Our Vision: Education for Liberation
Since our inception, AAU has been grounded in the belief that re-envisioning the education of our youth can transform our communities. AAU’s very first program in 1987, called the Summer Pilot Project, started with 30 children and became a 16-year effort to create a new educational experience. It was a school meant to affirm the life histories and experiences of our participants, engage family and community members, and empower young people to enact change in the neighborhoods in which they live.
Starting with a unique curriculum and engaging high school and college aged youth as leaders and mentors, AAU’s educational programs worked to foster a sense of activism and pride in our communities.
Each session, youth were responsible for taking action in their communities, such as health fairs and tutoring programs. In addition, the youth and children worked on campaigns such as the Justice for Heng Lim and the Chinatown Stadium campaigns. Other campaigns, like the Chinatown School Bus campaign, started here.
Our curriculum grew to embrace diverse experiences and cultures and counter the incessant materialistic and selfish culture permeating our world. More importantly, we saw many leaders grow through our schools – many even coming back to AAU as valuable board members, staff and volunteers.
Over the years, AAU has seen hundreds of children and youth bring joy and promise to our summers. As AAU moves into our 25th year and beyond, children and youth remain a central part of our mission.
Find out more about our current youth programs »
Find out more about our past youth programs »