give back to our communities. For five summers, groups of Chinese immigrants delved into issues that are facing the Chinese community, such as language access, the Keystone Exam, immigration and deportation, and school education resources. The youths became more aware of contemporary political and societal issues, such as gentrification, oppression, racism, stereotypes, gender inequality, and more. They have engaged the community by presenting their findings in community forums, such as the one last summer in Northeast Philadelphia centered around Know Your Rights and Deportation.
This past summer, 26 youths interviewed 500 public school students and parents to uncover issues of school funding and resources in the School District of Philadelphia. Using their leadership, the youths constructed a report, published a WeChat article, and made a video, all of which showed that public school funding is inadequate and insufficient. Moreover, they created a petition and collected over 1,000 signatures to demand more school fundings and the ending of the 10 Year Abatement. Five of our youths presented the report and the signatures to City Councilwoman Helen Gym, Councilman David Oh, and Councilman Mark Squilla.
CYOP provides a space for Chinese youths to speak their mother language, meet new friends, develop leadership and various skills, learn about what is affecting our communities, and talk about their stories. We also provide volunteering opportunities!
Be a part of CYOP! Every Friday 4PM-6PM at 1023 Callowhill Street, Philadelphia, PA 19123.
Scan our WeChat QR code to learn more about CYOP and AAU