By Nancy Lim-Yee, LCSW
The Asian Pacific Islander Social Work Council (APISWC) has been busy during the past six months planning and hosting various activities for its members. The APISWC’s Steering Committee continues to meet on the third Sunday of each month to plan the activities of the Council.
The Council held a Chinese Lunar New Year Potluck event on Saturday, February 4, 2017 in San Francisco, which was attended by close to 30 social workers. The group shared many wonderful cultural dishes and talked about how our Council should celebrate Social Workers Month in March.
One of our Council members, Alice Lai-Bitker, a former Alameda County Supervisor, made a very good suggestion. She suggested that our Council write an op-ed piece for submission to the local news media on the Social Work Month theme, “Social Workers Stand Up.”
Council members were asked to participate in writing this op-ed piece by submitting their thoughts related to the Social Work Month theme, particularly as how this might relate to their work with API populations and/or communities. Or, perhaps on specific issues of immigration rights, social justice, social equality, etc.
As a result, we received a very powerful piece from one of our Council members, Jenny Kwak, and her piece was published in the NASW California News. We hope that some of you had a chance to read it.
On May 6, 2017, the Council invited an immigration attorney, Nancy Wong, to do a presentation at the Cal State East Bay, Oakland campus entitled, “Legal and Social Impacts of the Immigration Ban.” Her informative presentation was well attended by Council members and students at the Cal State East Bay campus.
On the same day, the APISWC was one of over 50 sponsors of a “Rally for Inclusion” which took place at the Portsmouth Square Plaza in San Francisco. This rally was attended by hundreds of people to remember the 135th anniversary of the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act. It was also to show solidarity in resisting the Muslim travel ban and anti-immigrant and refugee policies.
In July, the Scholarship Selection Committee of the Council will be reviewing the student applications that were submitted for the Diana Ming Chan Bilingual Social Work Scholarship. This scholarship was established by the Council in memory of Diana Ming Chan, one of the first Cantonese bilingual social workers in San Francisco Chinatown and who strongly advocated for the need of bilingual social workers. The awards will be announced at the end of July and the recipients will be honored at the NASW-CA Conference in October.
Please visit our website at www.apiswc.org for more information about the Council. To contact the Council, please email firstname.lastname@example.org We also have a Facebook page: APISWC of Northern California.