Calling all high school students! Are you graduating and
ready to tackle on college? Are you interested in learning more about your
identity and gaining skills that you push you to the top? Come join OCA – Asian
Pacific American Advocates’ two day youth leadership conference with a
powerhouse lineup of speakers and workshops. Take away 7 habits of highly
effective teens and network with fellow students and presenters. With this FREE
event and FREE food you won’t want to miss out!
Fernandez is Founder and President of The Multicultural Foodservice &
Hospitality Alliance (MFHA).Fernandez is MFHA’s chief visionary and thought
leader on multicultural strategies, Cultural Intelligence and talent
founded MFHA in 1996 while employed as national account manager at
Minneapolis-based General Mills, Inc. He began his research and development
career with General Mills in 1992. Before joining General Mills, Fernandez
spent more than 10 years as a senior manager for restaurant company RARE
Hospitality, Inc, (now owned by Darden), which known for such fine-dining
concepts as The Capital Grille, Hemenway’s Seafood Grill & Oyster Bar, and
The Old Grist Mill Tavern.
is currently a trustee of Johnson & Walles University, a member of the
board of the Rhode Island Community Food Bank and a founding member of the
Reseaerch Chef Association. He is a life member of the NAACP and an active
member of the Women’s Foodservice Forum.
received the General Mills’ "Champion’s Award” in 1997. He was the first
recipient of MFHA’s Ernest Henry Royal "Pioneer Award,” a recipient of Nation’s
Restaurant News’ "Innovator of the Year” award, and was named a "Rising Star”
by Restaurant Hospitality magazine in 1988.
received his Bachelor of Science degree in Foodservice Management and Culinary
Arts from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI. In addition, he
holds and honorary Doctorate in Business Administration from Johnson &
Seven Effective Habits
Christina Phan is originally from Houston, Texas and current a
senior at Barnard College. With focus in Political Science, her career aspiration is to
become a lawyer. This summer she is a CAPAL scholar and an intern investigator
at The Public Defender Service (PDS) for the District of Columbia. PDS provides
legal representation for indigent individuals in D.C. As a first generation
daughter of Vietnam War refugees, education accessibility, race relations, and
immigration issues are especially important to her. In her free time, she
enjoys film photography and amateur cooking. She spent her junior year studying
abroad at the University of Oxford and developed a new interest in mountain
hiking. An alum of the 2012 OCA intern class, she is excited to train the Youth
Day facilitators for this year's convention!
Nhia Lee is a recent
graduate from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with a B.A. in
Communication Studies and a double minor in Asian American Studies and
Political Science. His area of studies centers on the media and influences our
society’s understanding of race, culture, and identity. On his campus, Lee has
proven to work towards creating dialogue regarding issues affecting the APIA
community and has held several workshops regarding these issues allowing for
students on his campus to openly discuss and engage with one another. He just
recently brought over 200+ college students within the Twin Cities area to a
conference that he planned, facilitated, and implemented – The Hmong Minnesota
Leadership Conference—to create dialogue and actions in combating issues
affecting the APIA community.
he is not planning conferences, facilitating workshops, reading books written
by some of the world leading scholars in Asian American studies, he enjoys
playing volleyball, watching movies, and producing music and songs.
Nhia is placed with the office of Congresswoman Grace Meng.
a native Milwaukeean, is a recent graduate of Georgetown University where she
obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Government with a concentration in American
Government. As a first-generation college student and daughter of Hmong
refugees, Kalia seeks to empower underrepresented, vulnerable communities
through advocacy and promoting civic engagement.
Through community and campus
involvement, Kalia demonstrates a passion for public service and coalition-building.
She educated the Georgetown community about the DREAM Act through guest
lectures and a "Letters-to-Congress” campaign, tutored an immigrant child
in English through Georgetown's DC Schools program, and recently established a
Georgetown youth mentoring branch for an Arlington, VA-based non-profit,
Educacion Para Nuestro Futuro (Education for Our Future). She served as the
Internal Public Relations Chair for the Vietnamese Students Association,
representing the Vietnamese American student body in the Students of Color
Most recently, Kalia interned with the Southeast Asia Resource Action
Center in Washington, DC where she researched the unique educational challenges
and needs of Southeast Asian American students. In addition to her advocacy
work, Kalia has contributed to diversifying Georgetown through her
multicultural performances, choreographing and performing Hmong,
Bollywood/Indian, Asian-Latino, Vietnamese, and Filipino
Kalia is placed with the National
Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF).
Alison Chang is a proud Taiwanese
American and rising third-year Trojan at the University of Southern California.
As a Business Administration major, with a minor in Law & Public Policy,
she is passionate about serving the community and those around her in any
capacity possible. For the past two years, Alison has been working with the
educational non-profit organization, CollegeSpring, to assist low-income high
school students in realizing their college potential. Through this experience,
she has found her great love for teaching and mentoring younger generations and
she hopes to continue doing so after graduating from USC.
On campus, Alison is also extensively
involved as a board member for USC’s Taiwanese American Organization (TAO), as
well as a member of the USC Helenes, the university’s official all-female
service organization. Since freshman year, she has been involved with the Asian
Pacific American Students Assembly (APASA) - first as a student intern, then as
the elected Finance Director. She was recently elected as APASA’s 2013-2014
Assistant Director for the Undergraduate Student Government’s Program Board.
Alison is the current Southern California District Governor and National Vice
President-elect for the Intercollegiate Taiwanese American Students Association
(ITASA). When she’s not on a conference call or in a meeting, Alison can be
found dancing, eating, or sleeping.
Alison is placed with the US Merit
Systems Protection Board.
Jin Kim is a rising
sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania who is expecting to major in either
Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) or Health and Societies, with a minor
in Asian American Studies. On campus, he is the Vice Chair of Service of the
Promoting Enriching Experiences and Relationships (PEER) Asian American
Mentoring Program, the Vice Chair of the Collective for Asian Pacific Events
(CAPE), and currently sits on the Asian American Studies Undergraduate Advisory
Board. Off campus, he works for a social impact consulting firm and volunteers
at a Bangladeshi American after-school tutoring center. He is constantly
looking for new ways to help the APIA community at his school, and he is hoping
to use his summer in DC to learn more about the APIA community on a national
scale and apply his knowledge to the various APIA organizations at Penn and in
Philadelphia. In his free time, he enjoys discovering new music, watching
movies, and bonding with friends over good food.
Jin is placed with MOSAICA
No More Standing on the Sideline
Monica Thammarath is a
senior liaison in the Office of Minority Community Organizing &
Partnerships (MCOP) at the National Education Association (NEA), where she
works to connect NEA's over 3 million members with the Asian American &
Pacific Islander (AAPI) community and to social justice issues like
immigration, labor, and voting rights. Prior to the NEA, Ms. Thammarath was the
education policy advocate for the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center
(SEARAC). Ms. Thammarath's work is grounded in her experience organizing as a
college student and providing services locally around access to affordable and
high quality education. In addition to her work at the NEA, Ms. Thammarath
serves on the National Executive Board of the Asian Pacific American Labor
Alliance (APALA) and the National Governing Board of the National Asian Pacific
American Women's Forum (NAPAWF). Ms. Thammarath proudly represents APALA on the
National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) as co-chair of the Education
The daughter of refugees from Laos, Ms. Thammarath was born and
raised in southeast San Diego and is a proud product of California's public
K-16 education system. She earned a Bachelors of Arts with honors in Political
Science, a Bachelors of Arts in Social Welfare, and a minor in Asian American
Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. She’s currently
pursuing a Masters in Public Administration with a concentration in policy
analysis at American University’s School of Public Affairs.
Amrita Singh serves as SALDEF’s Legal and
Legislative Affairs Associate, Amrita’s responsibilities focus on assisting
community members whose civil rights have been infringed, as well as advocating
for legislation related to religious discrimination, racial profiling, school
bullying and other issues salient to the Sikh American community. Through
her work, Amrita is actively involved in national civil rights campaigns and
works closely with government agencies. Additionally, Amrita conducts Sikh
cultural and legal awareness trainings and works on a grassroots level to
engage the Sikh American community.
joining SALDEF, Amrita was a Post-Graduate Public Interest Fellow at the
Anti-Defamation League where she worked on matters related to religious
discrimination and school bullying. She also previously worked with the
American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri and served with AmeriCorps.
graduated with honors from Washington University in St. Louis and attended law
school at the University of Florida, Levin College of Law.
Kisha L. Webster is
the Associate Director of Welcoming Schools. Kisha works out of the
Washington, DC office and provides consultation, training, and technical
assistance to professional educators and other key personnel charged with
utilizing Welcoming Schools within their school communities. She is also
responsible for developing Welcoming Schools materials and training tools.
Kisha is a committed educator who advocates for children and families.
Prior to joining the Welcoming Schools team Kisha spent twenty years as an
educator and seven years as a school administrator in Baltimore City and Anne
Arundel County. As a school administrator she always focused on the needs of
students to make decisions on instruction and school climate. Kisha has
facilitated trainings and workshops on closing the achievement gap, safe
schools and instructional equity at numerous national conferences and is a
member of ASCD and the National Association of School Principals. Kisha splits her time between her home in Baltimore and her home state of
One thing that excites me about Welcoming Schools is…
"…having the opportunity to support schools in creating and maintaining
learning environments in which educators are given the necessary tools to
combat behaviors that can be disruptive to student learning and to students not
developing into their best selves.”
Hyacinth Alvaran is
a Diversity Program Manager at the Human Rights Campaign, where she manages a
portfolio of programs aimed to form strategic partnerships with organizations
in various communities through direct service projects such as Martin Luther King,
Jr. Day of Service and the ya es hora citizenship campaign. She also
leads HRC’s annual participation in Transgender Day of Remembrance in order to
continue raising awareness about the violence that transgender people face.
Hyacinth also manages HRC’s Equality Leaders personal leadership
development programs, which cultivates a diverse and inclusive pipeline for
HRC’s steering committees and Boards. She also guides and supports HRC’s
steering committees in their political and community outreach work and, when
needed, partners with HRC’s Field staff to advance LGBT rights through laws and
legislation, as well as collaborates with HRC’s Foundation staff, who work to
improve the lives of LGBT people at home, at work, in schools, in hospitals, at
places of worship, and other places in the community. She graduated from
Stanford University with a B.A. in International Relations.
Sykhammountry is a recent high school graduate who has worked with GLSEN for a
year. She started with the policy team and found a path in advocating for LGBT
youth after facing bullying and adversity herself. She currently interns at the
GLSEN DC office and is headed off to Simmons College in the fall.
You + the Power of Social Media
Phil Yu is the
founder and editor of Angry Asian Man, a popular Asian American news/culture
blog. Building a steady, loyal readership since 2001, the Washington Post calls
Angry Asian Man "a daily must-read for the media-savvy, socially
conscious, pop-cultured Asian American." Mixing humor with criticism,
Phil's commentary has been featured and quoted in stories for the Post, New
York Times, National Public Radio, CNN, Los Angeles Times and more. Phil was a
recipient of the 2011 Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Award for Excellence in
New Media from the California Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus, the
2011 Public Image Award from Asian Pacific American Legal Center, and the 2011 Excellence
in Media Award from OCA-Greater Los Angeles. He previously worked at the
Center for Asian American Media in San Francisco, and currently serves on the
Board of Visual Communications. Phil graduated with a B.S. in Radio/TV/Film
from Northwestern University, and earned his M.A. in Critical Studies as a
Provost Fellow from the University of Southern California's School of
Lisa Lee served as the pro bono publisher of Hyphen magazine from 2008 - 2011(www.hyphenmagazine.com),
an award-winning publication and website that covers Asian American arts,
culture, and politics. In February 2011, Lisa co-founded Thick
Dumpling Skin (www.thickdumplingskin.com), a community forum
dedicated to discussing body image issues and eating disorders in the Asian
American community. The site was picked by Audrey Magazine as one of the best
blogs of 2011 and the duo was profiled in the April 2013 issue of Marie Claire
in an article titled "The New Change Agents.”
During her spare
time, she serves as the communications co-chair for The National Asian Pacific
American Women's Forum San Francisco Bay Area chapter and sits on the board of
Asian Americans for Civil Rights and Equality. A graduate of UC Berkeley, Lisa was
listed on Angry Asian Man's list of 30 Most Influential Asian Americans under
30 in 2009 and is the recipient of the 2011 San Francisco Emerging Leader Asian
American Heritage Award.
Read more about Lisa
Chow is a progressive field and online organizer
with Reform Immigration FOR America. She previously introduced herself as the
"not lawyer" at the Asian American Justice Center building community
and student partnerships for civil rights advocacy. She led the Asian American
& Pacific Islander phone bank program for the Democrats in 2010, got an old
stodgy man named Marion Barry to apologize for his public anti-Asian remarks,
and convened the DC coalition of Asian American Obama supporters in 2012 before
hitting the campaign trail. Olivia can now consider herself a former resident
of the South and Southwest after running social media for the 2012 Democratic
National Convention in Charlotte, NC and leading "get out the vote"
efforts with Obama for America-Nevada in Northeast Las Vegas.
She was also given the following titles to learn, work and
organize with amazing people: New Leaders Fellow at the Center for Progressive
Leadership, board member of the DC Chapter of the National Asian Pacific
American Women's Forum, and national board member of the Asian Pacific
Americans for Progress. Unfortunately she was instructed to move on with her
life and return these titles but considers herself to be an indebted fan of the
peers and mentors that let her do the work she gets to do today. No matter how
many years camped out in DC, Olivia will always be a Berkeley bear, carrying
the Bay Area in her heart and the frequent
flier miles to prove it.
What's passion got to do with it? Duh, EVERYTHING!
is the president and chief emerge officer for rār evolution, a pulse generating
and tradition busting public affairs and experiential marketing firm.With its
two divisions, RĀR and iemerge, rār-evolution is focused on the vitality of
millennial multicultural consumers and influencing game changer GenX pros.
Richard-Abraham is a national author and speaker on the
"iBrand” (personal brand) journey. He shares his straight talk experiences
with this country’s aspiring leaders and professionals.
As an emerging executive with Yum! Brands, Richard-Abraham
was a key architect of the company’s highly recognized global diversity department
and direction. Richard-Abraham led diversity and inclusion "step-change”
in public affairs, brand marketing, government relations, supplier diversity,
candidate sourcing and franchisee pipeline development.
Prior to Yum!, Richard-Abraham was the Sr. Director of
Communications and PR for the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Washington,
Richard-Abraham is the founder of the Richard F. Rugnao
College Fund, a unique scholarship organization to support college students
with parents incarcerated in prison.
Brian Yang is an Actor
and producer best known for his role as "Charlie Fong" on the CBS
primetime drama series, Hawaii Five-0. Born in Columbus, Ohio and raised in the
Bay Area, Yang is a second generation Chinese American who began his acting
career after attending the University of California, Berkeley. There he studied
biology and dramatic arts. He works as a producer and actor on projects in New
York, Hawaii, Los Angeles and throughout Asia.
2009, he was the host of Shanghai Rush, China’s most extensive reality
show to date. His production company, 408 Films, has produced
feature films in both the US and Asia. Currently, Yang has several projects in
development, including the 2012 Jeremy Lin
documentary, LINSANITY directed by Evan Jackson Leong, which is set to make its
world premiere at 2013 Sundance Film Festival.
has also starred in films such as Alice Wu's Saving Face (Sundance 2005)
as Little Yu, Joan Chen's love interest and in the forthcoming "Someone I
Used to Know", directed by Nadine Truong and written by West Liang, which
he also produced through his production company 408 Films.
keeps his base in New York City, but is frequently on a plane somewhere between
Los Angeles, Honolulu, and Taipei or Shanghai. He loves playing
basketball, snowboarding, and travel.
Lisa Lee served as the pro
bono publisher of Hyphen magazine from 2008 - 2011(www.hyphenmagazine.com),
an award-winning publication and website that covers Asian American arts, culture,
and politics. In February 2011, Lisa co-founded Thick Dumpling Skin (www.thickdumplingskin.com),
a community forum dedicated to discussing body image issues and eating
disorders in the Asian American community. The site was picked by Audrey
Magazine as one of the best blogs of 2011 and the duo was profiled in the April
2013 issue of Marie Claire in an article titled "The New Change Agents.”
During her spare time,
she serves as the communications co-chair for The National Asian Pacific
American Women's Forum San Francisco Bay Area chapter and sits on the board of
Asian Americans for Civil Rights and Equality. A graduate of UC
Berkeley, Lisa was listed on Angry Asian Man's list of 30 Most
Influential Asian Americans under 30 in 2009 and is the recipient of the 2011
San Francisco Emerging Leader Asian American Heritage Award.
Read more about Lisa