June 22, 2020

Announcing APANO Executive Director Chi Nguyen’s Transition

A statement from APANO and APANO Communities United Fund boards follows below.

Executive Director statement

June 22, 2020

As I write this memo, the world wrestles with two major crises: COVID-19 and the global response to anti-Black racism. The common denominator of both is the push for justice. Amidst this period of uncertainty and strife, I have much hope for the remaining half of 2020 and beyond. Our vision is clear; there is much work to be done.

Two years ago, APANO offered me the opportunity to help rebuild the foundation of the organization. I accepted the offer to be APANO’s transitional leader, committing to two years. Leaning on the efforts of previous staff and community members, you were there every step of the way in supporting me and our work. I am tremendously grateful for the opportunity and am beaming with pride over the accomplishments of the last two years.

Together, we:

  • Achieved a 100% release rate against the Zero Tolerance Policy, which detained 123 South Asian asylum seekers at Sheridan’s Federal Correctional Institution
  • Opened our very first affordable housing project in collaboration with Rose CDC, delivering on our promise to the community, and expanded our presence into Washington County
  • Combatted the toughest attacks against our immigrant communities and bodily autonomy access by mobilizing the most language-accessible and coordinated campaigns in 2018
  • Provided a 100% success rate for all 7 candidates and 7 ballot measures we endorsed in the 2018 cycle and 7 of 10 candidate races in 2019
  • Activated COVID-19 rapid response work to get resources into the hands of small business owners and displaced workers to support their financial stability

I feel I have accomplished my objectives; the organization is politically strong and financially sound. My last day as Executive Director of APANO Communities United Fund 501c3 and APANO 501c4 is July 31st, 2020. Solidly planted, what APANO needs now is a transformational leader, who can lead us to upend the structures and break free from restrictions placed by dominant culture. The moment is right to make space for a new leader to bring the charge.

In service to our community,

Chi Nguyen

Board statement

June 22, 2020

On behalf of the APANO 501c3 and 501c4 Boards, we would like to thank Chi Nguyen for her two-year commitment to APANO as Executive Director and accept her resignation effective July 31, 2020. In her leadership role, Chi demonstrated consistent and exceptional work performance. True to her word, she committed to being our transitional leader and she has fulfilled the objectives. She leaves our organization in a fiscally sound and politically strong position, allowing us to open up a new phase of transition and opportunity for APANO. Chi has been a strong leader from the beginning, holding the crux of the past and present of APANO’s journey, and being a steady force for this organization and our movement. Under her stewardship, APANO has achieved significant and numerous accomplishments, among them:

  • Growing the organization from $1.8 million to $4.1 million in two years
  • Expanding our organization’s reach and reputation with:
  • Powerful responses to the humanitarian crisis at Sheridan
  • Completion and activation of the Orchards of 82nd
  • Leadership in the creation of a plan for reaching Oregon’s hardest to count communities in the 2020 census
  • Rapid relief service to our community members in their greatest need during the COVID-19 pandemic

  • Ensuring financial and staff stability through numerous transitions, including the current global pandemic and recession, all the while prioritizing staff’s safety and security — both for economic and personal health
  • Building a strong leadership team and hiring new staff who are bold and incredibly passionate about social and racial justice
  • Growing the organization from 18 staff members and two fiscally sponsored organizations to 54 staff members and four fiscally sponsored organizations
  • Growing and diversifying our boards of directors to include bold, visionary leaders
  • Shepherding the emergence of one of the strongest POC led 501c4s in Oregon

Chi’s contributions to APANO are greatly appreciated and she is deeply cherished. We know she will continue to be a partner in the work. We would like to thank Chi for being the transitional leader we needed and wish her well.

The APANO boards will provide an update in the coming weeks. Please feel free to reach out with any questions.

Jennifer Chang, APANO Communities United Fund Chair-Elect

Toni Tabora-Roberts, APANO Communities United Fund Outgoing Chair

Wei-Wei Lou, APANO Chair

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