Asian Pacific Islander American (APIA) LEADERS Gathering Forum #2

Meeting Report: Asian Pacific Islander American (APIA) LEADERS Gathering Forum #2

Date: Saturday, May 16, 2020

Location: Virtual Zoom Meeting

This was the follow-up to the first forum on February 29, 2020, organized by Joel Wong, President of 80-20 United and sponsored by CLUSA, Ding Ding TV, You Belong Here Foundation.

The meeting agenda was:

1) How is COVID-19 impacting the APIA community in the U.S.?

  • From your own perspective
  • From our community’s perspective

2) The present administration is pivoting to blame China

  • Would this affect our community?
  • How should we react?

3) What are our next steps?


Attendees: About 30 APIA leaders attended from around the country, including Burmese, Chinese/Cambodian, Chinese, Indian, Filipino, Vietnamese, and white Americans. Among the attendees are elected government officials, community leaders, media representatives, students, and school teachers.


Highlights of the meeting:


  1. Joel Wong, President of 80-20 United convened the meeting at 10:00am.
  2. Porcia Chen Silverberg, founder of “You Belong Here” Foundation was the moderator. Three short news videos on racial discrimination and China blaming during the current pandemic were shown and participants were asked to reflect on the impacts of COVID 19 on the APIA community from their own, and from our community’s perspectives.
  3. An online survey was conducted in real time
  • “Have you or someone close to you been harassed?” YES (89%)
  • “Is the person being harassed (real or perceived) ethnic Chinese?” YES (78%)
  • “What about South Asians?” 56% YES (56%)
  • “APIA community should work together to combat the racial discrimination.” YES (100%)
  1. Attendees were divided into group discussion. Afterwards, they shared their collective thoughts, perspectives, and insights on working together.
  2. Joel Wong presented the data on the Asian American as the fastest growing ethnic voting group in the U.S. and advocated bloc voting in the coming election.
  3. Yogi Chugh and Rajeev Singh shared their thoughts on AB2110 and the importance of working together to achieve greater impact and influence.
  4. Diana from Ding Ding TV shared information on its “Video and Essay Contest “In Time of Covid-19” on the humanistic stories during the pandemic”.  Submissions are accepted immediately until May 30, 2020. Detail information and submission criteria available at contest@dingdingtv.com
  5. Many real time messages were shared on the chat forum.
  6. The next steps and key takeaway points from the meeting are:
  • This forum is a positive step forward to unite the APIA community. Many felt inspired, excited, loved, hopeful, determined, united, sense of fighting, and being proactive.
  • APIA vote is the most important thing and should be the top priority for the APIA community to work on.
  • Work together and rise up together.

The meeting was adjourned @11:30am

Wrote by Joel Wong


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