The core of APANO’s work is a place-based approach to building a powerful base of members who create and lead solutions that address real issues in their communities and shift the balance of power.

APANO’s organizing is rooted in the belief that those most affected by an issue should be the ones shaping the solutions.  This approach requires disciplined year-round work to support our members in identifying and prioritizing the issues APANO works on, building skills, knowledge and confidence through APANO campaigns, and increasingly taking on public leadership.

Through our organizing we envision:

  • Leadership roles for people and communities most impacted
  • Solutions that challenge the root cause of the problem
  • Advocacy efforts that shift the balance of power to the communities who are most affected
  • Space for reflection that provides for personal and institutional transformation

APANO’s youth organizing arm, ALLY (APANO leaders + liberated youth), aims to build the leadership skills of working-class high school youth through community organizing. Youth leaders undergo leadership development and political education, including annual overnight youth-led retreats and summer social justice bootcamps, to develop a community organizing campaign. Open to all BIPOC students aged 13-21.

Read about their 2015-2016 campaign: Missing Pages of our History, in which ALLY youth were victorious in getting the Portland Public Schools School Board to vote unanimously for a resolution to bring ethnic studies to all PPS high schools within 4 years.

Started in 2017, APANO’s Pacific Islander youth organizing arm focuses on social justice and seeks to address the erasure and invisibility of Pacific Islanders in the umbrella term of API (Asian Pacific Islander) through community organizing. ONYCS draws from new and existing Pacific Islander groups at Portland Public High Schools.

The parent organizing program at APANO works with API parents on empowerment and leadership development. Our goal is to help break down the barriers that prevent API immigrant/refugee parents from getting involved in their child’s education. Currently, APANO is organizing Chinese Parents in SE Portland neighborhoods and outreaching to Vietnamese Parents.