As the stigma around Native Americans and their culture lessens, ACYC wanted to break the barriers that surround Native American communities by hosting an informative and interactive event. ACYC members met with multiple Native American organizations and coordinators and toured multiple locations including the Arcadia Library to find a suitable place for the event. Partnered with the Arcadia Public Library, AC & Associates, and SEIU and the Native American Caucus, ACYC held its "Breaking Barriers, Building Unity" event at the Arcadia Library Auditorium on Thursday, April 13 from 4-6 pm. Attendees had the opportunity to watch a cultural dance and participate in an open discussion, as well as a raffle.
To spread awareness about Arcadia's history to our youth through an interactive learning experience, ACYC collaborated with the Gilb Museum, National Honor Society, and AHS History Bowl to host a History Day in the MPR of Arcadia High School. ACYC invited the Gilb Museum to give a presentation about the use of Santa Anita Park as the Santa Anita Japanese Assembly Center and provided students with the opportunity to see real artifacts from those who went experienced the Assembly Center firsthand. The second half of the event included an idea corkboard where students could post any thoughts, questions, or stories they had about the center. ACYC was thankful to be joined by faculty, students, and representatives from the Gilb Museum at the event.
In a STEM-focused environment such as Arcadia High School, students may not have the chance to explore job opportunities that fall outside of those fields. With this in mind, the Arcadia Civic Youth Council decided to host a virtual Beyond STEM Career Day! After collecting direct feedback from students of Arcadia, ACYC compiled a list of professionals in diverse career fields, many of which interest Arcadia's youth. On July 31, students had the opportunity to learn from professionals in career fields relating to the arts, government, education, and more. With our speaker list being so mixed, ACYC hoped to provide a space where students could learn more about careers they have a passion for, or even discover new jobs entirely.
With the rise of anti-Asian hate, Arcadia Civic Youth Council (ACYC) hosted a dialogue, open to all members of the Arcadia and San Gabriel Valley community, about the current surge of anti-Asian violence and the movement to #StopAsianHate. The discussion had opportunities for community members to share their reflections on this violence and how to move forward, as well as a chance to hear from leaders within the Asian American community who helped put this moment in historical context. Speakers included Dr. Gay Yuen, Eiman Farooqui, Karin Wang, Alton Wang, as well as Arcadia High School students Rebecca Tao, Becky Chen, and Catherine Chan.
ACYC would like to thank the 58 people who attended and participated in this meaningful step towards solidarity and justice. Another big thank you to Alton Wang (@altonwang), Emily Quach (@emilyquachh), and other student organizers for helping put this event together. If you would like to view the full recording of all the wonderful speeches at the event, please click on the link here: tinyurl.com/StopHateArcadiaVideo
*Due to the ongoing pandemic, ACYC hosted this event over Zoom.
To give the homeless in our community a helping hand during the pandemic, the ACYC assembled a total of 100 hygiene kits that were each filled with essentials like soap, combs, and toothpaste. This kits were delivered to the Foothill Unity Center throughout September of 2020, and the ACYC hoped that this brought some solace to the less-fortunate right now. Please stay safe!
In the midst of the BLM protests, ACYC pledged to donate $1 for every 3 signatures on the "Ban the Use of Inhumane Rubber Bullets" petition. A total of 233 people signed the petition, which allowed the ACYC to raise a total of $78 to donate to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. We would like to thank everyone who took the time to sign the petitions and contribute to the movement for racial equality. Now, more than ever, the voice of our youth is needed to enact change in this unjust world; your effort proves that while America is a long way from success, there are still those who care.
Upon noticing the lack of sanitary napkins available for girls in the restrooms of Arcadia High School, ACYC took the initiative to campaign for better accessibility to feminine hygiene products. With the help of the school district, ACYC managed to install a pad/tampon distributor in the quad restroom nearest to the rally court.
The homeless population in Arcadia is constantly overlooked, but ACYC is here to change that. At a city council meeting in the Arcadia City Hall, four ACYC representatives along with other students residing in Arcadia voiced the youth's concerns over the increasing homeless rate, and possible solutions to consider in the future.
History Day is one of the most important events for ACYC, as its goal is to promote the vast history of our city. At the Arcadia Public Library, ACYC members set up games and activities with the intention of educating children about Arcadia's past, from our Native American Tribes to Lucky Baldwin. Kids had fun trading beads, drawing, and earning fun prizes!