AAPI Herstory: Nadya Okamoto in Conversation with Cindy Yang, Data Strategist and Community Organizer

Cindy Yang is bringing data into political organizing to help with strategy and fundraising on campaigns!

I met Cindy several years ago in a leadership training that we both participated in hosted by the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS). Cindy Yang is a Hmong woman based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She works on the data side of political campaigns and says, “Data tells a story – data is why we do something a certain way.” She is currently working with Forward Together.

Cindy has been a fierce advocate for AAPI civic and voter engagement. She shares that AAPI are not usually asked to vote because they “are not seen as reliable, regular voters.” But, that needs to change, because with the AAPI demographic being the fastest growing minority population in the US, AAPI voters can make a substantial difference with election cycles. As so much of the country is doing this summer, I have been curious and committed to reflecting and then deconstructing anti-Blackness in my own beliefs and behaviors. I was inspired by so much of what Cindy shared in our conversation, but one quote really stuck with me:

Our liberation is tied together. We are living off the coattails and sacrifices of people in the Civil Rights Movement. Asians have the privilege to assimilate, and Black people don’t because of the color of their skin.
-Cindy Yang-

AAPI Herstory is a series hosted by Nadya Okamoto, inspired by her academic work at Harvard with Dr. Vivian Shaw. Nadya Okamoto is the Founder of PERIOD and author of PERIOD POWER.


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