Hey, Hoai An! Can you introduce yourself to our supporters?
Hi! I’m Hoai An (hwhy on), and I use she/her pronouns. I’m so excited to be the new community organizer for Ann Arbor! I was born and raised here as a first generation Vietnamese American - both of my parents are refugees. I just graduated from U of M-Ann Arbor, with a major in Social Theory and Practice where I focused on how implicit racial bias affects the healthcare of people of color. I also minored in social work, and music. I have been involved in campus and community equity work throughout my life, but most heavily in the last few years. At U of M, some of my organizing as included immigration rights, community accountability practices, climate and environmental justice, and racial equity.
Why is Planned Parenthood important to you?
I have been so privileged to grow up in a place where Planned Parenthood has a huge presence. While of course they are strong nationwide, I am most impressed by their local commitment to sustaining and empowering the communities they are in. Access to not simply health care, but equitable and comprehensive health care for every single person is a right that should never be denied to anyone.
As someone who can get pregnant, and a woman of color, my body is constantly being policed. Planned Parenthood fights for not just reproductive rights, but reproductive justice. Solidarity and equity for everyone means that I need what they need too. Planned Parenthood fights for each of us.
What do you love about Ann Arbor?
I feel so lucky to be able to organize in the place that I grew up in. Ann Arbor definitely has a reputation of being privileged and white, which isn’t untrue. However, people often forget about the diversity that truly does exist here, because it’s not always given a platform. There is incredibly strong organizing in Ann Arbor, with amazing efforts being led by and centering frontline communities.
While many of the terms around intersectionality and inclusivity are being repopularized, much of those frameworks have been practiced by Black organizers and organizers of color here for decades already. I am so inspired by the people in this community, and the work that they’re doing to combat structural oppression - it really has shaped all that I know.
What are you most excited to do in your new role?
I’m really excited to be able to learn much more about reproductive justice, and be able to apply what I’ve learned in practice. I am most interested in being able to fight for reproductive justice in how it relates to not just health care, but every single issue (transgender rights, racial justice, climate justice, immigration justice, prison justice, etc).
I also know that there’s already a strong history of work in the role that I have - I can’t wait to meet everyone involved and learn from them, as well as give space for new people (especially young people) to join the fight. Learning how to organize, fight for what you believe in, and know the language to talk about these issues are powerful tools that I’m excited to invite other people into.
Do you have any cool hobbies, peculiar interests or special talents?
As part of my music minor, I learned how to play the bell tower, and have now been a carillonist for three years!
How can people get in contact with you?
They can call me at (734) 985-0846 or send me at Hoaian.firstname.lastname@example.org.