Dean Ito Taylor
Executive Director, API Legal Outreach 

As part of a group of student activists, Dean Ito Taylor co-founded Nihonmachi Legal Outreach, a non-profit social justice organization providing legal, social and educational services.  For the past 26 years he has served as the Executive Director of what is now Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach. Inspired by the civil rights, antiwar, and ethnic studies movements of the 1960’s and ‘70’s, Dean and other founders worked to establish an organization that would breakdown long-standing barriers that denied Asians and Pacific Islanders equal justice.

Dean dedicated himself to advocating on behalf of disadvantaged people of color. Remembering the injustices suffered by his family, Dean joined with internees to advocate before Congress for monetary reparations to those unjustly incarcerated under Executive Order 9066.  After law school, Dean worked for over 10 years as a poverty law attorney in the Chinatown and the Western Addition offices of the legal aid foundation in San Francisco.

Since becoming Executive Director in 1988, Dean has aided API Legal Outreach in developing strong, innovative social justice programs serving survivors of domestic violence, elder abuse and human trafficking, youth, and recent immigrants, as well as promoting cross cultural work with other communities of color. With his leadership, API Legal Outreach promoted culturally competent, holistic services before the terms were in fashion and grew from a staff of 3 to 50 while developing nationally recognized programs for the underserved.

Dean has been an Instructor with the Upward Bound Program at the University of California, has served on the Boards of Directors of Kimochi and the Japanese Cultural and Community Center, as well as chairing the Nihonmachi Street Fair and Oshogatsu Festivals. He has been a professor at the Schools of Law at John F. Kennedy University and New College, as well as in the Asian American Studies Department, UC Berkeley.

Luisa Antonio
Executive Director, Bayanihan Equity Center 

Luisa Antonio is a founding member and the Executive Director of the Bayanihan Equity Center (formerly known as Veterans Equity Center).

Luisa started as a case manager in the early nineties for the Pilipino Early Intervention Project where she worked with youth involved in the juvenile justice system.

Luisa’s work with the Filipino World War II veterans started in 1997 shortly after their displacement from a residential hotel in the South of Market.  With Luisa’s vision, the Veterans Equity Center (VEC) was established and opened its doors to the community in 1999.  Luisa developed and implemented programs and services not only for the Filipino veterans, but also for low-income immigrant older adults aimed to support aging in their respective communities.  In 2019, the Veterans Equity Center, under Luisa’s leadership, expanded its services to a wider low-income immigrant community and changed its name to the Bayanihan Equity Center while remaining a staunch advocate for the Filipino veterans.

In April 2007, Luisa testified before the United States Senate’s Veterans Affairs Committee to advocate for the passage of the Filipino Veterans Equity Act, a legislation aimed at restoring the status of Filipino veterans making them eligible for VA benefits.

Luisa is the California Regional Director of the Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project – a national organization whose mission is to raise awareness through academic research and public education and to obtain national recognition of the Filipino-American WWII soldiers for their wartime service to the United States and the Philippines from July 1941 to December 1946.

Anni Chung
President and CEO, Self-Help for the Elderly 

Anni Chung oversees and manages a Bay Area community-based organization, Self-Help for the Elderly, that provides a comprehensive range of health, educational, social and recreational services to over 40,000 seniors a year.

Since 1966, Self-Help has been providing a comprehensive range of eldercare services that includes Senior Nutrition, Case Management, Senior Escorts, Affordable Housing, Licensed HomeCare and Hospice, Adult Day Services, Emergency IHSS, Employment and Training for Older Workers, HICAP, Transportation, and Residential Care for Alzheimer’s patients. Self-Help operates 15 senior centers, three affordable senior housing projects, and the Chinatown One-Stop Career Link Access Center for immigrant job seekers.

With a staff of over 300 and an annual budget of $28 million, Self-Help started in San Francisco Chinatown and now serves seniors in five Bay Area counties: San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. Anni has been Self-Help’s CEO since 1981.

Anni currently serves on the Steering Committee of API Council. She also serves on the board of Wildflowers Institute and the Elder Abuse Chair of the Family Violence Council in San Francisco. In October 2020, she was appointed by Governor Newsom to serve on the California Commission on Aging.

Anni is the Producer of a Public Affairs show called “Chinese Journal” for KTSF-TV 26.

Eddie Ahn
Executive Director, Brightline Defense 

Eddie Ahn has been engaged in policy and legal advocacy since 2009. He is also the writer and artist of “Advocate,” a graphic memoir to be published by Penguin Random House on April 16, 2024.

In addition to his work for Brightline, Eddie serves on three commissions for local and state government agencies related to environmental policymaking. In 2017, Eddie was appointed to the SF Commission on the Environment, which sets policy for the SF Department of Environment and advises the City and County on environmental matters. In 2018, he was appointed to the SF Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC), a state planning and regulatory agency with regional authority over the Bay Area. In June 2020, he was appointed to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), which plans and finances transit in the nine Bay Area counties. In 2022, he was elected by his peers to serve as President of the SF Commission on the Environment. He has also served on the boards of Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN) and Mission Housing Development Corporation.

Prior to being a nonprofit attorney, he was an AmeriCorps member, teaching public speaking and arts workshops in Oakland’s Chinatown. While working toward his law degree, he continued to teach art and public speaking workshops for youth and worked for the Assembly Judiciary Committee in Sacramento. His workforce development expertise and analysis of federal constitutional law has also assisted multiple municipalities in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York. In December 2021, Eddie was inducted into the State of California’s Clean Energy Hall of Fame for his work in equity and clean energy.

Eddie has received his J.D. from University of California, Hastings College of the Law and his B.A. from Brown University. He is also a member of the California State Bar.

Jenny Leung
Executive Director, Chinese Cultural Center of San Francisco 

Jenny has dedicated her career to community building, cultural equity, inclusion and arts access for all, with a deep belief in the transformative power of arts to effect change. Under her leadership, Jenny led CCC to acquire its first permanent home in its 59 year history, and anchored the institutional vision in “We the Future,” where arts play a strong role in the movement for cross-racial solidarity and rallying against anti-Asian hate. Her 14 years in the San Francisco Chinatown community has built successful cross-sector community partnerships and funders across government and philanthropy in the City and State to champion the importance of arts and community. In 2022, she was honored by San Francisco’s District 3 Board of Supervisors for her leadership in the arts and Chinatown community.

In the arts field, she is a respected leader. Her leadership in advocacy for cultural equity has resulted in unprecedented increased City funds for the arts. Some key moments include Proposition E, in collaboration with the City’s major cultural institutions as well as community-based arts organizations to partially allocate funds from the hotel tax to arts and culture, and collaboration with the API Council’s advocacy to secure an $3 million for arts and recovery.

Born and raised in Hawaii by immigrant parents, she holds a Masters degree in Asian Studies from University of California, Berkeley, and Bachelors from the University of Washington. Jenny serves as Chair of the Programs Committee for the Chinatown Media and Arts Collaborative; Co-Chair for the Chinatown Arts and Culture Coalition. She is part of the 2023 Aspen Executive Leadership cohort and a 2017 Getty Leadership Institute NextGen Fellow.

Jerry Yang
Executive Director, Kai Ming Head Start 

Jerry Yang serves as Executive Director at Kai Ming Head Start, a non-profit offering comprehensive services for underserved families with children aged 0-5.

Additionally, he leads ECE STEP, a non-profit focusing on early childhood education workforce development. His professional journey spans roles as a preschool teacher, assistant professor, and program administrator. He collaborates closely with colleagues to foster a warm, respectful, proactive, data-driven, and culturally responsive learning environment. Jerry is also dedicated to advocating for equity of Asian early childhood educators.

Jon Osaki
Executive Director, Japanese Community Youth Council 

Jon Osaki is a native San Franciscan and has served as the Executive Director of the Japanese Community Youth Council since 1996.

During Jon’s tenure as Executive Director, JCYC has grown to become one of San Francisco’s most successful child and youth development organizations, annually serving over 6,000 children and youth from all ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. Under Jon’s leadership, JCYC’s programs have received national recognition for achieving outstanding outcomes for young people and the organization is frequently called upon by the City of San Francisco to implement new initiatives for children and youth.

Judy Young
Executive Director, Southeast Asian Development Center 

Judy Young is Executive Director of Southeast Asian Development Center (SEADC).  Founded in 1977, SEADC is the leading social services organization dedicated to Southeast Asian communities in San Francisco and the Bay Area. Rooted in the Tenderloin, SEADC provide youth, families, immigrants, and refugee communities with culturally competent services that build independence and strength.

Judy and her family resettled in the Tenderloin in 1981 after fleeing war-torn Laos at the age of seven years old. For over 30 years, Judy Young has dedicated her career focusing on issues of education, jobs, immigration, substance abuse prevention, violence prevention, juvenile justice and delinquency, mental health and wellness impacting communities of color.

Judy holds a Bachelor of Arts from San Francisco State University in History. Judy and her husband own Akira Japanese Restaurant, a local neighborhood restaurant in lower Pacific Heights. She is a long-time resident of San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood.

Kari Lee
Associate Vice President and GDEI for the YMCA of San Francisco 

Kari Lee, Associate Vice President and GDEI for the YMCA of San Francisco, provides supervision and support for branch operations, board, and mission advancement in addition to continuing to lead the YMCA of San Francisco’s DIG/Equity work.

Beginning in 2005, Kari led the Chinatown YMCA as Executive Director. As Executive Director, she completed a $14 million capital campaign and opened a renovated Chinatown YMCA facility in 2010. Additionally, beginning in 2020, Kari took on leadership of the YMCA of San Francisco’s DIG & Equity work, endeavoring to further align, operationalize and deepen the Y’s efforts in making progress towards becoming an anti-racist, multicultural, and equitable organization that serves all.

Kari’s parents were born and raised in S.F. Chinatown creating deep roots in San Francisco. Kari’s partner and her are proud moms of two children, a dog, and a cat.

Patsy Tito
Executive Director, Samoan Community Development Center 

Dr. Patsy Tito is a native San Franciscan, born and raised. She has been serving the Samoan and Pacific Islander communities for over 25 plus years at the Samoan Community Development Center (SCDC) in the Southeast sector of San Francisco, providing cultural and innovative programming and services to ensure that the Samoan culture is thriving and strong for the next generation, and generations to come. Her roles at SCDC when she started as a Case Manager, Facilitator, and is currently the Executive Director at SCDC. Dr. Tito’s accomplishments and years of service to bring the Pacific Islander communities together so that the voices of the PI community are heard and the positive movement for a thriving community continues. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from San Diego State University, and went on to earn her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology with the emphasis of Community Health at the California Institute of Integral studies. Dr. Tito recently earned her Doctorate at Sofia University in Transpersonal Psychology and now continues to build sustainable mental health and wellness programs at SCDC to further serve the greater Samoan and Pacific Islander’s in San Francisco and Bay Area communities.

Sarah Wan
Executive Director, Community Youth Center of San Francisco 

Sarah Wan (she/her) is the Executive Director of Community Youth Center of San Francisco (CYC), which serves the needs of low-income, high-need, and at-risk Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) youth. Since 1970, the organization has provided a diverse population of San Francisco youth with a sense of belonging and vital tools and experiences to succeed in life. As a longtime, trusted, and highly visible city partner, CYC serves over 8,000 youth and their families each year with culturally competent services that include health and wellness, enrichment and advancement, and community engagement.

In 2021, in response to rising violence against the AAPI community, CYC joined with other local organizations to provide proactive and integrated violence prevention and intervention services. CYC serves as the fiscal agency for the Coalition for Community Safety and Justice (CCSJ), providing coordinated street outreach and crisis response services throughout San Francisco. CYC also serves as the fiscal agency for Asian Pacific Islanders Council, a community collaborative to uplift the voice of the API community. CYC employs 175 staff members at 7 locations in San Francisco.

Sarah grew up in one of Hong Kong’s most impoverished neighborhoods. Her experience with social workers and mentors who showed care and compassion for her community had a profound impact on her values, and youth development became her life’s passion. After Sarah moved to San Francisco, she witnessed many young people struggling with family issues, traumatic migration experiences, intergenerational rifts, and difficulties navigating cultural differences. She dedicated her career to improving the lives of youth in San Francisco and joined CYC first as a counselor, then a program director, and was named Executive Director in 2002. Sarah has been appointed to serve on various City Commissions, including the Juvenile Justice Commission (2009-2013) and the Commission on the Environment (2013-present). She is currently the steering committee member of the API Council, and her accomplishments have been recognized by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors (2012), District Attorney’s Office (2019), Chinese Cultural Center (2020) and Chinese for Affirmative Action (2023).