Congratulations to our two APIQWTC scholarship awardees Alyssa Lerner and Vanessa Coe!
THANKS to all of you, for your donations and your participation in the silent auction to keep this scholarship program running. To learn more about Alyssa and Vanessa see below.
Alyssa Lerner is a Filipina and Jewish queer womyn in her third year as an undergraduate student at the University of California at Berkeley. She is majoring in Ethnic Studies and minoring in Dance and Performance Studies. Alyssa has been interning at Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s office in Oakland on projects addressing housing and homelessness. She was a founding member of the Labor Justice Project, a student organization dedicated to workers’ rights struggles and economic justice which has campaigned for Alta Gracia and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. She is currently a Director and Choreographer for Thrive Dance Company. Alyssa is interested in how dance can be a site of resistance as well colonization. She believes in the transformative power of dance in marginalized communities and hopes to open a donation based, non-profit dance studio that offers a safe space for queer youth to grapple with challenging identities through movement rather than words.
Vanessa Coe is the Lead Organizer at API Equality – Northern California an organization dedicated to mobilizing API community members to effectively advocate for LGBTQ rights in their own communities. She has a BA from University of California at Berkeley, an AA from Laney College, and will be matriculating into the Master’s in Social Work program at University of California at Berkeley in fall 2013. As a teenaged queer Asian woman, Vanessa started the Gay Straight Alliance at her high school and interned at LYRIC. As an undergraduate she volunteered as an electoral organizer mobilizing hundreds of people to halt the passage of propositions 6 and 9, two proposals aimed at funneling more funding into the prison industrial complex and disenfranchising communities of color. Vanessa also served as the Executive Director of the Multicultural Resource Center at her university. After graduating, she worked as a labor organizer on the Justice for NBC Workers campaign, fighting to win back stolen wages for Chinese immigrant workers. For API Equality she initiated an internship program specifically tailored to politicize and support young queer Asian Pacific Islanders. As a social worker she hopes to provide accessible and culturally competent care to low-income communities of color and queer and transgender people.