Billy Zeng

Youth Board Member, Greater Malden Asian American Community Coalition

The Greater Malden Asian American Community Coalition (GMAACC) is a grassroots, community-led nonprofit that builds power with Asian American community members of the greater Malden area. GMAACC’s work includes providing direct services, strengthening coalitions, and organizing to advocate for community well-being and equity.

Billy Zeng joined GMAACC in June 2020 originally as a Youth Leader taking part in the nonprofit’s Youth Organizing Group (YOG). This group consists of six dedicated Asian American youth from the Greater Malden area working towards expanding their knowledge of community organizing through self-initiated service projects. In October 2020, Zeng joined the Board of Directors as GMAACC’s first Youth on Board. As a senior at Malden High School, Zeng has been able to invest in his community through volunteering at Malden’s local Immigrant Learning Center, serving as the Student Representative of the 2021 Malden Superintendent Search Committee, or other local initiatives that engage youth voices. With an interest in education, government, biopsychology, and ethnic studies, Zeng hopes to one day become an educator, advocating tirelessly for equity in school environments.

Social media handles:
Instagram: @ greatermaldenaacc
Facebook: @ Greater Malden Asian American Community Coalition

Discussion Content

The Muddled History of Anti-Asian Violence by Hua Hsu (article)

Brief intro: 

I never understood the importance of my history classes until I recognized that I barely knew anything about my own history as an Asian American. I believe that understanding history is critical to fathoming current events and who we are as a society today, especially given the resurgence of anti-Asian violence. This issue did not emerge as a result of the dangerous rhetoric Asian Americans have faced due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. There is this false perception that this issue is new when in reality, anti-Asian violence and sentiments have been interwoven into the history of the United States, notably the Chinese Exclusion Act. For me, I have a hard time understanding how to advocate and better fight for my own Asian American community when I do not even understand the nuances of my collective history or what any of it means.

Billy Zeng’s Discussion Questions (PDF for Print)

  1. Have you learned about anything related to Asian American discrimination in your history classes?
  2. What was the most surprising fact you took away after reading this article?
  3. Why is it important to study history, and more importantly ethnic studies?
  4. What constitutes a hate crime? In what ways is it similar to microaggressions and other acts of discriminatory behavior?