About Us

OUR MISSION

The Arizona AANHPI for Equity Coalition’s mission is to ensure that the AANHPI and other marginalized communities are a part of the political and community decision making processes and garner the appropriate resources for the population in need. We work to ensure the development of nuanced solutions for both AANHPI and broader community issues pertaining to census count, voter engagement and representation.

FELLOWS

Afreen has made strides as a leader in her community particularly on issues of educational and voting equality, which she has tailored through the Civic Engagement Fellowship. She will continue to work for institutional change in worker’s rights and educational opportunities.
Elika Ruintan is entering her final semester at ASU, she will be graduating with a BS in Political Science and a Minor in Women’s Studies. Being a child of immigrants and having been raised in Arizona where immigration issues are at the forefront of state politics, Immigration has been a driving passion. Elika plans on pursuing a career in Immigration Law post graduation and become an advocate for the individuals who are seeking safety and prosperity in the United States.
Born in China, Jack immigrated in 2013, seeking opportunities. He used the Internet to learn various skills such as computer programming, and tax and business law. Jack started an LLC sub-S corporation in 2018 using his McDonald’s wages. It was then followed by a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation to help other youths become financially successful through entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and career readiness.
“Hey, I’m Brenna Buckley. I’m 16 years old and a sophomore in high school at Hamilton. I first applied for this civic engagement fellowship because I wanted to be more involved in my community and I think it is very important to vote in order to make a difference. I can’t wait to continue working these next few months and I’m particularly excited to involve the youth vote.”
“I learned a lot by being a Civic Engagement Fellow and truly enjoyed all of the experiences I had and friends I made, while also realizing the inequities within our political institutions and everyday life and how we can work towards fixing these gaps.”
Kristin Jung is a junior at University High School in Tucson, Arizona. Being raised by immigrant parents, as well as her experiences with racial injustice, has shaped her interest in civic participation and inspires her to create a community where everyone feels safe and welcomed. By raising awareness on the importance of voting, she hopes to see a future where minorities’ voices will be heard and where we will influence the future.
Hannah Shin is a junior in high school. Born in Wisconsin, she moved to Arizona when she was three. Through her education, she has become interested in increasing representation of POC in our government and amplifying their voices in politics, and she hopes to be a politician in the future. With this aspiration, Hannah enjoys publicly speaking about the responsibilities people have in our government.
Bella Faria, the oldest daughter of two teachers, is a 15-year-old sophomore at Hamilton High in Chandler, AZ. Her father is a Portuguese Hawaiian high school culinary arts teacher and her mother is a high school English language arts teacher. She lives by Nelson Mandela’s quote “Education is the most powerful weapon, which you can use to change the world.
“I am proud to represent my nationality. Marshall Island is located in the central Pacific Ocean in between the Philippines and Hawaii. I am currently a student in Gateway Community College studying Organizational Management.”
Suhan Kacholia is a senior at BASIS Chandler High School. He is passionate about advocacy, especially for Asian American rights, mental health, and climate justice.
“Hi, my name is Ella Wepking and I am a sophomore at Hamilton Highschool. When I heard about this fellowship opportunity I was excited to make a difference in my community and encourage everyone to vote. Outside of the fellowship, I spend my time volunteering at various organizations and playing softball. I am so eager to see what we can accomplish in the coming months and the difference we will make.”
Grace Shin is a freshman at BASIS Oro Valley. She is taking two government classes, AP Comparative Government and AP U.S. Government. These classes helped her realize how important voting is, and it made her interested in working to increase civic engagement. She also has an instagram page called “hancookgrace.”
Ashanti Ruiz is a junior at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona majoring in Justice studies with a minor in Transborder Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies. As a daughter of two immigrants and overcoming racial injustice she discovered her purpose. Ashanti plans on becoming a lawyer and utilizing civic engagement to transform communities through policies and to improve the quality of life for others. She has continued to advocate for others through her volunteer work, education, and the organizations that she serves.
“Hello, I’m Jane Li! I am currently a sophomore at Hamilton High in AZ. I love to bake, read, play the flute, and run track. I am also part of Peer-Squared as a tutor and an intern. I recently had the amazing opportunity to be a part of the AZ AANHPI for Equity organization, advocating for activism and voter equality.”
Christine Shin is a Korean American youth activist. She aspires to promote awareness of racial injustices and make sure her peers’ voices are heard. Christine is the founder of her high school’s first student-run newspaper club and public speaking club. To reach beyond the scope of her school community, she began a blog where she gives BIPOC youth a platform to share their experiences and thoughts.
Dhanya Charan is a junior at Hamilton High. She is the founder of Chandler Unified School District’s chapter of #DiversifyOurNarrative, a nationwide movement to read more racially inclusive texts in schools. Seeking to increase civic engagement and provide a voice to the youth of the community, she is a member of the Chandler Mayor’s Youth Commission.

COALITION MEMBERS