About Us

Lifting up Asian American voices and honoring the stories of all people to transform GA schools.

Lifting Asian
American Voices

Lifting Asian
American Voices

Honoring the Stories
of All People

Honoring the Stories
of All People

Transforming
GA Schools

Transforming
GA Schools

Mission

  • Asian American Voices for Education (AAVEd) is a Georgia-based community of parents, students, educators, and activists.

    Through advocacy, teacher education, and community engagement, AAVEd works to ensure Georgia K-12 curriculum and educational practices lift and honor the diverse experiences of Asians Americans and communities of color overall.

Vision

  • We envision a Georgia where generations of students and families understand how our histories are interwoven and feel empowered to use their education as a catalyst for change and collective action.

We Believe In...

  • The humanity of all people
  • Working together to create a welcoming school environment in Georgia
  • A thoughtful and comprehensive teaching of all histories in statewide K-12 standards.

Our Story

Out of a desire for her three children to learn their and others’ history in the public school setting, one mother began seeking out a path to make Asian American history an integral part of Georgia K-12 education.

After reading Time Magazine’s ”A ‘History of Exclusion, of Erasure, of Invisibility.’ Why the Asian-American Story Is Missing From Many U.S. Classrooms,” which  included an interview with Sohyun, a Kennesaw State University teacher educator and fellow Georgian parent, Weonhee immediately emailed Sohyun. Sohyun, who had been dedicating her career to ethnic studies, responded within hours. In the next twenty-four hours, numerous emails were exchanged and a virtual meeting was scheduled. From there, something incredible happened.

In partnership with Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta (AAAJ-Atlanta), Weonhee hosted a town hall meeting on May 25th, 2021 featuring Dr. Sohyun An, Dr. Chris Suh, and AAAJ-Atlanta.

A steering committee of Asian American parents, community members, educators and allies formed to take steps towards transforming the current GA K-12 US History and Social Studies standards.

Our Goal

Although we began with an idea to make Asian American history a part of Georgia K-12 standards, we quickly developed a vision in which the Asian American community would not only promote their own  histories, but for those of all communities.

Ultimately, when the stories of all people are taught in the classroom, there is hope for building ​​a welcoming classroom environment for K-12 students in Georgia.

Organizational Accomplishments

150 Educators in Over 22 School Districts

Asian American history was first introduced to Georgia educators in 2022 through AAVEd.

To date, we have reached over 150 educators in over 22 school districts. Below are some ways we were able to accomplish this in 2022.

  • Over 600 Educators
  • Over 600 Educators

    Asian American history was presented and represented for the first time at Georgia Council for Social Studies Conference (GCSS) in 2022 through AAVEd. GCSS is the largest social studies conference in GA with over 600 attendees per year.

  • Discussions
  • Leading Discussions in Georgia

    AAVEd was invited to speak at Georgia Council for History Education’s April virtual session. “Widening our Lens-Integrating Asian American Voices & Perspectives in Social Studies Classrooms”’ was the most attended GCHE session in 2022! Click here for the recorded presentation.

  • Development
  • Professional Development for Gwinnett County Public Schools Educators

    We organized, and we were seen! Our members spoke at the GCPS school board meeting in September 2021. GCPS serves close to 180,000 students and hails as the largest school district in Georgia. AAVEd’s Dr. Sohyun An and Dr. Theresa Alviar-Martin are now working with GCPS Curriculum Department and are leading a series of professional development for the 2022-2023 school year. To date, all registrations have filled as soon as they opened!. We look forward to future partnerships with GCPS!

  • Grants
  • Georgia’s first Asian American History

    AAVEd was granted a $11,000 grant from Center for Pan Asian Community Services’ STOP AAPI Hate campaign. In July & August of 2022, we hosted Georgia’s FIRST Asian American history K-12 educator professional development virtually. Attendees were awarded a $100 Amazon gift card to purchase AsAm books for their school libraries.

Over 600 Educators

Asian American history was presented and represented for the first time at Georgia Council for Social Studies Conference (GCSS) in 2022 through AAVEd. GCSS is the largest social studies conference in GA with over 600 attendees per year.

Leading Discussions in Georgia

AAVEd was invited to speak at Georgia Council for History Education’s April virtual session. “Widening our Lens-Integrating Asian American Voices & Perspectives in Social Studies Classrooms”’ was the most attended GCHE session in 2022! Click here for the recorded presentation.

Professional Development for Gwinnett County Public Schools Educators

We organized, and we were seen! Our members spoke at the GCPS school board meeting in September 2021. GCPS serves close to 180,000 students and hails as the largest school district in Georgia. AAVEd’s Dr. Sohyun An and Dr. Theresa Alviar-Martin are now working with GCPS Curriculum Department and are leading a series of professional development for the 2022-2023 school year. To date, all registrations have filled as soon as they opened!. We look forward to future partnerships with GCPS!

Georgia’s first Asian American History

AAVEd was granted a $11,000 grant from Center for Pan Asian Community Services’ STOP AAPI Hate campaign. In July & August of 2022, we hosted Georgia’s FIRST Asian American history K-12 educator professional development virtually. Attendees were awarded a $100 Amazon gift card to purchase AsAm books for their school libraries.

Grants/Awards Received

Our Team

We are a grassroots group of parents, community members and educators committed to advocating for comprehensive US history to be taught in Georgia K-12 schools.

 

Weonhee Shin

Weonhee Shin Chair/Executive Director

Weonhee Shin
Ruth Youn

Ruth Youn Co-Chair/Operations

Ruth Youn
Jeanie-Duque-Dizon.jpg

Jeanie Dizon Secretary/Director of Community Outreach

Jeanie Dizon
Tracey Alviar

Theresa Alviar-Martin Education Resources & Curriculum

Theresa Alviar-Martin
Sohyun An

Sohyun An Education Resources & Curriculum

Sohyun An
Join us!

Get in touch

Want to learn more about AAVEd or leave us a message? Fill out this form, and a member of our team will contact you shortly. 

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Weonhee Shin

Weonhee was raised in Virginia and now resides with her family in Decatur, GA. Although she attended public K-12 schools, she didn’t learn of America’s diverse history until adulthood. She is now advocating for a different educational experience for students here in Georgia. Learn more about her perspective and experiences here.

Ruth Youn

Ruth is a Texas-born, second gen Chinese-Taiwanese immigrant. She is a writer, educator and activist who is working and parenting two children in Atlanta, Georgia. Despite being educated in the public school system and graduating from a public university, she only learned about Asian American history a few years ago—via a podcast!

On another note, Ruth does not have any dogs or an herb garden. She does, however, have a special Lunar New Year edition Lego set that she recently built and is extremely proud of! 

Jackie Kwun

Student Ambassador

Tell us about your experiences with studying history in school:
In 7th grade I was excited to finally learn about Asia, but then was quickly disappointed. All I really took from the lessons was that China has pollution, a dam and Communism. We watched a documentary about North Korea, and kids were giggling at the brainwashed people under North Korean rule, and learned that in India [people] throw bodies into the Ganges river (kids were laughing at the “funny” Indian accents), and the list just goes on.

It felt really humiliating when other kids would glance at me, assuming I was from China [where it was polluted and Communist]. Many of my Asian friends also felt the same way and we were left dissatisfied, learning about the worst [aspects] of our heritage. Nothing we talked about put any of the [Asian] countries in a good light. 

What motivated you to serve at AAVEd?
As an Asian American student in GA public schools, I have always felt underrepresented in the school curriculum where diverse stories and histories are not included nor celebrated. I have always wanted to make a difference in my world but wasn’t sure where to begin. After coming across AAVEd, I felt like this could be the place where I can grow and take a stand for myself. So I took a step forward, and here I am :D

What do you hope to accomplish in your time with us?
As of right now, I’d like to continue creating weekly highlights of Asian American stories so that our histories are accessible and celebrated. I’d also like to work with other students to start a youth coalition in my local community. I’m ready for the ride! 

Fun fact: 
If I could shape-shift into something, I’d be a rock—so that I could sleep all the time!

Tracey Alviar

Dr. Alviar-Martin is an Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instruction whose scholarship focuses on civic education from global, human rights, and comparative perspectives. Originally from Manila, before joining academia Theresa taught in international schools in Hong Kong and Bangkok; and a refugee camp in the Philippines. Her publications include articles in Teaching and Teacher Education, Theory and Research in Social Education, Teachers College Record, and an edited volume, “Research on global citizenship in Asia: Conceptions, perceptions and practice” (Information Age Press, 2021).

Sohyun An

Dr. An is a social studies teacher educator and curriculum scholar. She is an immigrant from South Korea and a mother of two children in Georgia’s public schools. She teaches, researches, and parents with a goal for a world that hurts less.