Chinese Youth Initiative

2013 CYI Summer Interns at Tour R Chinatown Rally and March

The mission of the Chinese Youth Initiative is to develop youth leadership in the Chinese American community.  We strive to accomplish this goal by cultivating awareness about the issues facing Chinese Americans and providing youth with experience in grassroots community organizing.

What is Chinese Youth Initiative (CYI)?

Since 1994, CYI has brought together Chinese American youth from all over the Boston area. Sponsored by the Chinese Progressive Association, the program’s mission is to develop and involve youth leadership in the Chinese American community. We strive to accomplish this goal through cultivating awareness around Chinese American issues and providing youth with experience in grassroots community organizing.

CYI was started with the notion that, if given guidance, opportunity, and experience in making a difference, many youth would want to better understand our society and create positive change in their communities. We empower youth through education, leadership skills development, and taking action!

Summer Internship

CYI hosts a seven week paid summer internship that provides high school students with the opportunity to learn about and make a difference in the Chinese American community in Boston.  The internship covers issues such as worker rights, community stabilization, immigrant rights, and political empowerment.    With each topic, interns learn about the history, exlore their personal connection, and take action to improve the conditions for the community.  Youth in our program have left with life long friendships and empowered to make change.   An application and interview process is required and typically takes place in April and May every year. Applications are now available for our 2015 Summer Internship program! Apply by April 10th, 2015. Click here for application and more information! 

Year-Round Program

Chinese Youth Initiative’s year-round program is open to ALL youth who want to get involved with the Chinatown community. As a member of CYI, you will be given new opportunities to organize and develop your leadership.  Youth can become involved in many different ways including attending a general assembly meeting, joining a campaign subcommittee, or attending a social event.  Contact the youth coordinator for more information.

Current CYI Projects Include:

  • Project AAIYA! Asian American Initiative for Youth Action: High school aged youth can become active leaders in Chinatown through this 10-week volunteer program that provides social justice knowledge, skills, and real opportunities to make positive change. Project AAIYA is a weekly program and youth who participate will receive volunteer hours. 
  • Chinatown Library Campaign: Chinatown has been without a library since 1950s when it was torn down to build the highway through the neighborhood.  Since 2000, CYI has been working to bring a library back to Chinatown through advocacy, education, and support of community initiatives such as opening a temporary storefront library and reading room. Check out the video made by CYI about why we need a library in chinatown below.

  • Chinatown Bike-A-Thon: In CYI’s annual fundraiser, we promote healthy activity, investment in youth, and solidarity as we ride through the bike paths of Boston.  We welcome any sponsors and interested riders!  As summer approaches, look for more information on the Bike-A-Thon!
  • Public Transit for the Public Good: For the past two years, CYI has been involved with the Youth Affordability Coalition fighting against fare increases and service cuts to the public transit that our youth and members depend on.

Join the Chinese Youth Initiative Facebook group for more updates or e-mail our youth coordinator at kim at (“@” has been replaced by “at” in the e-mail address to avoid spam)


November 1, 2017

Exercise Your Voting Rights!

Recently we have learned from many elderly Chinese-speaking voters that people came to their doors to help them apply for and fill in absentee ballots. These people collected incomplete ballots in unsealed return envelopes and asked elderly voters to sign the unsealed envelopes. Because the ballots were not sealed, it is possible that candidates may have been marked without the voters' knowledge or consent. Some voters were even pressured into applying for absentee ballots when they would otherwise vote at the polls on Election Day.

August 9, 2017

Summer Newsletter 通訊

Recap of our 40th Gala, our Annual Bikeathon Fundraiser, New Staff Announcements, Upcoming Events, and Other Thinkpieces

April 22, 2016

Joint Statement on Peter Liang Sentencing

We are outraged that Peter Liang has escaped accountability for killing Akai Gurley. For more than a year, Akai Gurley’s family has been courageously speaking out to demand justice for their loved one. Judge Chun’s sentencing decision today is an insult to Akai Gurley, his family, and all victims of police violence. Any amount of jail/prison time is a brief snippet of time compared to the lifetime Akai Gurley’s young daughters will have to live without their father. The sentencing sends the message that it is okay to kill innocent and precious lives, as long as it is done by a police officer.