I AM BEYOND: National Campaign Description

The I Am Beyond campaign captures the aspirations of Americans of Asian and Pacific Islander (API) descent who have always tried to excel beyond the challenges that have limited equal opportunity for them in America. For Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (NHPI), it is reclaiming the injustices endured by our ancestors, reshaping the narrative that is told of our journeys, and retelling the stories with our own words.

May is API Heritage month. Each year, communities across the country recognize and commemorate the contributions of the APA communities to the fabric of America…and each year, our voices as NHPI remain whispers among the celebration. This year, we will own our voice.

There are 1.2 million NHPIs in the United States with a population growth of 40% between 2000 and 2010, a rate that rivals that of Latinos and Asian Americans. Our community has a median age that is lowest among all racial groups (26.5 years old), with a college-aged youth population that is higher than that of the general population. However, only 18% of those aged 25 and older hold a bachelor’s degree compared to 28% of the general population.

What do these numbers mean for the future of our community?

We believe that education is a central source of empowerment for our NHPI community and greater awareness about the importance of HIGHER EDUCATION to our community’s growth and prosperity is urgently needed. Since we are one of the fastest growing communities in the country and a large proportion of our community are young people, the success of our community rests on the shoulders of our young leaders.

THE NATIONAL CAMPAIGN

Purpose:  To build awareness among our young NHPI population about the importance of a higher education to our communities’ and families’ success.
When:  Entire month of May, 2014
Where:  On social media outlets such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, or any others.
Who the planners are:  We are NHPI community organizations from across the country (CA, WA, UT, AR, AK) that are working together to bring attention to the needs of our community.

HOW YOU CAN PARTICIPATE

1.   Take a picture with a dry erase board with a positive quote, message, or statement explaining how you are living beyond stereotypes or stigma of NHPIs.
2.   Post picture(s) to your social media.
3.   Explain your message in the caption and hashtag #IAMBEYOND & #ElevateYourVoice
4.   Tell a friend!

EXAMPLES OF MESSAGES

I Am Beyond the stereotypes! #IAmBeyond #ElevateYourVoice
Use more than your physical capabilities to be successful in life. #IAmBeyond #ElevateYourVoice #KnowledgeIsPower
I Am Beyond being concerned about my reputation because my character is what I really am while my reputation is just what others think of me. #IAmBeyond #ElevateYourVoice
I Am Beyond Nesian. I am Oceania. #IAmBeyond #ElevateYourVoice
I illuminate the stories of my people everywhere I go. #IAmBeyond #ElevateYourVoice
I Am Beyond being expected to ONLY be a hula dancer, a football player, or a security guard. WE have more to offer. #IAmBeyond #ElevateYourVoice
I Am Beyond the 80% obesity rate that is killing my community. #IAmBeyond #ElevateYourVoice
While the western world is pointing fingers at each other about the cause and validity of global warming, our Island homes are sinking because of these same countries.  #IAmBeyond #ElevateYourVoice
I Am Beyond the shore…I am the ocean…strong and far reaching. #IAmBeyond #ElevateYourVoice
I Am Beyond just being good enough. I can do better than this. #IAmBeyond #ElevateYourVoice
I am beyond colonized borders. I am a warrior scholar. #IAmBeyond #ElevateYourVoice
We have the potential to be college graduates. #IAmBeyond #ElevateYourVoice
Make the sacrifices our parents made, worth it. #IAmBeyond #ElevateYourVoice