GATHERING THE GRASSROOTS: The Frontline of Asian American Mobilization

Sat, Sep 15, 2012 @ 12:00pm - 4:00pm



MOCA presents Gathering the Grassroots, a day-long public event celebrating the work of New York's foremost Asian American and Pacific Islander grassroots organizations. The event will attempt to capture a snapshot of the current issues and responses of Asian American and Pacific Islander working class communities. MOCA will provide the space for these key groups to assemble with the goal of fostering discussion between organizations and across respective missions.

Representation of participating organizations is broad, including East Asian, Pacific Islander, South and Southeast Asian groups. MOCA will be transformed into a stage for these groups to present their work, with a focus on working class, immigrant and LGBT issues. The program will feature keynotes by Dennis Chin, Helen Gym and Vijay Prashad, panels meant to trigger dialogue between organizations and engagement with the public, and performances by established Asian American artists.

This is a rare opportunity to witness the convergence of the city's diverse Asian American grassroots, and to learn about and potentially participate in the various work that goes into the preservation of social justice for Asian Americans and immigrants in New York.

This event is free and open to the public. But because of limited capacity we ask that you RSVP for the individual speakers to



12:15 PM Dennis Chin
2:45 PM Helen Gym
7:10 PM Vijay Prashad



Featured Speakers bios:

Dennis Chin is a steering committee member of the Gay Asian Pacific Islander Men of New York (GAPIMNY), a 22-year old all-volunteer, membership-based organization by and for queer and questioning Asian men and transgender folks to empower themselves, find community, build collective power, and make positive changes for our community at a local and national level. Full-time, he works at the Center for Social Inclusion, a policy strategy organization working to dismantle structural racism. He also serves on the Board of CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities, an organization working to build grassroots community power across diverse poor and working-class Asian immigrant and refugee communities in New York City.

Dennis is based in Queens, New York and in his spare time, loves to dance! @denniscchin

Vijay Prashad is the author of fourteen books, most recently Uncle Swami: South Asians in America Today (2012) and Arab Spring, Libyan Winter (2012). He has also written the prize winning books The Karma of Brown Folk, Darker Nations and Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting. He writes regularly for Frontline (India), Himal (Nepal), Bol (Pakistan), Asia Times (Hong Kong), al-Akhbar (Lebanon) and Counterpunch (US). He teaches at Trinity College, CT.

Helen Gym is a board member of Asian Americans United, a 27-year-old Philadelphia Chinatown organization that has successfully challenged large scale development projects, addressed anti-Asian bias and harassment in schools, led recognized youth leadership programs, and fought for immigrant rights and cultural voice. She is one of the founders of the Folk Arts-Cultural Treasures Charter School in Philadelphia Chinatown, serving a diverse population including many immigrant and ELL families. She is an active member of Philadelphia's education community as a writer and parent organizer. She was named Pacific Citizen’s “Extraordinary Asian Pacific American Community Leader of the Year” in 2011 and the Philadelphia Inquirer “Citizen of the Year” in 2007 for her work in education, immigrant rights and community development.

Featured Performers:
Kadena is an anti-fascist, anti-imperialist, anti-racist, all-Filipino political street punk rock band based in Brooklyn, NY; involved in various socio-political issues and causes, participates in protests and other mass actions. KADENA performs at various benefit shows, political events, protests, D.I.Y & underground events in various cities.

Participating organizations include:

APICHA Community Health Center
Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF)
Asian Americans For Equality (AAFE)
Asian American Performers Action Coalition (AAPAC)
CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities
Chinatown Youth Initiatives (CYI)
Chinese Progressive Association (CPA)
DAMAYAN Migrant Workers Association
Desis Rising Up and Moving (DRUM)
Kalusugan Coalition
Mekong NYC
MinKwon Center for Community Action
National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON)
National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum (NAPAWF)
Nodutdol for Korean Community Development
Restaurant Opportunities Center of NY (ROC-NY)
Revolutionary Student Coordinating Committee (RSCC)
South Asian Youth Action (SAYA!)