Sample Letter to U.S. Representative Grace Meng

The​ ​Honorable​ Grace Meng ​of​ ​the​ United​ ​States​ ​House​ ​of​ ​Representatives​

Dear​ ​Representative Meng:​ ​

I​ ​am taking part in eGirl Power’s AAPI Initiative, an online platform to educate the AAPI community and unite efforts to #StopAsianHate #StopAAPIHate. An IRS-approved 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, eGirl Power believes the best way to fight discrimination is through education, and this is the spirit and approach of its AAPI Initiative.​ ​

I’m writing to share details about the AAPI Initiative and show my support for The Teaching Asian Pacific American History Act (H.R. 2283) that you reintroduced in May 2021 in the wake of ever-increasing anti-Asian attacks during COVID-19. I want you to know that eGirl Power is already working to put into place the kind of education you are proposing for the whole country. Perhaps there are lessons learned we can share to help you in your mission to get this Act passed, once and for all.​ ​

In this program, AAPI girls and the broader community learn about AAPI history, the many cultures that collectively comprise AAPI, and AAPI female role models who have contributed to America. Have you heard of Mamie Tape? I hadn’t, and when I learned about her, I realized that more people need to know the story of this 8-year-old Chinese American girl who helped desegregate schools – way back in 1885! Mamie Tape's effort to desegregate the San Francisco public schools went to the California Supreme Court seven decades before Brown v. Board of Education.​

I am inspired by Mamie Tape, and I am also inspired by you. I totally agree with you that Asian Pacific American history is either missing or poorly represented in the K-12 curriculum. A recent survey found that 42 percent of people living in the U.S. cannot name a single prominent Asian American! If people don’t learn about AAPI history, contributions, and experiences, AAPI individuals will continue to be seen as invisible or as foreigners.​ ​

When you spoke at your alma mater, Stuyvesant High School, in April 2021, you described how a letter from a seventh grader opened your eyes to period poverty and menstrual inequity. And you took immediate action and got results, with period products now in all NYC public schools. I hope this letter will inspire and encourage you to continue to work to right the wrong that exists in teaching our history!​ ​