"School should be a place that helps you understand where you came from, and how those origins influence your identity. Although it is up to an individual to create his or her (or their) identity, school should make sure that you have the foundations on which you base your identity.
A classroom shouldn’t just be filled with curriculum that you cannot relate to. Whether it be through programs, events, organizations or curriculum, school must give unrepresented students the opportunity to represent."
- Edrees Saied, Yemeni Student Leader, Oakland Tech 2018 Graduate
Through one Program Manager and multiple community partnerships built through meaningful relationships, APISA (Asian Pacific Islander Student Achievement) has brought visibility and over 14 programs to a population of over 6,000 API students in OUSD who come from over 45 ethnic groups.
- Targeted Literacy Programs for Middle Eastern & Pacific Islander Students
- Takalam Middle Eastern Youth Leadership Program
- Professional Development to Serve Yemeni Students & Families
- Southeast Asians RISE Fellowship Program
- Oakland Pacific Islander Network Honor Roll & Senior Celebration
- Pacific Islander College Night
- Pacific Islander College Retreat
- Southeast Asian Curriculum & Healing Project
- API California Social Studies Project & Elementary School Field Trips
- API Student Wellness Workshops
- APIs Mobilize Summer Leadership Program
- APISA & Sanctuary Schools Internship and Fellowship Programs
- Support for School Site API Student Clubs & API Student Leadership
- District-Wide Equity Mindset Professional Development
TAKALAM: Arab Youth of Oakland Speaking Up
Takalam is a summer leadership and digital literacy program for Yemeni, Arab, Muslim & newcomer youth of Oakland to uplift voices for advocacy, representation, and civic engagement. Takalam means "Speaking Up" in Arabic. Our newcomer Yemeni students have asked for more computer and digital skills to catch-up with their peers, and Arab and Muslim student leadership across OUSD has been growing. Our student interns designed this program to develop the pipeline of Arab youth leaders, educators, and change-makers in Oakland.
Checkout the Takalam Flyer for Students
APIs Mobilize East Bay
APISA partners with School Boardmember Aimee Eng and APIs Mobilize to host this summer leadership program in the East Bay, to create a pipeline for Oakland Asian Pacific Islander 11th and 12th graders to develop leadership skills and have opportunities to pursue careers in civic engagement, local government, and advocacy.
Checkout the FLYER here.
Oakland Pacific Islander Network (OPIN)
The Oakland Pacific Islander Network is bringing together Pacific Islanders from across Oakland's schools, churches, and community leaders to elevate outcomes for Polynesian and other Pacific Islander youth. The network will focus on:
- Academic Tutoring & Mentoring
- Post-Secondary College & Career Support
- Culture, History & Athletics Programs
- Health, Wellness & Emotional Support
Learn more about the challenges for Pacific Islander students here.
Southeast Asian Curriculum & Healing Project
The Southeast Asian Curriculum project is building a secondary school curriculum that reflects and captures the diversity, history and cultures of Southeast Asian communities. Typical school curriculum does not include or reflect several populations of Southeast Asian refugees who have lived in Oakland since the 1970s and for several decades: in particular, Oakland’s Cambodian, Mien, Laotian, Hmong, and Vietnamese communities. In addition, refugees from Bhutan, Nepal, and Burma have been coming more recently, but are highly marginalized by lack of language access and staff representation. Many of our families continue to experience intergenerational trauma from the wars and conflicts in Southeast Asia. Students often cannot do well in school because of family drama and abuse at home, which stems from unhealed PTSD and trauma from losing family members and the roots of home. We run restorative justice circles and provide spaces for wellness and resilience with our Southeast Asian students and families.
Chinese American & API California Social Studies Project
APISA is working to elevate Chinese American & API California history throughout our public schools, to accurately reflect the huge role that Chinese Americans and Asian Pacific Islanders have played in California and U.S. history and to include histories largely ignored by mainstream classroom textbooks.
APISA invites you to partner with us as we strive to:
- Integrate local, state and national Chinese American & API history into 4th, 9th and 11th grade social studies curricula in Oakland public schools, and
- Provide the opportunity for 4th grade classes from across the school district to attend field trips to local sites such as Angel Island’s Immigration Station, China Camp, and Marsyville Chinatown as part of the California and Gold Rush history curriculum, or other California API destinations.
If you are a school or teacher in OUSD interested in partnering on a field trip and curriculum, please share your information with us here to we can follow-up and get in touch!
Southeast Asians RISE Film Fellowships
The SEAs RISE (Resilience, Identity, Storytelling, and Empowerment) Fellowship creates space to build resilience and heal from intergenerational trauma among young Southeast Asian and API LGBTQIA+ voices. Through the art of digital film and video production, workshops will emphasize themes of social justice and community to encourage participants to think critically about the world they live in.
Health & Wellness Circles
Across our Asian, Arab and Pacific Islander communities, mental and social health challenges often get in the way of our students achieving in school, career and life. APISA is collaborating with IWAY (Improving the Wellness of Asian Youth) to pilot wellness programs in middle schools, with the goal of expanding to high schools and elementary schools.
Asian Pacific Islander
Oakland Unified School District
Office of Equity
1000 Broadway, Suite 398
Oakland, CA 94607
Click HERE to read our recent newsletter.
Asian Pacific Islander Student Achievement is a targeted initiative of the Oakland Unified School District's Office of Equity.To learn more about the Office of Equity and other targeted initiatives, visit www.ousd.org/equity.