AAPI Solidarity in Action: AAPI Communities Shaping Democratic Futures

This event highlighted the dynamic role of AAPI communities in advocacy, grassroots and liberation movements, and social activism.

About the Speakers

Viet Thanh Nguyen is a University Professor at the University of Southern California, a recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim and MacArthur Foundations, and the editor of The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives. His novel The Sympathizer won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and numerous other awards. His most recent publication is A Man of Two Faces: A Memoir, A History, A Memorial. His other books are the sequel to The Sympathizer, The Committed; a short story collection, The Refugees; Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War (a finalist for the National Book Award in nonfiction and the National Book Critics Circle Award in General Nonfiction); and Race and Resistance: Literature and Politics in Asian America. He has also published Chicken of the Sea, a children’s book written in collaboration with his son, Ellison.

Shehab Chowdhury is an Assistant Director at the NYC Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity and the Co-Chair of Bangladeshi-Americans for Political Progress (BAPP) – a grassroots organization mobilizing the Bangladeshi-American community around progressive values, civic engagement, and electoral politics to empower working-class and immigrant interests. His work for the City focuses on advancing City-charter racial equity mandates through programmatic, policy, and systemic changes. Previously, he played a key role in scaling asset-building programs in NYC to reduce the racial wealth gap and also helped launch the world’s first wearable-for-good, UNICEF Kid Power, at UNICEF USA. Shehab is also spearheading a docu-poetics project on immigration and belonging in America, supported by the Aspen Institute, to explore the power dynamics of narrative and political discourse. Additionally, Shehab is a co-founder of Sabr, a sustainable modest fashion womenswear company that honors Bangladeshi weaving traditions and fabrics while advocating for slower fashion production methods.

This panel was moderated by Professor Tony Saich, Director of the Rajawali Foundation Institute for Asia and Daewoo Professor of International Affairs.