Organizing & Advocacy

We organize for local, state, and national policies that will make a just Virginia for all communities. We work with our communities to identify issues and solutions, design campaigns, raise our voices as a collective, and hold decision-makers accountable.

Current Organizing Campaigns

At Hamkae Center, our community members drive our organizing campaigns. Our community organizing work focuses on building power by listening to issues, working with community members to advocate for themselves, and empowering leaders to take action together. We fight to expand rights for all immigrants, especially those who need it most in Virginia.

Immigrant Justice

Since the beginning, when Hamkae Center first started out as NAKASEC Virginia, we have always focused on immigrant rights, especially with our undocumented community members. We have actively fought on a federal level for DACA, as well as on a statewide level for Driver Privilege Cards and in-state tuition and financial aid for undocumented students. Currently, we are fighting for a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants who call this country home, and we will continue to fight until we have full equality for all.

Language Justice

Language is a crucial part of our identities and cultures, and all Virginians deserve to be able to communicate in their preferred language. Yet, Virginia’s state and local government agencies continue to provide services primarily in English. We focus on increasing language access, especially for our Asian and Asian American community members, so we can have equitable access to resources for a safe and healthy life.

2021 Language Access Report

Health Access

Everyone deserves to live a healthy, happy life. However, there are barriers that impact the options people have to maintain and preserve their health. These barriers can be financial, social, cultural, and physical – and all of them directly impact our health, just as they impact our life. Virginia’s current healthcare system is not inclusive to many in our community. We want to make sure all communities, especially our undocumented Virginians, have the opportunities to live and thrive without compromising.

Policy Agendas

Another way we can win change is through policy. During the annual General Assembly session, we use our collective power to advocate for legislative and budgetary policies in Virginia that tangibly improve the lives of immigrants, communities of color, and working-class communities. Our agenda priorities are informed by current events, detailed research, and, most importantly, direct organizing with Asian Americans in Virginia.

Miae and NAKASEC VA community members reading a chart of elected officials and priority issues
NAKASEC VA and allied organizations at the 2020 Virginia General Assembly
NAKASEC VA staff and community members making signs in support of the Home is Here march
Language Justice is...

Get Involved

If you have questions about our campaigns or want to know the latest actions to win change, contact one of our Community Organizers, Ha Tang at htang@hamkaecenter.org, or Sarah Choi at schoi@hamkaecenter.org.

If you have questions about our policies or how to help advocate for issues affecting Asian Americans in Virginia, contact our Policy & Communications Team Lead, Zowee Aquino, at zaquino@hamkaecenter.org.