Organizing the protest
April 14, 2021
Mountain View Whisman School District board member Christopher Chiang reached out to local high schools in the beginning of April in search of youth organizers to help organize a protest against the spike in anti-Asian racism. The three students who volunteered to take the leadership positions were Castilleja School senior Amanda Khu, Lynbrook High School sophomore Jason Shan and Mountain View High School senior Daisy Kemp (who was unable to attend the event).
The youth chairs collaborated closely with adult supervisors through Zoom meetings and mainly focused on hosting and publicizing.
“I have been looking to take action in some tangible way,” Amanda said. “A lot of the recent hate crimes and the one in Atlanta especially have been really distressing for me, so channeling my energy into something like this is really great.”
As the education advisor for the event, Chiang worked alongside community advisors and political advisors. The community advisors were Vietbay (a Vietnamese organization in Northern California) leader Thai Duong, Fremont Union High School (FUHS) board member Rosa Kim, Mountain View Buddhist Temple member Bob Nakano-Matsumoto and FUHS board member Naomi Nakano-Matsumoto.
The political advisors, Mountain View mayor Margaret Abe-Koga and vice mayor Ellen Kamei, were in charge of outreach and invited several political leaders to speak in the rally including Congress member Anna Eshoo, state senator Josh Becker and assembly members Evan Low and Marc Berman.
The team first met on Friday, April 2, nine days before the event. Three days before the event, the organizers recruited four other student volunteers including Los Altos High School junior Jeannette Wang to help facilitate the event and manage other assignments such as bringing extra posters for protesters to personalize.
Despite only having a short planning process, the team was able to organize an event that drew hundreds of protesters.
“I’m really happy about the turnout of today’s rally,” Jeannette said. “I was super impressed by all of the other youth speakers, especially the little kids. They were all super well-spoken”.