Amanda Koonjbeharry

Advocate

Amanda Koonjbeharry helps people thrive. She is a natural connector, bridge builder, a fierce advocate, and a strong facilitator. Unafraid of taking on polarizing topics, Amanda approaches her work from her heart, and brings people together to create authentic connections and community.
Amanda’s professional career has been rooted in social justice, including work to end/prevent domestic violence, sexual violence, and human trafficking. Amanda currently works at Tunheim where she merges her enthusiasm for solving tough public policy issues with her passion for leveraging communications strategies that inspire and promote change. Amanda currently serves as a Council Member on the Minnesota Department of Human Services Cultural and Ethnic Communities Leadership Council, and on the board of Family Housing Fund. She was named 40 Under 40 by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal in 2018 and received the Rising Alumni Award from the University of Minnesota’s College of Education and Human Development in 2021.
When not working, you can find her dancing away at a Zumba class, traveling to a new city, immersed in a good book, or walking a new MN trail.

MILCK

Singer and Advocate

MILCK (Connie K Lim) is a singer, songwriter, producer, performer and advocate who uses music to write her most courageous self into existence.

MILCK hit an international breakthrough after her song “Quiet” went viral, becoming Billboard’s No. 1 Protest Song in 2017, and a part of NPR’s American Anthem series. Her song sparked a movement, inspiring choirs from all over the world to translate it, from Dagbali, Spanish, Chinese, to German.

As a musical performer and public speaker, MILCK has shared stages with Michelle Obama, Glennon Doyle, Amanda Gorman, Aloe Blacc, Oprah, Jason Mraz, Yoko Ono, and Ani DiFranco.

Her love for music transcends her own project as she begins writing and producing upcoming releases for artists including Phillipa Soo and John Legend.

Interwoven with her music is MILCK’s advocacy work. Her current focus is raising funds and awareness for The Somebody’s Beloved Fund, which is a fund she started to support 10 grassroots organizations that do incredible work to build power around racial healing (somebodysbeloved.com).

Ayshea Khan

Asian American Community Archivist, Austin History Center, Austin Public Library; Board President, South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA)

Ayshea Khan is the Asian Pacific American Community Archivist at the Austin History Center, a division of the Austin Public Library. She works alongside longtime community members, media-makers, and other memory workers to collaboratively collect, preserve and provide access to Austin’s vibrant Asian American history. She came to archives by way of nonfiction filmmaking, community education, and audiovisual preservation. She is a Certified Archivist, a 2021-2023 RBS-Mellon Cultural Heritage Fellow, and currently serves in leadership positions with the Society of Southwest Archivists and Asian Pacific American Library Association. She is honored to serve as the Board President of the South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA) and as a member of the Community Advisory Committee for the Texas After Violence Project (TAVP).
Ayshea holds a B.S. in Cinema & Photography from Ithaca College and a Masters of Information Studies from University of Texas at Austin. Community-driven storytelling within communities of color has always been at the heart of her work as an archivist, filmmaker, and educator. She is always excited to talk more about how to activate archives as a tool for racial justice and community healing.

Lena Wu (she/they) is passionate about translating great ideas into hyperlocal, scalable initiatives. She approaches community issues with an activist and intersectional feminist lens. In March 2020, Lena co-founded Feed Your Hospital, which delivered meals to frontline COVID-19 healthcare workers by supporting local Asian restaurants in America’s most impacted communities. She swiftly mobilized a group of volunteers across the country and fundraised about $350,000 in 6 months. Lena hopes to activate AAPI civic engagement as a Board member of Asian American Women’s Political Initiative (AAWPI). As part of her AAWPI fellowship in 2016, Lena interned with Massachusetts State Senator Jason Lewis. Lena is currently the Senior Product Manager of Programmatic Advertising at Effectv, a Comcast company.

Erica
Brozovsky

Host and Writer for PBSDS's Otherwords; Program Coordinator for Stories Within

Dr. Erica Brozovsky is a sociolinguist, having received her PhD from The University of Texas at Austin. There, her work centered on language and identity in the Taiwanese Texan community, and she taught courses including Asian American Literature and Culture, English Language and its Social Context, and Rhetoric of Bicultural Identity. Erica currently hosts and writes for the linguistics PBS series Otherwords; serves as Program Coordinator for Stories Within, a mini-documentary series highlighting Asian Texan voices (and featured in the inaugural Gold Futures Challenge); and sits on the national board of the Taiwanese American Citizens League (TACL) as Director of Programming

Glenn D. Magpantay

Professor of Law & Asian American Studies at Hunter College/ CUNY;

Glenn D. Magpantay, Esq. is long-time civil rights attorney, seasoned nonprofit executive, professor, and veteran LGBTQ rights activist. He is the principal of Magpantay & Associates, a nonprofit consulting and legal services firm. He is a former Trustee of the Boehm Family Foundation. For over 30 years, Glenn has been a fierce advocate at the intersection of racial justice, immigrants’ rights, and LGBTQ liberation.
Glenn co-founded and served as the Executive Director of the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA), a national federation of Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender organizations for nearly a decade. His efforts were recognized by the Walter & Evelyn Haas, Jr. Fund Outstanding LGBTQ Leadership Award for Immigrants’ Rights (2017).
Before, Glenn was a nationally recognized civil rights attorney at the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) for nearly 20 years. He is an authority on the federal Voting Rights Act and expert on Asian American political participation, bilingual ballots, elections, and census. His efforts earned him the prestigious Haywood Burns Memorial Award from the NYS Bar Association Committee on Civil Rights (2015).
Glenn is a renowned thought-leader. He has brought 15 briefs to the United States Supreme Court; testified before the United States Congress; published 20 scholarly legal and academic articles; authored impactful public reports; and has given commentary to The New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Associated Press, MSNBC-TV, NBC Asian America, and The Advocate.
Always giving back, he has mentored countless students, young professionals, lawyers, and nonprofit practitioners. He is an adjunct Professor of Asian American Studies at Hunter College/ CUNY and Columbia University. He taught “Race & the Law” and “Public Interest Lawyering” at Brooklyn Law School.
Glenn chairs the LGBT Committee of the Asian American Bar Association of New York. Instinct Magazine showcased Glenn as one of the nation’s “25 Leading Men” in 2004.
He attended the State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook on Long Island, and as a beneficiary of affirmative action, graduated cum laude from the New England School of Law, in Boston.
Twitter @magpantay_glenn
LinkedIn /Glenn-D-Magpantay-Esq

Greg Lutze

Co-Founder of VSCO, Advisor, Venture Partner

Greg Lutze is a mixed-race Asian American founder, advisor and artist based out of California. A polymath, his interests lie in a variety of creative pursuits including design, photography, music, painting, fragrance and fashion.

The Co-Founder of VSCO, Greg is a leader driven by creative vision and soul. VSCO has been named Apple’s “App of the Year,” Google Play’s “Best Apps” and Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Companies in Social Media.” Currently, his focus lies in Plaza, an experimental Web 3.0 space.
He is a member of Gold House, a non-profit collective of Asian & Pacific Islander founders, creative voices, and leaders; a venture partner at Hidden, investing in the future of creative work; and a mentor at Praxis Labs, a creative engine supporting innovators motivated to love their neighbors and renew culture.
Greg serves as an advisor to creative startups Studio, Self & Chroma.

Gregory Cendana

President & Founder, Can't Stop! Won't Stop Consulting!

Dancer, Strategist and Entrepreneur Gregory Cendana is President and co-founder of Can’t Stop! Won’t Stop! Consulting, Chief Creative Officer of Greg Dances and co-founder of The People’s Collective for Justice and Liberation. He was the first openly gay and youngest-ever Executive Director of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance and Institute for Asian Pacific American Leadership & Advancement.

Gregory was also first openly gay Chair of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans, co-founder of the diversity initiative Inclusv, and serves on the board of directors for United We Dream and 18 Million Rising. He co-authored Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) Behind Bars: Exposing the School to Prison to Deportation Pipeline, a first of its kind report on the impact of mass incarceration and mass criminalization in the AAPI community.

Gregory was President of the United States Student Association (USSA), where he played an integral role in the passage of the Student Aid & Fiscal Responsibility Act and Healthcare and Education Reconciliation Act. Gregory is also a graduate of the Rockwood Leadership Institute, the Management Center’s Managing to Change the World, the Midwest Academy’s Organizing for Social Change, Training for Change’s Training of Trainers, Spitfire’s Executive Training Program, Center for Story Based Strategy’s Advanced Training and re:power’s Political Training Program.

Prior to his current role on the Board of Pharmacy, Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser also appointed him to serve on the Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs after he served a two year term on the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Advisory Committee under the leadership of Mayor Vince Gray. Gregory also co-founded the Washington Highlands Civic Association and served as its Vice President. He has been named one of Washington DC’s most influential 40-and-under young leaders, one of the 30 Most Influential Asian Americans Under 30, 40 Influential Asian Americans in Washington, DC’s Inaugural Power 30 Under 30™ Award Recipients and the “Future of DC Politics”. In his spare time, Gregory enjoys singing karaoke, choreographing dances and trying new recipes. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @GregoryCendana and TikTok: @GregDances

Janet Namkung

Director, The Management Center + Co-Founder, Asians* in Focus

Janet Namkung (she/they) is an active leader who is passionate about social and restorative justice through capacity-building. She currently works with the Management Center as the Administrative Director and is the Co-Founder of Asians* in Focus. Previously, she worked with the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), co-founded a BIPOC focused teletherapy company, worked with the Council of Korean Americans (CKA), and OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates. She served as a Commissioner on DC Mayor Bowser’s Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander Community Development, on the Board of Directors of the Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership (CAPAL), and as Chair of the DC Chapter of Service Year & AmeriCorps Alums. Janet is a proud New Yorker, daughter of Korean American immigrants, and a lover of food vacations. Janet recently moved to Houston by way of DC with their partner, Jae, and their two fur babies, Dubu and Kimchi.

JiJi Wong

Restorative Practices Mentor

JiJi is an experienced disability justice advocate who has done workshops for all ages from middle schoolers to university students to adults. Their abolitionist, disability justice informed politics has led them to their career in restorative practices working with teens. JiJi has a degree in linguistics, but is currently they pursuing their Masters of Library Sciences studying information mediation to further their social justice practice in work and in organizing through giving their community much needed media literacy skills.

Juliann Anesi

Assistant Professor, Department of Gender Studies, University of California - Los Angeles

Juliann Anesi is an Assistant Professor of Gender Studies at the University of California – Los Angeles. Her research interests include disability and indigeneity, educational policies, and decolonial feminisms. As a community educator and activist, she has also worked with non-profit organizations and schools in American Sāmoa, California, Hawai ́i, New York and Sāmoa.

Juliann’s work has appeared in venues including Disability and the Global South, Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600 to 2000; and Disability & Society.

Manisha G. Bewtra, AICP

Planning, Mobility, and Development Advisor to Tucson Mayor Regina Romero

Manisha Bewtra, AICP (she/her) is Mayor Romero’s Planning, Mobility, and Development Advisor. In this role, she leverages her passion for planning for thriving, healthy, and inclusive communities with her love for policy-making and politics as the Mayor’s liaison on transportation and land use issues. Manisha is an experienced public process facilitator and project manager and works collaboratively with the Mayor’s team and city departments to apply an equity lens to all city initiatives.
Manisha has built her career on bringing divergent perspectives together, facilitating conversations around change, and generating data-informed solutions that move communities forward. She is driven by public service and champions equitable policies and inclusive community engagement.
Prior to her current role, she worked at the Metropolitan Area Planning Council in Boston as a senior regional planner and the manager of the analytics team, at the Massachusetts Housing Partnership where she was a statewide technical assistance provider, as an adjunct city planning instructor for Master’s degree program courses at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and at Arizona State University, and in municipal government and nonprofit community development organizations in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Chandler, Arizona.
Manisha has served on various equity-focused organizations and committees and is a graduate of Emerge Massachusetts, the Initiative for Diversity in Civic Leadership, and the Massachusetts Commonwealth Seminar, three organizations dedicated to training underrepresented groups to influence public policy and to run for office. She has a Master of City Planning degree from the University of Pennsylvania, a BA in Economics and Art from The University of Iowa, and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. She currently serves as a member at large for the American Planning Association Arizona Southern Section and is a member of the executive team for the Asian American and Political Islander Caucus for the Arizona Democratic Party.
Before moving to Tucson in the summer of 2020, she lived in the Boston area for twelve years. During her years in Melrose, Massachusetts, she served as a Human Rights Commissioner and subsequently as a City Councilor. When elected to the Melrose City Council, she became the first person of color ever to serve in elected office in Melrose. She grew up in Iowa and identifies as Desi/Indian-American. She, her husband, and her son felt welcomed and right at home in Tucson when they moved here – even in spite of a pandemic and searing summer heat.

Natasha Saelua

Researcher, McREL International

Natasha Saelua, Ph.D. ABD, is a researcher at McREL International, specializing in higher education assessment and accreditation. In this role, she supports a variety of projects through research and consultation under the REL Pacific contract. She has worked as a graduate research assistant at the Indiana University School of Medicine’s Faculty Affairs, Professional Development, and Diversity office, the National Institute for Transformation and Equity at the University of California, San Diego, and the Center for Postsecondary Research at Indiana University. She co-founded and worked as a lead researcher for Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC), a national nonprofit organization based in Los Angeles, California. Natasha will be earning her Ph.D. in higher education from Indiana University in September, 2021, and holds a B.A. in history and an M.A. in Asian American studies from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Phun H

Policy Associate

As SEARAC’s Policy Associate, Phun is in charge of supporting SEARAC’s national policy activities through policy analysis, advocacy, community engagement, research, and administrative support.
Phun holds Bachelors’ degrees in public policy and Asian American studies from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Prior to joining SEARAC, Phun’s work centered on the immigrant and refugee community in North Carolina. She worked as an Outreach Lead with North Carolina Asian Americans Together (NCAAT) to civically empower the Asian American community in NC through canvassing, bridge-building, and creating culturally and linguistically appropriate materials for census and voting. Phun was also the Education and Advocacy coordinator at FaithAction International House where she expanded the FaithAction ID program and coordinated their advocacy initiatives in North Carolina, specifically driver’s licenses for all.
Phun was born in Vietnam and is a member of the Bunong community, an Indigenous and ethnic highlander group under the larger Montagnard umbrella. Phun is a co-founder of Voices of the Highlands, a virtual space that seeks to share Montagnard traditions, preserve oral histories, and connect Montagnard youth from all over the world on the shared experiences of Montagnard identity.

Hillary is the Founder & Executive Director of BOLT (Build Our Lives Together), which empowers marginalized communities to lead the change their neighborhoods want to see. She believes that building people power via proximate leaders is how we bring change. Her background is in community organizing, civic technology, local government, and business. She is a proud Philly native (class of 272 at Central High School). She holds a BA from Harvard (’17). and MBA from Stanford GSB (’22). She is also a Leadership for Society Scholar and Stanford Impact Founder fellow.

Elizabeth Yang is an online business strategist and monetization expert helping purpose-driven, service-based entrepreneurs grow online for consistent revenue in repeatable marketing and sales systems with their teams. She’s the founder and CEO of Better With Company, a high-touch business coaching and consulting agency. She specializes in high ticket sales and lead generation, charging more, high performance, leadership, and talent & team optimization. She has 10 years of experience in innovation and product marketing with Fortune 10 companies. Others describe her as an energetic and passionate speaker, trainer, mentor, and powerhouse. Most recently she was called the “Monetization Queen” thanks to her ability to help clients charge 2X-25X more creating premium brands. Elizabeth champions diversity with inclusive selling to maximize visibility and impact that converts. Happy sales start with the human connection to becoming the first choice for your ideal customers, nurturing and closing faster. She is the creator of the Customer YES! Lab, a 12-month online business mentoring accelerator that helps diverse entrepreneurs scale online faster with all-in-one software you’ll ever need online and the playbooks for implementing marketing, sales, and people systems. She’s also the founder of Hmong Women Take on the World, a Global Online Leadership Summit that brings hundreds together to globally celebrate women and girls across 8 countries. She’s helped clients and companies become better leaders, build winning teams, and achieve sales growth with better customer experiences, relationship marketing, and product communities. She’s trained in Neuro-Linguistics Programming (NLP), Tiny Habits, Gallup’s Builder Profile 10 Talents, and Predictive Index. She lives in Minneapolis with her family. She enjoys reading, music, traveling, and hula hooping. Hearty laughs are what’s most incredible in her life and network. Connect with her at TalkWithElizabeth.com.

Diana Hwang

Founder/Executive Director, Asian American Women's Political Initiative (AAWPI)

Diana is the Founder/Executive Director of the Asian American Women’s Political Initiative (AAWPI), the country’s only political leadership organization for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women. In 2020, Diana was the first National Political and Organizing Director for She the People, a national network of women of color working to transform our democracy.
Diana was profiled as “one of Boston’s most powerful thought leaders” in Boston Magazine for her work and has been a featured speaker at the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C. and at several colleges, including Wellesley College, Northeastern University, Dartmouth College and Salem State University where she gave the annual convocation address.
Diana was a former candidate for the Massachusetts State Senate. She carried the city of Boston and outraised her seven opponents in the race. Diana graduated from Dartmouth College and Columbia Business School.

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