An Intern’s Impression of Week 1 at APIOPA

My name is Kit Lee. I am 19, and I have just finished my freshman year in college. In the past, I have participated in protests and visited legislators’ offices, but this is the first time I have interned for an organization that is deeply involved in social and environmental justice work.

I remember my first week at APIOPA. It was quite daunting because everything seemed to move at a fast pace, and everyone in the APIOPA office seemed to know what they were doing and what they were going to do. By the second day at my internship, APIOPA had a staff meeting where I tried to absorb as much information as possible. Frankly though, I felt like I was on an island of novicehood. Even the other new intern seemed to know which direction she was heading.’

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CSA VAN!

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By Kyle Tsukahira

We recently received a cargo van to help us with our Roots CSA Program! We’d like to extend a huge thanks to folks from the Circle of Change for providing the funding to make this possible and to Enterprise for the great deal on the van!

This van will enable us to drop off more produce to affordable housing units, community organizations, and low income families who lack access to fresh, healthy, and culturally relevant produce.

Surveying Lennox on Safety: Results

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By Scott Chan

For the past year, APIOPA has helped to coordinate the Hawthorne/Lennox Community Safety Coalition. The coalition is a partnership of nonprofits, community groups, and faith groups, with local law enforcement. The coalition formed not only because we all saw the important role safety plays in the health of a community, but also because we were seeing the disconnect between community and law enforcement.

As one of the first big steps for our coalition, we decided to collectively create and collect a safety survey to the community of Lennox. On March 27th from 3-6pm, with volunteers from many of our coalition agencies and law enforcement, we collected 134 surveys!

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APIOPA Launches a New Healthy Cooking Workshop Series!

By Kyle Tsukahira

Monterey Park, CA: On Sunday, April, 6th 2014 the Asian Pacific Islander Obesity Prevention Alliance (APIOPA) officially launched, “Connecting with your Roots,” a new healthy cooking workshop series aimed at teaching local community members not only about health and nutrition but also how to cook simple, healthy, and delicious meals using Asian produce. The first workshop took place at the Bruggemeyer Library in Monterey Park and had over 30 community members in attendance. APIOPA invited Chef May Chen out to share three simple Taiwanese vegetarian dishes that not only taste great but can also help prevent obesity and other health related problems. As a vegetarian for over thirty years, Chef May Chen shared, “My family has a long history of diabetes so I take extra precaution when it comes to my health and what I put into my body. I actually source most of the food I eat from my own backyard.”

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Project SEEK – 90% Overweight and Obese

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By Alisi Tulua

90% of Pacific Islanders are overweight or obese, with 80% of Samoans and 67% of Tongans classified as obese, according to the 2012 Pacific Islander Health Study conducted by Dr. Sela Panapasa of the University of Michigan.  These numbers are scary; 90% means 9 out of every 10 Pacific Islanders (PI) you meet!  It means that in a room of 100 PIs, only 10 will be of normal weight.  These numbers collaborate the top three leading causes of death in the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI) community; heart disease, cancer, and stroke.  It is also not surprising that while the number of deaths caused by diabetes decreased for all racial groups in Los Angeles County between 2005 and 2010, it was the fastest-growing cause of death for the NHPI community.

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Creating a FRESH SPACE with Historic Filipinotown Youth

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By Ailene Ignacio

In late 2013, APIOPA and Samahang Pilipino Advancing Community Empowerment (SPACE) at UCLA, a higher education access project of the UCLA student organization Samahang Pilipino, came together. Our collective goal is twofold: to not only bring about more awareness to health and wellness amongst its Belmont High School (Historic Filipinotown, Los Angeles) youth and SPACE staff, but to ignite a stronger passion for community advocacy and change by actual members of the Historic Filipinotown community.

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APIOPA Youth Empowerment at Glen A. Wilson High School

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By Scott Chan

It’s been over a decade since I graduated from Glen A. Wilson high school. Looking back, there were few nonprofits or community organizations around to really empower us to make the changes we wanted to see in our school, in our neighborhoods. Sure, there were plenty of opportunities to do charity work, but I cannot remember many times where we were truly asked to be civically engaged, to consider social justice.

Things are about to get rockin’.

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Planting Seeds of Change in 2014

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By Kyle Tsukahira

Roots CSA is starting the new year off with a very exciting pilot program in partnership with California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA).  The Asian and Asian American studies department at CSULA recently received grants for six undergraduate students to study and put together a report on the Roots CSA program as well as the impact a “Service Learning Option” will have on fourteen students who will participate in the program.  Basically, the idea behind this program is to offer students an option to get outside of the classroom and learn by doing rather than by simply listening.

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Fresh HiFi – Our First Store

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By Ailene Ignacio

After a year of searching and building relationships, APIOPA finally has its first corner store partner for the Fresh HiFi corner store transformation project: Don Baraton Discount Store. The business is located in southeast Historic Filipinotown, near Belmont High School and Pilipino-based St. Columban Parish in Los Angeles. The discount store is run by the Arellanos, a local Latino family.

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Healthy Living to Me Means…

By Ailene Ignacio

On Saturday, October 19, 2013, APIOPA participated in Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez’s Northeast Los Angeles Health Fair, held at Burbank Middle School in Highland Park. The fair was geared to promote the use of health services and introduce Covered California to the residents of the surrounding neighborhoods.

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