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about us

our mission & vision

Arizona Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander for Equity (AZ AANHPI for Equity) is a state-wide organization striving for equity and justice by building power through community directed organizing, increasing civic engagement, and empowering young leaders.

We envision an Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) community that is working together to shape its future as a part of the broader racial justice movement and advance our community towards a common purpose of well-being for all.

meet our team


Jennifer was born in Downtown Los Angeles' Chinatown and currently resides in Tempe, Arizona. It was her personal experience being born to and raised by Chinese immigrant parents that informs her interests and work today. In her career, she has been involved in and worked with organizations focused on serving the Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders (AANHPI) community and youth leadership for the past decade. Most recently, Jennifer was the founder and executive director for AZ AANHPI for Equity and AZ AANHPI Advocates. In the 2020 elections, the two organizations used a multipronged voter outreach approach that helped increase AZ AANHPI voter turnout by 58% from 2016 vote. As a mom to two young girls, she was motivated by her work to ensure that civil liberty and women’s rights are preserved for the future of her daughters.


May moved to Arizona after high school to attend ASU to study Philosophy, but their college career ended when they were incarcerated for two years. During their time, May focused their energy on self development by completing programs and bettering their education through reading books donated to May by an ASU professor. May spent much of their time tutoring women to achieve their GED which they felt was extremely rewarding. May also was chosen to be a speaker of a TED X event and had training from professional speaking coaches and implemented that training for women incarcerated who wanted to work on their public speaking skills. After May’s release, May focused on being a voice for marginalized communities because they met so many women who helped them during their hard times who were disenfranchised. May finally found their calling when they met with the Community Coordinator of the ACLU of AZ and volunteered with them and was rewarded with the title as one of their keynote speakers because of their consistent activism and involvement in the community. For instance, when data showed that violence and harm increased towards the AAPI community, May led in organizing a vigil for the AAPI hate crime victims in Atlanta because their community needed to heal and not feel alone and unheard. After seeing mixed feelings from other communities of color, May was compelled to organize a Unity March because they believe change won’t happen unless we have cross-cultural collaboration and the community needs to fight for social equity in solidarity.

Field Director

Minh-Tâm (Tammy) (she/her) was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. Tammy received her MA in Sustainability Solutions in 2021 and has experience in community organizing in varying sectors of advocacy, from grassroots organizations to city council. Her desire to dismantle imperialist structures inform her interests in building community solidarity, social justice, intersectional environmentalism, abolition, youth engagement, and mutual aid. In her free time, she likes to hang out with her cat named Persimmon and cook with her friends.

Program Manager & QC Coordinator

Katie (she/her) is a queer woman born in Mesa, Arizona. She holds a certificate with the Autism Partnership Foundation, held her Registered Behavioral Technician certification through the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, has an Associates degree in Culinary Arts and has 12 years experience working as a chef and baker. Aside from her love of food, she is an advocate and ally for the neurodivergent and BIPOC communities. With countless hours of dedication towards research, event planning, protests, meetings, and more, Katie joined the AANHPI For Equity team as the Program Manager and QC Coordinator. When she is not working she loves taking care of her grandparents and spending time in nature with her partner and her dog, Sawyer.

Field Coordinator

Gilberto (he/him) was born and raised in Tempe, Arizona. Coming from a multigenerational Mexican home, Gilberto began his passion for advocacy work by working with low income families at the Boys and Girls Club in his hometown. Through his beginnings at the Boys and Girls Club, Gilberto has had the opportunity to work as a Fellow for NextGen America where he helped mobilize the youth vote to turn Arizona blue. Additionally, Gilberto has worked as a canvasser in multiple grassroots campaigns where he worked his way up to become a Field Manager for Maricopa’s District 1 in the 2020 election. He is passionate about protecting marginalized communities from social injustice, poverty and immigration reform. His passions stem from his upbringing because these are all issues that he has faced at one point in his life. In 2022, he found himself as a Field Manager with AANHPI for the midterm election and has recently gone on to fulfill the role as Field Coordinator. In his free time, he loves to spend time with his wife, family, friends and has a passion for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Program Manager

Lan is a tiger mom of 3 kids, a beauty queen, and an advocate for social justice and equity for the AAPI community over the past 20 years. She is a first generation Asian American, born in Saigon, Vietnam and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. Lan earned her Bachelor of Science in Economics from Arizona State University; and a Masters in Public Administration from Northern Arizona University. She worked in the administration of the largest public higher education system in the U.S. for over a decade before finding her calling in the nonprofit sector with AZ AANHPI for Equity/Advocates. Lan has devoted her life to making her community more inclusive and visible in the state. She was the youngest president of the Asian Pacific Islander Association in Maricopa County Community College District, oversaw its budget and the scholarship program which had provided over half a million dollars in scholarships to over 200 AAPI students. She was the co-founder of Vietnamese Student Association at Arizona State University which celebrated its 20th anniversary, with the goal of preserving and promoting the culture and creating a safe space for AAPI students. She spearheaded the vaccine outreach program when the pandemic hit hard in 2021, bringing mobile vaccine units to the BIPOC community and was able to get over 1300 people vaccinated. She believes that everyone should have equal access to healthcare and resources to prosper and grow. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, spending time with her husband, her 3 kids and their German short-haired baby.

Youth Community Outreach Director

Nile is an Ocean/Environmental Activist, lover of animals, and an all around devoted human in her relationships and work. She is of mixed races and grew up mostly in Washington State. Nile is an Environmental Science major at the University of Arizona, and has a certificate in Marine and Antarctic Science. In the past 12 years she has gained experience working with marine wildlife, conservation, as well as climate change awareness. Aside from this, she was a Formal UNA-USA Delegate for the United Nations CSW 66th discussing gender equality for women and girls related to the topic on Climate Change and Environmental Disaster Risks. Nile is passionate about civic engagement and bridging the gap between our climate crisis being seen as a political issue, instead of a human existence issue. She believes our youth are not just the future, they are the now. Therefore, she takes pride in her role as a Youth Community Outreach Director.


Li’olemāsina (they/them) is queer, trans nonbinary, neurodivergent, mixed-race Sāmoan in diaspora. They are half of a set of twins to an immigrant Sāmoan mom, art hobbyist, cat parent, lover of canines, and Community Organizer at AZ AANHPI For Equity. Li’o was born in California and raised all over the Valley here in Arizona from Florence to Sunnyslope. In 2014, they became the second person to graduate from Arizona State University with a Asian / Pacific Islander American Studies as well as an intern for local Pacific Islander nonprofit, Island Liaison. Growing up, the only representation they’d found of Pacific Islanders was watching The Rock on WWE during junior high. It was then that they vowed to use their voice so that no other Pacific Islander kid in diaspora would feel unseen with no resources to learn about their culture. During college is when they found names for these things - decolonization, advocacy, cultural revitalization, and innovation of old customs with new technology. Using this as a jumping off point, they joined the board of Island Liaison in 2020. Li’o serves as an advocate with lived experience for underrepresented communities like neurodivergent people and 2SLGBTQIA+ people among Asians and Pacific Islanders. They believe taking into account a person’s whole, intersectional identity is paramount to understanding each other and uplifting one another in community solidarity. In their free time, Li’o loves to draw, write, sing, drink tea, and cuddle up with their 3 cats and their partner.

Safety Outreach Coordinator

Jessica (she/her) is her adopted name, legalized in 1996, at 10-years-old. After a life of abuse, neglect, drugs, prostitution and incarceration growing up in the foster system and relying on the street economy for survival, Jessie has learned how to turn those tragedies into triumphs. Through utilizing her lived experience she is committed and dedicated to breaking the cycle and creating solutions that heal. Jessica has an undeniable passion for helping others who have been where she has been; she inspires and leads so many to a life where the cycle is broken and hope is alive. Jessica has worked as a behavioral health technician and peer support specialist for residential treatment programs, she has served as the Director of a youth non-profit, Gateway to Freedom, and now works with AZ AANHPI For Equity where she supports unhoused community members and provides harm reduction.

AANHPI Resources

join our team!

Hiring Community Organizer

community organizer

The Community Organizer will be responsible for building and mobilizing a multiracial base with an emphasis on Asian Americans. 

They will be directly supervised by and working closely with consulting project coordinators, working as needed with other staff and community partners for successful execution of any and all campaigns and projects.

The Organizer will also work irregular hours – weekends and evenings – to accommodate campaign and project schedules.

Hiring Canvassers


     Hourly rate: $20 per hour
     Healthcare benefits covered for employees that work 25+         hours per week after 30 days probation

Work Environment:
     Be on your feet all day.
     Traveling to and from the office to the field site.

     Comfortable with approaching and talking to strangers
     Must be detail oriented to ensure completion of         
     Must have reliable transportation.
     Must have a reliable cell phone.

Community Values


We are driven by true fairness for all people, especially people who have been impacted by and historically marginalized by systems of oppression, including white supremacy. We believe in uplifting and delivering equitable opportunities to LGBTQ+ people, youth, and people of color.


For us, justice means holding our elected officials accountable to the people, and working to elect representatives who truly have our communities’ interests in mind. Justice means accessibility for everyone, including disabled people and people with limited English proficiency.

Community & Safety

Our community members’ physical and mental safety are of utmost importance to us. We believe in reimagining safety as a world free of discrimination, where everyone’s basic needs are met and human rights are respected, and where the wellbeing of our planet as well as of our people is nurtured.


Our work with each other is grounded in respect for each other, our community, our planet, our cultures, our differences and similarities. We accept and honor each other, and share pride in our work and our beliefs. We work towards complete honesty, authenticity, and transparency in everything we do. We believe in clear, compassionate communication, including in conflict, and in integrating our community agreements on communication within all of our work.


We believe that we grow as human beings when we practice empathy. We aim to go beyond simple compassion for someone or a community by truly putting ourselves in others’ shoes through conversations, actions, and ultimately— our work. We practice empathy with every person on our team, as well as with our community members and our community as a whole.