Central Valley Pacific Islander Alliance

Central Valley Pacific Islander Alliance

Central Valley Pacific Islander Alliance (CVPIA) is a social justice organization dedicated to serving, advocating and elevating Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI) communities based in the Central Valley of California. CVPIA aims to cultivate a safe space for all NHPI identities while standing in solidarity with other marginalized organizations

Central Valley Pacific Islander Alliance

Central Valley Pacific Islander Alliance (CVPIA) is a social justice organization dedicated to serving, advocating and elevating Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI) communities based in the Central Valley of California. CVPIA aims to cultivate a safe space for all NHPI identities while standing in solidarity with other marginalized organizations and communities through fostering connections to culture and each other, elevating NHPI voices, and providing resource navigation support. CVPIA envisions a thriving Central Valley NHPI community rooted in our cultures and guided by our ancestors. Our mission is to weave a trusted and sustainable network of NHPI organizations and community members to serve, empower, and advocate for our growing Central Valley village. CVPIA co-founders were introduced to each other and decided for themselves to rise to challenge of finding solutions to educate and connect Central Valley NHPI community members to resources through a culturally relevant lens. We currently serve 450+ community members in 11 counties across the Central Valley: Sacramento, San Joaquin, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Tulare, Kings, Stanislaus, Tuolumne, Mariposa and Kern. Among the ethnic groups served are Samoan, Tongan, Native Hawaiian, Palauan, Fijian, Chuukese, Chamorro, and Marshallese.

About the Organization:

Central Valley Pacific Islander Alliance (CVPIA) is a social justice organization dedicated to serving, advocating and elevating Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI) communities based in the Central Valley of California. CVPIA aims to cultivate a safe space for all NHPI identities while standing in solidarity with other marginalized organizations and communities through fostering connections to culture and each other, elevating NHPI voices, and providing resource navigation support. CVPIA envisions a thriving Central Valley NHPI community rooted in our cultures and guided by our ancestors. Our mission is to weave a trusted and sustainable network of NHPI organizations and community members to serve, empower, and advocate for our growing Central Valley village. CVPIA co-founders were introduced to each other and decided for themselves to rise to challenge of finding solutions to educate and connect Central Valley NHPI community members to resources through a culturally relevant lens. We currently serve 450+ community members in 11 counties across the Central Valley: Sacramento, San Joaquin, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Tulare, Kings, Stanislaus, Tuolumne, Mariposa and Kern. Among the ethnic groups served are Samoan, Tongan, Native Hawaiian, Palauan, Fijian, Chuukese, Chamorro, and Marshallese.

organizational budget

$100,000 - $500,000

existence for

0-5 Years

Organization benefits AAPIs residing in the following state(s):

Hawaii

organizational budget

$100,000 - $500,000

existence for

0-5 Years

Organization benefits AAPIs residing in the following state(s):

Hawaii

The Issue:

The steadily growing NHPI community in the Central Valley has been disconnected from the larger population centers in the Bay Area and Southern California, disconnected from NHPI  advocacy organizations, and disconnected from each other. NHPI community-based organizations in the region are primarily churches and a handful of cultural dance groups with narrowly focused missions. The lack of a local organization to serve, advocate for, and elevate our Central Valley NHPI community became painfully apparent during the pandemic. Small pockets were was available for education and vaccination efforts but had no organization to take on the work of diseemenationg information and uplifting NHPI issues in the Central Valley. That is, until we launched CVPIA! To identify service gaps beyond COVID, we launched an ongoing Community Needs Assessment in April 2022. Community members identified their highest needs to be connection to culture and to community (to each other), a central resource hub to more easily discover resources, and support in navigating systems to access these resources. The highest resource needs are affordable and quality medical and dental insurance (40%) and long-term housing (37%), followed by needs for education and employment opportunities and support. Furthermore, although the community is requesting resources, the assessment also confirmed our observation that mistrust often keeps community members from applying for or accepting resources. The challenges of NHPI communities have long been masked under the umbrella term of “Asian Pacific Islander”, but the pandemic amplified the critical need to disaggregate NHPI data to truly reveal and present a more robust picture of our community’s needs. For instance, when Asian and NHPI COVID-19 crude mortality rates (deaths per 100,000) were combined, the rate was 75 per 100,000, but when NHPIs were disaggregated into a separate category, the rate increased to 123 per 100,000, much higher than even the state total rate of 84 per 100,000 (Ponce, Shimkhada & Tulua, 2021). These high rates were due to multiple factors, including high existing comorbidities among the NHPI population and many living in multigenerational, full households. The pandemic only exacerbated and highlighted the issues NHPIs have long been fighting and surviving with. 

The Solution:

CVPIA is operating under three pillars - Health, Empowerment, and Youth and Young Adults. Throughout each of our 3 Pillars, our distinct and linguistic cultural needs and connection to each other are at the forefront of every project, program and event. CVPIA began with hosting the first Community Vaccine Clinic for NHPIs in Fresno and continue to provide culturally competent COVID prevention and vaccine information. Our Community Health Workers gather and distribute vetted resources at community events we host and attend. We continue to grow our central resource hub with not only mental and physical health resources, but also social support resources and a map and information of all NHPI-led and serving organizations in the Central Valley, including churches, restaurants or bakeries, language and dance groups, and more. We also continue to build trust with communities to alleviate any hesitancy and mistrust in accepting and pursuing resources.  For Empowerment, we continue to circulate  our Community Needs Assessment to ensure disaggregated NHPI data in the Central Valley. Currently, only Fresno County reports NHPI-specific data, but only for COVID-related data. We would like to see all counties report NHPI-specific data for all health information. We participate in county, regional and state-wide meetings to elevate NHPI voices, and we plan to engage our community members in civic engagement and these areas more. We support our community partners by providing funding, volunteers, and technical assistance in hosting their own community projects. For Youth and Young Adults, we have a Youth Ambassadors Program. We held our first Central Valley Pacific Islanders Emerging Leaders Conference at CSU Bakersfield on April 22, hosting 30 youth, along with 80 parents and other community members who attended to volunteer and support. Many youth shared that this was the first NHPI-youth focused event they have ever attended and really appreciated it! 

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