November 7, 2023

Light, Love and Transition

It’s hard to believe that we’re approaching the end of 2023! 

As we close out the year,  we at APANO are setting intentions and reflecting on the theme of “Lighting the Way Together.” What’s particularly powerful about this is the concept that a lit candle loses none of its strength or power by lighting another. I’ve experienced this profoundly in the last four years at APANO Communities United Fund (CUF) and APANO Action Fund (AF). We can ignite one other into action and be fully in our own leadership. 

I joined APANO in 2019, and in the years since I’ve seen the power of our community, staff, board and partners lighting the way together. We were able to distribute over $2 million dollars in COVID relief and connect with more than 12,000 Oregonians to participate in the 2020 Census. We continue to condemn the ongoing rise of anti-Asian hate in our state and across the country, and in our efforts to build community wealth, we have launched new initiatives to bring more affordable housing to our neighborhoods.

APANO is also the place where I stepped further into my own leadership, joining the organization's first permanent Co-Executive Director team. I was joined by my fellow Co-EDs, Amy Powers and Kim Lepin, who brought their lights to APANO as well. They have been incredible partners and supports, and I’m so grateful to have been on this shared leadership journey with them and our whole team. 

So it is with bittersweetness and a lot of love that I share that I will be transitioning out of APANO at the end of December. This decision did not come lightly and is full of mixed emotions. Ultimately, I feel both extremely proud of how much we have accomplished together and that I now need to step away to create space for myself and my family as I navigate my own personal transition.

While things change during transitions, I am so excited for what’s to come at APANO. I see the powerful lights that have been ignited in our leadership, team and community. 

Our Co-ED model has proven to be a supportive, values-aligned  structure for our sibling organizations, and we now have an  opportunity to reimagine and reignite it. Amy and Kim are committed to supporting the organization through this transition process and are working with our Boards and staff to think thoughtfully through next steps and how we apply our learnings for what comes next. We look forward to sharing more updates with you as our plans come into place, and we hope you will continue to support our work as we head into 2024. 

I’ve been inspired by the light that each of you brings and appreciate how you’ve shared your light with me. APANO has been a space for me to learn, activate and lean into discomfort and my personal leadership. I’m grateful, especially to the current and former staff, board members and partners I’ve had the opportunity to work with — thank you for welcoming me to Oregon, sharing your wisdom, letting me ask questions and make mistakes, and encouraging me throughout. Through various connections and capacities, I know we’ll continue to light the way together. 

With deep gratitude, 

Allie Yee

Co-Executive Director of Finance, Operations and Development