DISCUSS | Human Trafficking in San Diego


ICWJ Interfaith Summit on Ending
Human Trafficking in San Diego
Faith Makes A Difference!
Thursday, May 8
9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Expert Panel followed by Roundtable Discussion
We will have a panel of expert speakers including Clergy, Law Enforcement, Service Providers, Educators and Survivors, followed by Q&A
Questions & RSVP:
Michelle Shoemaker
Congregational Liaison
Call us at (619) 584-5740
San Diego First Church of the Nazarene
Point Loma Nazarene University campus
3901 Lomaland Drive, San Diego, CA 92106
Human Trafficking …
Human Trafficking is a hot topic today in our communities and congregations; especially among our youth. Hundreds of minors are trafficked every night in San Diego County, most likely within a short distance from your doorstep. It has been suggested that for each sex trafficking victim, there are eight labor trafficking victims. As people of faith, how do we educate ourselves and our congregations, to respond and work to abolish trafficking in our County? Join us for this important discussion.

Membership Spotlight: Helen Leung

April Membership Spotlight: Helen Leung


Interview by Janice Tang

Helen is the workaholic Social Justice nut that commands Pride’s unrepentantly geeky Nerd-Herd with an iron fist. Translation: Helen Leung is the Operations Manager at San Diego LGBT Pride. She graduated from UC San Diego in 2012. She enjoys cheese, Star Trek, and making the world a better place. It’s the simple things, really. Helen was born and raised in San Diego, and has lived here for the vast majority of her life.

1) Helen, can you please tell us why you decided to stay connected and involved in the San Diego community and NAPAWF-SD?

I stay because I want to engage with like-minded people who nurtured my desire to continue doing social justice work after graduating college. It’s tough to find similar API spaces in this city, so NAPAWF is a breath of fresh air.

2) Self-care is very important and oftentimes we forget to practice it when life gets busy. How do you practice self-care while balancing your job, your membership in NAPAWF, and your other community activities?

Does eating an entire order of carne asada fries count? #kiddingbutnotreally. Up until a year ago, I wasn’t aware that self-care is actually a thing. Needless to say, I’m working on it. For me, creating a few non-work-related blocks of time throughout the week helps me push through busy season at Pride. I take yoga classes to calm myself down. I also cook for myself on the weekends. After Pride is over, I take a weekend off to catch up on sleep.

3) NAPAWF-SD’s first fundraiser of the year is a comedy showing of “18 Mighty Warriors.” Why do you think it is important to bring Asian and Pacific American issues to the mainstream, particularly in the entertainment field?

I could go into an incredibly verbose explanation of why media representation has the power to shape dominant narratives about oppressed groups of people in ways that have material impact on marginalized communities, but in the end, it’s really simple. If all of our stories aren’t told, how can we expect others to see our humanity?

Want to share a fellow NAPAWF member’s story and passion here?
Contact us at membership.napawfsd@gmail.com


Want to share a fellow NAPAWF member’s story and passion here?
Contact us at membership.napawfsd@gmail.com

Membership Spotlight: Amy Chang

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?
Contact us at membership.napawfsd@gmail.com

Community Event: Khmer New Year Festival, the Year of the Horse

DATE: Saturday, April 12, 2014 and Sunday, April 13, 2014

LOCATION: Colina Del Sol Park

Hosted by San Diego’s Cambodian American community. There will be Pageant competition to select the New Year’s Angel, cooking demo, eating contest, traditional games and dances, classical and modern music, pony ride, spicy food, and more. Come and join for 2 days of family fun under the warm sun with fresh spring air. For more info, please contact khmernewyear@yahoo.com.

Community Event: Lao New Year Festival 2014

DATE: Saturday, April 5, 2014 and Sunday, April 6, 2014 from 10:00 AM to 6:30 PM

LOCATION: Market Creek Plaza / Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation, 310 Euclid Avenue, San Diego, CA 92114

Hosted by Lao Community Cultural Center of San Diego.  There will be Angel of Mercy Parade, Beauty Pageant Competition, Classical dance and music; Lao Food Booths, Retails, kid zones; Sports competition (Ping Pong, Basketball & Kataw) and Lao Idol competition.  For more info, please contact:  pluangviseth64@gmail.com

NAPAWF’s Annual Leadership Gathering PowerUP!


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On March 15th-17th, NAPAWF San Diego Leaders, Trinh Le, Korinna Li and Gracelynne West joined nearly 48 Chapter Leaders from across the country to participate in NAPAWF’s annual PowerUP Conference in Washington D.C. This weekend was filled with trainings around civic engagement, storytelling, advocacy and learning from other chapters on how to strengthen our base locally as well as nationally.

This was my first-time ever on the East Coast and my first time interacting with NAPAWF on a national level, so this was a very empowering and enriching experience for me, personally. As the Political Action and Awareness Chair, I was really interested in connecting with other chapters on how to build and strengthen our grassroots organizing efforts locally. One of the most memorable workshops that I remember from the conference was the Storytelling workshop. It really helped us understand how our personal experiences set the foreground for the work we do in NAPAWF and other progressive spaces. I always appreciate workshops like this because sometimes we get so caught up in the menial tasks and manual to-do’s but forget the reasons why we do this work in the first place.

We were also able to attend a series of awesome workshops throughout the weekend. Some notable workshops included “Campaign Strategizing” hosted by the Director of the Midwest Academy, Heather Booth, on how to effectively organize grassroots campaigns. Also, political activist and writer, Suey Park (founder of #notyourasiansidekick hashtag) hosted a workshop on how to use social media as a tool for political activism.

Towards the end of Sunday, we were able to learn more about the new NAPAWF sponsored bill, Health Equity and Access Under the Law or the HEAL Act for Immigrant Women and families. In general, this bill would lift the 5-year waiting ban for eligible documented immigrants, which includes DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)-sponsored individuals to be able to access health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (which includes Medi-Cal/Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program/CHIP). Throughout the day, we practiced the different components of a lobby visit to prepare for Lobby Day on Monday.

Unfortunately, when Monday came, so did the snow, which pre-empted a Capitol closure, so we weren’t able to lobby our local SD representatives. However, we were able to take part in a mock sit-in activity to put pressure on three key Republican Congressmen in the House. It was my first time ever holding a direct action in a legislator’s office so it helped me learn a lot about team dynamics, maintaining clear messaging and what specific tactics can be used to apply pressure on the staff and/or legislator to reach our goal.

Overall, the PowerUp conference was an amazing experience for me. I am still in awe about being surrounded by so many awesome, amazing and fierce AAPI leaders. My hope is to bring back all the skills and tools that I learned from the conference to help build our movement in San Diego because we are bound to build momentum this year and I’m excited to see us grow! I would like say a special thank you to NAPAWF-SD and NAPAWF National for allowing me to take part in this incredible opportunity.

Gracelynne West

Political Action & Awareness Chair, NAPAWF-SD




Community Event: The Inaugural Filipino Sun Festival

DATE: Saturday, April 5, 2014 – 11am – 6pm

LOCATION: Mira Mesa Park, across from Mira Mesa High School

(map 8575 New Salem St, San Diego, California 92126).

Presented and hosted by Operation Samahan. First Filipino Sun Festival, featuring a community produced event to celebrate Filipino and Filipino American culture in Mira Mesa!  Traditional and contemporary performances, art, food, educational and cultural fun for the whole family. Cultural exhibits, children’s activity, history of tattoo pavilion, health and wellness pavilion, and more! FREE! www.filipinosunfestival.com