“Being a part of team APIENC, even for just this short while, has been a transformative process for me. I’ve learned a lot about myself and most importantly, about what I want to contribute as part of this community.” – Michelle Lin

At API Equality – Northern California, our volunteer committees power our work. Our committees include: Fundraising, Dragon Fruit, Leadership Development, and Communications. Volunteers share their time, skills, and resources by attending monthly meetings, supporting projects and events, and being ambassadors for the organization.

During our most recent leadership orientation, we collectively created a graphic timeline to represent the history and direction of our organization:


For Crystal Jang, the timeline offered her a deeper reflection:

“I continue to be involved with APIENC because I believe in the power of uplifting community through social activism.  As an older activist, I love being a part of the Dragon Fruit Project and the intergenerational interactions it helps foster.  I am inspired and encouraged by the fresh ideas and energy that comes with being around young activists and as I hear the stories of the API LGBT elders telling their stories of struggle and small triumphs. In hearing the stories of my peers I am reminded of how far we have come since the 50’s to present day.  Knowing that all of our hard work and seemingly unending obstacles of being API and Queer helped lay the groundwork for today and future API LGBT generations to build on lets me know that it was all worth while. Thank you to Amy Sueyoshi for giving birth to  Dragon Fruit and to APIENC for broadening it’s reach in creating the space for all of us to be our authentic API-LGBTQ selves.” – Crystal Jang

From left to right: Yifan Mai, Mioi Hanaoka, Monna Wong, Betty Cao, Shirley Liu, Sally Tran, Michelle Lin, Vida Kuang, Esther Kang, Linda Nguyen, Tracy Nguyen, Sammie Wills (Not pictured: Vanessa Coe, Crystal Jang, Jess Suarez, Mary Luong)

Throughout the years, we’ve cycled through different renditions of leadership bodies: Board of Directors, Steering Committee, Leadership Team. Currently we’re called Team APIENC because it’s closest to our organizational values. We believe that everyone is a team player in this fight for social justice. Our team is not exclusive and everyone gets to catch and pass the ball! We asked our friends what it means for them to be part of Team APIENC:

“It means being a part of something bigger than myself. It means a collective effort to create community and connections that would otherwise be disjointed and regressive. It has been a privilege to work at APIENC in a leadership position. Along with it comes the responsibility of stepping up, learning organizing and facilitation skills, and becoming deeply invested in something that will enrich this community for generations to come.” – Mioi Hanaoka

“I’ve been deeply inspired time and time again by APIENC, and that’s why I have chosen to devote time and energy as a volunteer, and to help fundraise for the organization.  At the DFP brunch recently, we learned about Radical Welcome, and how it is important to sincerely welcome and include participants, when we volunteer as coaches, greeters and trainers for the project.  It’s values and practices like this, ones that also reflect my personal values, that I am fortunate to cultivate with the community. It’s a honor and privilege to volunteer for APIENC.” – Shirley Hsin-I Liu

“APIENC is a warm and inclusive community that has welcomed me with open arms. I’m glad to be part of team that’s actively working towards QPOC representation, equality, and justice. My work has given me a sense of being part of our community’s history, from our past struggles to our future dreams.” – Yifan Mai

If you want to get involved with API Equality – Northern California, contact us at info@apiequalitync.org or fill out our Volunteer Interest Form!