Celebrating Contributions to the AAPI Community

In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, ECAASU would like to highlight the groundbreaking contributions of Christopher Zou, ECAASU’s First Trailblazer Award Winner. Zou, a junior at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, is pursuing his BFA in Film & Television and a second major in Asian/Pacific/American Studies. He exemplifies overwhelming talent in filmmaking, and even more inspiring is his revolutionary advocacy for AAPIs in the media.

 Two of Chris’ notable film achievements were this past summer when Zou debuted two short films at the 34th Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF). Closed, co-directed with classmate Alex Shin, is about an apparent robbery one night at a Chinese takeout and was screened in competition while This is a Story of a Girl I Love, a narrated tale of a boy and his relationship, was a part of the festival’s “For Youth By Youth” shorts program. At a press conference for the festival’s community screenings, Chris was featured in many Asian language publications including World JournalSing Tao Daily, and The Korea Times.

On campus, Zou is an active student leader in a number of APA interest organizations. He is the Vice President of the Asian Cultural Union and sits on the planning boards for Asian Heritage Month at NYU and the APA BRIDGE (Asian Pacific Americans Building Relationships to Inspire Diversity, Growth, and Empowerment) Program. He has also played an integral role on the planning board for the NYC Asian American Student Conference (NYCAASC), for which he has served as Co-Sponsorship Chair, Associate Director, and this year as Co-Director.

Zou’s personal outlook and contributions to the AAPI community reveal a deeply minded individual, whose goals span wider than his immediate surroundings. Through the utilization of the limited resources, Zou is a conscious filmmaker, aware of the consequences that come with narrow media representations of minority groups. He has established innovative strategies and tools to create a more diverse and accurate representation of Asian Pacific Americans and is able to use this unique perspective to serve as an outstanding advocate for the AAPI community.

ECAASU would like to extend special recognition and thanks to the sponsors of this award:

The Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF), the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) and the Asian Pacific American Coalition of Connecticut (APAC).  These three organizations are committed to creating leadership opportunities and cultivating the next generation of leaders.  During Asian Pacific American Heritage month it is important to recognize organizations that contribute to the development of the AAPI community.

The Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) is the country's largest non-profit organization dedicated to providing college scholarships to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs). APIASF works to create opportunities for students to access, complete and succeed after post-secondary education. Through its programs and services, APIASF strives to develop future leaders who will excel in their career, serve as role models in their communities, and contribute to a vibrant America. Since 2003, APIASF has distributed more than $50 million in scholarships to deserving AAPI students throughout the United States and in the Pacific Islands.

The Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) is a national non-partisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting Asian Pacific American participation and representation at all levels of the political process, from community service to elected office. APAICS programs focus on developing leadership, building public policy knowledge, and filling the political pipeline for Asian Pacific Americans to pursue public office at the local, state, and federal levels.

The Asian Pacific American Coalition of Connecticut (APAC)  is a non-partisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to engaging in advocacy, education, outreach, interagency and community collaboration to improve the well being of the AAPI community in Connecticut.


For more information on these organizations, please visit their websites:

Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF ) http://www.apiasf.org/

Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) http://www.apaics.org/

The Asian Pacific American Coalition of Connecticut (APAC)  http://www.apacct.org/