Economic Justice Program Manager, Chinese for Affirmative Action
Thesis Title: “Take Root”: Community Formation at the San Francisco Chinatown Branch Public Library 1970s-1990s
What Now: Economic Justice Program Manager at Chinese for Affirmative Action
Follow Me: @Sally_Chenpion (Twitter)
Coming from a low-income Chinese immigrant family, I really struggled in my transition to college, but taking my first Asian and Pacific American Studies class completely changed my life. I felt like I finally had the tools to interrogate the root causes of the obstacles that so many AAPIs face, but more importantly I found an inspiring community of activists and advocates putting this education to practice. I took up leadership positions through the Phillips Brooks House Association's Chinatown Citizenship and the Task Force on Asian and Pacific American Studies, where I got to build concrete skills in direct services, advocacy, and community organizing. These experiences led me to my current position at Chinese for Affirmative Action, a 50-year-old civil rights organization that advocates for systemic change that protects immigrant rights, promotes language diversity, and remedies racial and social injustice. The frameworks and skills that I gained through my education in Ethnic Studies are crucial to my day-to-day work, from face-to-face job placement services with our immigrant community members to advancing local and state advocacy for equitable economic and workforce development.