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Who is APEN?

Meet APEN’s Staff & Board

Group photo

Our Staff Members

Ayesha Abbasi

Ayesha Abbasi

State Organizer (she/her)

Ayesha is a first-generation Pakistani American raised in the Bay Area. Her early childhood experiences in Pakistan led her to become involved in a number of non-profit organizations providing resources to communities in need both locally and globally. Ayesha went on to receive a degree in Political Science from UC Riverside and continued to combat inequity by leading cultural competency education workshops and building multi-cultural coalitions. Through her community organizing and outreach work, she was awarded the Sumi Harada API Leadership Award and went on to be a Ronald O. Loveridge Policy Fellow. Ayesha is excited for her role as the State Organizer where she can use her strengths in community outreach, education, and organizing in conjunction with her knowledge of statewide policy. In her free time, you can find her propagating houseplants, volunteering as a counselor for Exhale, or taking a hike.

Elle Chen

Elle Chen

Senior Policy and Campaign Manager (they/them)

Elle is a second generation Taiwanese American who studied public policy and environmental justice during their undergraduate degree. They began their career through the Capital Fellows Program working for the Senate Public Safety Committee and Senator Nancy Skinner. Elle served as a Senior Legislative Aide for Assemblymember Mark Stone spearheading bills including AB 376 (2020) establishing a Student Loan Bill of Rights, AB 1766 (2022) expanding CA ID eligibility to 1.7 mil undocumented residents, and AB 1577 (2022) authorizing legislative staff to collectively bargain. They bring several years of experience as lead budget staffer and have served on two LGBTQ+ nonprofit boards. Elle completed their MSc in International Social and Public Policy at the London School of Economics. Outside of work, you can find Elle attending book launches and film festivals, soaking up the California sun, and celebrating queer joy.

Connie Cho

Connie Cho

Just Transition Policy Strategist (she/her)

Connie is a second generation Korean-American who hails from the Midwest. As a movement lawyer, she is passionate about democratizing access to the law and the power to govern. Prior to joining APEN, Connie was the Richmond Staff Attorney and Justice Catalyst Legal Fellow at Communities for a Better Environment (CBE). She also served as a member of the statewide Environmental Justice Advisory Committee for the 2022 Update to the AB 32 Climate Change Scoping Plan. Connie brings a highly collaborative, multidisciplinary approach to the climate justice movement after working in local government, direct services, and community organizing groups to improve health care and social safety net programs on the East Coast. As a Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholar from middle school through graduate school, she completed her M.Sc. in Gender, Policy, and Inequalities at the London School of Economics and received her J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Connie lives in San Francisco with her partner and her rescue pup, Nala. Outside of work, she is a part of the National Lawyers Guild SF-Bay Area Chapter and Legal Solidarity Bay Area.

Marie Choi

Marie Choi

Communications Director (she/her)

Marie is a second generation diasporic Korean mama, researcher, and radio producer. She has worked on shows like Making Contact, Upfront, Hard Knock Radio, and Apex Express. She has put her research and communications skills to work, supporting workers and communities organizing both inside and outside of NGOs and unions. She likes cooking, swimming, and audio stories for children.

Christine Cordero

Christine Cordero

Co-Director (she/her/siya)

Raised by a Filipino immigrant family in the working class town of Pittsburg (no “h”), CA, Christine acts from the deep belief that we are stronger together and can go farther together than we ever could alone. She is Co-Director of Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN), organizing with immigrants and refugees for a healthy environment and thriving economy for all communities. For over 20 years, Christine strategized, organized, and built coalitions across environmental health and justice, workers rights, and economic and racial justice issues. Previously, she was Executive Director at the Center for Story-based Strategy, training 2,000+ people and working with 200+ groups to reinvigorate narrative strategies for social justice. Christine is an ordained priest of the Chozen-ji line of Rinzai Zen, and trains in Oakland, CA and Kalihi Valley, HI. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Linguistics from Stanford University, with a focus on language and power.

Rona Fernandez

Rona Fernandez

Development Director (she/they/siya)

Rona Fernandez’s first direct action was an all-day sit-in at the Chancellor’s office at UC Berkeley to defend Ethnic Studies. After college she co-founded the School of Unity and Liberation and was a field organizer with Californians for Justice, where she experienced the combined power of electoral work, grassroots organizing, and fundraising to win racial justice campaigns. For fourteen years, she trained, coached and advised dozens of organizations across the country on fundraising strategy as a Senior Consultant at Klein & Roth Consulting. Rona also serves as Resource Coordinator for the People of Color Sustainable Housing Network. You can find an archive of her articles about grassroots fundraising at the Nonprofit Quarterly. A lifelong Bay Area resident, Rona is also a dancer and creative writer and is working on a climate fiction novel set in the year 2051.

Isa Flores-Jones

Isa Flores-Jones

Campaign Communications Manager (she/her)

Raised in Sacramento, Isa is a Mexican-American writer, editor, shower-singer and older sister. Isa learned to plan actions and build coalitions as a student organizer with her campus’s fossil fuel divestment campaign. After college, Isa worked as the statewide Communications Manager with the California Environmental Justice Alliance. Isa has trained and completed fellowships with the Sunrise Movement, 350.org, ReFrame, and the Center for Story-based Strategy. She credits her belief in storytelling and love of a good yard-sale to her grandmother, who never let a good story (or bargain) pass her by.

Caitlyn He

Caitlyn He

Oakland Community Organizer (she/her)

Caitlyn has 6 years of experience supporting a diverse group of residents living in Chinatown public housing. She worked closely with elders, people with disabilities, and families. She is passionate about serving non-English speaking low-income community members.

Jing Jing He

Jing Jing He

Civic Engagement Manager (she/her)

Jing Jing was born in TaiShan, GuangDong, China. She immigrated to the United States when she was 13. She speaks fluently in TaiShanese, Mandarin, Cantonese and English. She graduated last year with a Social Welfare degree from UC Berkeley. Jing Jing’s role at APEN as a community organizer helps fight for social and environmental justice. Previously, Jing Jing has also participated in APEN Action, a program designed to help organize and educate API voters.  As a community organizer, she hopes to first educate herself, then bring her knowledge about grassroots organizing to the community and learn from the community. She wants to help generate power in the Asian community into having greater influence in where they live and work.

Vivian Yi Huang

Vivian Yi Huang

Co-Director (she/her)

Vivian Yi Huang is honored to work at Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN) alongside immigrant and refugee community members to build power and create the world of love and justice we envision.   Being from a Chinese immigrant family, she was raised in a culture of loving your people, living in the world of possibility, and the importance of making ideas tangible.  Over the past 11 years and now as a Co-Director, Vivian has played a leadership role in strengthening APEN’s organizing and leadership development, advancing our collective strategy for just transition and systemic change, catalyzing innovative models, and deepening our embodiment of feminisms and shared power.

Prior to working at APEN, Vivian spent a decade working on policy, legislative, and budget campaigns, including model policies to improve health care interpretation, $25 million for health disparities in cancer, and a successful effort to support immigrant parents that made a conservative “top bills to kill list.”  She has also been a facilitator, trainer, and teacher with the Women’s Policy Institute, School of Unity and Liberation (SOUL), and San Francisco State University Department of Public Health.

Vivian finds joy in dance parties with her threenager and doggy, somatics and healing, masterpieces by Wong Kar Wai and Octavia Butler, and cake, ice cream, or best of all, the combination.

 

Tim Huey

Tim Huey

Administrative Specialist (he/him, they is cool as well)

Tim Huey grew up in Walnut Creek, in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has always believed in, “knowing where he comes from” and how it affects the present and future of his family and community. His family roots come from Guangdong in southern China, to San Francisco, with migrant stops in Chiapas, Mexico, and Vancouver, Canada.

After attending St. Mary’s College of California, Tim worked in Washington, DC before returning to the Bay Area to work at the Asian Law Caucus and EBAYC, the East Bay Asian Youth Center in Oakland. He has done a variety of work within immigrants’ rights, criminal justice reform, voter engagement, development, film festival operations, site-specific dance. Most recently Tim was a manager at the Palestinian restaurant Reem’s California’s throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Tim lives in Oakland, where he enjoys dance, soccer and volleyball in community.

Eli Isaacs

Eli Isaacs

Human Resources Manager (he/him)

Eli brings over 5 years of HR experience to APEN in his new role of Human Resources Manager. He strongly believes in what lies at the intersection of social/environmental justice and radical human resources. Prior to APEN, Eli worked at Tides Advocacy, a 501 (c) 4 fiscally sponsoring organization with partners all over the country and before that at Movement Strategy Center, an Oakland, CA based fiscal sponsor. Eli was a founding staff member at Reem’s California where he helped to bring Palestinian cuisine to people all over the Bay Area. Prior to Reem’s, Eli was in the social work field for over a decade. Outside of work, you will find Eli at a park or museum with his two kids or on the soccer field with Left Wing FC playing anti-capitalist anti-imperialist futbol.

Emma Ishii

Emma Ishii

Local Policy Coordinator (she/her)

Born and raised in LA County, Emma was introduced to political work through her family’s involvement in the reparations movement for Japanese Americans. She previously worked for Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson’s office where she advocated for racial equity language to be incorporated into the Home Together 2026 Community Plan and collaborated with community groups to pass policies like the Alameda County Eviction Moratorium. Building off local policy experience, she is focused on political education for APEN members and using policy as a way to work toward healthy and regenerative communities.

Roko Kawai

Roko Kawai

Senior Grants Officer (she/her)

Roko’s grant work is deeply informed by her lived experience as a child of immigrants, a trauma survivor, and as a former dancer/choreographer. As a teacher, Roko has taught dance and improvisation in a wide range of communities, from SF State University and Bryn Mawr College to women at Philadelphia’s Holmesburg Prison and classical dancers in Cambodia. Her publications include Belonging and Solo: a danceworkbook, and she was a contributor to Contemporary Directions in Asian American Dance edited by Dr. Yutian Wong. Roko also served as co-curator for the Performing Diaspora Festival in San Francisco, and hosted the symposium panel, Body Destroyed/Body Remembered: Genocide, Civil War and Performance. In the nonprofit space, Roko was a founding board member of the Asian Arts Initiative in Philadelphia’s Chinatown and, in the Bay Area, worked as a programmer at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and a grants strategist for STAND! For Families Free of Violence and Girls Inc. of Alameda County. Roko believes that everyone has the right to thrive with the people and in the places they love. And she loves going on girl+dog adventures with her pup Luca!

Katherine Lee

Katherine Lee

Senior Richmond Youth Organizer (she/they)

Katherine is from Richmond, CA, born from a family of first generation Mien refugees. In elementary school, she began to attend APEN member meetings, as well as rallies and protests against the Chevron Refinery. This early participation in direct action is what fostered her passion and commitment to social and environmental justice. Throughout her teenage years, she continued to pursue her passion by taking on leadership roles for various civic engagement opportunities. A few of her past experiences to highlight include: Lead Phone Banker for Power California’s Summer 2019 Program, Team Lead for APEN Action’s 2018 Civic Engagement Program, and Lead Signature Gatherer for Richmond Kids First. She is proud to say that she is now the Richmond Youth Organizer at Asian Pacific Environmental Network.

Sky Liang

Sky Liang

Oakland Community Organizer (he/him)

sky@apen4ej.org

Sky was born in Guangzhou and immigrated to America with his family in 2006. Oakland is the first city he settled down in and he has been living in Oakland for more than 10 years. He started volunteering at Oakland Asian Branch Library since high school. After he met APEN staff at Laney College, he started joining APEN’s meetings and doing volunteer work with APEN. He previously was voted as a member of the Oakland Leaders Committee, so he got more opportunities to join council meetings and meet with governors for different campaigns. After he graduated from UCSD with a degree in Computer Science, he came back to the Bay Area and tried to find some ways to improve the community he has lived for a long time. That is the reason he is joining APEN. He hopes to talk to more residents in the Oakland community, and understand how they want their community to be improved, so that we can work together to achieve our goal.

Linna Lin

Linna Lin

Oakland Senior Community Organizer (she/her)

Linna was born and raised in Guangzhou, China. She first discovered her passion for environmental justice for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) people when she became a canvasser with APEN to help educate AAPI voters and activate their power. As an immigrant, she speaks Cantonese, Mandarin and English, and strives to bring her knowledge of Asian culture to influence AAPI civic and electoral engagement. After she graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Economics, she worked for Oakland District 2 Councilmember’s office as a Chinatown community liaison. Currently, Linna’s role at APEN is Senior Oakland Community Organizer, focusing on Anti-Displacement work and Housing Justice as well as Energy Democracy and Climate Justice Initiatives. She hopes to work towards APEN’s vision of building healthy, fair and just community.

Deanne Liu

Deanne Liu

Oakland Political Coordinator (they/them)

Deanne is a Bay Area American Born Chinese. For the past 10+ years, Deanne has recruited, mentored, and contributed to the political development of many Asian Americans and beyond. Deanne strives to foster intergenerational, linguistically just, and inclusive spaces in community.

Maria Morales

Maria Morales

Finance Coordinator (she/her)

Maria brings over 25 years of administrative and operations experience to her role at APEN and is proud to support the organization’s organizing work for a Just Transition.

Scott Nanos-Luz

Scott Nanos-Luz

Richmond Lead Organizer (he/him)

Scott is a mixed-race Filipino community & tenant organizer living on Huichin Ohlone Land.  A co-founder of Books for Days, Maji News, Project Kalahati, and the Better Neighborhoods, Same Neighbors Resource Center, his work is dedicated to building power, resources, and networks for collective action. Scott has given talks at SOMARTS, the San Francisco Public Library, and the Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture. His projects have been supported by Southern Exposure, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the City of Oakland Cultural Funding Program.

Amee Raval

Amee Raval

Policy and Research Director (she/her)

Amee is a second-generation South Asian American born and raised on the East Coast. Her personal experiences have supported her awareness of how inequalities in the workplace, as well as the built and natural environment, influence community health. Through her role at APEN, she offers an environmental justice and health equity lens to climate and energy policy in California. She previously worked with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) on research and advocacy addressing the environmental and occupational health impacts of extreme heat due to climate change. Amee graduated with an MS in Environmental Health Sciences from UC Berkeley School of Public Health. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and camping.

Faraz Rizvi

Faraz Rizvi

Policy and Campaign Manager (he/him)

Faraz Rizvi is a writer and activist based out of Southern California. He studied Political Science at UC Riverside and began organizing through electoral work in the Inland Empire and conducting research with the Center for Working Class Politics. With a background in communications and environmental justice, he previously served at the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice (CCAEJ) and currently serves as Campaign and Policy Manager for APEN.

Shina Robinson

Shina Robinson

Resilience Hubs Manager (she/her)

shina@apen4ej.org

Shina has a deep commitment to environmental justice as the intersection of human rights, equity, health, and ecological sanity. She experienced the link between environmental health and poverty at a young age between visiting family in the Philippines and growing up in the shadow of a Los Angeles area oil refinery. Shina began work with human rights campaigns while pursuing undergraduate degrees in International Studies and Political Science at Long Beach State and focused on climate disaster relief and food justice. At APEN, Shina has served as Executive Assistant, building and supporting sustainable infrastructure for the organization. As Policy Coordinator, she organized our member leaders to pass and implement policies for community resistance and resilience in Oakland, Richmond, and with statewide partners. She now connects leaders and host site partners to build a network of community-based climate resilience hubs.

Meuy Saechao

Meuy Saechao

Operations Manager (she/her)

From an early age, Meuy has been exposed to causes of social justice and political activism, with her first stint in 2002 at UC Berkeley protesting the wrongful deportations of three Cambodian refugees. One can say that this inclination to organizing was a natural gravitation into APEN’s orbit. Before joining as Operations Manager, Meuy was an APEN youth member and volunteer for 12 years. Born and raised in the East Bay, Meuy spent time in New York City where she gained experience in both non-profit finance organizations and private global logistics institutions. By returning back to her roots, Meuy endeavors to connect her professional learnings with her personal passions by helping to build her community’s resilience and continue the fight towards income and health equality.

All the while with a cup of hot coffee in hand.

Lio Meng (Sandy) Saeteurn

Lio Meng (Sandy) Saeteurn

Contra Costa Political Director (she/her)

Sandy was born in Thailand and came to the United States at the age of 3 months. Her family is from Laos and her native tribe and language is called Mien. Sandy comes from a big family. She has a mother, 5 sisters, 2 brothers, 13 nieces and nephews, and 2 children.

Sandy grew up in Richmond, California. At the age of 14, Sandy was introduced to environmental justice and organizing through APEN’s youth program Asian Youth Advocates (AYA). Sandy’s been with APEN for 15 years, and has played a variety of roles such as, Youth Advocate, General Support Associate, Youth Organizer, LOP (Laotian Organizing Project) Community Leader, and currently is Community Organizer. Her passion is to organize and empower Asians to fight for their rights. For work, Sandy organizes the community, for play, she organizes her family, she is a true organizer!

Christina Saeteurn

Christina Saeteurn

Operations Associate (she/her)

Christina (A.K.A. Tina) was born and raised in Richmond, California. Tina holds a B.A. in Sociology from Cal State East Bay, and an M.A. in Human Resource Management from MDX University. She is also a recipient of the Rainbow Push Coalition Scholarship Award, as well as a Shriver Award from the Marguerite Casey Foundation. Before joining APEN as staff, Tina has spent almost 10 years as an active APEN Community Leader. As an adolescent she was introduced to environmental justice through APEN’s youth program called Asian Youth Advocates (AYA). From then on, she continued her political education and attended the School Of Unity and Liberation (SOUL). Throughout adulthood Tina joined APEN’s Leadership Steering Committee, as well as the APEN Academy, where she advocated and worked on various campaigns on Climate Justice and Statewide policies. Tina is thrilled and honored to be apart of APEN’s Operations Team, holding down their satellite office in her hometown of Richmond. She hopes that in this role she can connect and engage her community towards empowerment and equality.

Seng So

Seng So

Los Angeles Organizing Director (he/him)

Seng has been a youth organizer in California’s immigrant communities since 2007, most recently with the Young Men’s Empowerment Program at Khmer Girls In Action. He has previously served as a youth organizer for Youth Together around issues of educational justice across racial, ethnic and generational lines and with a grassroots organization called Serve the People, an organization dedicated to the liberation of Asian Pacific Islander communities through organizing. In the 1980s Seng’s parents fled the Khmer genocide and settled in the Bay Area. It is from this history—the struggles and sacrifices of his ancestors—that paves his path today. At the heart of his life and work are three principles: community, love, liberation.

Clio Soiffer

Clio Soiffer

Digital Manager (they/them)

Clio’s first direct action experience was as a fourth grader in Brooklyn, NY when they and a few friends tied themselves with jump rope to a jungle gym to prevent outdoor access from being restricted. Since then, they’ve been obsessed with the idea that groups of people can act together to change the way our world works.

More recently, Clio has been active in movements for queer liberation, climate justice, and worker and community power for almost ten years. Professionally, they have worked with the California Trade Justice Coalition, the Working Families Party, 350.org, and digital communications firm Trilogy Interactive, and they have participated in organizing trainings led by People’s Action, Ruckus Society, Re:Power, Center for Story-Based Strategy, and many other movement organizations. They like to garden, cook, play drums, write poems, and hang out with their big queer found family.

Kenneth Tang

Kenneth Tang

Oakland Organizing Director (he/him)

Kenneth joined as APEN staff in April 2015. He never, in his wildest dreams, thought he would be working for a non-profit transformative organization. He grew up with a capitalist mindset and really didn’t know about environmental justice movement until he started coming to APEN. At the invitation of his peers, he was able to realize how extractive our economy is with the current system. Before he was hired, Kenneth started out as an APEN volunteer and became a member shortly after. As an immigrant from Hong Kong, he is passionate about connecting with the Chinese community, and he enjoys spending time with seniors for they are full of wisdom and advice that we can all learn and benefit from.

Janielle Torregosa

Janielle Torregosa

Los Angeles Community Organizer (she/her)

Janielle is mixed Filipina, Chinese, and Spanish and moved here from Ozamiz City, Philippines, with her family when she was 11 years old. In 2020, she graduated from CSULB with a Spanish major and International Studies minor. She is passionate about a Just Transition for our society and governments, implementing everyday sustainable practices and caring for our common home together. She believes it is not the work of only one person, but of each and every community member to push for long lasting changes; that is why Janielle organizes in APEN and her other community organizations of Malaya Long Beach & Carson, Filipino Migrant Center, SustainLA, and St. Hedwig Catholic Church.

Maggie Tsai

Maggie Tsai

State Political Director (she/her)

Raised in the East Bay, Maggie serves as the State Political Director to advance a vision for statewide powerbuilding centered on justice. Prior to joining APEN, Maggie worked with labor and community leaders across the country on local and national campaigns to build electoral power for Asian immigrants and working people. In her free time, Maggie loves to be by the ocean, read science fiction, and host dinner parties with her friends and family.

Chiravann Uch

Chiravann Uch

Operations Director (she/her)

Chiravann is a first generation Cambodian American from Oakland, California. After working with youth organizations like AYPAL and Forward Together throughout high school, she began to see the power and resilience of Asian/Pacific Islander communities. Through youth organizing, she became exposed to environmental justice work through conducting interviews with nail salons about healthier work conditions and facilitating community workshops on climate justice. Before graduating from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Asian American Studies and Sociology, she coordinated a 3-year mentorship for low-income Oakland and Richmond high school students and served as Executive Director for REACH!, the Asian/Pacific Islander Recruitment and Retention Center on campus. As she continues to (re)discover her own roots coming from an immigrant refugee background, she is grateful to come full circle back to environmental justice and have the opportunity to bring her leadership to APEN.

Ashley Vu

Ashley Vu

Development Associate (she/her)

Ashley’s identity is colored by her Vietnamese heritage and upbringing in Santa Ana, California. Growing up, she saw how housing insecurity and food apartheid afflicted many people in her life; over time, she realized that these issues were often symptoms of larger, oppressive structures at work, and were not unique to her community. Rather, they were shared experiences for immigrants and working-class communities of color everywhere. Still, it’s her friends and family’s defiant resilience amidst these struggles that drives her deep passion for environmental justice and community building. She’s worked with organizations like Women’s Earth Alliance and OC Environmental Justice, addressing environmental issues at the intersection of race, class, and gender. She joins APEN as the Development Associate to support the growth of their funding strategies and is honored to be part of their ongoing work towards a Just Transition.

In her free time, she enjoys reading, hiking, and recreating her ba ngoai’s homecooked dishes.

Alvina Wong

Alvina Wong

Basebuilding Director (she/they)

Alvina Wong is the Campaign & Organizing Director at the Asian Pacific Environmental Network. In her role, she fights the displacement of low-income and working-class Asian immigrants and refugees while building their leadership to fight for environmental justice. Leading her team in intergenerational organizing towards community governance and power at the neighborhood, city, and regional levels, she has led campaigns to stop evictions of SRO tenants and win major community benefits. Alvina began organizing in the Chinese immigrant community as an Eva Lowe Fellow at Chinese Progressive Association, SF and prior to this, spent eight years developing and organizing young people around education access and youth incarceration issues.

Megan Zapanta

Megan Zapanta

Richmond Organizing Director (she/her)

As the Richmond Organizing Director, Megan Zapanta draws on her experience in worker, youth and community organizing to build a strong team. Raised in the border city of San Diego in a mixed-race Filipino family, Megan is committed to justice for migrants and working class people, here and in our homelands. Megan joined APEN staff in 2011 and has played several roles including individual donor fundraising, event planning, social media and youth organizing. Outside of work, Megan plays soccer and organizes with Leftwing Fútbol Club and is an active member GABRIELA Oakland, a progressive Filipino women’s organization.

Lian Zhang

Lian Zhang

Chinatown Operations Associate (she/her)

Lian was born in GuangXi, China in a village on the border of China and Vietnam. She immigrated to the US with her family when she was six years old and grew up in east Los Angeles. Lian did her undergraduate studies in environmental science at UC Berkeley where she learned about urban health and how it connected with her working class family, forming her passion for environmental justice. Prior to joining APEN, she worked in higher education administration performing outreach, encouraging student engagement, and supporting operations within her teams. She is excited to be joining APEN and work alongside fellow Asian Americans and allies to uplift her community. In her free time, Lian enjoys getting her hands dirty by cooking meals that remind her of home and making bowls at the ceramics studio.

Our Board Members

Allistair Mallillin

Allistair Mallillin

Chair

Allistair joined Common Counsel Foundation in 2016. As Director of Strategy and Asset- Building, he directs philanthropic services for Common Counsel’s clients, supports donors in aligning their philanthropic practices with social justice grantmaking, and bridges relationships in the philanthropic field. Allistair has over a decade of experience in the nonprofit, philanthropic, and social justice fields. His skills lie at the intersection of organizational development, strategic implementation, participatory philanthropy, and transformational fundraising. Previous roles for Allistair include Membership & Communications Manager at Justice Funders, former Executive Director at Asian American Resource Workshop, and Associate Director of Programs and Servicesat Philanthropy Massachusetts. He also holds extensive experience in progressive philanthropy, having served in leadership and grantmaking roles for Haymarket People’s Fund, Funding Exchange, New England Foundation for the Arts, Access Strategies Fund, and Saffron Circle Giving Circle. Allistair currently serves as Vice Chair for Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Secretary for Filipinos Advocating for Justice, and member leader of the local chapter of Resource Generation. Additionally, he serves as Co-Chair of the Integrated Rural Strategies Group at Neighborhood Funders Group as well as the Local Engagement Chapter of Exponent Philanthropy. Allistair originally hails from Towson, MD, and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Community Health and Biology from Tufts University.

Aysha Pamukcu

Aysha Pamukcu

Vice Chair

Aysha is an attorney who accelerates justice movements through policy and philanthropy.  She currently leads the Policy Fund at the San Francisco Foundation, which builds the capacity of local governments and nonprofits to address the Bay Area’s interconnected challenges of housing, transportation, and economic opportunity.

Aysha recently served as Health Equity Lead and Senior Attorney for ChangeLab Solutions, helping local leaders use policy to improve community health for marginalized people and places. She was recognized for this work as one of the de Beaumont Foundation’s “40 under 40 in Public Health.” She recently concluded a Fulcrum Fellowship at the Center for Community Investment, where she produced groundbreaking research for ChangeLab on the civil rights of health, as well as the equitable enforcement of public health policy. Aysha previously worked as Economic Equity Policy Counsel at the Greenlining Institute, where she partnered with a diverse coalition to build wealth in communities of color.

Aysha’s other philanthropic work has included leading three donor collaboratives in voter justice and democratic integrity; economic and worker justice; and climate justice. She also served on the founding Advisory Boards of the Women & Climate Fund and the Collective Future Fund.

Ron Chang

Ron Chang

Treasurer

Ron Chang is the Assistant Scout Executive for the Pacific Skyline Council, Boy Scouts of America, serving over 4,000 youth and their families on the San Francisco Peninsula.  The Boy Scouts of America is one of the nation’s premier youth leadership development programs in the country, providing a values-based, outdoor-oriented leadership development program for boys and girls and young men and women from age 5 through 21.

Ron has worked in the non-profit arena for the past 15 years, after transitioning from a long and successful career in finance, management, and business development.

Ron has advocated on behalf of the AAPI Community for many years. He previously served on the board of Cameron House, a social services benefit agency in San Francisco’s Chinatown. He is currently a board member and former National President of Pi Alpha Phi Greek Fraternity, Inc. Pi Alpha Phi is the oldest, active Asian American interest Greek fraternity in the United States. Started at UC Berkeley in 1929, Pi Alpha Phi currently has 23 chapters across the country, over 500 active members, and thousands of alumni worldwide.

Ron lives in San Mateo with his wife, Yvonne, and their son, Mitchell.

Angie Chen

Angie Chen

Angie is executive director of Skyline Foundation. In her role, she collaborates with the board, supports the team, and aligns the foundation’s efforts to shift systems toward a more equitable and just future. Most recently, she was director of programs at the Libra Foundation where she oversaw programs and communications. Previously she held leadership and grantmaking roles at multiple foundations and led a national funder collaborative. Angie has a Master’s of Public Policy from UC Berkeley and an AB in environmental science and public policy from Harvard University.

Stephanie Chen

Stephanie Chen

Stephanie Chen serves as Senior Policy Counsel for MCE, a local government agency formed to address climate change through renewable energy, energy efficiency, and local job creation in Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, and Solano Counties. Prior to joining MCE, Stephanie led the Energy Equity team at The Greenlining Institute, a racial justice advocacy organization dedicated to building economic opportunity in California’s communities of color. Stephanie’s work has driven investments in solar, energy efficiency, and other clean technologies into environmental justice communities, and promoted meaningful employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for people of Color in California’s clean energy economy.

Stephanie is a member of the state’s Disadvantaged Communities Advisory Group, which works with the California Public Utilities Commission and the California Energy Commission to ensure that clean energy policies benefit environmental justice communities. Additionally, Stephanie serves on the board of directors for Vote Solar, and has previously served on the boards of directors for Rising Sun Energy Center and the Conference of California Public Utility Counsel. Stephanie holds a B.A. in Government from Dartmouth College and a J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law.

Michelle Mascarenhas

Michelle Mascarenhas

Michelle Mascarenhas (she/they) is a Senior Fellow of Movement Alignment at Taproot Earth. Michelle has worked for the last 25 years building movement vehicles for frontline communities to move a shared vision and strategy. Prior to joining Taproot Earth, Michelle served as National Director of Campaigns at the Sierra Club and was a co-director on the Movement Generation (MG) staff collective for 14 years. She was a founding co-chair of the Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) and helped to launch Reinvest in Our Power which works to reinvest extracted wealth into community controlled economic transition. On behalf of MG, Michelle also worked closely with EJ groups to co-found the Reclaim Our Power Utility Justice Campaign to craft a safe, reliable, community-and-worker-controlled energy system that respects Indigenous land and ecosystem health. She has also served as a strategic advisor and trainer to EDGE Funders Alliance, Justice Funders, and other philanthropic entities.

Michelle is a Kellogg Food Policy Fellow and Ashoka Fellow Alum. With ancestry in Goa, India, Michelle was born and raised in Tongva territory/Southern California, Michelle has nurtured a growing family in Huichin/Chochenyo Ohlone territory in the Bay Area for the last 20 years. In addition to APEN’s board, they are also on the board of Movement Generation and the New Economy Coalition, in the teacher training program of generative somatics, and a strategic advisor to Nuns and Nones.

Vu-Bang Nguyen

Vu-Bang Nguyen

Vu-Bang Nguyen is a housing strategist and founder of Nguyen Planning Company/Public Private Nonprofit Partners. He supports partnerships between public, private and nonprofit organizations, with a special emphasis on design technology and philanthropy’s role in addressing housing affordability.

He was previously a program officer for Silicon Valley Community Foundation, leading the housing and transportation grantmaking strategy and an associate director of land use and housing at Urban Habitat. Vu-Bang has worked for the City of Berkeley’s Department of Planning, the Town of Los Gatos Planning Division and for a real estate development company working on infill residential development projects in Fremont, San José and Los Gatos. Vu-Bang holds a master’s degree in city and regional planning from the University of California, Berkeley, where he created a community engagement handbook for the San José Redevelopment Agency to increase Vietnamese American participation in local government decisions. Vu-Bang serves on the boards of Sacred Heart Community Services, Asian Pacific Environmental Network and Urban Habitat.

Bouakhay Phongboupha

Bouakhay Phongboupha

Bio coming soon!

Justin Rausa

Justin Rausa

Justin has served as a state-level legislative and regulatory advocate over the last decade in California, and is currently the Policy Consultant at Everyday Impact Consulting based in Sacramento. Over the years, he has advised multi-sectoral statewide coalitions as well as local initiatives in the Bay Area, and most recently worked for a member of the State Assembly. Justin’s career in policy and advocacy are rooted in the community organizing work that preceded it, and up until recently, he was an appointee to the Alameda County Public Health Commission.

Justin is a proud alum of UC Riverside, and obtained a Master of Public Health at UC Berkeley. Justin also served in the Peace Corps where he met his wife, Colleen, and they live with their daughter in East Oakland.

Building the power of Asian immigrant and refugee communities.

Our History

Asian Pacific Environmental Network is an environmental justice organization with deep roots in California’s Asian immigrant and refugee communities. Since 1993, we’ve built a membership base of Laotian refugees in Richmond and Chinese immigrants in Oakland. Together, we’ve fought and won campaigns to make our communities healthier, just places where people can thrive.

Mission

All people have a right to a clean and healthy environment in which their communities can live, work, learn, play and thrive. Towards this vision, APEN brings together a collective voice to develop an alternative agenda for environmental, social and economic justice. 

Through building an organized movement, we strive to bring fundamental changes to economic and social institutions that will prioritize public good over profits and promote the right of every person to a decent, safe, affordable quality of life, and the right to participate in decisions affecting our lives. APEN holds this vision of environmental justice for all people. Our work focuses on Asian immigrant and refugee communities.

Vision

 

Our communities are stronger than the crises that threaten us.  Together, we’re building a world where all people have the resources they need to live full, dignified lives.  

APEN is leading a transition away from an extractive economy based on profit and pollution and toward local, healthy, and life-sustaining economies that benefit everyone.  

We’re building community-owned renewable energy resources to power our neighborhoods, protecting affordable housing so that our historic cultural communities can stay together, creating a local economy of cooperatives owned and governed by community members, and taking back control of our democracy.

Our Approach

 

Our work is grounded in the leadership of immigrant and refugee community members, who know that to win what our communities deserve, we have to build power at many levels and in many ways.

 

Diagram caption: 1. Start with the experience & knowledge of the participants 2. Identify Patterns 3. Add new information and theory linked to the patterns in what people know 4. Practice skills, strategize, & plan for action 5. Apply what’s been learned in the world.

The heart of our work is bringing together Asian immigrants and refugees in Oakland and Richmond to advance solutions to the issues that matter most to them. We believe that everyone can develop their leadership, and people come to this work as both teachers and learners. Working with multiple generations of Asian Americans in multiple dialects and languages, APEN plays a critical role in developing the leadership of our communities.

At the state level, we’re engaging with immigrant and refugee voters in their languages to advance our shared vision. We are organizing in the communities that politicians and political parties too often ignore, and we are winning groundbreaking policies that put working-class communities of color first.

Along the way, we’ve formed deep relationships with organizations around the country that are taking on similar challenges and putting power back where it belongs—in the hands of our communities.

Together, we’re building a movement powerful enough to make justice inevitable.

Where We Work

We have offices in Oakland Chinatown, Downtown Oakland, and Richmond.

Find us in

your neighborhood!

Our Office Locations

Downtown Oakland

Our Main Office (Downtown Oakland)

426 17th Street, Suite 500,
Oakland, CA 94612
Phone: (510) 834-8920
Fax: (510) 834-8926
Email: info@apen4ej.org

Transportation and Accessibility Info

Taking public transit?  We are located 1 block away from the 19th Street BART station, and close to AC Transit bus lines 72, 12, 6, 51A, 33, 18, NL, 14, 88, 40, 20, 1, 19, 29, 96, or the free Broadway Shuttle.

Planning to drive? There is limited metered parking nearby or park at the paid parking garage on Franklin between 17th and 19th Streets.

Accessibility: Our downtown office building has an elevator and wide enough halls and doorways for wheelchair users.  Doors open manually, and a security guard on-site can assist visitors with opening doors during weekday work hours.

Oakland Chinatown

Our Oakland Chinatown Office

299 13th St.
Oakland, CA 94612
Phone: (510) 593-2283

Transportation and Accessibility Info

Taking public transit? Take AC Transit bus lines 1, 6, 12, 14, 19, 20, 29, 33, 40, 51A, 72, 72M, 72R, 88, 96, 314, 801, or 840. Any of these lines should get you within a few blocks or closer to our office.

Planning to drive? There is limited metered parking nearby or park at the paid parking garage behind our office. The entrance is on 12th St.

Accessibility: Our Chinatown office has no steps. There is an ADA accessible bathroom in our office. Doors open manually.

Richmond

Our Richmond Office

3060 Hilltop Mall Road
Richmond, CA 94806
Phone: (510) 236-4616

Transportation and Accessibility Info

Taking public transit? Get off at the Richmond Bart station and catch the AC Transit line 76 (Richmond Parkway TC Via C C College Birmingham Drive) and stop at Shane Dr & Gilma Dr. Our office is about a 9 minute walk.

Planning to drive? There's a free parking lot in front of our office.

Accessibility: Our Richmond office has limited accessibility for people who use wheelchairs. There are no steps, and our restroom is not wheelchair accessible.

Wilmington (LA)

Our Wilmington Office

117 E Anaheim Street
Wilmington, CA 90744

 

Transportation and Accessibility Info

Taking public transit? The Metro lines 232, 246, DASH Wilmington will get you within a few blocks or closer to our office.

Planning to drive? There’s a free parking lot in the back of our building with limited parking spaces or there is metered parking nearby.

Accessibility: Our Wilmington office has no steps. There are ADA accessible bathrooms in our office. Doors open manually.

Thank you.

   

 

Our Funders

Thank you for supporting our working-class Asian immigrant and refugee communities.

Ready to become a funder and make our work possible? Contact us at grants@apen4ej.org.

Funders

Highlands 3:23 Fund

James & Gretchen Sandler

Kano Family Fund

Leveler Foundation

Lorraine and Victor Honig Fund for Social Change

Manzanita Foundation

Mariposa Fund

Moving Money, Making Change Fund at RSF Social Finance

Passiflora Fund

Quiet Fund

Richard and Marlene Millikan Fund

Rodgers Family Foundation

Winifred & Harry B Allen Foundation

Winky Foundation

Major Donors

Allistair Mallillin and Lily Jacobson

Ann Harvey and Francesca Cunningham

Biher and Kuoshin Chi

Brianna Beighle

Emily Morningstar

Jaeheon Yi

Jean Zhao

Matthew Raimi

Millie Wong

Naomi Sobel

Roger Kim

Ronald Chang

Sarah Ruiz-Grossman

Sonia Miller Phouthavong

Tianchang He

Thank you to all of our individual donors, who make our fight for environmental justice possible.