Lavender Phoenix is powered by queer and trans Asian and Pacific Islander people. We are led primarily by young, trans and non-binary folks, for the entire QTAPI community. Our work is powered by volunteer members who directly understand how our lives have been shaped by different oppressions and legacies of resistance. Programs are led by leaders in volunteer committees, strategy is created by our Core Committee, and staff help to guide and facilitate our collective learning.
Yuan W., Executive Director
Yuan (she/they) is a transgender, non-binary Chinese-American organizer. She was born on Ohlone land in Fremont, California and raised on Lenape land in New Jersey. Yuan was shaped by organizing in New York City, where she supported housing justice campaigns at CAAAV, coordinated volunteer organizers at the Laundry Workers Center, and provided language justice support to the Sex Worker’s Project and local campaigns. She brings experience developing the leadership of young people, from leading queer-inclusive sex-ed at the Masakhane Center and organizing after-school programs for Asian immigrant youth at the Teen Resource Center. After starting at Lavender Phoenix as a Summer Organizer apprentice, Yuan served as Lavender Phoenix’s Trans Justice Community Organizer, and became Lavender Phoenix’s Executive Director in December, 2021. Their role as Director involves supporting Lavender Phoenix’s staff team, sustaining abundant resources for our organizing, and rooting Lavender Phoenix’s long-term culture and strategy in our evergreen values. Her community at Lavender Phoenix has taught her what interdependence looks like in practice, and reminds her everyday to lead with care and vulnerability. Outside of her organizing work, Yuan finds joy in playing guitar, climbing rocks, and cooking for her friends.
Meha D., Deputy Director
Meha (she/her) is a queer South Asian child of immigrants currently living on unceded Patwin land in Vallejo, California. She was born, raised, and nurtured across the southwest and midwest regions of Turtle Island until 2017 when she began to call the Bay Area home. Her early work life was rooted in centering the agency and power of young people through program design, community building, and stewarding cultures of care. Over time she began to focus on organizational development, resource mobilization, and funder organizing in order to shift systems and institutions toward more liberatory practices and possibilities. Meha is honored and delighted to join the LavNix community as our first-ever Deputy Director. In this new role, she will support LavNix staff and members to relate to each other and our resources in ways that live into our values. She enjoys spending time with loved ones, watching and learning from furry and feathered friends, and immersing herself in worlds of imagination (both her’s and other’s).
Cynthia F., Lead Organizer
Cynthia (they/them) is a queer, first-generation Chinese organizer, passionate about building new world systems and dismantling imperialism and capitalism. Born in Hong Kong, Cynthia was raised on Ohlone lands between Hilltop and Pacific East Mall, in an immigrant, working-class and religious family. These conditions set the foundation for their ongoing political journey, which brought Cynthia from being pre-med in undergrad, to organizing and power-building back home in the Bay. Cynthia joined Lavender Phoenix in 2015 as part of the Communications Committee and in 2017, the first Core Committee. Cynthia now comes directly from the frontlines of fighting for housing justice in San Francisco with organizations like the Housing Rights Committee and the Eviction Defense Collaborative. They bring a wide-range of experience in direct action, campaign strategy, policy work, and organizing for tenant unions, against evictions and for housing as a human right. As Lavender Phoenix’s lead organizer, Cynthia is excited to sow, tend and cultivate seeds of leadership and justice in trans and queer APIs for our movement. Outside of organizing, Cynthia finds joy in being outside and by water, reading, and dreaming/wondering.
Jasmin H., Community Organizer
Jasmin is a mixed race, queer, cisgender woman raised outside of Boston and re-located to San Francisco in 2005. Jasmin’s work has ranged from training theater artists in social justice pedagogies as the American Conservatory Theater’s Associate Director of Education & Community Programs to leading workshops on creating liberating and affirming spaces for youth as co-founder of The Remix Cultural Consulting Collective. Currently, Jasmin brings her experience and drive to Lavender Phoenix, alongside organizations such as Asians4BlackLives and the Bay Area Transformative Justice Collective. She continually works to heal her own wounds, transform old patterns, and vision new ways of being, and to bring this same opportunity for growth and change to the community. Outside of her organizing endeavors, Jasmin delights in the culinary (both cooking and eating), astrology, watching and creating live theater, moving herself through dance or a good hike, and laughing with friends.
Leo H., Community Organizer
Leo is a trans, second generation, Indian-American who was raised in Edison, New Jersey. While attending school in Nashville, Tennessee he studied engineering and music, and since 2019 has been living and learning in Oakland/Ohlone Land. Leo started their work with Lavender Phoenix as an active member of the Trans Justice and Core Committees, and he is an alumni of Parivar’s Advisory Committee and ASATA’s Bay Area Solidarity Summer. Previously, as an acoustics consultant at Arup, Leo leveraged their technical skills and network to support community engagement in the built environment, partnering with organizations such as Designing Justice+Designing Spaces, Chinatown Community Development Center, and the Community Arts Stabilization Trust. In all of his work, relationships, and community, Leo strives to bring compassion and care. Now, as one of Lavender Phoenix’s Community Organizers, Leo’s role focuses on building systems for true community safety by supporting our members to develop alternatives to harmful institutions such as police and prisons. Alongside organizing, Leo loves listening to, playing and writing music. They are a multi-instrumentalist; playing the trumpet/flugelhorn, tabla, ukulele, guitar and a sprinkling of bass and keys. He also likes to beatbox!
Shivani C., Leadership Development Coordinator
Shivani (they/them) is a trans, non-binary, second generation Indian-American person. Born and raised in Lenape land in New Jersey, Shivani has slowly traversed their way across Turtle Island before settling in Ohlone land in Oakland in 2021. Despite studying film and television in college, they have spent most of their career working in education — first as a high school English teacher and later as a post-secondary pathways counselor. Shivani brings a passion for building relationships, developing youth leadership, supporting others in telling their stories, and creating spaces for collective learning and growth. They first joined Lavender Phoenix as a volunteer supporting the Asking for Help workshops for TGNC South Asian folks and later co-founded the Community Safety Committee. Now, as Lavender Phoenix’s Leadership Development Coordinator, Shivani is excited to facilitate opportunities for members to learn the skills, knowledges, and attitudes to lead in a values-based way. Shivani cultivates joy through long walks (preferably to get bubble tea), cooking with friends, camping, and playing with their cat, Remy.
eri o., Development Manager
eri (they/them) is a gender-nonconforming millennial sea turtle of Japanese descent. Born and raised on unceded Kanaka Maoli lands on the island of O’ahu, Hawai’i, eri has been riding the wave of life as a nonprofit administrator and educator. In 2013, they moved to unceded Ohlone lands (specifically, Oakland, CA) where they lived and organized at a Trans & Queer Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (TQBIPOC)-centered collective home and community space called Oakland SOL for 6 years. eri comes to Lavender Phoenix with a deep passion for creating a world where TQBIPOC can thrive and tap into our magic. They’re a former Board member of the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance, a former member of Peacock Rebellion, Liberate(d) 23rd Ave, and is currently part of the Mugworts Queer Cabin Collective. eri lives in North Highlands, Sacramento on unceded Nisenan lands and enjoys being an extra-extrovert, binge-watching reality TV shows, and being in or near the water whenever possible!
Jenica G., Cultural Organizer
Jenica is a trans and queer Filipino-American and proud Ilokano, born and raised on Bay Miwok land in the Bay Area. Jenica currently resides on Tongva land, where she studied animation and developed a passion for nurturing queer spaces on her college campus. She began her journey with Lavender Phoenix as a Summer Organizer in 2021, discovering the power of communication work and the wisdom that everyone has the potential to organize. After joining LavNix’s Communications and Core Committees, Jenica deepened her community work by teaching digital art through AYPAL’s Fresh Off the Block program where she supported youth in realizing their inner storytellers. She continues to develop her cultural work and propagandist skills, fighting for Filipina women and children’s rights as part of the National Democratic Movement. Now, as Lavender Phoenix’s Cultural Organizer, Jenica is excited to support the community in telling powerful stories that make revolution irresistible. Alongside organizing, Jenica loves emboldening others to be silly and to create art, whether it be through animation, zines, or linocut. She finds joy in rewatching old anime and skateboarding.
Sammie A. W., Staff Emeritus
Sammie is an enthusiastic organizer passionate about supporting people in reclaiming their inherent power and dignity. Growing up in a hustling class immigrant household in the 818 and Las Vegas, their political journey started with witnessing xenophobia against their family, fighting budget cuts in public schools, and learning about trans Pilipinos fighting colonization. First moving to Ohlone lands in 2012, Sammie joined Lavender Phoenix as a Summer Organizer in 2013. Most recently, Sammie served as Executive Director from 2016 to 2021. During their time as Director, Sammie worked alongside members to publish “Up to Us,” a groundbreaking report and strategy brief on the needs of transgender and non-binary API people in the Bay Area.
In 2022, Sammie began an independent research project on the role of belonging in grassroots organizing and social movement organizations. They hope to combat cultures of individualism and alienation, while supporting LavNix and other organizations to build sustainable cultures of care. Currently Sammie is an active board member with Movement Generation and the Lyon Martin Community Health Center. Alongside their organizing work, Sammie is a death doula, community archivist, and student of hilot.
Alder D. H.
beck l. Clara Q. Connie H. Elyse C. Isabella R.
madhvi t. Mika H. Mioi H. Nisha C. Ry L.
Andy W. Anirvan C. Chay T. Desiree T. Dipti G. Elliott F. Jenna R.
Rai D. Sine H. J. Steve L. Total N. Tracy N. Vince C.
Fundraising Healing Justice SKATE Crew (Leadership Development) Community Safety