Working within and across communities, we provide culturally relevant education and innovative projects that deepen our collective understanding of how systems of power create conditions that perpetuate violence in our homes and daily life. Through building relationships with youth and adult community leaders, we bring awareness and incite action against domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking. We work towards shifting cultural and societal norms that allow violence to continue while lifting up values within the community that cultivates resilience, equity, and justice.
Many Asian, South Asian, and Pacific Islander communities are bound together by shared experiences of migration and the struggle to survive as marginalized communities. We deeply value our each other’s safety and wellness. API Chaya believes in the inherent power of our communities to come together in response to violence and strengthen our capacity to work towards a more just and loving world.
Queer Network Program
The Queer Network Program at API Chaya works to engage the API LGBTIQ community to address and prevent intimate partner violence. In order to do this, we work to build skills among allies and community members, raise the visibility of our community and concerns, and supporting survivors of violence.
QTPOC Dim Sum / QTPOC Snack n' Chat
Quarterly, we host gatherings for queer and trans people of color (QTPOCs) to get together, socialize, and build community while talking about the issues that impact our communities. If you identify as a queer/trans person of color, please join us!
Community Accountability and Transformative Justice
How are our communities responding to violence and what questions or challenges does this raise for traditional models of responding to domestic violence and sexual assault? Transformative Justice and Community Accountability (TJ/CA) are community-based models to heal from and respond to violence on an individual level while seeking to transform the roots causes that allow that violence to happen. We facilitate workshops on community accountability and transformative justice.
A Breath of Fresh Air
In 2005, the Queer Network Program, in partnership with the International Examiner and with support from Asian Women's Shelter, Japanese Americans Citizens League and Asian Pacific Islander Homophobia/Heterosexism Education Project, published a book documenting stories of Queer API women survivors of violence. "A Breath of Fresh Air" is an original project that focuses on the support that friends and family provided to help survivors feel heard, stay safe and heal from abuse. We launched the book in April 2006 and hope that it will serve as a resource for folks in the community to support their loved ones. To get copies of the book, please send $5-20 sliding scale donation to:
ATTN: Queer Network Program
PO Box 14047
Seattle, WA 98114
In order to build a more supportive community, we provide "Queer 101," Anti-Homophobia/Heterosexism Trainings to youth, community groups and service providers.
Queer API Relationship Support
To support victims of violence, API Chaya trains Natural Helpers. These staff and volunteers are available for one-on-one confidential conversations on healthy queer relationships and dealing with abuse.
For more information or to get copies of "A Breath of Fresh Air," please contact:
Queer Network Program Coordinator
Youth Leadership Program: FYRE
Filipino Youth Reunite to Elevate, FYRE was launched in the Spring of 2015 in collaboration with the Filipino Community of Seattle and API Chaya. FYRE is a program for young people interested in gaining leadership skills, building community, and learning about issues that impact Filipino youth. We have activities and discussions around gender-based violence and consensual relationships as well as Filipino identity and culture.
In October 2015, the Filipino community lost three lives that were affected by the inherent violence of sexual assault. This sparked many dialogues in FYRE about what safety and healing meant for us and for our surrounding community. FYRE develops youth leaders and peer educators in nourishing relationships and in challenging rape culture. As young leaders, we strive to not only learn about the injustices we face but also how to make positive change happen within our homes, schools, and communities.
For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
PEACEFUL FAMILIES TASKFORCE
Contact Research Team
About the PFT Research Project
This research project was started by the Peaceful Families Taskforce, a program of API Chaya, and works in collaboration with members of Seattle Muslim communities and a University of Washington researcher. We are exploring ideas about how peace is cultivated in families and communities, based on respectful relationships and the role that masjids and Quranic models of peace can play in this process. In 2012-2013, we conducted interviews with masjid participants about their perspectives on peace-building. We are now launching an online survey component to this project, which is called “The Role of Masjids in Building Peaceful Communities.”
The survey will allow more community members to participate and share their perspectives in a convenient and anonymous format. In the current national climate, it’s more important than ever to strengthen community support systems. We hope gathering this information will allow masjid members to share their perspectives on peacefulness and will support peacebuilding work within and beyond our communities. Current events also demonstrate the value of sharing peacebuilding strategies cultivated in masjid communities with a wider audience that might learn from these strengths.
The goal of this research is to gather information to build a deeper understanding of how peaceful Muslim families take shape in America and how masjids, with their different strengths and assets, work to encourage and build peaceful families. Our hope is that this project will inform future mobilizing work in the Muslim community and among Muslim groups, as well as the work of advocates, educators, and researchers more broadly. We also hope this research might provide new insights for other faith-based communities and for general discussions about community response to and primary prevention of domestic abuse. We plan to then share the themes that come out of the research with national Muslim organizations like the Islamic Society of North America, Islamic Circle of North America, the national Peaceful Families Project, and other Muslim social service providers. In focusing on peace-building and assets, we hope this project will help bring recognition to the complexities within Muslim communities, which would contribute to countering the simplistic representations of Muslims often seen in national media. As Muslims and allies to Muslim communities, we want to be very careful not to perpetuate misconceptions about Muslim communities. It is also imperative that we find ways to discuss the specific forms of domestic abuse in our communities and the ways we can all support our Muslim brothers and sisters.
Research Participation and Confidentiality
We encourage all men and women in Seattle over the age of 18, who identify as Muslim and have attended a Seattle-area masjid to take our survey. Completing an online survey will take approximately 20-30 minutes to finish. This survey has about 35 questions, most of which are multiple choice, and include a small number of short answer questions. The questions cover various aspects of masjid community involvement and the building of peaceful families. There are no right or wrong answers to these questions. We encourage you to complete the full survey, however no questions are required. You can choose to skip any question.
All of the information you provide will be confidential. You are not required to provide any identifying information, but if you would like to do so or would like to be contacted by PFT, there is space to include your contact information at the end of the survey. If you provide any information identifying you as a survey participant, this information will be kept confidential during the duration of the study, and destroyed upon completion of the project (June 2017).
More Information on Research Project
In addition to this summary of the project, we have created an extensive FAQ section on this website to try and answer your potential questions about the research project. These address the history of API Chaya and the Peaceful Families Taskforce, as well as provide information about our work in local masjid communities. If you have additional questions, do not hesitate to contact any of the research team members or the current PFT Program Coordinator, Neelam Khaki.
Annual Candlelight Vigil
Susanna Remerata Blackwell, Phoebe Dizon, and Veronica Laureta were shot and killed at the King County Courthouse in 1995 by pregnant Susanna’s estranged and abusive husband, amidst their divorce proceedings. This tragedy organized the Asian & Pacific Islander community as a group of women, (our founding mothers), came together to form what is now known as API Chaya (formerly the Asian & Pacific Islander Women & Family Safety Center). While the tragedy and loss of Susanna Remerata Blackwell, Phoebe Dizon, and Veronica Laureta occurred 18 years ago, the epidemic of domestic and sexual violence in our communities continues. Studies indicate that about half of Asian women have reported experiencing physical and/or sexual violence during their lifetime by an intimate or domestic partner. In a recent 2011 study, 56% of Filipinas and 64% of Indian and Pakistani women reported experiencing sexual violence by an intimate partner. In King County alone, over the past 10 years, there have been 109 domestic violence related fatalities.
We have committed ourselves to holding an annual candlelight Vigil to remember these women and others whose lives have been destroyed by violence, and to create a space for us to truly come together around these lived experiences to heal.
In 2014 & 2015, we have chosen the theme Kapwa: Seeking Resiliency and Healing Through Our Shared Survivorship. A Tagalog word, Kapwa stands for the shared interconnectedness among and between beings. By seeing the self in others, we are able to wholeheartedly support our community while taking accountability for the violence existing in our world. Kapwa seeks to provide the vigil as a transformative and healing space of understanding through celebrating our communities' resilience and survivorship.