Meet the 2016 Fellows!
  • Gabby Boodoosingh
    New York [Flushing], NY
  • Monica Chan
    Sacramento, CA
  • Roxy Chang
    Hong Kong
  • Pooja Ghosh
    Berwyn, PA
  • Jenny Huang
    New York [Brooklyn], NY
  • Nizum Khan
    New York [Bronx], NY
  • Cheuk-Ning Li
    Renton, WA
  • Sherry Liang
    Oakland, CA
  • Deanne Liu
    San Francisco, CA
  • Laurel Mayeda
    Cypress, CA
  • Huidan Mei
    Taishan, China
  • Carolyn Nguyen
    Anaheim, CA
  • Jasmine Quintana
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Jensine Raihan
    Astoria, NY
  • Marx Rivera
    Redmond, WA
  • Yian Saechao
    Portland, OR
  • Chrissy Sam
    Long Beach, CA
  • Ashley Shen
    Medfield, MA
  • Yuman Wang
    Xichang, China
  • Daphne Xu
    Toronto, Canada
  • John Zhao
    Cupertino, CA

Meet the 2016 Fellows

Gabby BoodoosinghGabby Boodoosingh
Hometown: New York [Flushing], NY
Placement: Ugnayan
I have been involved in social justice work since the summer of 2014 through Ugnayan. As a youth member at Ugnayan, I learned many skills and my experiences there have influenced me to continue working for the rights of current and future generations. By being a fellow, I hope to strengthen my skills as an organizer and to be able to provide better quality of volunteer work on my part. In the future, I am sure I will incorporate the skills I learn during the fellowship into volunteer work and academic work alike.
Monica Chan
Hometown: Sacramento, CA
Placement: Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN)Monica Chan
I am grown from diaspora with roots in the Guangdong Province, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Vietnam. This has influenced my fight for environmental justice, which began as a passion for environmental sustainability and developed into an analysis of environmental racism in the climate crisis with the intersections of patriarchy and capitalism on our built spaces and natural world. I have followed APEN’s work for years and am excited to be witnessing and doing the work of community organizing. I hope to cultivate my voice and re-situate myself in the movement. All versions I have pictured of my future are centered around a life of resistance in the many forms that it takes on, rooted in the care and bonds of community. I believe that Seeding Change fosters and transfers that resilience into skills and learning opportunities for young people.
Roxy Chang
Hometown: Hong Kong
Placement: Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN)
Roxy ChangI am a first generation Hong Kongese-American. I was born in Long Island, New York but I grew up in Hong Kong until I started school at the University of Vermont (UVM). I am currently a senior at UVM, majoring in Environmental Studies and minoring in Geography. I was exposed to ideas of Environmental justice and my identities in my first year. Since participating in a workshop on the history of the Asian American movement, I’ve pursued course work and outreach experiences with different Asian grassroots communities, specifically with CAAAV and the Land Justice League in Hong Kong. As a fellow at the Asian Pacific Environmental Network, I hope to further develop my skills and connect deeper to the Asian American Pacific Islander communities. I hope to apply what I learn in this fellowship in my future work, whether I am going to pursue the path of community organizing or other fields.
Jenny Huang
Hometown: New York [Brooklyn], NY
Placement: Chinese Progressive Association, San Francisco
Jenny HuangI am a Chinese American woman and a daughter of immigrant parents, born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. I am the first generation in my family to attend college. Throughout my life, I witnessed and experienced oppressive systems that perpetuate violence against entire communities, including my own. Because of my parents’ limited English language skills, they were only able to find low wage work and lived in fear, silence and alienation. Working in the restaurant industry for the past three years, I witnessed the rampant exploitation that takes place in kitchens. Seeing my co-workers’ struggles remind me of my parents’ narratives as new immigrants. This has inspired me to fight for better working conditions through grassroots efforts and labor organizing. I am excited to grow with Chinese Progressive Association this summer! I hope to emerge from this fellowship with the leadership skills necessary to identify opportunities to organize and to empower others.
Nizum Khan
Hometown: New York [Bronx], NY
Placement: DRUM – South Asian Organizing Center
I first became involved with organizing when I was 14 and plugged myself into the anti-gentrification work taking place in Nizum Khanmy community. Throughout the years, I was involved in multiple organizing spaces in different fields until I found DRUM – South Asian Organizing Center in 2015 . Although I’ve been in multiple spaces, and have been in some of these spaces for longer than I’ve been at DRUM, DRUM is the only organization that has truly invested in my development as a community organizer. DRUM introduced me to this fellowship to learn and meet with other young organizers. I hope to learn a lot in regards to being an organizer, and hope to make friends and connections with people who are doing similar work.
Cheuk-Ning Li
Hometown: Renton, WA
Placement: Chinese Progressive Association, San Francisco
Cheuk-Ning LiAs a 1.5 generation immigrant from a working class background, I started noticing injustice and inequity when I was young. It until recently that I began to see how seemingly separate issues that face people of many different identities often stem from larger issues that are relevant to more of us than might be overtly visible. I am now a rising junior intending on an Informatics (the science of human-centered information processing) major and a Diversity minor at the University of Washington. Through this fellowship, I hope to learn how I can best apply my intended major to support my community and to develop a better understanding of how communities can stand in solidarity with all marginalized people to promote progressive values together. I have attended rallies, workshops, conferences, etc. but have yet to do organizing of my own, so I am also excited to gain experience with this work and to bring knowledge back home and to campus!
Sherry Liang
Hometown: Oakland, CA
Placement: Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN)

I am currently a first-year at Wesleyan University, hoping to major in American Studies and pursue a certificate in Environmental Science. Born andSherry Liang raised in Oakland, CA, I’m a first generation college student. My mom immigrated from Laos and my dad immigrated from China. I have always known that I am Asian, but did not know what it meant to be Asian American until I joined AYPAL, an Oakland-based organization focused in community empowerment between for API folks, in 8th grade. AYPAL gave me a space to understand systemic oppression that is at the root of all our struggles. I learned the importance and need for more conversations and community building for healing, growing, unlearning, and relearning. As a Seeding Change fellow, I hope to intertwine my interests in environmental science and social justice by working with issues that directly affect my community. I hope to transform my passion and love for empowerment in Oakland through learning how to organize at a grassroots level and becoming a stronger leader and agent of social change.

Deanne Liu
Hometown: San Francisco, CA
Placement: Chinese Progressive Association, San Francisco
Deanne LiuBorn and raised in San Francisco Chinatown, I started my social justice journey at CPA San Francisco in 2010, when I was an underclassman in high school. I was involved with CPA’s youth program, Youth MOJO, until I graduated high school and have since stayed involved with CPA while also doing other internships and studying abroad. I will now be coming full circle by returning to CPA as a fellow. I hope to be able to organize people in my community that have similar struggles as my parents and family. I want to gain a better understanding of my community as I am in the process of re-grounding myself in a university environment. I seek answers to how we can build an Asian American movement that is both inclusive of all Asian Americans and liberating for all. In my future, I hope to apply my gained skills through organizing in all of my communities, issues, and identities –  Chinese/Cantonese, QTPOC, environmental justice, and queer Asian.
Laurel Song
Hometown: Cypress, CA
Placement: Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO)
I was born and raised in Orange County. Growing up in a predominately white neighborhood caused immense Laurel Mayedainternalization of my identities. When I left for university at Humboldt State University, I fell in love with social justice after taking my first Woman Studies class. Two years have passed and I have successfully transferred to a four year university in the Bay Area. From doing extensive research on Title IX to being a local leader intern for the Japanese American Citizens League,  I have a diverse background in organizing. I feel that the Seeding Change fellowship will help me do work within the API community. I hope that I will gain valuable organizing skills that I can pass on to other young organizers on campus.
Huidan Mei
Hometown: Taishan, China
Placement: Asian Americans United
Huidan MeiI will be a sophomore next Fall at Temple University. I immigrated to the U.S. ten years ago from China. I have been working with high school youth for almost 3 years, specifically on issues like gentrification, language barriers, oppression, racism, and stereotyping in the Chinese immigrant communities. I hope to go in depth with my community this summer to observe and learn more about the stories of Chinese immigrants. I hope to learn about ways to help my community and to meet other people and other communities. During the fellowship, I look forward to doing hands-on projects at my site. I want to share the skills I gained in the fellowship with the rest of the youth in AAU so, in the future, we can all work together on issues in the community.
Carolyn Nguyen
Hometown: Anaheim, CA
Placement: Chinese Progressive Association, San Francisco
Carolyn NguyenI am a Vietnamese American womxn. I am a first generation college student and a child of refugees. These aspects of my identity are what I have grown to embody and advocate for, which is what led me to social justice work and applying for the Seeding Change fellowship. My work as an Executive Director of REACH! Asian Pacific Islander Recruitment and Retention Center has given me so much perspective on student organizing on campus. However, I desire to learn community organizing techniques within different contexts, such as the one Seeding Change provides through the opportunity to work with the Chinese Progressive Association, an organization that has over 40 years of deeply rooted history and experience in community work. It is a privilege for me to be involved in this fellowship because of the opportunities to better understand what social justice work, as well as how community organizing can truly come from a place of love. I intend to apply my skills to continue community work at my university, as well as extend it to postgraduate opportunities, especially when it comes to practicing advocacy as I enter graduate school.
Jasmine Quintana
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Placement: Filipino Advocates for Justice
I am a queer, Pilipinx American womxn and rising junior majoring in Legal Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. My interest in social justice Jasmine Quintanastems from my exposure to food justice organizing during high school through various programs and internships, and has continued through my college years with my work with low-income, underrepresented AAPI youth and other communities of color to attain higher education. In all the work that I do and have accomplished, I stay grounded in my identity. I continue this work in order to uplift my communities as they have lifted me up to reach these opportunities. Through this fellowship, I hope to expand my experience in organizing and political advocacy efforts through civic engagement and community building. I hope to bring the critical skills I learn back to my communities for further mobilization. I also hope to gain a network that can support me in my cultural and political journey in the same way I hope to support other fellows in theirs.
Jensine Raihan
Hometown: Astoria, NY
Placement: DRUM – South Asian Organizing Center
Jensine RaihanI joined DRUM – South Asian Organizing Center 3 years ago and became aware of the reality for working-class South Asian women in a heteropatriarchal, capitalist, post-9/11 world. From an early age I was exposed to the vast differences between socioeconomic classes when my father, an anesthesiologist, abandoned our family and took all his wealth with him. I saw firsthand differences between middle-class families living in private houses in Brooklyn and the homelessness and poverty of women and their families who have endured and survived domestic violence. Most importantly, I saw the resistance and power of women, particularly my mother, who survived domestic abuse and thrive in the midst of poverty and Islamophobia. I want to join the collective effort of powerful women and fight the social injustices that exist in our communities so we can all live in an equal and just world. The fellowship will allow me to do just that in addition to connecting with young Asian Americans across the nation doing the similar work. I want to use the skills I learn through the fellowship to support my long-term commitment to working in communities fighting for social justice.
Marx Rivera
Hometown: Redmond, WA
Placement: Filipino Community Center
Born in Seattle and raised in Redmond, I was never exposed to much in the way of Filipino identity. Though my sister and father have been members of IMG_0741Anakbayan and PUSO since I was 10, I did not have the capacity at the time to understand their work. Only recently have I understood that I am longing to connect to my roots and culture. I took the plunge when I went on the Kapit Bisig Kabataan Network mission trip to the Philippines to learn about legitimate relief and rehabilitation for those affected by natural and manmade disaster, while also hoping to understand what it means to be Filipino. Upon returning from the trip, I connected with Anakbayan Seattle. I am still new to organizing and want to understand my role and how to integrate with organizations around the country. When I return home, I hope to use my experiences with Seeding Change to build stronger relationships with other solidarity organizations in Seattle, to be a better member of my organization by understanding my role and potential roles, and to build more with Filipino American immigrants struggling in the U.S.
Yian Saechao
Hometown: Portland, OR
Placement: Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN)
Yian SaechaoI am of Iu-Mienh descent, an ethnic hill tribe originating from China. My parents immigrated from the Northern hills of Laos and Thailand to America due to the Secret War in Laos. I have heard some of the struggles my family has gone through for their freedom and survival. I have witnessed my family’s continued struggles, as well as my own, in navigating through various systems of power through experiences with welfare, healthcare, education, economic opportunity. Some may say that the challenges we have faced – the caregiving, interpreting, and social work I had to learn for my family’s well-being –  are burdens no young person should have to go through. But these so-called burdens are my experiences of resilience.The beauty and power of organizing has demonstrated how change is made through the value of our communities’ lives, struggles, and resiliency. Through this fellowship, I hope to strengthen my organizing skills, critical political analysis, and to gain tools to facilitate healing for the health and well-being of our communities. My career goals and my life work towards justice and equity aligns in the role of an organizer and that I why I am here, now, with Seeding Change, making my dream job come true.
Chrissy Sam
Hometown: Long Beach, CA
Placement: Khmer Girls in Action
I am a second generation Cambodian American, born and raised in the city of Long Beach in the heart of Cambodia Town. Living in such a diverse city has exposed me to different disparities and injustices at a young age. It was not until I got involved with Khmer Girls in Chrissy SamAction at age 14 that I was able to understand the issues and challenges my community faces and how to create change. I learned how to build community power, to have a voice, and to share my experiences in the movement for social justice. I hope to strengthen my political analysis around race, class, and gender so that I can better find solutions for the Cambodian community and larger Southeast Asian and API communities. I hope to gain new organizing and communication skills and experiences that will help me become a better youth organizer so I can help my community thrive and also recognize the potential that I have through my development and leadership.
Ashley Shen
Hometown: Medfield, MA
Placement: Chinese Progressive Association, Boston
Ashley Shen
I am a second-generation Chinese American woman. I’m currently a third-year at Tufts University, where I’m studying Asian American Studies and Clinical Psychology. Learning about ethnic studies was the first time I was able to connect my family’s experiences with systems of oppression and privilege. It was the first time history became personal, my own history became political, and I saw mental health as it relates to the erasure of our histories, traumas, and experiences. I hope to join APIA and other activists of color in addressing mental health in our communities and to make space for our experiences in a broader mental health context.
Yuman Wang
Hometown: Xichang, China
Placement: Southeast Asian Coalition
Yuman Wang - WangYuman1I am a 1.5 generation immigrant from Southwestern China, still struggling with the idea of “home.” With a family still living in the shadows of the Cultural Revolution and ruthless capitalism, and disillusioned with the American Empire’s promise of The Dream, I became enraged. I found a way to channel my anger into activism and organizing against oppressive racial, capitalist, and gendered violence. I see the Seeding Change fellowship as a way for me to be more involved in Asian-American activism and a way to explore it in the context of the southern U.S. Through the fellowship, I want to connect with other Asian American organizers and work with a organization that focuses on low-income Asian-Americans. The South really lacks resources for Asian-American organizing and political education compared to other regions in the U.S. In the future, I hope to continue organizing in the community and bringing what I gain from the fellowship to support local organizations in the South.
Daphne Xu
Hometown: Toronto, Canada
Placement: CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities
I grew up in a Shanghainese household in Toronto, Canada. After graduating from college in the US, I moved to China and have been living in Shanghai Daphne Xuand Beijing for the last 2 years. In China I have explored dialect preservation and worked at a community space as an ethnographer. While I was involved in social justice work in college, I am especially excited to learn about community organizing on a wider scale in the US context. I look forward to understanding further the scope and impact of Asian American activism and reconciling my experiences in China and the US by working with Chinese immigrants at CAAAV.
John Zhao
Hometown: Cupertino, CA
Placement: Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN)
John ZhaoI am a second generation Chinese American from the Bay Area. Having lived in Cupertino, a wealthy, predominantly East Asian and South Asian community, I did not grow up feeling othered for my race. In fact, I spent much of my life not having to think critically about race, class, or other parts of my identity. I got involved with activism because of climate change. I learned about the intersection of sustainability and social justice, and began to engage with social justice more broadly. I look forward to working on environmental justice and doing community organizing at APEN this summer. I hope to develop organizing skills and gain knowledge that I can bring back to campus. As a member of Students for a Sustainable Stanford and of the API community at Stanford University, I hope to make the sustainability community at Stanford more intersectional and accessible to people of all identities.