Leader Profile: October Gunawan

by Rebecca Wei

Setting the scene: I met October Gunawan at a coffee shop on a Saturday. We both got herbal iced teas. October is a queer, feminist, socialist (help others like you’d help yourself), radical (everyone can and should do something), disabled AAPI who generally uses the pronouns they/them.


1.Why are you planning on participating in AAA day?

October wants to help AAPIs become more empowered in the community and in politics. This year (and in general), they’re focused on immigration issues and anti-blackness* in AAPI communities.

2.What was one notable community action event you’ve attended in the past?

The emergency post-election anti-Trump rally in Chicago. It started off as just one guy wanting to express his frustration and post-election feelings with his friends, and then turned into this huge thing. Also, Trump is just the encapsulation of all the terrible things: misogyny, xenophobia, Islamophobia, anti-blackness, etc.

3.Favorite thing about summer?

Open beaches and water–they were meant to be a mermaid.


*Stuff Rebecca learned: Anti-blackness is an American symptom of racism. Globally, it would be more accurate to say Asian communities are colorist and still have colonialist mindsets/values.