Joseph Malasa is AALEAD’s Program Coordinator who is responsible for empowering both AAPI middle and high school youth in regards to leadership development and mental health education. He is in charge of the youth-led DC Youth Council, which involves youth participatory action research (YPAR) and advocating for community social causes, and an annual mental health education workshop series, which has centered on providing practical wellness tools for middle school youth and their families.
A life-long student, Joseph has a MA in Asian American Studies from San Francisco State University and a BA in American Studies and BS in Psychology from the University of Virginia. He has been inspired time and time again by older peers who have been willing to mentor him as well as by future generations who have been so committed to learning and bettering their respective communities. He has had extensive experience in building Asian American undergraduate student communities, electoral politics work in local/state/national races, operations and communications skills whilst working with the Asian American Journalism Association, and research experience regarding anti-Asian hate incidents and ethnic studies with Stop AAPI Hate.
Joseph has been raised by his community of Filipinx Americans, growing up in Virginia Beach, VA. He is passionate about sharing his own, familys’, friends’, and community’s stories as part of the larger narrative of Asian American history and ethnic studies. Even more so, he is committed to addressing systemic inequity through meaningful educational praxis and empowering those around him to continue to speak their truths. Having had the chance to teach ethnic studies in the Bay area with Pin@y Educational Partnerships, Joseph embraces a pedagogy that focuses upon student wellness, critical dialogue, and life-story sharing.