MIT AAI is trying to become more involved with the local Boston community. So far we have held events like making Mother’s Day cards for Saheli, had speakers, and more.
AAI is creating a short docuseries episode, entitled “Confessions”, to highlight the experiences of Asian/American students at the intersection of gender, romance, dating and Asian identity. New episodes are available at aaiconfessions.com!
The AAI podcast highlights different Asian voices throughout MIT, from students to faculty to alumni, so that we can learn more about the different experiences that Asians encounter. Through episodes focusing on different themes on the meaning behind the Asian American identity and experiences, stories about the lives of Asian Americans at MIT can lead to a learning experience and a way to connect with each other.
AAI wanted to do a fun art project and got a grant from CAMIT to explore screen printing. We screen printed tote bags and t-shirts to distribute to club members.
Asian Americans are the least likely racial group to seek mental healthcare. Focused on the stigma surrounding mental health in Asian American communities, AAI aims to increase conversation and education surrounding mental health related issues through speaker events, open circle discussions, and more. Check out the Events page for upcoming sessions!
We’ve also curated a 2-part introductory guide on MIT Student Mental Health and Counseling Services (SMH&CS) with the help of Dr. Nadia Damani-Khoja. Click on the images below to see them on our Instagram!
ECAASU is the largest student conference for and by AAPI students. It is held annually by a college or group of colleges, usually spanning one to two days with over 45 workshops, speakers, and a closing event with around 100 to 1,200 attendees. AAI co-hosted ECAASU 2022 online.
PleasurexAAI Asian American Perspectives: Let’s Talk Relationship Summer Discussion Series
AAI is teaming up with MIT’s Pleasure to host a 2021 summer discussion series on everything relationships through an Asian American lens. We will be discussing everything from fetishization, cultural taboos, love languages, gender identity, and more.
AAPI Heritage Month 2021
For Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month in May 2021, AAI created a series of posters, stickers, and T-shirts highlighting notable and forgotten AAPI activists. Our goal for this project was to honor AAPI activism in light of anti-Asian sentiment during the pandemic. You can check out the designs here.
We sold to the MIT/Cambridge community as well as local colleges to fundraise for AAPI advocacy/art organizations. We ended up donating more than $800 to Goonj Rahat and Asian Americans Advancing Justice. We hope these can serve as symbols of solidarity for the AAPI community at MIT and in the Cambridge/Boston area. Thank you to the COOP and MindHandHeart for providing funding for this project.
We raised $571 dollars on our walk for local businesses through the LISC Rapid Relief and Resiliency Fund to sustainably support communities and businesses disproportionately affected by COVID-19. For every $20, we walked a mile, which amounted to 28 miles total. Different members of AAI from around the country partook in this walk in their towns! Check out images from the walk on our Instagram.
2020 Presidential Platform Translations
Language barriers make it difficult for many Americans to vote. In Fall 2020, we worked towards creating an accessible way to get informed about the Presidential Election by creating a multilingual resource on the presidential candidates and their platforms. Working with ActLingual to translate the document, we made the resources available in English, Spanish, Mandarin, and Thai. You can view the translations at platforms.carrd.co.
2020 Get Out the Vote Festival
People of color have historically had lower voter turnout rates due to the various barriers they face, such as language barriers, voter ID laws, polling accessibility, felony disenfranchisement, and a host of other suppression tactics. Alongside the MIT Undergraduate Association, Asian American Initiative, Latino Cultural Center, American Indian Science and Engineering Society, and Chinese Students Club with support from South Asian Association of Students and Black Students Union, we hosted a Get out the Vote festival to mobilize the BIPOC student vote, inviting various artists and speakers of color, and providing voting resources throughout the event. Over 1000 people ended up attending! Some guests included President Reif, Yo-Yo Ma, Duckworth, Bren Joy, Joyce Wrice, Raye Zaragoza, and Senator Alex Padilla. You can read about the festival at The Tech and MIT News.
In Spring 2019, for Asian Heritage Month in May, we asked Asian Americans at MIT what being Asian meant to them. We posted these responses and photos prominently in MIT’s iconic Lobby 7 and invited others to write about their experiences on poster paper.