Kaitlyn Tran

2021 – MISSOURI (ST. LOUIS REGION)

Kaitlyn Tran is a junior at Clayton High School in Clayton, Mo. When anti-Asian hate incidents began rising in March 2020, Kaitlyn felt that data from self-reported hate incidents was one of the most impactful ways to draw awareness to the issue. To truly advance racial equity, she envisioned having organizations and communities come together in order to draw a clear, data-driven national picture of anti-Asian hate in the U.S. Kaitlyn co-created the National Data Coalition Against Anti-Asian Hate to collaborate and collectively increase the capacity of the data branches of AAPI organizations. She has established partnerships with two national AAPI organizations and recruited a team of volunteers across data science and academic research fields. Starting with aggregating existing data on hate incidents and connecting victims to local resources, then researching reporting trends over time and rallying support for legislation, she hopes to build a system that can protect the AAPI community and drive a movement that won’t be caught in silos. Ultimately, Kaitlyn sees the coalition as a convener to increase organizational communication, while also conducting on-the-ground work that supports victims and creates lasting impact toward systemic change. She believes that AAPI solidarity can unite across disciplines to help the public understand how and where to mobilize, incite policy change, and heal a nation splintered by hate and racism. For too long, anti-Asian hate has been normalized and its victims silenced. When AAPIs collectively stand together, our unapologetic and bold shouts merge into a voice that demands to be heard and can’t be ignored. Beyond this project, Kaitlyn also serves as the student representative to the Clayton School Board of Education and leads the STL Digital Divide Project, a student-led initiative for digital equity.