TeachAAPI is a silver lining of an unfortunately common experience among Asian Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic. After hearing her young son experience an anti-Asian comment, Ann Kono was hit hard with a realization: the discrimination she grew up with and presumed to be long gone, was actually raw, fresh and very much alive. Watching her own son live through this experience reignited a wave of anger, disappointment, and memories from Ann’s own childhood. Growing up in inner city Boston in the late 70’s/early 80’s, Ann witnessed firsthand segregation and then forced integration in her city and school, with no DEI backbone to ensure the creation of a mutually respectful environment.
What helped Ann and her family process this experience was candid discussions with friends and parents. She discovered that surprisingly, many AAPI families – both adults and children alike – experienced their own similar and personal stories of racism. With each conversation, the network of shared experiences grew, and as a daughter of lifelong activists, this ignited Ann’s resolve to drive positive change.
Ann quickly brought in a Co-Founder and a strong Board to strategize and create maximum impact. Our collective purpose was singular: to arm AAPI children with tools to strengthen their identities and build the muscles needed to break the cycle of racism. To do so, our focus was to build knowledge, allies and shared resources for parents and educators to shape a powerful DEI backbone for future generations.
Today, TeachAAPI is a grassroots, parent-led organization made up of a group of dedicated and committed individuals across many K-12 schools in Los Angeles. Our priority is to unite our AAPI community, create a safe space for our children to connect, build and explore their identities, and become strong allies to others. Together, we will shape and positively influence the experience of AAPI children and their peers to create generational change for years to come.
We believe that leveraging the strength of a shared AAPI identity through connection, communication and celebration leads to great things for future generations of all children. We work to increase access to AAPI literature, art, thought leaders and educational resources so future generations of AAPI children will be better equipped to establish a strong sense of self, advocate for themselves and be capable allies for others.
Who we are
We’re a group of LA-based parents who are building a community to foster awareness and education for AAPI-related cultural and racial issues within our schools.