Our Mission

We cultivate healthy, long-lasting, and vibrant Asian and Pacific Islander communities through grassroots organizing.

Our Vision

We want a world where Asian and Pacific Islander communities – and all communities of color – have full power to access good health and a healthy environment.

Our Story

API Forward Movement (APIFM) was founded as the Asian and Pacific Islander Obesity Prevention Alliance, or APIOPA, in 2007. The founders were a group of community advocates who saw that Asians and Pacific Islanders were being left out of public health efforts to address the obesity epidemic, which is why our organization’s name centered obesity prevention at the time.

Since then, the organization’s focus has broadened to ensure APIs are served and represented in efforts to address a range of community health and environmental justice issues. This work has included collaboration with local Asian American farmers and other small farmers of color, building a local food hub to distribute produce from these farmers to small corner stores in LA’s low-income neighborhoods and to the general public via Community Supported Agriculture, as well as environmental justice leadership development with high school youth in San Gabriel Valley. Over the years, we’ve also offered dynamic active living programs, like monthly hiking groups and community bike rides that integrate physical activity with education about the cultural history of LA’s Asian enclaves. More recently, we have also been working on transportation and parks, to ensure that discussions on these key issues include API faces, voices, cultures, and languages. With the support of LA County Department of Public Health’s Champions for Change grant, we’ve also rolled out culturally responsive nutrition education and neighborhood-based advocacy for healthy food access for immigrant communities in Little Tokyo, Koreatown, Historic Filipinotown, and Chinatown.

Our team is passionate about amplifying and addressing the needs of our communities, and moving API community-based leadership forward. That’s why, in 2017, we changed our name from APIOPA to API Forward Movement, and unveiled our new mission statement: to cultivate healthy, long-lasting, and vibrant Asian and Pacific Islander communities through grassroots organizing.

Our Team

API Forward Movement is driven by advocates who are passionate about health equity, the environment, food access, and social justice. Our core staff collaborates closely with community members, organizational partners, youth activists, researchers, and other local leaders on a daily basis. We believe in doing the work collectively!

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    Duke Choi (he/him)

    As the Program Manager for the Tobacco Control and Prevention team, Duke (he/him) works to ensure a healthier community through advocacy, community engagement, and service. In the future, Duke hopes…Read more.

  • Clarissa

    Clarissa Choy (she/her)

    Clarissa (she/her) is a Community Engagement Coordinator for APIFM’s Tobacco Control and Prevention team. Based in Alhambra, Clarissa is a cheerful and enthusiastic individual who is passionate about creating healthier…Read more.

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    Kevin Cortez (he/him)

    Kevin Cortez (he/him) is a Distribution Coordinator on the Food Roots team. He handles sales as well as the deliveries for the program. Every week, Kevin communicates with the local…Read more.

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    Heng Lam Foong, MS (she/her)

    Heng Lam Foong (she/her) joined SSG/APIFM as Program Director in February 2020, bringing to the organization 25 years of experience in nonprofit management, community engagement and policy advocacy. Most recently,…Read more.

  • Linda Huynh

    Linda Huynh (she/her)

    Linda’s involvement with APIFM started years ago, when she supported the organization’s environmental justice leadership development work with the students of Mark Keppel High School. With those youth leaders, she…Read more.

  • Miko Jao

    Michelouis “Miko” Jao (he/him)

    In addition to working as the Project Specialist for APIFM’s HEAL Program, Michelouis “Miko” Jao is an artist who writes poetry, film, and music. A graduate of Houston Baptist University…Read more.

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    Freddy Ramos (he/him)

    Freddy Ramos (he/him) is a Distribution Coordinator for the CalFresh Healthy Living (CFHL) team. He assists with produce deliveries and community produce distribution events. Freddy graduated in 2020 from UCLA…Read more.

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    Jean Park (she/her)

    Jean Park (she/her) is a Community Engagement Coordinator for APIFM’s Clean Air SGV Program. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Jean is inspired by community-led efforts and initiatives focused on…Read more.

  • Nare Park

    Nare Park (they/them)

    Nare Park (they/them) is an outreach specialist for the amazing HEAL team at API Forward Movement (APIFM). They provide community outreach, develop gardening curriculum, and facilitate collaborative, fun, and culturally…Read more.

  • Corina Penaia

    Corina Penaia (she/her)

    Corina is passionate about working with the AAPI community, improving healthy equity, and simply helping folks in any capacity. She is interested in finding innovative ways to increase access to…Read more.

  • Courtney

    Courtney Shojinaga (she/her)

    Courtney Shojinaga is a Health Educator for a preschool in Koreatown, who helps the students engage with the school garden and learn to be brave with their eating habits through…Read more.

  • Keke Sulu

    Keke Sulu (She/Her)

    Keke was born and raised in the beautiful island of Samoa and now resides in the city of Long Beach. She was first introduced to APIFM as a volunteer for…Read more.

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    Christopher Tenorio (he/his)

    Christopher Tenorio (he/his) is the Community Engagement Coordinator at APIFM. Born in Guam and originally from the Bay Area, Chris found himself in Los Angeles in 2017 in order to…Read more.

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    Phil Timoteo (he/him)

    Phil Timoteo (he/him) is the Administrative Assistant for the Food Roots and DPH CalFresh program. Born and raised in the Inland Empire, Phil was driven by the impact advocacy has…Read more.

  • Kyle Tsukahira

    Kyle Tsukahira (he/him)

    Kyle Tsukahira is currently a Program Manager at APIFM. Kyle has over seven years of experience in leading community-based grassroots programs focused on health equity, food access, and environmental justice…Read more.

  • Amelia Vernon

    Amelia Vernon (She/Her)

    Amelia (she/her) is passionate about working to improve health equity and provide quality care for underserved communities. Since graduating from UCLA, she has worked with various Pacific Islander COVID-19 response…Read more.

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    Jeshow Yang (he/him)

    As the Policy Coordinator of the API Forward Movement’s Clean Air SGV (San Gabriel Valley) Campaign team, Jeshow Yang works to empower local residents to positively impact the SGV communities.…Read more.

Advisory Board

Our highly active advisory board provides vision and fundraising support across our work. Their energy and dedication help drive us!

  • Eddie Ramos

    Eddie Ramos

    Passion for APIFM: What I love about APIFM is that we drive communities to be healthy not in just one way, but through multiple avenues. Whether it’s teaching healthy cooking, eating,…Read More.

  • Brian

    Brian Kim

    Passion for APIFM: Brian is excited to be part of APIFM due to the real impact it makes in people’s everyday lives in the local community. Brian is especially enthusiastic…Read More.

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    Sabrina Yunus

    Passion for APIFM: I love that APIFM is able to address the unique needs of the Asian Pacific American community and promote healthy living. I also like how APIFM looks…Read More.

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    Ralph Degala

    Work Affiliation:  Kendo Brands (a LVMH company)  Bio:  Ralph started his career in public accounting as an auditor for Ernst & Young and transitioned to industry accounting with experiences in Oil &…Read More.

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    Lulut Garcia-Ladia

    Lulut was introduced to APIFM through the Board Leadership Program (BLP) as an intern. Because of her experience in health care, Lulut was immediately drawn to APIFM’s mission and vision—access…Read More.

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    Jessica Jinn

    Jessica is currently a climate advisor with the Natural Resources Defense Council and works intimately with the City of Los Angeles on vehicle electrification and mobility projects. Prior to this,…Read More.

  • Connie

    Connie Lee

    Passion for APIFM:   I am passionate about serving the API community in health and environment. Work Affiliation:  Citi Community Capital  Bio:  Connie graduated UCSB double major in Global Studies and Asian American…Read More.

  • Daphne-Tan

    Daphne Tan

    Passion for APIFM: Daphne is excited to be a part of APIFM because of her passion for health and wellness as it contributes to active living. She strongly believes in…Read More.

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    Leslie Toy

    Passion for APIFM: I first was introduced to APIFM through its Community Supported Agriculture program and loved the fresh produce and ability to support local Asian farmers. I’ve also been…Read More.

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    Terry Kim (2021 BLP Intern)

    Passion for APIFM: I love that APIFM centers justice and the health and wellness of the AAPI community and other communities of color. I am thrilled to support APIFM’s mission…Read More.

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    Kathryn Lee (2021 BLP Intern)

    Passion for APIFM: Kathryn was introduced to APIFM through the Board Leadership Program (BLP) and was immediately drawn to the organization’s mission. She loves that APIFM provides such a wide…Read More.

 

Donors & Supporters

We want to thank the following donors and supporters for their generosity, and for helping make our work possible.

Foundations

  • Aetna Foundation
  • Annenberg Foundation
  • California Community Foundation
  • Chinatown Firecracker Run
    • Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
    • Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
    • Dignity Health Community Benefits – Long Beach
    • First 5 Los Angeles
    • FreshWorks Fund
    • Kaiser Permanente – Los Angeles
    • Kaiser Permanente – South Bay
    • Kaiser Permanente – Southern California
    • Independence at Home (IAH), a SCAN community service
    • Nissan Foundation
    • SoCalGas Foundation
    • St. Joseph’s Foundation
    • The California Endowment
    • W.K. Kellogg Foundation

    Government

    • Board of Supervisors – Hilda Solis
    • California Environmental Protection Agency
    • Center for Disease Control
    • Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
    • Metro
    • North American Association for Environmental Education
    • US Environmental Protection Agency
    • US Department of Agriculture

    Education

    • California State University, Fullerton
    • California State University, Los Angeles
    • Pepperdine University
    • Pitzer College
    • University of California, Los Angeles
    • University of Southern California

    Business

    • Dahon
    • Elite Graphics
    • HealthFit
    • Metro
    • Timbuk2

    Funder Groups

    • Asian Pacific Community Fund
    • Circle of Change