On Saturday, February 28th, 2013, youth converged at the Minnesota State Capitol to address social issues with state legislators. The Asian Pacific Youth Council (APYC), a youth initiative of the Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans, hosted the second annual Speak Up, Speak Out, Speak Now Asian Pacific Youth & Civic Engagement Conference.
CAPM Board member Priya Outar welcomed over 80 youth and spoke to the “importance of having youth participate in how we shape the way Minnesota will look like ten to twenty years from now.” State Representative Carlos Mariani echoed these sentiments, “Minnesota is becoming more multicultural and that it is a big responsibility to step up and be more powerful citizens of our state.”
State Senator Roger Chamberlain was present to model how to be active citizens and engage in civic engagement. The first step is understanding who represents you and learn how to approach your representatives.
APYC youth facilitated breakout sessions on issues of concern including achievement gap, higher education, human rights and human trafficking. In attendance, to address topics for discussion were Human Rights Commissioner Kevin Lindsey and State Senator Melissa Wiklund.
Youth council member, Rathminee Hach, stated she was there “because it was important to understand the statistics of our environment so that we can create a society set for success.” Many other youth expressed that they were there because they want to share their opinions on societal issues. The youth became the change agents and their contributions will help Minnesota become a better place to live.
Letters written to elected officials were delivered with an APYC 2nd Annual Conference Summary of the day.
You can find more information on the Asian Pacific Youth Council on our facebook page http://www.facebook.com/apycmn, or to contact the Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.