International Clash Day: Spotlight on API Chaya

Community Engagement, International Clash Day

Because The Clash was anti-racist, anti-fear, pro-solidarity, pro-unity, pro-inclusion, KEXP is taking time to spotlight local social-justice organizations making a difference in our community. This is a public service announcement with GUITARS.


Joanne Alcantara: My name is Joanne Alcantara I'm the executive director for API Chaya.

KEXP: And what does API Chaya do? 

API Chaya is like grassroots community organization that supports people who are survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. And we also have a community organizing program that supports our communities to gain skills in order to end violence and address violence on their own. 

What are some ways that API Chaya does that?

So in our community organizing side, we have a youth program and we encourage young people to learn about what a person looks like, how they can have healthy dating relationships, how does their identity interact with what relationships look like in their lives. So for immigrant youth, for example, how does the trauma of coming to the United States impact their relationship with their elders. How does that relationship impact you know how they see healthy dating relationships and what they want for their future. How does that impact the intergenerational dynamics with their community. For example, Fire – our youth program started a intergenerational healing garden at the Filipino community of Seattle and have encouraged others to get involved, encourage other young people to get involved. They did a concert last year that highlighted young people's talent and talked to other young folks about what healthy dating looks like.

We also have a queer network program and so in that program we try to make sure that queer folks of color are able to have opportunities to build community because we've found that isolation really increases people's vulnerability to experiencing violence and queer folks of color within our communities are oftentimes isolated from their families and don't have super strong support systems for times when violence impacts them. So in that program we're trying to make sure people stay connected that they have opportunities to build skills around healthy relationships and that they can help us create a vision for what's to come for the future.

In our parenting classes, we partner with the Muslim Association of Puget Sound. We also partner with faith-based communities in ethnic communities in order to support parents that are trying to navigate what it means to be immigrant families in the United States and what a healthy discipline looks like, what positive parenting looks like. How do we make sure that the values that are important to us us as Asian Pacific Islander communities get transmitted to our young people. But we also leave violence and trauma behind in that process. There are so many ways to get involved with a API Chaya. I think if you don't have a lot of time a donation would be amazing. If you're interested in getting more information about API CHaya, we invite you to visit our website which has some more information about getting help if you know somebody who is a survivor or getting involved if you'd like to join us in our work to end violence. 

KEXP is celebrating International Clash Day on Wednesday, February 7th, both online and on the air; click here to see more KEXP interviews and articles.

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