Press Release

AAPI Rising: Other Is Not My Identity Press Release

April 9, 2021

For Immediate Release: April 9th, 2021

Contact: Ellen Lu, Programs Coordinator,

New Orleans, Louisiana – Today VAYLA New Orleans announces the official launch of our petition for inclusion, demanding state officials include data for more racial groups in voter statistics and beyond. It comes at a historical influx of xenophobia, racial hate and violence. 

“Other is not our identity. Data inclusion is a public health issue. Data inclusion is a community impact issue. Data inclusion is a social equity issue–we have the power to make sure we are all seen and represented,” says Jacqueline Thanh, Executive Director of VAYLA New Orleans.

Now is the time that our officials must recognize data exclusion is harmful and dehumanizing. This is action that can and should be taken as a commitment to socioeconomic as well as racial equity. 

“When researching election statistics using the Louisiana Secretary of State website, racial demographics are broken down into three categories: White, Black, and Other. Although White and Black people make up the majority of Louisiana residents, all of the racial groups under the umbrella term of “other” each have their own rightful place in our communities, with their own unique values and concerns derived from the upbringing their respective cultures cultivated in them. We are stronger together–not othered,” says Malcolm Phillips, Civic Engagement Coordinator at VAYLA New Orleans.

The language of “other” is a microcosm of the hierarchical narrative of white supremacy that reigns in our country and leaves communities more susceptible to the dehumanization and violence that disenfranchisement creates. 

We cannot be safe if we do not exist–acknowledge our community and help us build representation for all Louisianans, sign on to and share this petition! 

Find the petition here:


VAYLA is an intersectional AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander) nonprofit organization based in New Orleans focused on advocacy through providing climate and reproductive justice education, community organizing education, and comprehensive civic engagement.