Participate in the Mentor Up grant competition!

mentor up

Through the Mentor Up program, AARP Foundation is looking to fund innovative, exciting and impactful intergenerational interventions that engage youth volunteers in “reverse mentoring” or service activities designed to foster positive intergenerational interactions that will help reduce the negative effects of social isolation faced by vulnerable individuals over 50. Specifically, AARP Foundation is seeking interventions that are evidence or outcomes based and operate at a local, regional or national level that focus on the following areas:

* Hunger

* Housing

* Health and wellness

* Transportation

* Income

* Social Connection

Mentor Up encourages organization’s large and small to apply for funding that can range from $25,000 – $150,000. Funding amounts awarded to grantees will be relative to an organization’s capacity and expected outcomes.

Learn more here. Deadline: November 13, 2015

Welcoming James W. Head to the East Bay Community Foundation

On November 3, the Chinese American Community Foundation Board of Directors welcomed James W. Head to his new role as CEO & President of the East Bay Community Foundation at a special gathering attended by community leaders.

David Lei, Vice Chairman of CACF, congratulated James and encouraged him to get to know the Chinese American community in the East Bay. James W. Head spoke eloquently of several new initiatives the EBCF is working on and how he is reaching out to engage new donors.

CACF supports the work of all philanthropic organizations in the Bay Area. We believe friendships and trust-building lead to closer collaborations that will greatly benefit our community.

Thank you to all our friends for taking the time to show their support. Please visit our facebook page to see additional photos from the event.

CACF EBCF Nov 2015 Board and James
CACF EBCF Nov 2015 group 2
CACF EBCF Nov 2015 David LCWang Joyce Joo
CACF EBCF Nov 2015 Sheri and Ted

Hidden in Plain Site

Photo: Dai Sugano/Mercury News

In the report, Hidden in Plain Site: Asian American Leaders in Silicon Valley, the authors looked at the 2013 EEOC data and found huge disparities in race and gender. The analysis was made possible by increased transparency by tech companies in disclosing previously confidential data. The EEOC data released by five large Silicon Valley companies (Google, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, LinkedIn, and Yahoo) allow the public, for the first time, to analyze the number of employees in the pipeline of management classifications by gender and race.

The authors identified three major Asian leadership gaps: a gap in awareness and expectations, a gap in role models, and a gap in behavior.

Although awareness and behavioral gaps are not unique to the Asian community, social science research and our personal observations find that traditional upbringing and cultural norms can hinder many in bridging those gaps. Social science research suggests that an Asian effect is rooted in a cultural mismatch between Asian and western leadership norms which feed the western implicit stereotype that Asians have poor leadership skills.

Key findings from our analysis comparing the Asian and white workforce data are as follows:

• Although there are nearly as many Asian professionals as white professionals in most of these five companies, white men and women are ~154% more likely to be an executive compared to their Asian counterparts.

• Asian women are the least represented as executives, relative to their percentage in the workforce. There are 9,254 Asian women professionals in our sample (13.5%), but only 36 Asian women executives (3.1%).

• In the aggregate, the data reflect that white women are 16.8% of professionals, well below their numbers in the U.S. population (40%), but also suggest that they are having success at reaching executive levels in Silicon Valley–based companies. White women have an EPI nearly at parity at executive levels, relative to their representation as individual contributors.

• The “Asian effect” is 3.7X greater than the “gender effect” as a glass ceiling factor. The Asian effect was measured at ~154% for both men and women. The gender effect was measured at ~42% for both whites and Asians.

For more information see the Mercury News coverage: Report: Asian-American tech workers absent from Silicon Valley’s executive suites.

Transformative Leadership Development at the Grassroots

Christen Lee is program manager at Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy and deputy director of Asian Immigrant Women Advocates. The following post first appeared on NCRP’s blog.

In Cultivating Nonprofit Leadership: A (Missed?) Philanthropic Opportunity, NCRP discusses how social movements benefit when grassroots leaders have transformative leadership development opportunities, complementing its earlier Grantmaking for Community Impact Project series that spotlights community leadership as a strategy for social change. Taken together, these reports make a strong case for investing in leadership at all levels of the social movement ecosystem, from staff to constituents.

The Oakland-based Asian Immigrant Women Advocates (AIWA) is a 30-year-old grassroots organization that invests in, and more specifically, prioritizes, the long-term leadership development of its constituents. AIWA’s Community Transformational Organizing Strategy (CTOS) is an evidence-based and systematic grassroots leadership development model based on decades of community-driven campaigns and peer-led organizing.

AIWA’s members are first-generation immigrant Chinese and Korean women, and first generation immigrant Chinese youth, with minimal to limited English proficiency. Their average household income is less than $20,000. They face special barriers, including language access, economic marginalization and social isolation, which can prevent them from achieving equitable participation in social movements and civic society. However, when provided with the right tools, knowledge, time and relationship-building opportunities, they develop the kind of individual and collective leadership that not only allows them to improve conditions in their workplaces and schools, but also challenges mainstream society’s assumptions about the face and voice of leadership for social change.

Hai Yan is one of several thousand immigrant women who have participated in AIWA’s grassroots leadership development program. Now a senior trainer, she explains how she developed a sense of her own power and ability to influence social change:

“If I never came to AIWA, I would still [feel like I was] stuck in a cup. Now I’ve stepped outside of the cup to the outside world. … What is life like inside a cup? Eat, sleep, work, come home. But outside, since coming to AIWA, I meet a lot of people, come into contact with [people from] other races, go into different groups and organizations to give speeches. Grassroots women like us even have the courage to go to places like [U.C.] Berkeley and give presentations to university students. And if we see something that is unfair, then we will fight for change.”

AIWA has found that transformative leadership development is also transferrable leadership development. Members apply the confidence and skills they gain to all areas of their lives. For example, many of our grassroots leaders started out as garment workers and participated in AIWA’s early campaigns for garment worker justice. Over the years, as garment manufacturing jobs moved overseas, they had to find jobs in other industries. Many of them are now home care workers and have organized themselves into a Home Care Workers Committee, where they are applying their leadership skills to launch two entirely member-driven/member-led campaigns for language access and enforceable employment agreements.

Transformative leadership development is also transferrable in the sense that leaders can “pay it forward” and empower others. Members who participate in AIWA’s leadership development program lead all of AIWA’s programs. This peer-led approach to programs helps immigrant women and youth reframe their expectations and sense of their own potential to influence change. For example, our ergonomic safety workshops are entirely directed by limited-English speaking immigrant women, who are low-wage workers like the workshop participants themselves.

NCRP’s reports demonstrate that successful leadership development takes time and resources, a fact AIWA knows to be true from first-hand experience. AIWA developed a database to track members’ leadership development progress and to assess its programs. About five years ago, AIWA also embarked on a collaborative research and evaluation project with scholars who study grassroots leadership in social movements. The research project combines quantitative and qualitative analysis of information from the database, along with focus groups, surveys and interviews conducted with AIWA’s women members. In the future, we hope to develop more resources to further solidify and expand our research by collaborating with other community groups that prioritize grassroots leadership development. In the meantime, a preliminary study with a sample size of approximately 800 low-income, limited-English speaking Chinese and Korean women revealed that it takes five to eight years for them to build and sustain their leadership and participation in social movements and civic society.

Institutional and systemic barriers to equity and leadership exist not only within the broader society, but also within the social movement ecosystem. Building and sustaining social movements requires investing beyond specific issue areas and single campaigns. It requires investing in the people themselves. Without long-term grassroots leadership development, “social movements [may turn] into service providers and grassroots members into clients.” If we want to build a truly democratic and equitable society, let’s invest the time and resources necessary to build the leadership of all its members.

Diverse Culture of Generosity Program

The Association of Fundraising Professionals Silicon Valley Chapter is hosting a lively discussion of the tradition of philanthropy within the Hispanic, Chinese and Indian-American communities in the Bay Area. CACF co-founder and board member, Buck Gee will be speaking at this event.

Date: Tuesday, May19th

Time: 11:45 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Topic: A Diverse Culture of Generosity:  How the Hispanic, Chinese, and Indian-American communities practice philanthropy in Silicon Valley.

What are the history and values that unite these three communities?  Has American assimilation altered philanthropic choices?  What are the top causes they support?  Have successive generations transformed giving priorities?  What do their choices reveal about their values?  How do they meet evolving community needs?

Cost: $35 for members and $45 for non-members

Venue: Biltmore Hotel & Suites
2151 Laurelwood Rd
Santa Clara, CA 95054

Annual Executive Director’s Luncheon

On December 5, 2014, we co-hosted the annual executive director’s holiday lunch with The San Francisco Foundation. Dr. Rolland M. Lowe, our Chairman congratulated Mr. Fred Blackwell on his new appointment as President & CEO of The San Francisco Foundation. Fred spoke of his plans for reaching out and revisiting the organization’s role. The annual event is part of CACF’s work to encourage networking, friendship, and collaborations in the community.

Photos from the event can be viewed on our Facebook page.


Are AAPI Seniors Financially Secure?

Compared to other ethnic groups, AAPIs (Asian American & Pacific Islanders) as a whole are generally seen as more economically secure. They have higher average household incomes and are major consumers and users of financial products and services. One factor may have to do with the often larger and often multi-generational households. However, a new report by AARP paints a bleak picture of Asian American seniors.

The AARP report found that Asian Americans are less likely to have social security, pensions and retirement savings making them especially vulnerable.

  • 14% of AAPIs age 65+ are on food stamps vs 9% of general population in the same age group.
  • 13% of AAPIs age 65+ live in poverty vs 9% of total US 65+ population.
  • 68% of AAPIs age 65+ receive social security vs 86% of total US 65+ population.
  • 29% of AAPIs 65+ own their homes free and clear vs. 48% of the total U.S. 65+ population
  • 24% of AAPIs 65+ rent their homes vs. 16% of the total U.S. 65+ population.

Chinese and Filipinos are the largest of the AAPI groups over 50.

  • 18% of Chinese American seniors live in poverty vs 9% of the total U.S. 65+ population.
  • The median income of Chinese is $27,193 vs $33,906 of the total U.S. 65+ population.

The study showed that Asian Americans who speak English have better financial security than non-English speakers. However, very little data exists of Asian American seniors, especially in each ethnic subgroups.  AARP calls for more research in order to provide appropriate services and care for our aging seniors.


New Clinic Dedicated to Dr. Rolland Lowe and Kathy Lowe

Dr. Lowe - Asian Health ServicesAsian Health Services dedicated their new clinic in Chinatown Oakland to Dr. Rolland Lowe and Kathy Lowe on Friday, August 8, 2014. On hand were over 125 well-wishers and friends of Dr. Lowe and Kathy.

The new 15,000 sq. ft. clinic cost $11 million and offers services to underserved immigrants in the greater Chinatown community and surrounding areas. It houses 20 exam rooms, with a small room for minor procedures on each of the three floors. The new space offers primary care services. A geriatric center on the second floor offers senior specific programming.

Watch the AHS 2013 Gala Honoree Video of Dr. Rolland Lowe!

Cameron House Executive Director To Take Part in Media Training Project

May Leong_red scarf headshotThe Asian American Journalist Association is organizing its first AAJA Media Institute, a two-day workshop to train thought leaders and help them become valuable sources to the media. The project grew out of the need to have diverse, go-to experts that can help journalists tell their story.

Thirty participants will take part in the boot camp to learn how a newsroom operates, get tips on becoming camera-ready and practice answering tough interview questions. Fifteen nonprofit leaders were selected to attend the program at no cost. May Leong, Executive Director of Cameron House was one of the chosen participants. We congratulate May for this wonderful opportunity.

May describes herself as a passionate community builder, with more than 25 years of experience in a variety of positions spanning the globe. She was the co-founder and Executive Director of DigitalEve, the first international nonprofit for women involved with the Internet, and grew the organization to serve 31 chapters in five countries with 15,000 members, using web technology and traveling to meet personally with chapter leaders to develop strong relationships and trust.

For over 12 years, May directed fundraising programs for nonprofit organizations in Seattle, Washington, such as: Technology Access Foundation, YouthCare, Junior Achievement of Washington, The Northwest School, and Nikkei Concerns. Her prior experience includes corporate and banking work and teaching English as a Second Language as a professor at a number of college and university programs in San Francisco, Seattle, and Japan. Her business articles have been published in print and online newspapers and magazines in the United States and Japan.

A first-generation Chinese-American, May was born in Hong Kong and raised in Brooklyn, NY. She has a BA degree in International Relations and a MA degree in English. She and her family have lived and worked on the West Coast for over 20 years, including San Francisco where her daughter was born.


What You Need to Know About Nonprofit Mergers

Since the 2008 recession, the nonprofit and grantmaking communities have steadily paid increasing attention to mergers. The total pool of grantmaking dollars available to support nonprofit mergers has grown, albeit modestly. And more nonprofits have considered merger as a part of their strategy to increase and sustain their impact in the community. Yet, as recent research suggests, the actual rate of successful completion for mergers continues to remain relatively static.

Join us and NCG for a panel discussion exploring an example of a successful merger between two local nonprofits—East Bay Asian Youth Center and Oakland Asian Students Educational Services—and how three funders—The San Francisco Foundation, Asian Pacific Fund, and SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaborations—supported these two long-respected neighborhood institutions to position themselves to serve Oakland youth in ways that they could not have separately. Attendees will receive a copy of the Chinese American Community Foundation’s recently published case study on the EBAYC/OASES merger.

Join us to:
Discover what makes a nonprofit merger successful;
Hear what funders look for when considering to support a proposed merger; and
Learn different ways to support a proposed merger, beyond direct grantmaking.

Panelists include:

David Kakishiba, Executive Director, East Bay Asian Youth Center (EBAYC)
Lois Savage, President, The Lodestar Foundation
Lisa Villarreal, Program Officer for Education, The San Francisco Foundation
Audrey Yamamoto is the President & Executive Director of the Asian Pacific Fund

Moderated by: Christen Lee, Advisor, Kordant Philanthropy Advisors

Learn more and register here.

Nonprofits: Participate in the CACF Opportunity List

The Chinese American Community Foundation is pleased to invite community groups to participate in the newly established Catalyst Fund that aims to encourage innovation and collaboration in the Chinese American nonprofit community. Building upon our recent study on Chinese American philanthropists and our collective knowledge of donor motivations, the goal of the Fund is to increase the number of new donors to our community and offer them simple and effective modes of engagement. This platform allows us to test, reiterate, and learn more about our donor community and how best to engage them.

The 2014 pilot for the Fund is our matchmaking initiative, the CACF Opportunity List. The List will give donors access to immediate opportunities to make a positive difference in our community.

Our goal is to feature projects that are innovative and support capacity building initiatives of organizations. The List will be shared with prospective donors whose interests align with their specific areas of focus.

Visit our information page to learn more!

The Committee of 100’s 23rd Annual Conference in San Francisco is Coming Up Soon

The Committee of 100’s 23rd annual conference at the Four Season’s Hotel in San Francisco is coming up in less than two weeks! It’s a particularly special conference this year, because 2014 also marks 25 years the Committee of 100 was founded. With such a monumental moment coming along, the conference will bring many noted guests to discuss politics, arts and culture, technology, and business in China and the U.S. The speakers currently slated to appear include:

  • Jianhai Lin (Secretary General of the International Monetary Fund)
  • David Dreier (Annenberg-Dreier Commission at Sunnylands)
  • Tom Doctoroff (JWT Asia Pacific)
  • John Hennessy (Stanford University)
  • Jia Qingguo (Peking University School of International Studies)
  • David M. Lampton (John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies)
  • Ed Lee (Mayor of San Francisco)
  • Cheng Li (Brookings Institute)
  • Eric X. Li (Aspen Institute)
  • Bill Mundell (International Knowledge Measurement)
  • Brian A. Sun (Jones Day)
  • Frank Wu (UC Hastings)
  • Gideon Yu (Co-Owner of the 49ers)

CACF members will be there as promotional partners of the conference as well. It’s sure to be an enlightening experience that will help bridge Chinese communities across continents. Please join if you can! Registration ends April 18.

What: Committee of 100 23rd Annual Conference

When: April 25 (Gala); April 26 (Conference)

Where: Four Season’s Hotel, San Francisco, CA

About: Committee of 100 “Common Ground” Conferences serve as the premier forum to address key issues impacting U.S.-China relations and the Chinese American community. Inaugurated in 1991, the annual conference features roundtables that convene renowned thought leaders in academia, the arts, business, government, science, and technology.  This year’s conference will take place on April 26, 2014 at the Four Seasons Hotel  in San Francisco. 

Website: Follow this link.

The White House Wants to Hear From You

The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders is hosting a community roundtable on March 25 in Oakland. The roundtable is a great way for you to speak up about you think is important to the Asian American community and what you think policymakers and legislators should be doing for the community.

The event is cosponsored by the California Commission on Asian Pacific Islander American Affairs and the San Francisco Bay Area Federal Executive Board. It is closed to the press, but lunch will be provided to attendees. Register by Friday, March 21. See more details below:

What: Community Roundtable

Where: California Endowment Oakland Conference Center

1111 Broadway, 7th Floor

Oakland, CA 94607

When: Tuesday, March 25 (Registration is 8:30 a.m. – 9 a.m. Program is 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.)

Who: The White House Initaitive on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders – Region 9 Interagency Working Group and You

Why: To discuss how federal agencies can better serve Bay Area AAPI communities, learn about critical federal programs, service and resources, examine key issues facing the AAPI community, and engage in dialogue with local federal government representatives on how we can partner to address the community’s needs

How to Register: Visit the event registration page, or email the organizer at There is no cost to attend.

Panel Discussion on Undocumented Asian Immigrants To Be Held March 20

Image Source: Chris Hondros/Getty Images (via Asia Society)

The Asia Society of Northern California is hosting a panel discussion on undocumented Asian immigrants on Thursday, March 20, next week.

The immigration issue is one with transnational implications, but it’s also one of particular importance for the future of the Bay Area. Here, there is both a large population of residents with Asian descent, and a great push for immigration reform to bring in more highly-skilled immigrants from the tech sector. But the fact that hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants in this state also come from Asia seems to get lost in the discussions.

See the event details below:

Undocumented immigrants from Asia are a growing force in American politics and society. In California alone, there are an estimated 416,000 Asian undocumented immigrants, or roughly 15 percent of the state’s entire undocumented population. While immigration is commonly understood to be a “Latino” issue, Asian Americans have an equal stake in immigration reform. With policy change at the local and state levels and new hopes of reform from Washington, the time is right for a national dialogue. Join ASNC as we bring together young activists, grassroots leaders, and legal experts to examine this complex and timely subject.

Date: Thursday, March 20, 2014

Event Website: Here.

Katharine Gin, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Educators for Fair Consideration
Bill Ong Hing (moderator), Professor, University of San Francisco School of Law
Ju Hong, Researcher, Harvard University; undocumented member, Asian Students for Immigrant Rights through Education (ASPIRE)
Grace Lee, Policy Director, Chinese for Affirmative Action
Anoop Prasad, Staff Attorney, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus

Program Agenda:
5:30 – 6:00 p.m. Registration
6:00 – 7:30 p.m. Discussion/Audience Q&A
7:30 – 8:00 p.m. Reception

Event Location:
ASNC Bechtel Conference Center
500 Washington Street
San Francisco

Purchase tickets: Here.

Chinese Progressive Association Campaigns for Workers’ Rights and Living Wages in San Francisco

Image Source: Chinese Progressive Association

Asian Americans represent one of the fastest growing communities in the U.S., but often times, it still feels like their voices are going underrepresented and their needs are going unaddressed.

To help bring Asian American issues to the fore, the Chinese Progressive Association (CPA), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, has been working to empower low income and working class immigrants in Chinatown since 1972. CPA’s programs are focused on three key areas: civic engagement, labor rights, and healthcare.

The civic engagement campaigns are primarily centered on get-out-the-vote initiatives and helping immigrants understand the political issues that affect their daily lives. These efforts have been ongoing since 2000, and so far, they’ve been instrumental in helping pass San Francisco’s Minimum Wage Ordinance in 2003 and the Paid Sick Leave Ordinance in 2006.

Closely related is CPA’s advocacy work for workers’ rights and unions. A 2010 study found that wage theft is of particular concern for the San Francisco immigrant community: 1 out of every 2 restaurant workers in Chinatown restaurants receive less than minimum wage, and 20% work more than 60 hours a week. CPA has organized restaurant workers to help them collect back over $700,000 in wages and continues to promote job security and job creation in the community.

But as the Bay Area’s inequality issues become more pointed, CPA won’t be able to take on political empowerment, workers’ rights, and other concerns on their own. That’s why CPA has launched strategic partnerships with several organizations, reaching across geographic, sector, and racial divides in their work.

For instance, CPA worked with People Organizing to Demand Environmental and Economic Rights (PODER) to create a youth leadership program for Chinese and Latino youth.  In collaboration with the City College of San Francisco ESL program and Chinese for Affirmative Action, CPA also launched a vocational program for immigrant workers.

Looking ahead to the future, CPA has also nurtured future community organizers through its Eva Lowe Fellowship for Social Justice. (The Eva Lowe fellowship is actually named after the mother of Dr. Rolland Lowe, CACF’s own chairman.) With the success of the fellowship, there are plans to turn it into a national program to empower young leaders across the country.

Come See Celebrity Chef Martin Yan at the Commonwealth Club in SF–Special Discount for CACF Friends Available!

20140205-martin-yan-new-web_0Martin Yan is one of the most well-known Chinese American chefs today. Yan made a name for himself on cooking shows that blended humor and accessible Asian recipes. He became known for his catchphrase, “If Yan can cook, you can too!”

And now, you too can come hear Yan talk about cooking in person at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco this Wednesday, February 5th. Yan will be in conversation with Narsai David, Food and Wine Editor of KCBS Radio. There will be special emphasis on cooking for the Lunar New Year. The event starts at 6 p.m., but there is also a special reception that begins at 5:15 p.m. See full details of the events here.

CACF friends get a $5 discount off the non-member admission price. Just type “specialyancancook” into the promotional code box.

Who: Martin Yan in conversation with Narsai David

What: Yan Can Cook…for the Chinese New Year!

Where: SF Commonwealth Club

When: Wednesday, February 5th, 2014. Talk begins at 6 p.m. Reception begins at 5:15 p.m.

Website: Commonwealth Club


Gum Moon Helps Keep Affordable Housing in San Francisco Alive

A parenting class at the Gum Moon. (Image Source: Gum Moon)

The Bay Area is experiencing an affordable housing crisis, and San Francisco is one of the cities where this crisis is playing out more prominently.

Average rental prices for a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco have reached close to $2,800 a month; anything more spacious than that will put you back even more. If the rule of thumb that rent should account for no more than 30% of your monthly income still applies, you’d need to make close to $10,000 a month (a six figure annual salary) to make ends meet in San Francisco. That’s way more than most of us can afford. With a growing number of Ellis Act evictions also making headlines, it almost seems like San Francisco will soon become a city exclusively for the elite as lower income and impoverished families are essentially priced out.

Thankfully, there are still many community-based organizations working hard to ensure that people from all walks of life can stay in the city. One of these organizations is Gum Moon Women’s Residence, located in Chinatown. Founded in 1868, Gum Moon’s Asian Women Residence Center and Residence Hall programs have become mainstays of support for San Francisco’s women and children in need, regardless of their race, ethnicity, or creed.

I took a tour of the residence center recently and was thoroughly impressed with the services it provides. The transitional housing program offers rooms to women for as low as $476 a month for a single room and $384 for a shared double room. The rooms are very clean and spacious compared to most longer term residency motels in the area–I lived in a residency motel for the first month that I moved to San Francisco and paid over $250 a week ($1,000+ a month). The room was half the size of those at Gum Moon. The center also has many facilities for the residents, including a laundry room, a kitchen, dining room and community room.

Beyond that, Gum Moon also offers various family programs including parent-child development classes, after-school homework assistance classes, and community activities. They also have programs that aim to support survivors of abuse, who can reside at their facility at an even lower cost through a partial government subsidy program.

As affordable housing in San Francisco become scarcer and a sustainable solution has yet to be worked out, organizations like Gum Moon will become all the more important.