Core Team

Current Core Members

Portrait of Phyllis
Image description: Phyllis, a second gen nonbinary taiwanese american, stands sideways in front of a dark leafy green wall while laughing towards the left. They have a shaved undercut, copper earrings by Adornamorphosis Jewelry by Ruby Pinto, and a black long-sleeve tucked into black pleated pants with a red belt. Photo by Jamie Davis

Phyllis yozi (they/them), of hakka and hokkien parents. A nonbinary creator exploring gender, culture, and generational heritage in the queer and/or Taiwanese diaspora. They seek to learn and unlearn, grow and feel, strengthen self in community, and continue inviting in joy and fun!

They first got involved with i2i during the Akai Gurley/Peter Liang case when we held a workshop discussing the Chinese community’s local and national responses. Joining Core in 2018, Phyllis loves planning potlucks, gatherings, and organizational structure. They always delight in hyping up their fellow i2i members. Phyllis enjoys biking and longboarding across Chicago, swimming, reading, drawing, and sewing. They love learning (and maintaining proficiency in) languages, so if you want to practice, let them know! Phyllis is thankful to have found a queer and trans Asian space so welcoming and loving at a time when they were still unsure of their own identities. Check out their art/design on IG and tumblr all @sanbaowa 🙂

Portrait of Diana
Image description: Diana, a queer Fil-Am, smiles goofily, almost mid-laugh, with their head tilted up and gaze up past the top of the photo. They are against a cream-colored cinderblock wall wearing a brown/beige jacket over their signature CumbiaSazo sweater. They are also holding a bouquet of green and yellow flowers close to their right side.

Diana (they/she) can always be found wearing a black sweater that says “Cumbia Sazo.”

As a Filipinx in diaspora, Diana was born and raised in Chicagoland. They haven’t left (yet) because of the beautiful strong and rad communities growing here.

Chicagoland is also where, five years ago, Diana first met i2i as they were first coming to understand the intersectionality of their own identities as a queer Fil-Am. They joined the org because of i2i’s commitment to stand for racial justice and queer/trans justice and against systemic oppression.

Outside of i2i, Diana organizes against US imperialism and for national democracy in the Philippines with Anakbayan Chicago, takes short bike rides, and sometimes/all the times tells stories to whoever will listen.

Diana is looking forward to future i2i storytelling events. Did you catch Diana and their mom tearing up the dance floor at the NQAPIA Catalyst Awards? 😁

Portrait of Joyce
Image description: Joyce grins joyfully into the camera close in the foreground, with a black puffy jacket, round glasses, shaved head, and a soft gaze. They are on a beach at sunset with the clouds in a small patterned puffs across the sky. A green mountain from the left meets the water and sand on the right.

Joyce, (they/she), is a slow mover and a fast thinker with a deep belief in the practice of cooking full meals at 2am. Joyce was born in Ohio and raised in North Carolina and currently works in educational civic engagement programming in the Chicagoland area. As a second generation Chinese American, Joyce understands community to be cross-generational and cross-continental and time as upside-down and backwards-in.

Joyce found i2i during a time when they were realizing the fullness of their queer Chinese American identity. They first got involved after attending an NQAPIA summit aimed at mapping the AAPI Queer community needs in Chicago. Since then, they have joined i2i to create worlds that center racial, immigrant, queer & trans justice. They are excited about all of the future potlucks!

Outside of i2i, Joyce enjoys doing laundry, decolonizing pleasure, and talking about books. If you want a book swap buddy – let them know!!

Portrait of Lexi
Image description: Lexi, a chinese american transgender female, crouches outside underneath green trees by an adorable doggo whose mouth is open wide in a tongue-out smile. Lexi grins into the the camera with her hand on the dog’s head while wearing black-rimmed glasses, a nose ring, a maroon shirt, and black pants.

Lexi (she/her) has been in i2i for more than a year now. She is a Chinese American Transgender Female who loves to shout her voice across the room. Her first experience with leadership started in high school, where her last two years was spent as a president in a video gaming club and the vice president of another club. Her first attempt in organization work was when she tried to get a handful of students to come to school in a dress. This is because she was told that she would get sent home if she wore a dress to school. She came out as transgender in college, and that is where she was able to speak out on transgender and Queer topics such as Transgender Day of Remembrance and speak on panels and events. Now she is on i2i core! In core she works with the communication between #NoCopAcademy and i2i, and also takes care of the Families Gathering group with Tri-C.

Outside of i2i, organization work, and her job, she spends most of her time building and crafting projects. Some of the projects she has enjoyed, include making a butterfly knife out of Popsicle sticks, wire wrapping crystals, fixing a TV, and spray painting clothing. Fun fact: she is allergic to dogs and cats, but that’s never going to stop her from giving them attention and rubbing her face on them.

Portrait of Liz
Image description: Liz, a queer mixed Chinese/white USian is outside on a wooden porch with stairs visible behind them. They’re wearing glasses and a light blue button-down shirt and are smiling cheerfully and toothily into the camera. In this photo, they have freshly cut hair in an undercut by Phyllis Liu!

Liz Haas (they/them, she/her) is a mixed Chinese/white queer USian who started getting involved in i2i during the summer of 2017 and joined i2i core in April 2018. Liz grew up in the suburbs north of Chicago, left for college in Massachusetts, heard a professor there speak at an Asian American feminism summit about their involvement with i2i, and immediately sought out the group upon returning to the Chicago area post-graduation. Liz wanted to connect with other QTAPI in the Chicago area and was delighted to find an organization that does work around racial justice and LGBTQ liberation.

Liz studied history with a focus in comparative colonialism at Smith College and is now the Development Manager at the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum. Liz is interested in continuing to do work around empowering communities of color, immigrant communities, LGBTQ communities, and women. Liz also enjoys speculative fiction and theater, and they write plays on the side. One major i2i project that Liz is involved with is the Queer Asian American Archive, for which they are collecting oral histories from LGBTQQIA people in the Chicago area and the Midwest for the UIC Daley Library archive (please let Liz know if you’re interested!). Liz also handles finance stuff with Joyce, so feel free to ask them any questions about that, as well.

Portrait of Alex
Image description: Alex gazes slyly into the camera, they are smiling crookedly and wearing a black button down with a white and silver flower pattern. They have short slightly wavy black hair and dark rimmed big glasses. They are wearing a silver choker necklace with a round quarter sized design.

Alex Y. Ding (they/she) is a Chicago-based organizer and videographer. They are the co-director of organizing at Dissenters, an anti-militarist youth organization fighting to divest from war and policing, and invest in life-giving institutions.

They joined i2i core because they are excited about building rad queer and trans AAPI power in Chicago (and the Midwest), and believe deeply that abolition is the path to queer and trans liberation. A part of the Chinese diaspora, she was born in Minneapolis, and raised in Minnesota, Indiana, and Hong Kong. 

In their free time, they like listening to pop music, cooking for friends, watching 90 Day Fiancé, going dancing, and making art. Alex’s favorite foods to cook right now are pies, spiced rice (like garlic or turmeric!), dill, and shishito peppers.

Past Core Members

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