Charitable Choices: Yuko Fedrau for The Pan Asian Collective

The Pan Asian Collective is a locally-based grassroots collective aiming to empower and grow the intersectional Asian community through events that centre their core beliefs on education, solidarity and community. We spoke with Finance Coordinator Yuko Fedrau to learn more about how the organization seeks to increase meaningful engagement with Asian culture and history within the community.

The Pan Asian Collective
Sara Negrin, Rachel Takasaki, Shelly Bahng

Describe your charity/non-profit/volunteer work in a few sentences.

The Pan Asian Collective was founded in 2019, and it is a QPIRG-McGill and QPIRG-Concordia working group. Throughout the year, we host various events including a book club, potlucks, picnics, film screenings, discussion groups, and an arts market with a focus on Pan-Asian community engagement and education in the wider Tio’tia:ke/Montreal area. The collective’s principles are rooted in leftist politics that centre abolition and solidarity across global Indigenous struggles against colonialism, capitalism, and white supremacy – we welcome all Asian-identified folks who share our values to join us!

What problem does it aim to solve?

Our mission is to increase educational and community engagement in Pan-Asian history and culture within the greater Tio’tia:ke/Montreal area, while recognizing the diversity of Asian experiences. We are not bound by a national identity, rather a common experience that comes with being racialized as Asian, including but not limited to Asians from North America, Asians who grew up in Asia, mixed-race Asians, LBGTQ2IA+ Asians, first/second/eighth generation Asians, adopted Asians, Asians that have strong ties to their cultural heritage and Asians that, for various reasons, do not. We believe in community as a form of resilience, care, and empowerment. PAC’s goal is to uplift and celebrate our differences within Asian identity from an intersectional perspective, rather than splintering the community into static groups.

When did you start/join it?

I joined PAC in around April 2023.

How did you first get involved?

I originally attended my first PAC event around March 2023, which was called “Un(PAC)k: Digital Diasporas,” a discussion event where we could literally “unpack” the ways in which we build community (or become untethered from it) in the context of an increasingly digital social landscape. Because I’m no longer a student, I found myself craving a space to critically think about complex ideas with peers who have a similar relationship to place/space as me. I found it very refreshing to be able to jump into a conversation with a mutual sense of solidarity and understanding from the beginning.

After that initial event, I continued to attend some of their more casual events, such as picnics in the summer, and potlucks in the winter – and really found that this was a community that I felt safe in. I deeply cherish the friendships I’ve made while volunteering for PAC, and hope to help continue the growth of our organization in the future!

The Pan Asian Collective
Our last large-scale event, Interwoven A Pan-Asian Makers’ Market.

How has the organization changed since then?

PAC first started as a student-run McGill-based collective, but as time went on, PAC’s membership and audience shifted. While we still have ties to both anglophone universities in Montreal, our membership is no longer solely student-based and has increased with more members from different parts of the city, diverse backgrounds and age ranges. In its first few years, PAC focused on putting together small-scale and low-production events such as online discussions, reading circles, and picnics. However, over time, our capacity has increased – and so has the scale of our events. Most recently, we held our largest event to date, Interwoven: A Pan-Asian Maker’s Market. We showcased an incredible line-up of 15 vendors and 8 performers. We had over 200 attendees who were able to immerse themselves in an afternoon celebrating Asian arts and culture.

How can our readers help?

Sharing the word with your Asian communities about the Pan-Asian Collective, support us by coming to our events and reaching out if you want to collaborate!

Do you have any events coming up?

We are currently in our brainstorming period for our next round of programming but keep an eye out on our Instagram account, we’ll be posting new events soon!

Where can we follow you?

Email | Instagram | Facebook

PAY IT FORWARD: What is an awesome local community organization you love?

Centre Kapwa, Softgong, Super Boat People, Rainbow Noodles, Head & Hands, Brique par Brique