2021 CPA Summer Dinner Series

Private Invitation – Space Limited

[image description] A teal background with pastel string lights on the top right and bottom left corners with a yellow table and two teal/pale yellow chairs facing each other with a bow of noodles with chopsticks are on the bottom right. Yellow and white text on the left side reads “Chinese Progressive Association presents 2021 summer dinner series.” Black and teal text on a yellow rectangle reads “Tuesday, 7/6-8/10  | Zoom  |  5:30-7 PM PST / 8:30-10 PM EST |  RSVP Required.”

Please join the Chinese Progressive Association for our 2021 Summer Dinner Series

6 week series on Tuesdays, July 6 to August 10, 2021 from 5:30-7 PM PST / 8:30-10 PM EST. 

Bring your dinner/snack and come together to engage in conversation with movement leaders & organizers to deepen our individual and collective analysis of the current political moment. This is a great opportunity to explore critical issues facing our communities and how grassroots communities are building power to confront these challenges to envision a future and world we want.

Please pre-register and RSVP [here]. You will receive a unique zoom link. Please do NOT share this link with others.

Topic List (Speakers will be updated as confirmed)

  • Tue. 7/6 – True Movement History: Rainbow Coalition
    • Speakers:
      • Mabel Teng was inspired to run for office after her work with Jesse Jackson, becoming the first ever-elected Asian American woman of San Francisco Board of Supervisors in a city–wide election in 1994. Mabel  served as the co-chair of AA for JJ in 1984 and northern California co-chair of the JJ for President campaign in 1988. In a pioneering public service role, Mabel cultivated a broad network of political leaders and government officials. This network allowed her to leverage her years of grassroots leadership in the social justice movement, from organizing, advocacy to community building. Mabel’s public elected office spanned from 1990 and until she retired as the Assessor of the City and County of San Francisco in 2005. She parlayed her career in public office to return to Chinatown to mentor young leaders and serve the people.
      • Eddie Wong is a longtime activist and artist in the Asian American Movement. He was one of the founders of Visual Communications, a non-profit media collaborative. He wrote and directed several documentary films including Wong Sinsaang, Pieces of a Dream, and Chinatown Two-Step. He was also a founder of the Asian American Studies Center at UCLA and co-edited Roots: An Asian American Reader.  Later, he served as a Northern California campaign coordinator of the 1984 Jesse Jackson for President campaign and in 1988, he became the National Field Director. He was the Western Regional Coordinator of the Rainbow Coalition from 1992 to 1996.  He returned to the community as the Executive Director of the Center for Asian American Media (1996 to 2006) and Executive Director of the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation.  He is currently retired and edits and publishes East Wind ezine.
  • Tue. 7/13 – Youth Organizing and Governance 
    • Speakers:
      • Yesenia Cortez is a junior at Burton High School and is from San Francisco.  She has been part of the YMAC (Youth Making a Change) program at Coleman Advocates for the past two years as a proud YMAC fellow. At YMAC, she has learned leadership skills, confidence, and standing up for the community. In her words, “I have grown and am continuing to grow as a person improving my skills.”
      • Paola Jaime is a 19-year-old college student living in the heart of Boyle Heights in Los Angeles. They are a youth leader with YO! Cali and a student with the photography program, Las Fotos Project. Paola is passionate about activism and community organizing. They use their photo-journalism to empower their community through visual storytelling.
      • Michelle Li is a rising senior at Lowell High School. She has been with Youth MOJO for the past two years as a member and core leader. Throughout her time at MOJO, she has been involved with their campaign, Our Healing in Our Hands, which focuses on mental health in their schools. This past year, she has been working with core leaders to implement a student governance committee at SFUSD schools.
  • Tue. 7/20 – Our Work in the Global Context
    • Speakers:
      • Sharif Kakout is a Bay Area born and raised organizer and artist. His family comes from the al-Majdal region in Palestine. He works as an organizer for the Arab Resource & Organizing Center (AROC) in San Francisco, CA and on the side, creates art and music that uplifts international solidarity with Palestine, linking different struggles, and highlighting our collective resistance. Long Live International Solidarity!
      • Michael Lujan Bevacqua, Ph.D. (Familian Kabesa yan Bittot) is the co-chair for the organization Independent Guåhan, which is dedicated to educating the Guam community about the need for decolonization and joining the world as an independent country. He hosts a weekly podcast on Facebook for the group called Fanachu! With his brother Jack, they run a creative collection called The Guam Bus that publishes Chamoru language books, comics and learning materials.
  • Tue. 7/27 – State of Worker Organizing
    • Speakers:
      • Jean Tong (she/they) is a social justice and labor organizer with over 15 years of experience organizing low-wage workers in the Labor Movement. Jean was instrumental in building the coalitions behind multiple organizing campaigns that won better working conditions and union contracts for workers. Jean is currently a union representative at UFCW Local 770 which represents grocery, retail drug stores, meatpacking, health care and cannabis workers. As an immigrant who came to the United States at the age of 14, Jean is grounded in her lived experience in her commitment to build an intersectional and social justice oriented labor movement. Jean currently sits on the LGBTQ consituentcy board for UFCW International, OUTreach, as a community affairs chair. Jean and her wife Mary live and cultivate a productive garden in the beautiful unceded Chumash land, otherwise known as Ventura, CA. 
      • Nurj Kaalim is a community organizer at Filipino Advocates for Justice who works with the domestic worker program.
  • Tue. 8/3 – Community Art-ivism
    • Speakers:
      • Vida Kuang is a visual artist based in San Francisco, raised by a Toisan matriarch and the streets of Chinatown.  As a visual storyteller, her work centers on healing as experienced by Asian womxn, intergenerational joy, and experiences of poor/working class peoples. Her art practice is inspired by movements led by women of color for racial, gender, and economic justice. Vida’s work addresses the complexities and intersections of survival, healing, and memory. She uses audio, illustration, and mixed media as tools for storytelling. Vida believes storytelling is one of the most fundamental ways to decolonize herself and her communities’ hearts and minds for collective liberation. Learn more about Vida’s work: @vida.kuang
      • Fernando Martí is an artist, community architect, and activist. He was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and has made his home in San Francisco since 1992. He has been deeply involved in organizing, policy, and cultural production in San Francisco’s Mission District. Fernando also creates art through the JustSeeds Artists Cooperative (www.justseeds.org). “My intent as a printmaker, installation artist and altar-maker is to explore the clash of the Third World in the heart of Empire, and the tension between inhabiting place and the urge to build something transformative.”
  • Tue. 8/10 – Visioning for the Future
    • Speakers:
      • Alice Wong (she/her) is a disabled activist, media maker, and consultant. She is the founder and director of the Disability Visibility Project, an online community dedicated to creating, sharing and amplifying disability media and culture created in 2014. Alice is the editor of Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century, an anthology of essays by disabled people, available now by Vintage Books (2020). You can find her on Twitter: @SFdirewolf.
      • Alex Tom is the Executive Director of the Center For Empowered Politics, a new capacity building hub that aims to support new leaders of color and grow movement infrastructure at the intersection of racial justice, organizing and power building. As the former Executive Director of CPA, Alex has nearly 20 years of experience organizing for social and economic justice. Alex has led campaigns to organize workers, winning millions of dollars in back wages and has helped to build c3/c4/pac civic engagement infrastructure including San Francisco Rising and Bay Rising and AAPIFORCE. He serves on the Board of Trustees for the Common Counsel Foundation and Board of Directors of Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity (PRE). He is a proud baba (father) of an awesome and autistic 6 year old boy and writes about politics and parenting at: www.diaryofababa.com