Press Release

Farewell to APAHM not AAPIs by Our Executive Director

May 31, 2021

For Immediate Release: May 31, 2021

Contact: Ellen Lu, Program Coordinator,

New Orleans, Louisiana – As we close out Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we emphasize the importance of celebrating, listening to, and learning from AAPI communities beyond the month of May.

While there is much to celebrate about our intricate and diverse wealth of diasporic cultures, we ask that your recognition and support of our AAPI communities be furthered. Our communities do not only exist in times of joy that are easily consumed, but we draw breath and create beauty from the complexities of our lives.

In her recent op-ed article, our Executive Director Jacqueline Thanh said, “race and socioeconomic status are intertwined; we’ll never combat social inequities without giving people of color equal access to health care, higher education, citizenship, and positions of leadership. Failing to do so entrenches white supremacy and systemically disempowers all BIPOC folx.”

“[We]…are done with the ‘model minority’ stereotype. We want to be seen and heard. We want to feel protected.” The AAPI community shall not fade into obscurity. Our historic battle of experiencing both invisibility and hypervisibility has created dangerous and often tragic circumstances as we have witnessed throughout this difficult year. To truly celebrate the AAPI community, it is imperative we uplift and support AAPI folks in all facets, so that we may continue to celebrate ourselves, stand up for ourselves, and have moments of rest and healing, rather than fight to survive in silence.


VAYLA incubates AAPI leaders for a more just tomorrow. VAYLA exists as an embodiment and commitment to activating tomorrow’s AAPI leaders in New Orleans and beyond. We engender leadership to address social inequities facing our community while anchored in an anti-racist, Queer, Feminist lens. At the forefront of these issues we focus on environmental justice, reproductive justice, and civic engagement initiatives.