Heritage Month

AAPI LA Heritage Month

Join us for a month-long celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month this May 2022!

Draft image for AAPI LA

The Population

API makes up approximately 16% of the City’s population

As of 2010, Los Angeles County had the largest populations of Burmese, Cambodian, Chinese, Filipino, Indonesian, Korean, Sri Lankan, and Thai people outside of their respective home countries anywhere in the world. The City of Los Angeles specifically, had the highest numeric Asian population in all of Los Angeles County.

Historically they have been widely divided by dialect and origins, making it difficult for many to unite through an existing platform and stand up to hate crimes and other injustices.

AAPI LA Home Banner

The Problem

AAPIs ore often left out of many DEI conversations, programs, and initiatives.

East Asian American white-collar professionals are the least likely group to be promoted from individual contributor roles into management — less likely than any other race, including blacks and Hispanics.

Asian American communities to have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic and overrepresented in business sectors that have been hardest hit by COVID-19.

Pandemic has exacerbated anti-Asian xenophobia and racism, which have historically acted as barriers to equity.

Korean businesses were heavily targeted during the Los Angeles 92’ riots, negatively impacting the community for years since.

The Mission

Give voice to the concerns of the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community in L.A.

The overarching goal is to support a community that has been historically misrepresented, disregarded, and often referred to as the “invisible minority.”

This is a path towards providing a voice to a frustrated community that has long been divided by language barriers and cultural differences.

“Los Angeles is a city of belonging and proud home to people from all over the world.

We stand strong against bigotry and discrimination and will do everything possible to put a stop to the rise in hate crimes directed against our Asian American and Pacific Islander neighbors.

Everyone belongs here, and everyone deserves to feel safe in their city.”

— Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

“We as the leaders of this city need to continue raising awareness and educating Angelenos about the issues affecting our AAPI community.

By continuing to talk about the issues the community faces, we can begin to fight back against hate crimes, an issue that is made worse simply because people do not report them. Although we’ve made a lot of progress over the past few decades, there is still so much work to do in ensuring the acceptance of all people in our city.

I look forward to crafting solutions with my colleagues that address the issues the AAPI community faces and will continue fighting for their safety and inclusion.”

— Councilmember Lee, Council District 12

The Advisory Board

This initiative is driven by an advisory board of AAPI thought leaders that will develop strategies and a roadmap for providing a greater voice for the L.A. area AAPI community.

Dan Lin bio for AAPI LA

Dan Lin

CEO, Rideback

Dan is the CEO and Head Wrangler of Rideback, the film and television company known for producing tentpole live-action and animated content for global audiences. Rideback is housed inside Rideback Ranch. This innovative, creative campus formed by Lin in LA’s Historic Filipinotown district is also home to industry leading companies Warner Animation Group, David Ayer’s Cedar Park Entertainment, premier animation studio Animal Logic, and Margot Robbie’s LuckyChap Entertainment.

Since his company’s formation in 2008, Lin has produced films that have grossed over $4 billion in worldwide box office. He most recently produced Disney’s $1 Billion blockbuster “Aladdin,” Stephen King’s “It: The Second Chapter,” and the acclaimed Netflix awards contender, “The Two Popes.”

His past films include LEGO movie franchise films “The LEGO Movie,” “The LEGO Batman Movie,” “The LEGO Ninjago Movie,” “The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part,” Stephen King’s “It,” and Netflix’s “Death Note.”

Lin also previously produced the hit mystery thrillers “Sherlock Holmes” and “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows,” which starred Robert Downey Jr., and executive produced Fox’s TV series “Lethal Weapon,” based on the film franchise.

Prior to forming Lin Pictures, Lin served as Senior Vice President of Production for Warner Bros. Pictures. During his eight-year tenure at the studio from 1999 to 2007, he oversaw the development and production of such films as Martin Scorsese’s Academy Award-winning drama “The Departed.”

Lin serves on the Board of Directors for several non-profit organizations, including the Evolve Entertainment Fund, the Good Shepherd Center for Homeless Women and Children, and the I Dream of Fish Foundation. In June 2015, he was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Lin received his undergraduate degree from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1994 and his MBA from Harvard Business School in 1999.

Andy Wang of AAPI LA

Andy Wang

Journalist, Los Angeles magazine, Food & Wine and Robb Report

Andy Wang has written regularly about restaurants and bars for Food & Wine, Los Angeles Magazine and Robb Report. His work has also appeared in the New York Times, New York Magazine, Zagat Stories, Condé Nast Traveler, Epicurious, Yahoo Travel, Observer, Taste, Ocean Drive and many other publications. He is co-founder of the Dumpling Mafia NFT and co-host of LA Food Gang on Clubhouse. Andy was previously the real estate and travel editor at the New York Post. A former dot-com entrepreneur, he wrote the first New York Times stories about both Google and blogs.

Ellen Chen bio for AAPI LA

Ellen Chen

Co-Founder and Board Member of Mendocino Farms, Investor/Advisor

Since stepping down from the “day to day” of running Mendocino Farms, a premium fast casual gourmet sandwich and salad concept that she founded in 2005, Ellen has focused her time, energy and passion supporting female and minority founded businesses. Ellen is using her twenty years of experience growing food brands to help early-stage founders understand their purpose, operationalize their values, get the resources they need and hopefully avoid some of the mistakes she made.

Ellen continues to offer the restaurant group a big business perspective with an entrepreneur's passion. In 2015 Nation’s Restaurant News included her on their annual Power List, and 2020 Nation’s Restaurant News named her the 50 most influential women in foodservice. In 2017 she was appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti to be the Entrepreneur in Residence for the city of Los Angeles. She sits on the Board of Directors of the California Restaurant Association, UCSD Alumni Board of Directors and is a founding member of Teach AAPI.

Jay Tucker for AAPI LA

Jay Tucker

Executive Director, UCLA Management Enterprise in Media, Entertainment and Sports (MEMES)

Jay Tucker is a marketer, educator and technology leader with more than 20 years of experience in the technology, academic and entertainment sectors. At UCLA’s Center for Management of Enterprise in Media, Entertainment and Sports (MEMES), Tucker is responsible for the center’s vision, thought leadership, educational offerings and major events, including the annual PULSE conference and the MEMES Media, Entertainment and Sports Summer Institute.

Previously, Tucker handled marketing and programs at the Institute for Communication Technology Management (CTM) at USC’s Marshall School of Business. He founded Silicon Beach @USC, a two-day event featuring a venture competition and a conference focused on innovation, investment and new ventures related to technology and digital content. He also partnered with executives at OgilvyRED to relaunch their Verge Summit, and with Variety magazine to launch the first-ever big data conference in partnership with PwC. Tucker also managed the Advanced Management Program, CTM’s executive education course focused on leadership for the digital age.

A seasoned technology leader, he has taught courses on technology management, technology convergence, digital media and media literacy to professionals at corporations and nonprofit organizations. He also serves on the board of the Southern California chapter of the Society for Information Management (SCSIM) and speaks at academic and industry events, covering digital technologies and media, technology startups and other topics.

Tucker holds an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, an M.A. in instructional and learning technologies from Columbia University, and a dual bachelor’s degree from Stanford University in political science and African and Afro-American studies. He resides in Santa Monica, California.

Jonathan Chu bio for AAPI LA

Jonathan Chu

Director and Producer

Jon is a film director and screenwriter best known for directing the movies Crazy Rich Asians, Step Up 2: The Streets, Step Up 3D, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never and G.I. Joe: Retaliation.

He is an alumnus of the University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television. There, he won the Princess Grace Award, the Dore Schary Award presented by the Anti-Defamation League, the Jack Nicholson directing award, and was recognized as an honoree for the IFP/West program Project: Involve.

The Taskforce

Comprised of Los Angeles Area Organizations that support and/or advocate for the AAPI community. Together they:

  • Cross Promote Events and Resources,
  • Support Causes
  • Collaborate to Support the AAPI Population
Kalika Yap bio for AAPI LA

Kalika Yap

CEO, Citrus Studios

Kalika Yap is a serial (concurrent) entrepreneur, inventor, author, and podcaster. Her businesses include the award-winning brand agency Citrus StudiosLuxe Linkthe Waxing Co.the Tangerine Co. & Orange & Bergamot.

Kalika Yap is the author of the little brand book, published by one of the world’s top publishing houses Harper Collins, and also the host Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) EO Wonder Podcast.

Her goal is to help 1M women entrepreneurs, make $1M in revenue, and create 1M jobs!

Katie Chin bio for AAPI LA

Katie Chin

Celebrity Chef, Cookbook Author and Blogger

Katie is an award-winning cookbook author, television chef, food blogger and US Ambassador to Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, has a passion for Asian food and is committed to teaching the American public that the very best Asian cooking can be achieved in a real home kitchen by real people on real schedules.

Katie co-hosted the national PBS cooking series, Double Happiness, in conjunction with her mother and together they wrote Everyday Chinese Cooking. On her own, Katie wrote 300 Best Rice Cooker Recipes and most recently, the award-winning bestsellers Everyday Thai Cooking and her latest cookbook, Everyday Chinese Cookbook: 101 Delicious Recipes from My Mother’s Kitchen and “Katie Chin’s Global Family Cookbook”. She is recognized as a pan-Asian cooking expert and has been featured in many food and lifestyle magazines such as O Magazine, Cooking Light, Bon Appetit, Elle, Real Simple, and Family Circle as well as The Wall Street Journal.

Ian bio featured in AAPI LA

Ian Truitner

Filmmaker and Entrepreneur

Ian's background combines business development, filmmaking and military service. His award-winning projects have screened at Cannes, SXSW, Milan, Palm Springs, and Seattle International film festivals. Ian created content for Walt Disney, Warner Brothers, Viacom, a Telly Award-winning children's interactive programs, and the opening ceremonies of the Taekwondo World Championships at the Verizon Arena. In 2015 Ian was awarded a U.S. patent he authored for RANDIAN, a media tech company he co-founded.

Ian has an MBA from Penn State University and was awarded Alumni of Notable Achievement from the University of Minnesota, where he earned a BA in theater.

He is a member of the DGA (Directors Guild of America) and served as a co-chair alternate for the Asian American Committee from 2020-2021. Ian is currently living in Aix En Provence, France, where he is shooting a film and studying for a Masters degree in International Relations from the Institut Américain Universitaire.

Angeline Buenaventura

Angeline Buenaventura

Netflix

A marketing and social impact leader with 20+ years of experience at the intersection of entertainment and politic, successfully strengthening and building brands with a focus on social impact and DE&I for companies such as Walt Disney, the Grammy’s and Capri Capital Partners. Buenaventura served as Policy Liaise for Entertainment, Tourism, Convention and Hospitality for Mayor Garcetti’s Office of Economic Development, and was responsible for supporting and driving economic development programs and initiatives. Currently, Buenaventura is the Creative Talent Development Manager at Netflix, she has joined this newly formed department to increase representation within production, focusing on creating access and opportunities for underrepresented communities within below the line jobs.

Buenaventura is a champion for integrating diversity, equity and inclusion into media, marketing, and business practices and creating access for underserved and underrepresented communities. Buenaventura is actively involved in organizations that promote and advocate for increased diversity, equity and inclusion and serves as a board member for NAMIC SoCal (National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications) as well as the IMPACT Learning Institute. Buenaventura holds a B.A. in Communications and Public Relations from California State University Fullerton.

Rachel Freeman

Senior Vice President, Real Estate for Tejon Ranch Company (NYSE: TRC)

Rachel Freeman currently serves as Senior Vice President, Real Estate for Tejon Ranch Company (NYSE: TRC) overseeing entitlements, land planning and development related activities in the Los Angeles region. Prior to Tejon Ranch Company, she held the position of President & CEO at Capri Retail Services, LLC a subsidiary of Capri Capital Partners, LLC, a real estate investment management firm leading entitlement and asset management related strategies for Southern California.

Having spent her career spearheading innovative and impactful real estate developments, Rachel Freeman has led the development efforts for a diverse array of projects including greenfield, mixed-use, housing and transit-oriented developments across the region. Rachel serves as Co-Chair for BizFed’s CEQA, Land Use, Housing Committee and Urban Land Institute’s (“ULI”) Housing Council and is an active member of The Building Industry Association of Southern California's Los Angeles/Ventura Chapter.

Jessica Caloza

California Department of Justice

Jessica Caloza is a Commissioner on the Board of Public Works, the governing and oversight body of more than 5,500 employees responsible for delivering critical services and infrastructure projects in the City of Los Angeles. She was appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti in February and confirmed by the City Council in March 2019. She is the first Filipina American to serve on the Board and is the lead Commissioner for the Bureau of Engineering.

Previously, Jessica served as Mayor Garcetti’s Director of Scheduling since 2017, overseeing the Mayor’s entire scheduling operation — including strategic planning, day-to-day logistics, and coordination with various Departments and agencies. She also served as Deputy Director of Scheduling, and came to the Mayor’s Executive Office from the Office of Immigrant Affairs, where she helped lead the City's immigration policy, grant programs, and civic engagement initiatives focused on expanding access to resources for immigrant communities.

Prior to joining the Los Angeles Mayor's Office, Jessica served in the Obama Administration in the U.S. Department of Education — where she worked on higher education policy, Congressional and legislative affairs, student data and privacy, immigration policy, and gender equity issues. She has also been a campaign aide to several members of Congress, including former Rep. Xavier Becerra of California; former Rep. Mike Honda of California; and Rep. Albio Sires of New Jersey. In 2012, she was a community organizer for President Obama’s reelection campaign and helped lead various field offices in Virginia.

Jessica is also passionate about giving back to the community and volunteers with various Asian American and Filipino American organizations. In 2014, she was selected as one of ten delegates for the Filipino Youth Leadership Program (FYLPro), an international leadership program led by the Ambassador of the Philippines. Most recently, she served on the boards of KAYA: Filipino Americans for Progress, FYLPro Executive Committee, and the Leadership Council of the Center for Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment (CAUSE).

A graduate of the University of California, San Diego, Jessica is a proud first-generation immigrant.

The Hosts

Andy Wang of AAPI LA

Andy Wang

Journalist, Los Angeles magazine, Food & Wine and Robb Report

Andy Wang has written regularly about restaurants and bars for Food & Wine, Los Angeles Magazine and Robb Report. His work has also appeared in the New York Times, New York Magazine, Zagat Stories, Condé Nast Traveler, Epicurious, Yahoo Travel, Observer, Taste, Ocean Drive and many other publications. He is co-founder of the Dumpling Mafia NFT and co-host of LA Food Gang on Clubhouse. Andy was previously the real estate and travel editor at the New York Post. A former dot-com entrepreneur, he wrote the first New York Times stories about both Google and blogs.

Donations

Asian Pacific Community Fund (APCF) is honored to be AAPI-LA’s fiscal partner to support our joint vision of providing a greater voice for the L.A. Area AAPI Community.

Together we can build a healthier and stronger AAPI community.

To donate, please make a check payable to “APCF” with memo “AAPI-LA”.

Asian Pacific Community Fund
1145 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 105
Los Angeles, CA 90017

Join the AAPI LA Club at Clubhouse to join the conversation!

Everything you need, delivered straight into your mailbox.