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 mobilize the API LGBTIQ community to address and prevent intimate partner violence. In order to do this, we work to build skills among 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 us. It's a time to celebrate all the beauty and abundance of QTPOC communities and have fun. If you identify as a queer/trans person of color, please join us!

QUEER AND TRANS FAMILIES OF COLOR NETWORK

QTFOCs is a network of queer and trans parents and families of color. We provide facilitated gatherings to increase parenting skills, build community, and discuss gender, identity, sexuality, and race in the context of queer parenting. In partnership with Families of Color Seattle and the Northwest Network of Bi, Trans, Lesbian and Gay Survivors of Abuse. 

WORKSHOPS AND TRAININGS

In order to build a more supportive community, we provide a variety of workshops and trainings on LGBTIQ+ issues, as well as numerous on gender-based violence, prevention, and more for youth, community groups and service providers.

QUEER API RELATIONSHIP SUPPORT

To support victims of violence, API Chaya trains Natural Helpers in the community to have knowledge of gender-based violence, and how to support their friends and family in navigating harm. These staff and volunteers are available for one-on-one confidential conversations on loving and equitable queer relationships, as well as dealing with abuse.

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:

API Chaya
ATTN: Queer Network Program
PO Box 14047
Seattle, WA 98114

For more information or to get copies of "A Breath of Fresh Air," please contact:

Selena Velasco
Queer Network Program Coordinator
selena@apichaya.org
(206) 467-9976


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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 nikki@apichaya.org 

Facebook.com/YouthOnFYRE

Instagram: 206FYREflies


Peaceful Families Taskforce (PFT)

The Peaceful Families Taskforce (PFT), which was established in 2003, represents the faith based component of API Chaya’s community organizing work. API Chaya recognizes that the needs of survivors and communities of faith may require a particular type of support and understanding, especially when these needs intersect with culturally specific issues such as immigration, race, and income level.

During the early years of the PFT, its work was concentrated within the Muslim communities in and around the Puget Sound area, and entailed building partnerships with masajid, and raising awareness of the impact of dv in Muslim communities.  The PFT built networks with local masajid, and provided various training and awareness programs to local communities.  Also prevalent in the work of the PFT was its research project conducted in 2012, studying the role of masajid in building peaceful families. This research concluded earlier this year.

During its more recent history, the work of the PFT has both broadened and deepened within the context of community organizing. We have increased the programming and services offered in collaboration with our partners in the Muslim community, and have also broadened our work to reach different faith groups. An example of this is in our dv prevention work, which in 2017 included a series of inter-generational parenting classes, tailored towards communities of faith, and held at the IMAN Center, Kirkland, the Muslim Association of Puget Sound, Redmond, and the United Beacon Methodist Church, Seattle.

We anticipate that our work within faith based communities will continue to grow and develop, and will equip their members with the skills and knowledge to strive towards the creation of s society that is free of violence.

For further information on the work of the PFT, please contact neelam@apichaya.org.


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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 2018, we have chosen the theme Kapwa: Finding Refuge in Each Other.  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.