APEN is celebrating our 20 years of “Generating Power” at the Oakland Museum on October 5th. As a lead up to our event, this May, Asian-Pacific Islander (API) Heritage month, we will highlight the vast wealth of API Heritage in APEN’s own history. We will feature a different former APEN staff, board or member each week.
Francis also wrote a beautiful reflection on the Pacific Renaissance Plaza campaign and APEN’s anti-eviction work. Click here to read it.
Years you were involved with APEN: 2003-2010
Position: Community Leader with Power in Asians Organizing (PAO)
What is your proudest APEN memory? I joined APEN and was involved with other ethnic groups and communities in a coalition effort in Oakland fighting for affordable housing on Oak to 9th affordable project.
Our theme for the 20th anniversary is “generating power.” what do you believe are the most important ways of “generating power?” Please refer the answer for question No. 7.
How has 20 years of APEN impacted the API Movement? APEN has done amazing work for the communities here in Bay area especially in Oakland China town area where new immigrants are heavily concentrated. APEN provides information and educates new immigrants to realize the basic right of each individual and also make them understand the local politics and local political process. APEN helps, protects and organizes the underprivileged and minority [peoples] and makes their voice[s] heard. The victory [against the] eviction case [at] Pacific Renaissance Plaza is just one of the many that APEN has had a great impact on it.
What would your advice to a younger APA activist be? There are many ethnic minority groups here in the States. [For example, the] Jewish community is considered a…minor[ity], but their political presence and impact are hard not to reckon with! We as APIs are certainly underrepresented in my opinion here in US. Older generation[s] came to the States with language barrier and they had to work hard just to survive. But younger generation[s] are educated and brought up here and there [is] more room and more opportunities for them to grow and to expand. Although US is a big melting pot, we should never lose our own identity! Get involved now!
Why should people support APEN’s work? APEN’s work [impacts] us as individuals and APEN’s work [impacts] us as minorities (Asian-Pacific Islanders). APEN’s work is for our sake and…our welfare. How can we not support their work?