March Membership Spotlinght: Amy Chang
Interview by Janice Tang
Amy Chang is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist working at her private practice, Amy Chang Therapy. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from UCLA and a Masters in Counseling, MFT from SDSU. She enjoys playing board games, photography, being out in nature, and being around fun, energizing positive people.
1) Amy, you were a Board member of NAPAWF SD in 2013. Can you please tell us what influenced that decision and why you decided to stay connected?
When I attended UCLA as an undergraduate student, I actively participated in amazing student organizations that raised my awareness on the issues affecting the Asian Pacific American (APA) communities. When I returned to San Diego, I went seeking for a supportive, nurturing, like-minded space. However it was difficult for me to find a space that felt comfortable. I felt loss in a sea of organizations and groups that didn’t fit my personality, desires, and hopes. As NAPAWF began to form, I felt the passion of the other folks in the space to create a nurturing, collaborative space to advocate for social justice and equality for the APA community. I fell in love and continued to be involved in the space ever since.
2) What are some events that affected you personally and drives you to stay involved in your community?
Having a sense of community is so important to my own emotional well-being. When I transitioned to LA for school, I had a really difficult time adjusting to the new fast-paced city and the people. The busy environment didn’t align with my calm temperament. Adjusting to new places became a challenge for me and developing a community at school helped me flourished in LA. Being around people with shared common interests and purpose helps me feel nurtured. Thus, it is important for me to continue be involved with my community.
3) You gave an amazing workshop during the NAPAWF February Social on wellness and positive self-image, can you please explain why this was important?
As an Asian American woman, there are specific challenges to my gender and ethnicity that makes it more difficult to have a positive self-image. For example, in a male dominated world, women are often made to feel inferior to their male counterparts. Even in our modern society, the U.S. Census reported women continue to earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. According to Catalyst women CEO only occupy 4.6 % of Fortune 500 companies. There has yet to be a female US president. Also, in certain countries, there are explicit messages that male are more valuable than female. Additionally, when we examine print ads, media, and movies, Asian Pacific Americans are practically invisible. How many APA actress/models/leaders can you identify? Asian American women are underrepresented in the media. Having a lack of role models in the community impacts one’s self esteem. Therefore, it is important to focus on creating a positive self-image for ourselves as Asian Pacific Americans and also take care of our own well-being. This is especially important for NAPAWF members that are constantly advocating for a healthier community and a better future.
4) What do you hope to personally accomplish this year?
It is important for me to experience and be aware of the joy, happiness, and the simple pleasures in my life amidst our high stress society. One thing that I find great pleasure in is exploring new places, people, and food. I love to experience new cultures and neighborhoods. Thus, I hope to be able to take trips to a new location each year to learn and discover the existing beauty of our world. Another thing I hope for is to write a book to help people find more inner peace and happiness. I want to learn the ins and out of what it takes to write a book and be able to offer people what I have learned as a therapist. I see a lot of people experience distress due to external triggers and societal pressure that can be alleviated. Thus, I wish to be able to share my knowledge with the work I have done to help people cultivate happiness.
5) What is the direction you see San Diego heading in, and how will NAPAWF SD fit into that?
Historically, San Diego is a conservative city though there are amazing organizations and groups working hard to educate and advocate for equality for all. SD appears to be slowly transitioning to more progressive values. NAPAWF SD is helping with the transition and is also bringing attention to the needs of the marginalized APA community. NAPAWF has been able to gain momentum with the membership growth, visibility at community events, and also hosting informative workshops to raise awareness on issues that have impacted the APA community. NAPAWF SD is part of the collective voice in San Diego as the city continues its transition to more progressive values.
Want to share a fellow NAPAWF member’s story and passion here?
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