Advocacy

 

using our collective strengths to make change

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OPAWL works to build collective power for Ohio AAPIs to influence the culture and dominant institutions of our state, grow and transform ourselves, and take visible leadership in Ohio’s progressive social movements in solidarity with other communities of color and marginalized groups.

OPAWL at Pride Columbus OH

Our Issues

While we focus our collective energy on specific issue-based campaigns, we are not a single-issue organization. In the words of Audre Lorde, “There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.” We fight for social justice and liberation for all marginalized people and stand against the forces of white supremacy, patriarchy, and unfettered capitalism.

Here are some of the issues and movements we care about:

  • Racial Justice and Solidarity w/ Black, Indigenous, and other Communities of Color
  • Immigration Reform and Immigrant, Refugee, Adoptee Rights
  • Intersectional Feminism
  • Voting Rights and a Fair, Inclusive Democracy
  • LGBTQIA+ Rights and Unapologetic Inclusion of Queer and Trans People
  • Workers Rights
  • Eradicating Wealth and Income Inequality
  • Mental Health and Disability Justice
  • Reproductive Justice
  • Environmental Justice and Fighting Climate Change
  • Antimilitarism and Anti-Imperialism
  • Universal Healthcare

Featured Campaigns

Stand with the AAPI Community Against Hate

OPAWL is asking our communities, partners, and allies to stand together in demanding that Gov. DeWine and the Ohio State Legislature act quickly and meaningfully to ensure the long term safety, recovery, and resilience of AAPI communities.

OPAWL members holding Value Our Families Sign

Value Our Families

OPAWL is proud to be part of the Value Our Families coalition. The Value Our Families campaign exists to protect, preserve, and strengthen the U.S. family immigration system and promote an immigration system that is informed by love, empathy, and justice.

Value Our Families seeks to reunite and keep families together, and create a path to citizenship for all 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country, recognizing that immigration is fundamentally about people planting permanent roots in a new country. Fair and just immigration policies must take into account the human need to live with and care for your family.

Some of the core beliefs of Value Our Families are that all people deserve to be treated with dignity, all people deserve a permanent place to call home, all work is valuable, and our immigration system should provide equal opportunities and equal rights to all.

Watch a recording of our Immigration Justice & Storytelling panel!

Join the Campaign

In our current political environment, we have the ability to make meaningful, lasting changes to the U.S. immigration system, but we must act quickly to pass comprehensive immigration reform. OPAWL is looking for Ohio organizations to support a statewide sign-on letter and other advocacy efforts to transform our broken immigration system. Whether you have a personal story to share or an interest in influencing your elected officials, there is a way for everyone to get involved.

Voter Engagement

We are proud of everything we accomplished together during the 2020 election cycle! OPAWL’s first voter outreach program fought against voter suppression and helped build lasting collective power within Ohio’s AAPI communities. As members lifted our voices and values, we also shared countless moments of deep connection and support during and after the most stressful election cycle of our lifetime. Thank you to Isabella Guinigundo, our first ever voter engagement organizer, and all of our phone bankers and volunteers for your great work in this campaign!

I was touched by the stories from individuals going together as a family to vote. It showed that people were determined to have their voice heard and it revived the sense of patriotism for who America really is in me that I haven’t felt in a long time.

OPAWL Phone Banker

Attempts to Contact Voters

Conversations

Volunteers

Voter Outreach Events

Image of woman in OPAWL census campaign

{in}VISIBLE in Ohio: Census 2020

OPAWL ran a statewide campaign for an equitable and accurate 2020 Census count by engaging AAPIs, New Americans, young adults, and families with young children. The theme of our Census campaign was {in}VISIBLE in Ohio, reflecting our shared experiences as both an invisible and hypervisible minority.

The Next Census

The next Census count will be completed in 2030. Between now and then, tens of billions of dollars in resources will be sent to fund Ohio’s local neighborhoods, schools, and hospitals based on the results of everyone’s actions in 2020. THANK YOU to every household that completed the census! And remember, if we all get counted in the census every 10 years AND organize to build strong movements each and every year, we can ensure that our communities will get the investment, respect, and political power we deserve.

In 2020, we fought against widespread misinformation and found creative ways to educate our people about the census, framing participation as one important way we show care and support for each other. To protect our communities’ health and safety during COVID-19, we shifted many of our efforts to digital outreach strategies. Highlights of our campaign include:

  • A statewide virtual Census teach-in event for AAPI-serving organizations to learn important information about the Census, effective outreach strategies, solutions to common barriers, and where to access resources.

  • A community conversation series brought 200+ participants together for sharing, healing, and collective support in the time of COVID-19. Events included facilitated small group discussions for AAPI youth and adults, as well as an interactive panel discussion.

  • A social media storytelling campaign featured the faces and voices of diverse AAPIs from all over Ohio, captured by photographer Kadrian Hinton. Our members, led by Emily Hanako Momohara, worked together to design and translate a series of compelling visual stories about the importance of being counted, seen, and heard.

The {in}VISIBLE campaign organically reached 27,000+ individuals by using storytelling to inform, connect, and empower them to make sure their family, friends, and communities were counted. Our paid digital ad collaboration with Ohio Voice also made 274,000+ impressions on an additional 143,000+ unique viewers.

Interested in becoming a member?

OPAWL seeks to connect and mobilize AAPI women and nonbinary people across Ohio to join and lead social movements that impact their own lives and the lives of all Ohioans. OPAWL also creates spaces for community members to come together to support each other and talk about politics, society, arts, and everything in between. 

You can become a member if:

  • you identify as AAPI (Asian, Asian American, or Pacific Islander)
  • you identify as a woman or nonbinary person
  • you commit to our mission and values; to learn more about our mission, theory of change and values, please visit our About page
  • you’ve joined an event, followed or supported our work, or helped with an OPAWL initiative

For more information or any questions, please contact us.

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