APIOPA’s Hike to Eaton Canyon Falls

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This past weekend, APIOPA led a fun, family-friendly hike up to Eaton Canyon Falls.  The 3.5 mile hike took our group roughly 2 hours. On the way our hike leaders educated us about interesting info on plants and animals in the area!

Yes, you must come to our hikes so you can learn about castor beans, “cowboy cologne,” and the difference between predator and prey poop!

Email Scott at schan@apiopa.org if you want to be added to our hikes list!

More pictures from the hike here: http://on.fb.me/1IkhpNe

Our Stories vs “Their Stories”

10429400_895130937242623_7467875969734567208_nBy Sina Uipi

Last week, we continued another great session of POTOPOTO ‘A NIU MUI. The theme was still the same, which was to explore our aka (roots), but this time we had a different proverb, which was fifi ika vale. It means to not waste energy and time on something that is not of any importance or contribution to your life. We had the majority of folks come back from the first session, and had some new ones join us as well.

In the photo above, there are maps of Tonga and Samoa behind us on the wall. It was a mapping exercise that was apart of telling our migration stories, our REAL stories. The stories that don’t get told enough, the ones that have been neglected and replaced by “THEIR” stories, or stereotypes that have defined us since we left our homelands. It was time to bring these narratives back to life again, and realize there is power in it to begin conversations about how we are countering or perpetuating “their” stories. It was time to envision the type of community we want for ourselves, a much better one than the one we have now.

FAB members Jane Hafoka and Kelepi Ahoia wanted to share their thoughts about this session. Check it out!

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#givingTuesday 2015, support APIOPA!

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APIOPA signed up as a partner organization for #givingTuesday, a campaign to create a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season. It celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support non-profit organizations.

Each year, we run a variety of bike programs with local youth and their parents.

This #givingTuesday, we are looking for a little help from our friends. Won’t you consider donating $25 to help us with everyday bike supplies such as helmets, spare inner tubes, and bike lights? Your small donation will help us make our programs all that more impactful. (Or consider donating a new helmet or bike lights!)

More about our different bike programs here: APIOPA and Bikes

To donate, click this link and be sure to add “#givingtuesday” to the comment area. Thank you!

Youth Environmental Equity Tour

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A few weeks ago, APIOPA was apart of organizing a youth environmental equity tour from Lennox to Koreatown. Some local Tongan youth joined us and they enjoyed the tour and learned about the different projects going on in their own district. It began at Lennox Park and Scott shared some information behind the changes that have been made and how APIOPA has contributed to it in hopes of creating a more peaceful, safe, and friendly park for everyone, especially for the Tongan community. Simote Tuifua, a FAB member and church member of the Lennox Tongan United Methodist Church, which is just a five minute walk from the park, shared that although the changes are a great improvement, the gang violence between the Latino and Tongan gangs is still a recurring issue. It is one of the main reasons behind the fear that has driven local Tongan folks to stay away from this park in particular. It’ll take some time to educate people about it and how they can be apart of creating solutions, but this is a good start. Everyone deserves access to a park where they feel safe and can be active with their families!

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How to Level Up Your Nonprofit Experience: The Health Fair

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By Scott Chan

This past Saturday, our interns from UCLA had quite the experience collecting surveys around bike and pedestrian safety in Chinatown.

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Community Building from a FABulous Perspective

12196092_890754674346916_2102420565938278495_nBy Sharayne Tuala

Two weeks ago I attended the first Faith Advisory Board (FAB) session. I had no idea or expectations for this first session. All I knew was that I was attending this session to show support to my family. I’ve been exposed to the kind of planning Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC) does, so when I looked at the agenda I knew I was in for a really empowering experience. Every activity was thought out really well and was very informing. Throughout the session, the facilitators expressed the importance of creating community and relationships. I found my reason for being there.
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In our area, the tension between the Samoan and Tongan community have grown. My friend, Justin, was the one who was interested in building the bridge between our communities whereas I was more concerned for my Samoan community. That night I was able to learn so much about the history, culture, and language of Tonga that I was totally bought into the program. I am now more interested in learning about the Tongan community so that I can find ways to support them. I’ve grown to love and appreciate this beautiful culture. I’ve haven’t been this excited about learning since my participation in EPIC’s leadership program called Pacific Islander Leaders Of Tomorrow (PILOT). The mana (power) in the room was so overwhelming and awesome I could not stop smiling. I have full faith in this program. I know that this program will work and I just love it! Big ups to the steering committee for doing an awesome job! Malie Tonga!

APIOPA Hosts a Pickling Workshop

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By Scott Chan

APIOPA organized its first pickling workshop this past Sunday, November 8th at Farm Organic Cuisine in Monterey Park. We heard from our Roots CSA subscribers this past year that we needed to help them figure out how to use those unique items in their veggie bags. As someone who has been a subscriber to the CSA since the beginning, I’ll be honest that there were times where I just didn’t know what to do with my daikon. People always share that I should pickle it, but too often I wondered if any of us truly knew how to pickle!

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Hike Eaton Canyon With APIOPA This November!

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Last month we had a great turnout for our hike to Dante’s Peak. Check out pictures here: http://on.fb.me/1QqkMDG.

This next month, we’ll be checking out Eaton Canyon to see if we can find that elusive waterfall given California’s drought. Come walk off that holiday tofurkey/turkey with a fun, family-friendly hike! RSVP by emailing Scott Chan at schan@apiopa.org

Launch of FAB Curriculum, POTOPOTO ‘A NIU MUI, Was A Success!

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We finally did it!! We are so happy and proud with how our launch went for the FAB curriculum, POTOPOTO ‘A NIU MUI. It was a success and the turnout was way better than we expected! There were about 15 people, men and women in their 20’s and older, from different faith backgrounds. I’d like to acknowledge the Samoans that were present, and for being open to learn about another culture and being in fellowship with everyone. I remember thinking during the development process, if we just get at least 5 people, that’s a win for me! But we got 15 instead, and that showed me that not only are people interested in learning this, but there is a need for it in our community as a whole.

IMG_0345Great discussion on Tongan values

Our goal was to make an impact by learning about our history and how it has shaped Tongan society and its values, that are still very much in tact today. I think we achieved this goal by making it as fun and engaging as we could, I know people walked away with something new that they learned. I know it’ll take some time for folks to get use to being in this type of space, and we will do our best to nurture it as much as we can so they feel more comfortable each time they come back. For us facilitators, there is always room to grow, and we will definitely continue to be strategic in our development and build off of each session. Stay tuned for some more insight from participants and their experience of the first session, AKA.

A Blueprint for Health CPEHN Event: Hit us up for free registration!

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If you are interested in attending, please use the code “4COHOSTS” to get in for free!