FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Asian Pacific Fund Opens Dialogue on Surviving and Thriving in Our Post-Election World
SAN FRANCISCO (February 21, 2017) —Asian Pacific Fund, a community foundation, co-hosted a convening on February 17, 2017 in partnership with the San Francisco Office of Civic Engagement & Immigrant Affairs (OCEIA). Nearly 70 executive directors and other organizational representatives gathered to explore how the policy and resource environment has shifted since the November election and the implications those shifts have for the Bay Area’s Asian and Pacific Islander (API) community.
Audrey Yamamoto, president and executive director of the Asian Pacific Fund, began the discussion stating, “Now more than ever, we need to create spaces where our community can come together and discuss how we can serve the most vulnerable in our community, especially immigrants.”
Moderated by OCEIA Executive Director, Adrienne Pon, the speaker panel included Tom Wong, PhD, Assistant Professor of Political Science at UC San Diego, Karthick Ramakrishnan, PhD, Associate Dean of the School of Public Policy at UC Riverside and Thu Quach, Director of Community Health and Research at Asian Health Services. The panelists detailed recent immigration legislation that served as a backdrop to the discussion and spoke to the disconnect between the API community as the fastest growing racial group yet with the least political representation and philanthropic return to the community. In spite of the challenges, the panelists proposed a range of strategies on how to address them at the federal, state and local level.
Attendees, many of whom represented Asian Pacific Fund’s 70 affiliate partners, expanded the conversation to focus on how these issues affected their organizations and constituents directly. The Fund’s partners collectively touch the lives of more than 100,000 of the Bay Area’s most vulnerable Asians and Pacific Islanders providing an array of vital services, including access to health care, citizenship workshops, LGBTQ rights advocacy and protecting our environment. It became clear that a great importance needed to be placed on investing in smaller, local community-based organizations.
Reflecting on the significance of the convening, Director Pon stated, “San Francisco is very clear about our commitment to ensuring that immigrants, like all residents, feel welcomed, included and safe in our great city. We want immigrants to feel valued for their many contributions to our economic and cultural success.”
This was the start of a dialogue that will continue to grow and the Asian Pacific Fund is proud to carry on these convenings to strengthen organizations on the front lines of serving the API community.
About Asian Pacific Fund: The Asian Pacific Fund is a San Francisco-based community foundation dedicated to improving the lives of Asian and Pacific Islander communities in the Bay Area. The Fund mobilizes philanthropic giving from donors, supports organizations that serve the most vulnerable and raises awareness about pressing community needs.
About OCEIA: The San Francisco Office of Civic Engagement & Immigrant Affairs (OCEIA) is a policy, compliance, direct services and grantmaking office. OCEIA’s mission is to promote inclusive policies and foster immigrant assistance programs that lead to full civic, economic and linguistic integration. OCEIA seeks a safe, engaged and inclusive San Francisco where everyone can contribute and thrive.