Michigan Leaders

Michigan Asian/Pacific Islander American politicians and activists have played crucial — if often overlooked — roles as leaders within their communities and beyond. Activists such as Grace Lee Boggs and Helen Zia set precedent for generations of new activists, breaking down racial monoliths and stereotypes of identity with their intersectional work in Civil Rights and lesbian and gay activism. Michigan A/PIA politicians Padma Kuppa and Stephanie Chang are pioneers as the first Asian American members of the Michigan Senate and House. As a whole, Michigan A/PIA leaders have always been active within their communities. But it is only in recent years that they have begun to receive attention for their hard work. We have limited the scope of this section to highlight just a handful of such individuals but want to acknowledge the important work of those we were unable to include, whose important work has laid the groundwork for this project itself. This includes student activists, labor organizers, community organizers, and many others. Michigan A/PIA leaders have played a crucial role in our state’s history, and it is time to acknowledge that impact and the oftentimes unpaid labor Michigan A/PIA leaders have carried out to improve their communities and the lives of others.