by Kara Carmosino
Earlier this fall, a group of seventeen emerging Asian and Pacific Islander leaders gathered in Kah-Nee-Ta as the fourth cohort of the annual API Community Leadership Institute. The Asian Pacific Islander Community Leadership Institute (API-CLI) was founded in 2011 with the vision of building the leadership capacity of community leaders and of building collaborative alliances and partnerships among Asian and Pacific Islander communities to address racial and ethnic disparities. The Institute is led by IRCO Asian Family Center in partnership with APANO. It is one of six culturally-specific leadership programs funded through the Coalition of Communities of Color as part of their BRIDGES initiative.
Building on their popular education foundation that fellows experienced during the retreat, for the next five months they will facilitate workshops for each other on the topics of social determinants of health, community organizing, coalition building and cross-cultural communication. Fellows will also continue to build an understanding and analysis of API history in Oregon and racial justice for all communities of color, work with staff to analyze the root causes of the issues they see in their communities and design Community Action Projects to facilitate their experiential learning, and meet regularly with an assigned mentor from the community who will support them in their leadership journey.
Now that three cohorts have graduated from API-CLI, this year’s fellows are also connected to a diverse and active network of senior cohort fellows and supporters. Some highlights of senior cohort fellow involvement include:
– 12 senior fellows serving on the API-CLI Steering Committee, including two senior fellows serving as the committee’s first ever volunteer co-chairs;
– 9 senior fellows volunteering to serve as mentors for this year’s cohort;
– 3 senior fellows planning the annual senior fellow retreat this past August;
– Senior fellows from all three cohorts volunteering to lead activities and workshop sessions for the new cohort during the September kick-off, retreat in Kah-Nee-Ta, and a recent November Saturday workshop.
Senior cohort fellows are also holding leadership positions throughout the community and working for systems change in a number of important areas. We at APANO are excited to support a new group of fellows in their growth and see where their leadership journeys take them!