Asian & Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence (API Institute) is a national resource center on domestic violence, sexual violence, trafficking, and other forms of gender-based violence in Asian and Pacific Islander communities. It serves a national network of advocates, community-based organizations, national and state programs, legal, health, and mental health professionals, researchers, policy advocates and activists from social justice organizations working to eliminate violence against women. It analyzes and addresses critical issues; provides consultation, technical assistance and training; conducts research; and engages in policy advocacy.
Its mission is to build gender equality and prevent domestic violence in Asian and Pacific Islander communities. Its vision of gender democracy drives its goals to strengthen culturally-relevant advocacy, promote prevention and community engagement, and influence public policy and systems change.
The API Institute works to eliminate domestic violence in Asian and Pacific Islander communities by
Since the early 1980s, Asian and Pacific Islander activists in the battered women’s movement have struggled to address the problem of domestic violence in their ethnic communities, and services and advocacy to support Asian and Pacific Islander battered women began to emerge. In 1981, the first shelter program for API women and children started in Los Angeles, followed by similar efforts in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, San Jose, New Jersey, Boston and Seattle. Soon, community interest increased and activists and agencies began to organize. In California in 1997, Asian Women’s Shelter in collaboration with Nihonmachi Legal Outreach, Narika and Cameron House, organized a statewide conference on domestic violence in Asian communities. Over 400 advocates and activists attended the conference. Additional efforts have followed: a Korean conference in Los Angeles, a South Asian conference in New York, and a pan-Asian one in Ohio.
In 1997, a partnership formed between the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF), Futures Without Violence (formerly Family Violence Prevention Fund), and the Asian Women's Shelter (AWS) to address the need for a national vehicle to bring together the many local efforts by Asian anti-domestic violence activists to address the problem of domestic violence in their ethnic communities.
In 1998, members from this partnership met for the first time in Washington, D.C. They strategized to build a network that would facilitate sharing ideas about service models for Asian battered women and children; influence data collection and research from a participatory action model, and to impact policy, fund development and research at the national level. Members also identified the need to promote national discussions on critical issues such as community perceptions of domestic violence, community responses to the problem, and the cultural values that intersect both.
On August 28, 1999, over 80 people attended the first national meeting of the Asian & Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence in Chicago; in conjunction with the Next Millennium Conference: Ending Domestic Violence.
October 2000 marks the formal establishment of the Asian & Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence (API Institute), initially as a part of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum.
Firoza Chic Dabby, Director
Firoza Chic Dabby is the Director of the Asian & Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence, a national resource center engaged in advocacy, research, policy, training, technical assistance provision, and analyzing critical issues on violence against Asian and Pacific Islander women. Before that she was the Executive Director of Narika, a helpline for abused South Asian women; and worked at the Psychological Services Center for 17 years. Chic has been in the domestic violence field for thirty years and along the way has acquired some expertise on violence against Asian women; strategies for advocacy, community engagement, systems change, and movement building; the psychological and economic effects of violence over the lifecourse; violence over the lifecourse and its influence on help-seeking; trafficking; intimate homicide; child custody; battered mothers in the child welfare system; and sexual violence, particularly in conflict zones. She writes, trains and presents extensively about these and many other issues.
She serves on the following Advisory Committees:
Chic is interested in how culture and gender inform our approaches to effective advocacy. As an activist and a feminist, she is interested in how the movement's collective experience, knowledge and outrage can be applied to stop violence against women.
Chic speaks Hindi, Gujerati, Marathi and French with varying degrees of fluency. Between Bombay and Berkeley, she has lived in London, Cambridge, Paris and Kathmandu.
Beckie Masaki, Associate Director
Beckie Masaki, MSW, has worked in the movement to end violence against women for over twenty-eight years. She is the Associate Director of the API Institute on Domestic Violence of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum. Beckie co-founded one of the first VAW programs in the nation that could meet the language and cultural needs of Asian survivors of domestic violence and trafficking, Asian Women's Shelter (AWS) in San Francisco, and served as the founding executive director for over twenty-one years, from July 1988 through January 2010. Beckie has extensive experience in providing multilingual, multicultural services to domestic violence and trafficking survivors and their children, innovative program development, prevention, community building, policy-making, and institutional advocacy.
Beckie has provided peer-based training, technical assistance, and facilitation to a wide range of groups on local, state, national and international levels. She currently serves as faculty and advisor in collaboration with CompassPoint Non Profit Services/ Blue Shield Against Violence Strong Field Project, Futures Without Violence, Praxis International, and the National Judicial Institute on Domestic Violence.
She is on the advisory committee for the NoVo Foundation in shaping a VAW movement building initiative. Past advisory and steering committee roles include Department of Defense Task Force on Domestic Violence, National Advisory Committee for the Greenbook Project, California Domestic Violence Advisory Committee, and founding steering committee of the Asian & Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence. She has received numerous awards in recognition of her work including the 2010 Flame of Justice Award, Chinese for Affirmative Action; 2009 Roselyn C. Swig Award, Domestic Violence Consortium/ Partners Ending Domestic Abuse; 2009 Extraordinary Woman Award, Flyaway Productions; 2005 Sister of Fire Award, Women of Color Resource Center; 1999 Next Millennium Award for Community Organizing; and 1998 California Peace Prize from The California Wellness Foundation.
Cannon Han, ITARC Project Coordinator
Cannon Han is the Project Coordinator of the Interpretation Technical Assistance and Resource Center (ITARC) at the Asian & Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence.Cannon is responsible for developing, coordinating and managing ITARC, which provides technical assistance, trainings, guidelines, and strategies for direct service agencies to improve language access for domestic violence victims.
Prior to joining the API Institute, he was a Senior Court Services Analyst with the California Administrative Office of the Courts Court Interpreters Program. He was responsible for oversight and training on California court interpreter ethics and professional standards, interpreter recruitment, language access in the courts, and interpreters for the deaf and hard of hearing. He also worked as a direct legal services attorney and in private practice.
Cannon received his B.A. from the University of California at Los Angeles, and his J.D. from UC Hastings.
Wendy Lau, ITARC Project Coordinator
Wendy Lau is the Project Coordinator of the Interpretation Technical Assistance and Resource Center (ITARC) at the Asian Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence. She is responsible for developing, coordinating and managing the Interpretation Technical Assistance & Resource Center, which provides technical assistance, trainings, guidelines, and strategies for direct service agencies to improve language access for domestic violence victims.
During law school, she interned at the D.C. Language Access Coalition in Washington D.C. and the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund in New York City. Prior to law school, she was the Program Coordinator at the Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center where she was responsible for managing the Legal Interpreter Project and provided insight in the creation of the nation's first community interpreter bank in Washington D.C. She also assisted in providing legal services to API victims of domestic violence.
Wendy received her B.A. in Economics from the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington and her J.D. from the Catholic University of America's Columbus School of Law in Washington, D.C.
Cristy Chung, Operations and Program Manager
Cristy Chung is currently the Program and Operations Manager at Asian & Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence. She has over twenty-five years of experience working in the anti-violence movement. Cristy began this work at UCSC in the Women's Studies and Sociology departments. Cristy joined the staff at the Asian Women's Shelter in San Francisco in the first year the shelter opened. During her 10 years there Cristy started their volunteer program, founded their Queer Asian Women's program, lead their Multi-lingual Access Model program, and helped the shelter find a permanent home. In recent years Cristy has focused her social justice and social change work on community mobilization and school climate change in the education system that engages the entire community - educators, administrators, parents/care givers, students and local community members.
Cristy has worked extensively in the fields of diversity and anti-bias education, school climate change, cross-cultural service delivery, domestic violence intervention and prevention, and LGBT inclusive curriculum building. She is an experienced leader, trainer, facilitator, writer and community organizer. She is the parent of 3 teenage girls that inform her work on a daily basis. She is currently interested in conversations about working at the intersections of race, gender and sexuality and ways to build our work across fields. Cristy is committed to finding creative solutions that offer us innovative opportunities to build sustain the changes we desire.
Sarah Khan, Project Specialist, Economic Security
Sarah Khan is currently, the Economic Security Project Specialist at the Asian and Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence. She most recently worked at Maitri, a non-profit established in 1991 to empower South Asian survivors of domestic violence, cultural alienation, family conflict and human trafficking. She joined Maitri in 2004 with a longstanding passion for grassroots activism, domestic violence advocacy, and community education and empowerment as their first full time Coordinator, Program Director and Executive Director.
She is currently a Board member of the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence (CPEDV). Among her numerous advisory and committee positions she has been the vice-chair administration, Commissioner on the Santa Clara County Domestic Violence Council, member of the Immigrant Voices and Survivor Committee, Police Victim Advocacy Committee and the South Bay Coalition to End Human Trafficking, a collaborative of community-based nonprofits providing comprehensive services to victims of trafficking in the counties of Monterey, San Benito, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz. She is also a part of the Asian Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence (APIIDV) Gathering Strength Committee which focuses on gender equity for immigrants and refugees across in California's Asian Pacific Islander communities.
Prior to Maitri, Sarah worked with Unified New Cassel Community Revitalization Corporation in New York. She also volunteered and advocated for survivors of domestic violence at the Islamic Center of Long Island. Originally from Kashmir and settled in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family, Sarah is fluently multilingual in Urdu, Hindi, Kashmiri, and Tamil. She has a BA in History (Hons.), MA in Political Science and an M. Phil in International Relations from New Delhi, India.
Nancy Wan, API Institute Program Coordinator
Nancy Wan is the Program Coordinator for the Asian & Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence. As Program Coordinator, Nancy manages the API Institute's Resource Center, its publications, website, listservs, and databases; provides technical assistance to domestic violence agencies and advocates across the U.S.; coordinates meetings and conferences; and provides programmatic and administrative support.
Nancy received her M.A. in Nonprofit Administration program from the University of San Francisco, her M.A. in Women's Studies from San Francisco State University, and B.A. degrees in Anthropology, Women and Gender Studies, and Asian American Studies from the University of California, Davis. Born in Macau, China and raised in San Francisco, Nancy speaks Cantonese.
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