Have you ever seen middle school students put together a mock press conference? I have had the privilege of going across Washington State developing advocacy skills for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders of all ages through the Washington State Asian American and Pacific Islander Civic Engagement Initiative. The hope of the initiatives is to bring civic engagement workshops to our communities. We build advocacy skills through hands-on activities that build public speaking skills and how to meet with a policy decision maker. The workshops aimed to demystify government and the role it plays in our lives, our communities, and our state — using education as an example to examine how public policy works. Thanks to the Northwest Leadership Foundation, Asia Pacific Cultural Center, and our special guests, Diem Ly and Frieda Takamura. At our November 16 workshop, we were able to connect with young Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders on how to build public speaking skills and become more engaged and empowered to be involved in their political system and community.

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