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Asian Pacific Islander Staff Association: All welcome to Feb. 19 meeting

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The Asian Pacific Islander Staff Association (APISA) has just been approved as UCOP’s newest staff affinity group. If you are an Asian-Pacific American, an Asian-Pacific Islander or interested in Asian issues, you’re invited to join the group at its monthly meeting this Wednesday, Feb. 19, 12 to 1 p.m. in 712 Kaiser.

APISA Co-chair Belinda Vea, policy and program analyst in Student Affairs, estimates that the Asian Pacific Islander (API) population at OP is about 400 strong. She hopes to tap into that energy to build an active affinity group that can reinforce UCOP’s API identity as well as reflect UC’s principles of community and inclusion.

“Asian Pacific Americans aren’t just Chinese or Japanese, or Pacific and Hawaiian Islanders,” Vea said. “We’re talking about the entire continent of Asia, which encompasses East Indian, Middle Eastern and other peoples.” She said UCOP’s proximity to Chinatown (“I call it Asia-town,” she said) is added incentive to mobilize the API population.

If the group’s first informational meeting is any indication, there will be plenty of interest. About 30 OP staff turned out for APISA’s Jan. 29 kickoff meet and greet. They celebrated Lunar New Year and brainstormed ideas, like sponsoring professional development activities, reaching out to communities devastated by last November’s typhoon in Philippines and celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month this May.

The idea for the group originated in conversations between Vea and APISA Co-chair Alisa Hsiu, programmer/analyst III in UCOP Human Resources, with Student Affairs VP Judy Sakaki, who is active in several API associations.

“Here at OP we don’t often see students,” Hsiu said, “so it’s important to find other ways to remind ourselves of what UC’s educational mission is all about.” Sponsoring speakers and performers from Berkeley and Davis, fundraising for scholarships and supporting undocumented API students are some ways the group could help, Vea added.

APISA plans to meet regularly the third Wednesday of the month, alternating between Franklin and Kaiser locations. Anyone is welcome to attend their meetings.

To be added to the APISA listserv, contact Secretary Alice Lei at

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