Wei Chen

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Wei Chen

Wei Chen is Asian Americans United’s Civic Engagement Coordinator. Wei comes from years of work as a youth leader and youth organizer. He was one of the youth leaders of the South Philadelphia High School student organizing in 2009, whose anti-bias and racial healing work has won national recognition. In 2014, Wei was one of ten people nationally awarded a Peace First Prize fellowship to continue his organizing work in peace studies and addressing bias harassment. On February 2015, he was appointed by Mayor of Philadelphia to serve as Commissioner of Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations. Wei is an accomplished Chinese Opera performer and has been a long-time volunteer with AAU’s Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival.[1]

Wei Chen’s father brought him to Philadelphia from China, circa 2007. Wei studied the civil rights movement tried to organize students to stand up against attacks, boycott classes and demand that the school administration take more aggressive action to prevent them. But too many were fearful of reprisal and disapproval from their own parents, who were culturally resistant to challenge authority.

Backing Biden

Asian Americans United November 2020.


— with Carolynne Liu, Kim Huynh, Alix Mariko Webb, Nancy Dung Nguyen, Wei Chen, Tai Joselyn, Ken Hung, Chris Lin, Sophie Song, Kay Yoon, Minghui Wu, Sinta Penyami, Hyeonock Mel Lee, Kim Dinh, Jenny Chen.

Open Letter to the Biden Campaign on “Unprepared”

Open Letter to the Biden Campaign on “Unprepared” was released May 12 2020.

":Our demands: The country’s greatest priority at this moment is to beat the COVID-19 crisis, and this requires embracing principles of antiracist solidarity and international cooperation. The Biden campaign can and should beat Trump and the GOP with a message centered on our real public health needs and the progressive values that are required to meet those needs. The “Unprepared” ad must be taken down, and all campaign messaging that fuels anti-Asian racism and China-bashing must end. We refuse to allow the Biden campaign to sacrifice our dignity in the name of political expediency."

Authors were:


Asian Americans United December 7, 2019 · · Philadelphia, PA ·


— with Minghui Wu and Huidan Mei, Sophie Song, Stephanie Sun, Wei Chen at Folk Arts-Cultural Treasures Charter School .

"The Guardians"

City Paper October 21, 2010 Big Vision Award "The Guardians" : AAU with SASA! — with Joan May T. Cordova, Judy At Aau, Nancy Dung Nguyen, Wei Chen, Ellen Somekawa, Helen Gym, Alison Sprague and Xu Lin

2011 MidAutumn Festival

Asian Americans United September 5, 2011:


AAU artist Kathy Shimizu is back to work on MidAutumn Festival :-) Cheers to all our friends! Please share this flyer & the FB event page! — with Lai Har Cheung, Maitrivia Liem, Hon Lui, Chi-Ser Tran, Matt Tae, Srey Boss, Tai Joselyn, Alia Nakashima, Renyu Wu, Ling Lin, Debbie Wei, Duong Nghe Ly, Brandon Huynh, Debora Kodish, Doua Xiong, Lizzy Lee, Wei Chen, Karen Worley and Oh Peou.

Corbett protest

Asian Americans United May 12, 2012:


On Tuesday May 15th, Governor Corbett is coming to Prince Theater in Philadelphia to address the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. During his time as Governor, Corbett has made massive cuts to education, medical assistance, and social services while he is spending $685 million on new prison construction. His recent budget alone proposes $264 million in cuts to higher education, $319 millio... See More — with Lai Har Cheung, Xu Lin, Alice Vuong, Judy At Aau, Paul Socolar, Masaru Edmund Nakawatase, Erika Almiron Niz, Mica Root, Wei Chen, Nancy Dung Nguyen, Desi Burnette, Maxine Chang, Helen Gym, Betty Lui, Erika Funk, Ellen Somekawa, Joan May T. Cordova and Alix Mariko Webb.

AAU Summer Program 2012

Asian Americans United May 31, 2013:


AAU Summer Program 2013 Bubble Tea Happy Hour on Tuesday, June 4 (5-7pm at Tea Talk)!! Come join us to support our amazing summer program and meet this year's crew of teachers!! Consider making a donation to support our youth leaders even if you can't make it!! More details/ticket info here: https://www.facebook.com/events/456167604476525/ — with Ruben An, Yvonne Zhang, Cy Alex Chen, Yuxiao Chen, Zixin Lin, Edward Deng, Allen Cao, Chris Wong, Brandon Tran, Tien Nguyen, Antonio Nanthavongsa, Wei Chen, Xu Lin, Judy At Aau and Ellen Somekawa.

Asian Americans United This is a pic of last year's amazing group of teachers!!

Defending Asian students

Asian Americans United December 2, 2013:


On December 3rd, 2009, 26 Asian immigrant students were attacked both inside and directly outside of South Philadelphia High School. The students boycotted school for eight days, demanding accountability from school leadership. AAU worked with a strong and passionate team of allies to support the students. Most importantly, the students were unified, they stood strong and they didn’t back down…and... See More — with Alison Sprague, Duong Nghe Ly, Nancy Dung Nguyen, Wei Chen, Cecilia Chen, Neeta Patel, Xu Lin, Betty Lui, Masaru Edmund Nakawatase, Judy At Aau, Joan May T. Cordova, Ellen Somekawa, Helen Gym, Alice Vuong and Maxine J. Chang.

Freedom from Fear Award

Wei Chen, Bach Tong, Duong Nghe Le & Xu Lin: Philadelphia, PA, were Asian immigrant high school students who led an eight-day boycott to stop school violence. Rep. Donna Edwards presented Wei Chen, Bach Tong, with the Freedom from Fear Award, at Netroots Nation 2011.[2]

AAU Summer Program staff

Asian Americans United June 27, 2013:


Introducing the 2013 AAU Summer Program staff! Go AAU go!!! — with Jiahong Zhang, Xu Lin, Wei Chen, Chris Wong, Huidan Mei, Erina Zheng, Brandon Tran, Jieying Chen, Adriene Khon and Yingci Chen.

Asian Americans United - 28th Anniversary

Asian Americans United November 19, 2013:

Cheers and thanks to all who volunteered (Go AAU, go!), sponsored, hosted, donated, presented, emceed, deejayed, cooked, mixed sangria, performed and celebrated at AAU's memorable 28th anniversary benefit concert/dance featuring Nobuko Miyamoto with Theo Gonzalves! Intergenerational groups presented AAU's Standing Up for Justice Awards to Grayce Uyehara, John Elliott Churchville, and 1Love Movement. Emcee Kao Khue wove the program together like poetry.

Nobuko wrote and sang a new song for the first time: ”You are the ones we've been waiting for...” And all joined in singing: ”We are the ones we've been waiting for.”

...with so much gratitude for all who build communities and work for justice.


<3 — with Eric Joselyn, Duong Nghe Ly, Matt Tae, Regina Liu Kerr, Lai Har Cheung, Srey Boss, Chi-Ser Tran, Grace Rustia, Emily P. Lawsin, Scott Kurashige, Mary Yee, Laurent Widjaya, Paul Uyehara, Alix Mariko Webb, Rorng Sorn, Senn Font, Linh Nguyen, Bryan Mercer, K. Naroen Chhin, Masaru Edmund Nakawatase, Neeta Patel, Tai Joselyn, Doua Xiong, Renyu Wu, John Elliott Churchville, Kavita Levy, Judy At Aau, Theo Gonzalves, Ana Cruz, Janeya Hisle, Ellen Somekawa, Wei Chen, Helen Gym, Sookyung Oh, Dawn Werme Pratson, Xu Lin, Betty Lui, Peter Van Do, Nobuko Miyamoto, Kao Nhia Kue, Jean Hunt, Teresa Engst, Alice Vuong and Maxine Chang.


Asian Americans United November 3, 2014:

  1. PhillyAPIVote

Asian Americans United's youth group, the Chinese Youth Organizing Project (CYOP), during their training and preparation before their door knocking campaign in Chinatown Philadelphia and South Philadelphia.

With walkie talkies in hand, turf-divided maps, scripts, clipboards, voter information materials in English & Chinese, & courageous hearts, 2 dozen youth worked to empower Asia... See More — with Wei Chen, Stephanie Frank Singer, Duong Thang Ly, Stephen Magnotti, Duong Nghe Ly, Taylor Burckhalter, Lan Nguyen, Viet Luu, Linh Pham, Nancy Dung Nguyen, Miguel Rivera, Sarun Chan, Ellen Somekawa, Helen Gym, Minh Nguyen-Rivera, Annie Seng, Xue Yan Zhang, Xu Lin, Brandon Huynh and Miguel Esteban Andrade at Asian Americans United.


Studied at Community College of Philadelphia.

Asian Americans United - 30th Anniversary

Helen Gym December 15, 2015.


30th anniversary of Asian Americans United - what a crew! — with Linda Deafenbaugh, Chi Joselyn, Betty Lui, Jay Zou, Masaru Edmund Nakawatase, Eric Joselyn, Maxine J. Chang, Teresa Engst, Wei Chen, Lai Har Cheung, Alix Webb, Sachie Hopkins Hayakawa, Judy At Aau, Mary Yee, Xu Lin, Neeta Patel, Kay Yoon, Paul Uyehara, Ken Hung, Debora Kodish and Alice Vuong.

With progressive Viets


Nancy Dung Nguyen August 19, 2016 ·

With Lan Dinh, Bay T. Nguyen, Long Luu, Wei Chen, Teresa Engst, Jenny Nguyen, Duong Ngha Ly and James Nguyen.

Asian socialists unite


Nancy Dung Nguyen, August 11, 2016;

It's not over yet for us, but one of the best moments this summer was when youth from VietLead, Asian Americans United, and Youth United for Change came together to being the long process of building across, between, and beyond. We completed a crazy 8-mile neighborhood walk to learn about hard-won fights that keep together Chinatown, the remaking of South Philly through Washington Ave, the hyper-gentrification in Point Breeze, and the formation of Cambodia Town. By the end of it, we were tired as F - but proud of what we have seen our people be able to do. Philly, watch out. We are taking it and remaking it towards of vision of justice, equity, resilience, complexity, and love. — with Kat Engleman, Duong Nghe Ly, Lan Dinh, Thanh Nguyen, Anne Tran, Wei Chen, Sarun Savouthchan and Bro Chi Minh.

"Challenging Anti-Asian Harassment"

"We Have the Power to Make Change: The Role of Community Lawyering in Challenging Anti-Asian Harassment at South Philadelphia High School" by Cecilia Chen and Andrew Leong. The authors thanked Ellen Somekawa, Helen Gym, and Xu Lin from Asian Americans United; Nancy Dung Nguyen and Michelle Nguyen from Boat People SOS; Tram Nguyen and Alison Sprague from Victim/Witness Services of South Philadelphia; Mia-Lia Kiernan, Debbie Wei and the Asian Student Association of Philadelphia for their courageous efforts to address bias-based harassment at SPHS. [3]


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  3. [file:///C:/Users/Trevor/Downloads/19.10%20Chen%20FINAL.pdf]