The Story of Asian Americans United

Join us as we continue to make history!

  • January 16, 2017

    Martin Luther King D.A.R.E. March

  • January 20, 2017

    AAU participated in "The People's Inauguration" coordinated by the New Sanctuary Movement.

  • January 21, 2017

    Women's March in Philadelphia

  • January 24, 2017

    Immigrant Student Needs

  • September 23, 2017

    AAU's 22nd Annual Mid-Autumn Festival

  • October 13, 2017

    A conversation with Professor Scott Kurashige

    Dr. Kurashige currently works at the University of Washington, Bothell School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences.

    He received his Ph.D. of History and M.A. of Asian American Studies from UCLA, and his B.A. of History from the University of Pennsylvania.

  • December 8, 2017

    Annual Celebration: Community & Collaboration

  • December 9, 2016

    AAU's 31st Anniversary Celebration

  • September 24, 2016

    AAU's 20th Mid-Autumn Festival

  • July - August 2016

    AAU Summer Program

  • December 11, 2015

    AAU's 30th Anniversary Celebration

  • September 19, 2017

    AAU's 20th Mid-Autumn Festival

  • July 6 - August 14, 2015

    AAU Summer Program

  • April - May 2015

    Chinatown Vote, Get Out the Vote for Primary Elections

  • September 13, 2014

    AAU's 19th Mid-Autumn Festival

  • March 11, 2014

    American Revolutionary, The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs

  • February 5, 2014

    The State of Asian Americans in Philadelphia

  • September 14, 2013

    AAU's 18th Mid-Autumn Festival

  • August 2, 2013

    AAU Summer Program 2013 Final Event Celebration

  • July 25, 2013

    Tea & Dessert Community Building Night

    We updated folks on happenings at AAU, engaged in conversation to get to know each other, enjoyed homemade desserts, and explored ways of deepening our connections.

  • April 29, 2013

    We Cannot Keep Silent Exhibit Closing Night & Special Forum on the Shifting Politics of Race at Cedar Works

  • March 1, 2013

    Fun & Games with AAU

    Meet new people, have fun, share your favorite Asian games and learn to play games you’ve always wanted to try: mah jong, gostop, parcheesi, hana fuda, Chinese chess, and whatever you bring to the mix! We will also have a potluck dinner together.

  • March 2013


    Ongoing Exhibit at the Philadelphia Folklore Project

  • February 7, 2013

    AAU Movie & Discussion Night

    Featuring the Academy Award nominated documentary "The Betrayal"

  • 2013

    Grace Lee Boggs' Book Workshops with AAU

  • August 2010

    Conclusion of Club AAU After School Program

    An after school club at FACTS designed for middle school youth. Students are challenged to learn about community and environmental issues as well as strengthen their leadership skills.

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  • April 24, 2010

    AAU Bowl-a-Thon

  • December 2009

    Asian Immigrant Students Stand Up Against Racial Violence at South Philly High School

  • August 2009

    Conclusion of Middle School Paths to Leadership Program

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  • June 2009

    Conclusion of AAU/FACTS After School Tutoring Program

  • July 14 - August 9, 2008

    Middle School Paths to Leadership

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  • March 2008

    No Casinos in the Heart of Our City

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  • September 22, 2007

    AAU's 12th Annual Mid-Autumn Festival

  • July - August 2007

    Middle School Paths to Leadership Summer Program

    For middle school youth from both FACTS and from other local schools. The youth participated in a variety of leadership development activities, learned about environmental and community issues, and developed a plan to implement a recycling program at the FACTS. Youth met with leaders at FACTS to present their plan to create a recycling program.

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  • March 2007

    The Folk Arts-Cultural Treasures Charter School (FACTS) celebrated its grand opening ceremony at its new building – and also AAU’s new home – at 1023 Callowhill Street in the fall of 2007.

  • 2007

    AAU Greening Project (now Inch-By-Inch Garden)

    In 2007, when youth in Asian Americans United’s (AAU) leadership class surveyed the area around their school in Chinatown, they found neglected vacant lots, illegal dumping, and little green space. After succeeding in getting a lot next to their school cleaned up and the fence fixed by the absentee land owner, AAU youth are now working to transform this vacant lot into a garden. The Folk Arts – Cultural Treasures Charter School (FACTS), Chinatown's one public school, sits adjacent to an abandoned elevated railroad track that is bordered by neglected and vacant lots.

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  • August 2007

    Inception of AAU/FACTS After School Tutoring Program

    Following in the long tradition of our first summer program, AAU continued to work with high school students to provide leadership training and opportunities for them to mentor and tutor younger students. AAU provided training and support for high school students who volunteer as tutors and mentors in the FACTS after care program. FACTS after care is a homework help and enrichment program for 25 FACTS students who attend kindergarten through 6th grade (and that is run by AAU youth alumna, Anh Ha and two other FACTS staffers). AAU Executive Director Ellen Somekawa and Anh worked to design training sessions for high school students that were supportive and team building, helped them understand the needs of the FACTS students, and nurtured their potential for being positive role models and mentors to the FACTS students.

  • June 2007

    Inception of Club AAU After School Program

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  • April 2007


    AAU hosted a Bowl-a-Thon fundraiser and was able to raise $7,400 to put towards their programs aimed at building lasting Asian American communities.

  • September 2005

    FACTS opened and realizes an alternative vision of education rooted in community and folk arts as vehicles for academic learning and social change.

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  • March 2005

    AAU in partnership with the Philadelphia Folklore Project won a charter for FACTS.

  • Spring 2000

    Stadium Fight

    A shock hit residents of Philadelphia’s Chinatown when the city announced Chinatown as the intended site for a new $600+ million baseball stadium. The project was announced without any communication to the Chinatown community (nor would any communication be granted during the course of the struggle).

  • 1993

    Save Greensich Library

    When the Mayor Ed Rendell announced major cuts to the public libraries budget, only one library in the city was chosen for closing--Greenwich Library. The library served mainly African American and Asian American youth, and had the largest after school program of any library in the city. People of all races came together with door-to-door organizing, multi-lingual community meetings, petition drives, a lawsuit, lobbying, coalition building with other library advocates, street demonstrations and actions. After protests and debates, City Council restored the entire public library budget. However, Mayor Rendell still shut down Greenwich Library.

  • 1992

    Chinatown School Bus Campaign

  • 1992

    Fighting Police Harassment

  • 1991

    McCreesh Playground Incident

    Following the killing of a white youth during a playground fight between White Power Boys and Asians in Southwest Philadelphia, AAU worked intensely to bring clarity and humanity to the treatment of the seven young Asian defendants in the case. AAU fought to have due process and equal justice granted to the defendants despite a system bent on railroading the young men toward conviction. This struggle continued as the INS has sought to deport the convicted youth after they served their prison sentences.

  • 1989

    Justice for Heng Lim

    One of AAU’s earliest organized campaigns against anti-Asian violence began when Heng Lim, a Cambodian American man, was beaten to death in front of his family by a man who called him a “f**king Chinese.”

  • 1986

    Summer Pilot Project Youth Program, later named the Community Youth Leadership Project.

  • 1985

    Fight for the Right to Decent Housing

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  • 1985: Founding of AAU

    Founded based off of the mission to build leadership in Asian American communities and to encourage neighborhood growth and to grow unity to challenge oppression.