Activating young voters:
#WeTheAAPI Ambassador
program kickoff
APIAVote recently launched a network of campus affiliates with Student Ambassadors to increase the electoral participation
and civic engagement of young Asian American and Pacific Islanders. AAPI millennials (age 18-34) have the lowest level of
voter participation out of all age groups. We must close this voter turnout gap for the 2018 midterm elections and 2020
presidential election.

This 18-month program kicked off with the 2017 APIAVote Ambassador Summit, held for three days in mid-September with
training space provided by AARP. 90 student ambassadors, 23 states, and 40 campuses came together to cultivate their
electoral organizing skills.
These student leaders came from a variety of campus
organizations ranging from Asian Student Unions,
Korean Student Association, Chinese Student
Association, Sikh Student Association, South Asian
Student Association, to Greek organizations such as
Alpha Kappa Delta Phi International Sorority and
Lambda Phi Epsilon International Fraternity.

It takes a community to build power.

Our Student Ambassador program activates young
AAPIs enrolled in colleges and universities to register
and vote for the first time. Building upon our Norman Y.
Mineta Leadership Institute trainings, we adapted the
curriculum to fit the learning needs of college students
by including activities such as role-play and student-led Q&A panels. We provided voter engagement resources and
guidance to these student leaders such as learning how to door knock and effectively message to their peers and eligible
University of Texas at Austin - ADPAC (Asian Desi
Pacific Islander American Collective)’s spokesperson
said, “The #WeTheAAPI Ambassador Summit was an
incredibly rewarding experience. The best part was
being able to meet other students from across the
country with the same passion and interests as well as
learning about their stories and journeys. This program
is especially important for our community and
population especially in today's current societal and
political climate. UT Austin has a 17.8% Asian American
student population and if we can motivate our
community to be more civically engaged, we can make
great changes happen on and around our campus.”

We also heard from Appalachian State University - Asian
Student Association (ASA): “This Ambassador Program
is important to me primarily because I am an AAPI
student living on a predominantly white institution within
a predominantly white town. There are still many AAPI
students who are not registered to vote and almost no
visible AAPI organizations in the community outside of
Appalachian State University. Through the Ambassador
Program, we will be able to emphasize the importance
of the Asian/Pacific Islander American vote and the need
for solidarity in a place where it is so easy to feel alone
and alienated.”

Florida State University - Japanese Language and
Culture Association (JLCA) noted: "The #WeTheAAPI
Ambassador Program provides an outlet for me to
connect with my community and work towards the larger
goal of growing a civic culture. I was motivated to join
this program because my family was incarcerated during WWII because of their ethnicity; our history has shown me that
when we are not active in our politics we are taken advantage of.”

We have strength in numbers. Each of the 40 organizations came up with a voter registration goal for the next 18 months. By
October 2018, APIAVote Ambassadors will register 20,000+ AAPI voters on 40 campuses across the country. Our voting
power can improve our communities. APIAVote is making the impact now so AAPIs can benefit for generations to come.