Students Reflect on Christine Chen’s Study Group at Harvard IOP

Our Executive Director Christine Chen has finished her time at Harvard’s Institute of Politics! Christine spent the past spring semester as a Resident Fellow, educating students about the history of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities, how AAPI communities have built power over the decades, and what the future holds. Students also had the opportunity to meet leaders from the community and gain insight into what it is like to direct an organization like APIAVote.  We’re proud of Christine and the legacy she leaves behind with her students.



We asked her students what some of their highlights were:

 “It surprised me to learn how interconnected the entire AAPI advocacy community seems! There are a lot of different organizations doing the work, but they all seem to connect with one another at a level that really surprised me. Christine really helped highlight how interconnected the community is by connecting me to my local advocacy networks back home,” shared Anna MacLennan, Christine’s Ground-outreach liaison.



“One of the biggest takeaways from the study groups was the importance of coalition building, especially unlikely coalitions. I still think about the unlikely coalitions that Michigan State Senator Stephanie Chang built to get her agenda passed,” Sung Kwang Oh, Christine’s Student Groups Liaison, explained.

“I think a big thing we talked about was how many of the guest speakers felt like they weren’t qualified to run for office, or lead an organization, and how they had to overcome those doubts in order to do the good work they do. Knowing that you have the ability to make a change is important,” Anoushka Chander, Christine’s Chief of Staff, observed. 



Christine’s students will now continue their education with a greater understanding of the AAPI advocacy space, insight into how to continue uplifting and building power for our communities, and new relationships with like-minded individuals in the community.