Tuesday, April 30, 2013

White House names CCC Vice Chancellor Ton-Quinlivan as a 'Champion of Change'

Office of Communications

April 29, 2013

White House Highlights AAPI Women as “Champions of Change”

WASHINGTON, DC -- On Monday, May 6th, the White House will honor fifteen Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women as “Champions of Change.”  A part of the White House’s observance of AAPI Heritage Month, this event will recognize Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander women who are doing extraordinary things to create a more equal, safe, and prosperous future for their communities and the country.

“These fifteen women represent the strength and diversity of the AAPI community.  These leaders - in business, advocacy, philanthropy, sports, the arts, and academia – are wonderful examples for young women across the country,” said Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President and Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls.

“As we celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month this May, we pay tribute to the many AAPI women - from Bernice Pauahi Bishop to Congresswoman Patsy Mink to Sunita Pandya Williams - who have shaped the story of America,” added Tina Tchen, Chief of Staff to the First Lady and Executive Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls.

The Champions of Change program was created as an opportunity for the White house to feature groups of Americans - individuals, businesses and organizations - who are doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities.

To watch this event live, visit www.whitehouse.gov/live at 1:00 pm ET on Monday, May 6th. To learn more about the White House Champions of Change program and nominate a Champion, visit www.whitehouse.gov/champions.

Myrla Baldonado
Chicago, IL

Myrla Baldonado, a household worker organizer with the Latino Union of Chicago, is dedicated to improving the working and living conditions of the estimated 2.5 million domestic workers in the United States.  A former caregiver herself, she co-founded the multiracial Chicago Coalition of Household Workers to gain dignity and respect for caregivers, housecleaners, and nannies.  She speaks nationally for the Caring Across Generations campaign that seeks to transform care in the U.S. and she is a worker leader of the National Domestic Workers Alliance.

Aparna Bhattacharyya
Atlanta, GA

Aparna Bhattacharyya is a passionate advocate for immigrant survivors of family and sexual violence and ensuring they have access to safety, justice and healing.  As the Executive Director of Raksha, Inc. in Atlanta Georgia, Aparna has worked to ensure that attorneys, law enforcement, and service providers are culturally competent to serve immigrant survivors.  She is currently a Board Member for the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence, VIDA Legal Assistance and the National Immigrant Women's Advocacy Project.

Minh Dang
Berkeley, CA

Minh Dang currently serves as the Executive Director for Don’t Sell Bodies, which advocates on behalf of survivors of modern day slavery.  By sharing her own story of child abuse and slavery worldwide, Minh has worked to combat child abuse and human trafficking in the United States through direct service, community organizing, and political advocacy.  Minh also provides technical assistance and organizational consulting to local, state, and national service providers and government agencies.  Recently, Minh helped launch the U.S. Senate Caucus to End Human Trafficking.

Catherine Eusebio
Fremont, CA

Catherine is a Social Justice Fellow at Asian American/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy, where she manages API Dream Summer, a component of a national internship program that engages partners in community and philanthropy to support the leadership development of immigrant youth.  Catherine also serves on the Board of Directors of United We Dream, the largest network of immigrant youth-led organizations.  In her words, she “she strives to promote change that starts with empowering the most impacted people to lead.”

Atsuko Toko Fish
Boston, MA

Atsuko Toko Fish, a first generation Japanese American, is committed to innovation and social change in the U.S. and Japan, especially in the areas of empowering women and promoting understanding between the two cultures.  In 2005, Atsuko founded the Japanese Women’s Leadership Initiative, an executive program that prepares Japanese women to become non-profit leaders and agents for social change.  In the wake of the March 2011 disaster in Japan, she created the Japanese Disaster Relief Fund-Boston, which raised nearly $1 million and provided 24 grants to 19 organizations.

Lusiana Tuga Hansen
Anchorage, AK

Lucy Hansen was born in American Samoa and has lived in Anchorage, Alaska since 1985.  In 2004, she started the first Samoan language computer school for elders, and in 2005, helped launch the Polynesian Association of Alaska (PAOA) to bring the community together through cultural events, history, and arts and crafts programs.  As the current President of PAOA, Lucy helped create a “Polynesian Culture Flag Day” to celebrate the history, culture, and arts of the Polynesian islands.  She also serves as Vice President of Bridge Builders of Alaska and as President of the Anchorage Polynesian Lions Club.

Pramila Jayapal
Seattle, WA

In the aftermath of 9/11, Pramila Jayapal founded the non-profit organization OneAmerica, now the largest immigrant advocacy organization in Washington State.  She has worked to advance immigration reform in the state as well as nationally, and served in leadership roles for the Fair Immigration Reform Movement and the Rights Working Group.  She continues to advocate for immigration reform as the Co-Chair of the We Belong Together:  Women for Common-Sense Immigration Reform campaign.  Pramila is currently the Distinguished Taconic Fellow at Center for Community Change and a Distinguished Fellow at the University of Washington Law School.

Arline Loh
Wilmington, DE

Arline Loh is a former banking information technology expert who was forced prematurely into early retirement because of advancing liver disease caused by Chronic Hepatitis B.  Having been infected with the Hepatitis B virus at birth,  she draws closely on her own experiences with the disease to educate and inform people about the dangers of the condition and how to prevent it.  Arline is the founder of two Hepatitis B Support groups in New York City as well as the co-founder of H+EAL (Health and Education for Asian Livers).  Her advocacy efforts focus on screening, vaccination, treatment and management of the disease in adults 25 years and above.

Mia Mingus
Oakland, CA

Mia Mingus is a writer and organizer working for disability justice and transformative justice to end child sexual abuse.  She describes herself as a queer physically disabled Korean woman transracial and transnational adoptee who is dedicated to communities and movements working for social justice.  She travels nationally, giving talks and trainings, and is a member of the Bay Area Transformative Justice Collaborative (BATJC), a local collective working to build and support community responses to end child sexual abuse.  In Mia’s words, she “longs for a world where disabled children can live free of violence, with dignity and love.”

Natalie Nakase
Los Angeles, CA

In 2003, Natalie Nakase became the first Asian American player in the National Women’s Basketball League when she joined the San Jose Spiders.  She then went on to play for the San Diego Siege and Germany’s Herne TC and coach a German women’s basketball team.  In 2011, became the first female coach in the Japanese professional men’s basketball league when she joined the Saitama Broncos as Head Coach. Today, she is a video coordinator intern with the Los Angeles Clippers, where she hopes to gain more insight in the NBA in order to eventually become an NBA coach.

Mary Frances Oneha
Waimanalo, HI

With over 30 years in nursing, the past 20 years serving Native Hawaiian communities, Dr. Mary Frances Oneha is committed to improving the health of Native Hawaiians.  Her research efforts have solely focused on understanding Native Hawaiian responses to health issues and working towards ensuring the community is involved in the research process from idea to dissemination.  She currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Waimanalo Health Center, which is initiating efforts to integrate Native Hawaiian culture throughout its organization.

Karen Suyemoto
Boston, MA

Karen L. Suyemoto, PhD is an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology and Asian American Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.  Karen and her research team explore how racialized identities, ethnic affiliations, and experiences of discrimination are associated with development and mental health for Asian Americans.  Karen  provides consultation and training on anti-racist therapy and education both locally and nationally and is the Past President of the Asian American Psychological Association.

Nancy Tom
Chicago, IL

In 1997, Nancy Tom founded the Center for Asian Arts and Media at Columbia College Chicago to highlight the contributions of Asian Americans to this country's culture and history.  She remains committed to philanthropic activities and supporting Asians in the arts, and is currently working to create an arts event examining the Chinese Exclusion Act through film, a visual exhibition, and frank discussion on a historical topic with ongoing implications.  In doing so, Nancy hopes to help younger generations remember their past.

Van Ton-Quinlivan
Burlingame, CA

As vice chancellor of workforce and economic development of California's system of 112 community colleges, Van Ton-Quinlivan is working to transform the country's largest higher education system through Doing What MATTERS for Jobs and Economy™.  Van previously worked in the energy and utility industry, where she architected the best-practice model PowerPathway™, which demonstrated the type of collaboration between industry, the public workforce system, education, and organized labor that effectively transitions military veterans and members of underserved communities into energy sector jobs.

Shireen Zaman
Washington, DC

Shireen Zaman is the Executive Director of the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, a grassroots think tank focused on issues related to the Muslim community in the United States and abroad.  She works to create better understanding of issues and policies impacting the Muslim community in the media and among policy makers.  She is also a board member of Slim Peace Groups, an organization that brings together Jewish and Muslim women for a common goal of developing healthier eating habits, learning about nutrition, empowerment and a healthy self-esteem.

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