AAPI Herstory: Nadya Okamoto in Conversation with Madalene Mielke, President and CEO of APAICS

APAICS, and its fierce leader, Madalene Mielke, are making AAPI Herstory

Madalene Mielke is the current President and CEO of the Asian Pacific Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS). I’ve been really excited to continue bringing this AAPI Herstory series into the world to highlight badass AAPI women fighting for political change.

Madalene’s work in governance and politics began in high school, when she was elected as the student body president. In college, she was then elected to Vice President of the entire student body. After college she worked on the campaign side of political campaigns and founded her own political consulting firm at age 29, which she led for 16 years before joining APAICS.

I asked about her thoughts on the role of AAPI in the fight for racial justice, and she explained how a lot of how mainstream history is presented doesn’t show how AAPI were involved with the Civil Rights Movement. Madalene shared that we need to actively recognize how we have and will continue to benefit from the wins of this movement and need to have this ongoing dialogue with new Asian immigrants too.

APAICS continues to host basic trainings on how to run for office, and with their Women’s Collective program, the organization is cultivating community amongst Asian women passionate about or actively engaged in politics.

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. The series is produced in partnership with the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS). The APAICS, through its Women’s Collective, aims to build a community that inspires and supports AAPI women to become politically engaged by leading the national conversation on AAPI women representation in politics, uplifting AAPI women in politics, creating resources and tools for AAPI women to increase representation in public service, and to connect leaders and stakeholders.


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