Archive for category AAPI nonprofits

There is Nothing More Difficult

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By Barbara Phillips

“There is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle than to initiate a new order of things.”

And so, courageous social justice warriors convened as the Organizational Fellowship Program September 16 – 17, 2011 in the Bay Area to reflect upon their collective journey to initiate a new order of things within themselves, their organizations, their communities, the broader social justice movement – across the U.S. and beyond.  The weekend was about sharing the stories of that journey and, more importantly, learning from those experiences – lifting up struggles with terminology, theory and practice and appreciating that context matters.  As one participant said so eloquently, the weekend marked not the end and not the beginning, but “The end of the beginning.”

It was so appropriate that the convening of September 16th was at the site in Oakland where the first convening took place almost three years ago.  My hope for those who were returning is that they were flooded with raw, unfiltered memories of that first experience – not just their thoughts, but their feelings about jumping into the unknown. One participant spoke with particular openness and honesty about the panic that swept through him as he pondered, “What do we do now???” – after being a part of the OFP.

My hope is that these social justice warriors embrace the reality of the unending repetitiveness of that query, “What do we do now?”

The answer will come to them as they continue their collective struggle.  And if they are lucky, the answer will never be definitive.  They will never know for sure that a particular course of action is “right.”  They do not need the false certainty of being “right”; all they need to move forward is the intention to struggle honestly and with compassion and to continue reflecting, thinking critically, learning as they go, and sharing all of that with the community.

There will be many times when the way is not certain. That is the nature of initiating a new order of things. The civil rights movement embraced the reality of those recurring moments with a song, “Do What the Spirit Say Do.”  The community sang that song over-and-over until there was a collective decision.  These courageous social justice warriors will create their own unique response to these moments because they are initiating a new order of things.  And for that we should all stand in grateful solidarity.

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OFP cohort member news: SAN’s 20th Anniversary on October 23rd, 2010

Congratulations to our friends at the South Asian Network on your 20th Anniversary!

SAN's 20th Anniversary

SAN's 20th Anniversary

The Journey to Justice Continues

Come celebrate with South Asian Network on October 23rd and continue the journey with us to justice!  Join us with invited speaker Kiran Ahuja, a performance by Shyamala Moorty, and special presentations journeying through SAN’s past years and the years to come.

Event info > http://san20thanniversary.eventbrite.com/?ref=ecount

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President Obama Celebrates Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Earlier this year, NGEC’s 12 OFP cohort organizations convened in New Orleans and met community leaders from VAYLA-NO,  Father Vien from Mary Queen of Vietnam Church, and S. Leo Chiang (the director of A Village Called Versailles).

Check out the great post below via 8Asians.com about Monday’s AAPI Heritage Month celebration at the White House which featured Father Vien.

This past Monday, President Obama hosted a reception at the White House celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Amongst the honored guests was Father Vien of the Mary Queen of Vietnam Church in New Orleans, who was profiled in an excellent documentary which I saw earlier this year at a film festival called A Village Called Versailles. The film, which is part of PBS’s Independent Lens series, will be airing this Tuesday, May 25th on PBS and follows the Vietnamese American community awakening politically in the aftermaths of Hurricane Katrina. Now, Father Vien and others are fighting another crisis in New Orleans. The BP oil spill has hugely impacted the Southeast Asian/Vietnamese American fishermen who make up 35-45% of the fishing industry along the Gulf Coast.

Read more about our OFP Convening in New Orleans.

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Call to Action: California API groups mobilize for Arizona May 28-29

compiled by Dana Kawaoka-Chen, Capacity Building Manager

The passage of Arizona S.B. 1070–a bill that gives authorization to police officers to stop any person they think is undocumented—last month has prompted national outcry.  Many of the organizations in the National Gender & Equity Campaign’s Organization Fellowship Program are actively involved in efforts to repeal SB 1070 and stand in solidarity with targeted communities in Arizona.

This weekend–May 29, 2010, people of conscience from throughout the United States and Phoenix will march in the tens of thousands to the State Capitol to demand justice in the face of legalized discrimination and hate. They will demand that President Obama stand on the right side of history and take immediate and concrete action to stop SB1070.

At least two API delegations are being organized from California—from the Bay Area and Los Angeles, and there are a number of local actions being planned.  Below, please find more information about how you can get involved:

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2010 Advancing Justice Conference (AAPIs United In Strength) June 23-25 Alexandria, VA

2010 Advancing Justice Conference

Coming up next month!

June 23 – June 25, 2010

“The Advancing Justice Conference is a national civil rights and social justice conference that aims to bring together a diverse group of stakeholders in one place to address a broad range of issues facing the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. It serves as a unique forum where researchers, advocates, direct service providers and other leaders can meet face-to-face, talk about their common challenges and find ways to work collaboratively.

The Advancing Justice Conference is a joint project by the Asian American Institute (Chicago), Asian American Justice Center (Washington, D.C.), Asian Law Caucus (San Francisco) and Asian Pacific American Legal Center (Los Angeles).”

AJC Workshop Tracks include:

Register online by June 2nd for their early bird discount
http://www.advancingjustice.org/2010/registration

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How would organizational effectiveness be different from a social justice movement frame?

Reflections from the 2010 GEO conference from Bo Thao-Urabe, BRIDGE Director about organizational effectiveness using NGEC’s framework.


Social Justice Movement Building diagram

How would organizational effectiveness be different from a social justice movement frame? - By Bo Thao-Urabe, Director, BRIDGE (Building Responsive Infrastructure to Develop Global Equity)

Recently I participated in the Grantmakers for Effective Organizations’ (GEO) national conference.  The participants were mostly people from foundations, but there were some representatives from consulting firms, affinity groups and community nonprofits.  Being a newbie, I chatted with a few participants about why they came.  For most, “organizational effectiveness” of nonprofit groups being funded seemed top of mind.

On a very basic level, organizational effectiveness is a seemingly apolitical term used in the nonprofit sector to demonstrate how successful an organization is in achieving its stated goals.  This has translated into tools and methods that help groups develop measurement units of their work — like demographically naming the population being served, counting the number of people served, and showing the level of satisfaction of those served. But these are very contained, focused, logical, short-term, and absent a worldview.

For me, just using the “organizational effective” paradigm alone misses a more dynamic beginning and evolution of organizations that helps us understand and answer the question of, “So What?”  or “Organizational effectiveness for what?”

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NGEC OFP Peer Learning Session with CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities

http://www.caaav.org/images/global/logo_lg.gifOur latest OFP peer learning call featured Helena Wong from CAAAV:  Organizing Asian Communities.  Helena shared her perspectives and experiences on building collective leadership, cross-generational community involvement in their organization, and their work on intersectional issues in the NYC context.

(We’ll be posting additional insights, reactions and learnings from our guest & participants…  so stay tuned!)

CAAAV was founded by Asian women in 1986 as one of the first to mobilize against anti-Asian violence in NYC.   CAAAV focuses on institutional violence affecting immigrant, poor and working-class communities such as worker exploitation, urban poverty, police brutality, INS detention / deportation, and criminalization of youth…

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OFP Cohort Progress & Learnings – Year One

NGEC JourneyAs part of our ongoing learning and broader community sharing, the NGEC staff is sharing a few key reflections about the 1st year of our capacity building approach, process and tools  from the NGEC  Organizational Fellowship Program cohort.

Knowing that there isn’t “one model” for change, we’re actively documenting the questions, processes and challenges of our cohort that offer “signs of progress.”

See the full text here: http://genderandequity.org/year1ofp

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“Justice Rising: Sparking Dialogue for Democracy” NGEC video & Guide

“Justice Rising: Sparking Dialogue for Democracy”

The intended audiences for the video and the guide are individuals and organizations who are exploring the meaning of social justice in their work. The following clips from the NGEC’s Justice Rising video offers various definitions and organizational strategies for advancing social justice in communities. It focuses on the importance of giving meaning to social justice as a concept and a framework, and shares tangible examples of how some groups have responded by creating programs and carrying out specific strategies.

Justice Rising – Video Discussion Guide

Justice Rising NGEC

Download .pdf (1.1 MB)

PART 1 of 2

PART 2 of 2

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Sample Exercises + Team Activities from NGEC’s Social Justice Capacity Building Program

NGEC OFP’s Sample Exercises and Team Activities

The exercises and activities we list below were initially developed for use in NGEC’s Organizational Fellowship Program with our 12 Asian American partner organizations in Minnesota and California.

Although they represent just a sampling of what we do in our intensive 3-year capacity building program, NGEC shares these resources in the spirit of making them available to wider audiences.

We hope folks find them useful and applicable to other areas of work.  NGEC welcomes and appreciate your feedback as we continue to refine and update these tools as they are tested and adapted by the community.

“Exploring Our Values” Exercise

“Fictional VRC Role Play” Exercise

“Organization Alignment” Exercise

“Organizational Transformation Role Play” Exercise

“Zooming In and Zooming Out” Exercise

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