About

Mission

The Asian American Initiative strives, through action and education, to promote Asian American advocacy on the MIT campus and beyond. Our club aims to provide a safe space to discuss the building blocks and facets of Asian American identity, create a platform to bring light to issues affecting the Asian American community, and improve the Asian American experience on and off campus, while supporting other marginalized groups. Our club stands in solidarity and allyship with other marginalized groups, with founding beliefs against oppressive systems such as racism, homophobia, xenophobia, classism, ableism, and sexism.

We are involved with the wider community at the Institute through participation the Office of Minority Education Student Advisory Council (we won 2021 Student Group of the Year), the Undergraduate Association Diversity Council, and partnership with the Office of Multicultural Programming. You can also read our previous op-eds in The Tech.

For an introduction to our club, check out this booklet from Spring 2021 made by Felix.

Exec Team

image of 8 Asian people of various ethnicities sitting together on brick patio wearing masks

Amelia

I’m Amelia (she/they), a junior majoring in Urban Planning with Computer Science and American Studies (11-6, 21). In my free time, I read a lot of random internet commentary, figure out how to cook my CSA vegetables, and poorly embroider. Other than that, I am interested in Asian American co-liberation and solidarity with other people of color, mixed race identity, and xiaolongbao.

Felix

Hi! I’m Felix from Malden, MA, a junior majoring in Art & Design (Course 4B) and minoring in Comparative Media Studies (CMS). I love trying to veganize the foods I grew up eating, spending too much time on YouTube watching cooking/travel/sustainability videos, learning about different cultures, daydreaming about traveling, and questioning what I want to do with my life every other day. I joined AAI because it felt like home. I’m interested in the intersection between design, media, and activism.

Jason

I’m Jason, a sophomore in Computer Science with Cognitive Science (6-9). In my free time, I enjoy singing, songwriting, swimming, and of course, doing stuff for AAI! I want to bring greater awareness to issues affecting the Asian American community, such as the Model Minority Myth, mental health, and media representation, and create a space where we can all learn and tackle these challenges together.

May

I’m May (she/her) studying Mechanical Engineering (Course 2). I’m from Nashville, TN and I love long runs, Hidden Brain podcast, and making chaotic Spotify playlists (@mh118). I’m a proud first-generation Chinese-American, and I’m interested in dialogue about mental health, orientalism, and exploring identity via food and art.

Emily
Eesha
Julia
Mulan
Past Exec Members
Yu Jing

Hi! I’m Yu Jing and I’m a senior majoring in Urban Planning with Computer Science (Course 11-6). I was born in Tai Shan, China but was raised in Chicago, IL (the best city!). Around MIT, I can be found pretty much everywhere — I am beyond grateful to have found community in various corners of campus. Inspired by the nature of advocacy and the fight for justice in Chicago, I am passionate about racial and class equity. I love to stay busy and on campus, am extremely active with Asian American and First Generation Low Income advocacy at MIT. I started AAI my first year on campus because I really wanted to create a platform in which we could speak about our identities and roots, learning about what shapes us to be who we are today.

Emily
Mydia

I’m Mydia, a junior double majoring in Chemistry and Biology (Course 5-7) and Neuroscience (Course 9) and I love to grow vegetables and cook with those vegetables! I also am obsessed with Killing Eve and AHS or anything to do with coffee. I’m super passionate about voter engagement in the Asian American community, the history of Asian Americans in the US, and also about Asian representation in media!

Dechen

Hi! I’m Dechen, a junior studying Chemical Engineering (Course X) with a concentration in materials. I was born and raised in Queens, NY and am Tibetan! I enjoy baking and painting, however I’m not very good at either of those hobbies. I love reality TV (The Amazing Race, Big Brother, etc.) and have spent too many hours searching up the cast after every episode. I love being in AAI and having a community where I can relate to other students while learning more about other perspectives of an Asian-American.

Kat

I’m Kat, a senior double majoring in Materials Science and History. I watch a lot of YouTube video essays about movies and TV shows and have recently started trying to learn how to bake again! I’m really interested in Asian studies classes/educational resources in trying to make them both more popular and more diverse in range, as most MIT classes focus on ancient, Eastern Asia.

Alana

I’m Alana from Chicago, Illinois, majoring in Materials Science and Engineering (Course 3) and concentrating in Japanese. I’m really into baking (self-plug to my food posts: @chow.by.chandler), but unfortunately my dishes are not always a family favorite… I am obsessed with people who are artsy, particularly with Gentle Oriental as of recent! I’m passionate about Asian American history, mental health and fostering solidarity and understanding between identity groups.