By Jiewen ‘Janice’ Huang
It has been one year and two months since I took on the role of Co-chair for the Asian Pacific Islander Social Work Council (APISWC), Northern California of NASW. When I sighed with mixed emotions about how fast time flew by, I was hit by this deep appreciation for the growth of this Council, the support from our dedicated Steering Committee, and, of course, the existence of our steadfast members. In the midst of all the holiday excitement, I wish you all a relaxing holiday season. In addition, I would like to take this opportunity to share my reflections with the Council in 2018 and my hopes for 2019.
In 2018, our Council became a better listener. With the assistance of previous efforts and existing and new support, we sent out a survey to our listserv to gather information on how the Council and our members could better support each other on professional growth and self-care. Then, we took action based on the results of the survey. Besides the self-care, holiday celebration, Social Work Month and CEU events that the Council hosted in March and April, we organized another two highly-demanded CEU events on “Bereavement Counseling” and “LGBTQ & Mental Health” in September and October, respectively. Thank you very much to our community partners and excellent speakers for making our events possible! Please forgive me that I can’t name all of you here, but you know how much we appreciate you! In 2019, I hope we will continue to listen and take actions for a better us, a better community and a better profession.
In 2018, our Council became a stronger warrior. Through the utilization of our listserv and social media, we have been more vocal on political issues that significantly impact our communities and vulnerable populations. We stepped up on controversial topics, such as gun safety, public charge, family separation, immigration issues, and voting matters. In addition, we fought for the victims of Camp Fire. With both internal and external support, we were able to donate more than $500 to the Oroville Hope Center, an organization that serves the victims directly. Last but not least, we gathered a team and participated in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in San Francisco in November! In 2019, may we become a better fighter for us and those who do not have a voice or whose voice is minimized or silenced.
In 2018, I believe our Council became an active planner and supporter. A long time ago, we realized that our children are our future. Similarly, our Council also recognized that young professionals are the torch relay of our essential work. That is why our Council sponsors the Diana Ming Chan Bilingual Social Work Scholarship to motivate and support social work students. Thanks so much for the ongoing support of our donors, NASW and the family of Diana for making this possible! This year, our Council conducted five individual meetings with the representatives of each of our Bay Area University Social Work programs to learn about how APISWC could better support their students and help them become more involved with our communities. In 2019, we hope to carry out our plans and to become a reliable source of support for our future social workers!
Last but not least, in 2018, our Steering Committee became a bigger, better team! First of all, thanks a million to Nancy Lim-Yee, Janice Wong, Jenny Kwak, Sunny Choi, and Richell Jose for their years of support, hard work, and dedication to our Council! Secondly, thanks very much to Victor Jih for joining the Steering Committee in 2017 with a huge passion for public health and a strong advocacy spirit. Because of him, our Council now has a Medical/Public Health Subcommittee to further address public health issues impacting our communities and populations and to support our fabulous workers in the field! Lastly, we were fortunate to have three new members to join our Steering Committee: Dora Chen, Roberta Naiveli, and Francis Joseph Gallego! They not only add to the diversity of our team but also bring with them their expertise in different settings and with different/diverse populations. The list of their awesomeness is endless. In 2019, I hope you will be excited to hear and see what our Council brings to you! Yes? Great! Stay tuned.
If you would like to be part of this great team effort, the APISWC is looking for a Co-chair. We have been without one for quite some time and I can certainly use the help and support of a Co-chair to do this important work. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested. I would love to hear from you! Thank you!
Jiewen ‘Janice’ Huang, BSW, MSW, RCFE
Co-Chair, APISWC, Northern CA, NASW
Facebook Page: APISWC of Northern California