We’re Hiring: Deadline Extended!

The AAC is hiring a part time coordinator in Western MA!

This opening provides a great opportunity to join a group of people that represents the interests of Asian Americans throughout the Commonwealth and is dedicated to advocacy on behalf of Asian Americans throughout Massachusetts.

Western MA – Hampden/Hampshire County
Western MA Community Engagement Coordinator

Deadline extended: July 12, 2019

Interested applicants may send their cover letters & resumes to jobs@aacommission.org.

AAPI Non-Profit Panel

Mission: to inform the AAPI community of national non-profit organizations working toward the advancement of AAPI objectives in the United States and internationally.  


Czara Anne S. Venegas, J.D. , Judicial Law Clerk, US Board of Veterans Appeals, Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington DC

Czara is a recent law May 2018 graduate from New England | Law Boston, where she was President of the Women’s Law Caucus, Co-Founder of the Mental Health Alliance, and Secretary of the Asian American Pacific Law Students Association. Prior to law school, Czara was a public policy analyst for Texas State Senator Leticia Van De Putte, the first Latina legislator of Texas.  After law school, Czara accepted a two-year post-grad appointment with the Board of Veterans Appeals in Washington DC.  Czara received her B.A. from the University of Texas at San Antonio, where she was President of Phi Alpha Delta, Co-Founder of the ACLU Student Chapter, and a McCLendon Legislative Fellow.


Kim Aquino, MPH,
Co-Founder & Co-Director of Social Justice, AAMPLIFY

Kim Aquino is a Co-Founder and Co-Director of Social Justice at AAMPLIFY. AAMPLIFY is a San Francisco-based education and charitable non-profit dedicated to promoting AAPI leaders in public service. AAMPLIFY is a community building program directed towards engaging low-income and first-generation AAPI high school students in learning more about advocacy, leadership, and social justice. Additionally, Kim is a first-year student and Edward V. Sparer Public Interest Law Fellow at Brooklyn Law School; he hopes to explore the legal and policy implications that lie within the intersection of health equity and civil rights, particularly within minority communities. Kim received his B.A. from the University of Texas at San Antonio and his MPH from Johns Hopkins.

Jennifer Coliflores, Esq., Secretary, Board of Directors, FYLPRO

Jennifer serves as the Secretary for the Board of Directors for the Filipino Young Leaders Program (FYLPRO), a non-profit organization of high-performing, high-generation leaders that have a passion for advancing the Philippines and the Filipino people.  Jennifer in alumnae of the 2013 FYLPRO class. 

Additionally, Jennifer is a staff attorney with the Massachusetts Committee for Public Counsel Services Public Defender Division. She also serves as a volunteer and vice president for the Massachusetts Youth Leadership Foundation Board of Directors. She is active in the Fil-Am community in the New England area and is the elected Vice-Chairwoman for the Philippine-American Mainstream Advocacy for Nonpartisan Associations (PAMANA). Jennifer received her J.D. from Roger Williams University School of Law in Rhode Island and her B.A. from Colby College in Waterville, Maine where she founded the Colby Filipino Club.


Wingkay Leung, Chairperson, Asian American Commission (AAC)

Wingkay Leung got involved in the Asian community many years ago from a cultural perspective. His wife, Winnie, loves to sing Chinese Opera. Wingkay, with an engineering background, felt into the role of the sound equipment “expert” for the Que Shing Chinese Music and Opera Group, a non-profit organization that produces many Opera performances for the Chinese community. Both Wingkay and Winnie have served as Presidents and Directors for Que Shing. Wingkay believes that community service is not just showing up for Board meetings. He believes in getting involved, such as volunteering for the Chinatown Crime Watch program for the past 7 years, rain or snow. The Crime Watch program is credited with reducing crime in Boston Chinatown. Wingkay has 3 grown children, Calvin, Jonathan and Kasey, who all graduated from UMass Amherst. Wingkay graduated from Case Western Reserve University with advanced degrees in Computer Engineering and Business Administration.

Adele Free Pham (Nailed It Director)

Director/DP Adele Free Pham (vimeo.com/adelepham) is a mixed race Vietnamese American documentary filmmaker with experience in all aspects of documentary production, including cinematography, editing, and direction. Her first documentary “Parallel Adele” about mixed Asian identity screened at CAAM way back in 2009. The film also screened at the Smithsonian aired on PBS. It is distributed by Third World Newsreel. Adele edited the feature length version of “The Prep School Negro” directed by Andre Robert Lee, which also premiered on PBS. “Rebirth: New Orleans” a feature documentary Adele filmed for PBS about the charter school takeover post Katrina is streaming on Netflix. While producing “Nailed It” Adele has been coordinating community screenings for “The Throwaways” a feature documentary she produced about the impact of mass incarceration and police brutality on black males in America told through the narrative of Director Ira Eugene McKinley. Adele is also the Cinematographer for “The Forgotten Occupation” Directed by Alain Martin, and a 2016 Firelight Doc Lab Fellow.

Join us for the screening of “Nailed It” in the evening at the Boston Asian American Film Festival!

Click here for more info on the screening

Welcome Address

Kenneth An, JD, Director, United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Kenneth An is the Director of the Boston Area Office of the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). At the EEOC, Kenneth has conducted outreach with the Asian-American community and eliminated discriminatory job advertisements in Chinese newspapers that were circulated nationally. Kenneth has sat on several Boards, such as the New England Chapter of the Organization of Chinese Americans, and he co-chair the Asian Pacific American Heritage celebration at the JFK Federal Building. Kenneth is a co-founder of Quincy Asian Resources, a not-for-profit organization in Quincy, Massachusetts, and has chaired several fundraisers that helped raise more than a quarter million dollars for community and youth-based programs. Kenneth served on the Massachusetts Asian-American Commission and is a member of the White House AAPI Interagency Workgroup for Region One.

At the EEOC, Kenneth conducts training for new investigators for field offices on topics that include: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender rights; the Genetic Non-Discrimination Information Act; Fact-Finding Conferences; Pre-Determination Interviews; and, Human Trafficking and how to better serve the Asian-American Pacific Islander. Kenneth has received awards for his professional and personal accomplishments, including an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Federal Asian Pacific American Coalition; EEOC District Director’s Awards; EEOC Chair’s Organizational/Core Awards; and, an Unsung Hero Award from the National Organization of Chinese-Americans. 

Kenneth received his Bachelor’s Degree from Boston University and a J.D. from Suffolk University Law School.

Kenneth immigrated to the United States from Taiwan and also speaks Mandarin and Cantonese.

Rokuichiro Michii, Consulate General of Japan

Rokuichiro Michii has been the Consul General of Japan in Boston since September 2016. From 2012 – 2015, Mr. Michii served as Minister at the Embassy of Japan in Moscow, Russia. Also abroad, he was Pol-Mil officer at the Embassy of Japan in Washington D.C. (1998  – 2001), Counselor at the Embassy of Japan in Myanmar (2001 – 2003). In Foreign Ministry headquarters, from 2007 – 2012, he served as Director of Treaties Division and others in the Treaty Bureau. He was also Director of the Newly Independent States Division (2003 – 2005), Counter Terrorism Cooperation Division (2005 – 2007) and spend many years in US-Japan Security Treaty Division as well as UN Policy Division. Mr. Michii’s area of expertise includes security, international law, trade negotiations, science and cooperative efforts. Mr. Michii has also published papers and articles on international law, with topics focusing on compensation for damage from nuclear accidents, space cooperation and others.

Kim Yonghyon, Consulate General of the Republic of Korea

Mr. Kim is Consul General of the Republic of Korea in Boston. As a career diplomat, he brings thirty years of diplomatic expertise and experience to his office, which he assumed in December 2017. His duties include, inter alia, protecting the interests of the Republic of Korea and overseas Koreans in New England, and furthering the development of commercial, economic, cultural and scientific relations between the Republic of Korea and the United States, in particular New England region.

Prior to his current position, Mr. Kim was Director-General for Korean Peninsula Peace Regime from March 2016. He also worked in the same bureau as Deputy Director-General for North Korean Nuclear Affairs for two years, starting from June 2014. He oversaw North Korea-related issues such as regional security cooperation, unification diplomacy and human rights situations. From 2012 to 2014, Mr. Kim served as Korean Consul General in Erbil, Iraq. In his service in the Korean Consulate General in New York from 2009 to 2012, he worked on political and cultural public diplomacy, promoting public awareness on North Korea’s human rights situation, nuclear and missile threats. From 2008 to 2009, he worked on reinvigorating the ROK-US alliance focusing on strengthening bilateral security partnership as the Director of the ROK-US Security Cooperation Division in the North American Affairs Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. From 2005 to 2008, he was deeply involved in the Six Party Talks process on North Korea’s denuclearization, as political officer at the ROK Embassy in Beijing. He worked mainly on Korean Peninsula security issues, among other posts, working at the ROK Embassy in Washington (1999-2001), where his focus was ROK-US pol-mil cooperation. He also served in the National Security Council of the President’s Office (2003-2004). He entered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1990.

He graduated from the Seoul National University in 1989 majoring in international relations, studied at the Pennsylvania State University (1992-1994). He lives in Newton, Massachusetts with his wife. He has two adult children.

Douglas Hsu, Director-General, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Boston

Douglas Hsu is currently the Director-General, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Boston, U.S. 

His prior experiences include,

Deputy Director-General, Department of North American Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2016.09-2018.04)
Deputy Counselor, Department of North American Affairs, MOFA (2015.07-2016.09)
Deputy Political Director, Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the U.S. (2013.07-2015.07)
Deputy Congressional Director, TECRO in the U.S. (2012.01-2013.07)
Senior Executive Officer, Congressional Liaison Division, TECRO in the U.S. (2009.07-2012.01)
Chief, First (Political) Section, Department of North American Affairs,
MOFA (2007.01-2009.01)
Senior Officer, Department of North American Affairs, MOFA (2006.01-2007.01)
Assistant then Senior Assistant to the Representative, Congressional
Liaison Division, TECRO in the U.S. (2000.01-2006.01)
Desk Officer, Department of North American Affairs, MOFA (1998.01-


A Multi-Agency Perspective on Human Trafficking

Brandy Donini-Melanson, Strategic Engagement and Law Enforcement Coordinator (LEC) & secondary spokesperson at the U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO)

Brandy Donini-Melanson is the Strategic Engagement and Law Enforcement Coordinator (LEC) and secondary spokesperson at the U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO) for the District of Massachusetts where she has worked since 2008.  One of her key responsibilities is to establish and maintain communication between federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement as well as with government agencies and non-governmental organizations who are essential to DOJ and USAO crime prevention efforts.  Brandy has been intricately involved in a range of initiatives, including anti-human trafficking and violent crime reduction.  Brandy currently serves as the Chair of the National Law Enforcement Coordinators’ Working Group.

Prior to becoming the LEC, Brandy was a Victim Witness Specialist with the USAO in the Eastern District of Virginia.  Prior to that, she worked for the Federal Bureau of Prisons for over seven years where she held positions as a drug abuse treatment specialist and a case manager at FCI Milan in Michigan and FCI Ashland and USP Big Sandy, both in Kentucky.   She has been with the U.S. Department of Justice for over 20 years.


Julie Dahlstrom, Immigrants’ Rights & Human Trafficking (IRHT) Program, Boston University Law School

Julie Dahlstrom directs the Immigrants’ Rights & Human Trafficking (IRHT) Program at Boston University Law School, which offers law students the unique opportunity to represent noncitizen and survivor clients while developing important lawyering skills.  Professor Dahlstrom founded and directed the Human Trafficking Clinic since it opened in 2012. In 2014, the Human Trafficking Clinic was recognized by preLaw magazine as one of the top 25 most innovative clinical programs nationally.

She served previously as a senior staff attorney at Casa Myrna Vazquez, where she represented survivors of commercial sexual exploitation, and as managing attorney of the Immigration Legal Assistance Program at Ascentria Care Alliance.  Professor Dahlstrom founded and chairs the U and T Visa Working Group of the Immigration Coalition and is a member of the Human Trafficking Subcommittee of the Delivery of Legal Services Committee. She previously served as the co-chair of the Public Service Subcommittee of the Immigration Committee of the Boston Bar Association.

In 2012, she was appointed by Governor Deval Patrick to the Massachusetts Human Trafficking Task Force, chaired by the Attorney General, and she has served as the co-chair of the Victim Services Subcommittee and a member of the Labor Trafficking Subcommittee. In 2016, she received the Top Women of the Law Award from Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. Professor Dahlstrom received a JD from Boston College Law School and a BA from Boston College.

Amy Farrell, Associate Director and Associate Professor, Criminology and Criminal Justice, Northeastern University, College of Social Sciences and Humanities

Professor Farrell joined the tenure track faculty in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice in 2008. Prior to that time she served as the assistant director of the Institute on Race and Justice and a faculty researcher at Northeastern University. Her research seeks to understand arrest, adjudication and criminal case disposition practices. Professor Farrell is the co-author of Not Guilty: Are the Acquitted Innocent, published by New York University Press in 2012 (with Daniel Givelber) and co-editor of Deadly injustice: Trayvon Martin, race, and the criminal justice system published by New York University Press, 2015 (with Devon Johnson and Patricia Warren).

Professor Farrell’s research seeks to understanding how the criminal justice system responds to newly recognized and prioritized crimes such as hate crimes and human trafficking. Professor Farrell collaborated on research examining challenges to police identification and reporting of hate crimes. Professor Farrell co-authored a report for the National Institute of Justice on hate crimes against immigrants in the U.S. and is currently conducting research on youth and Latino/a experiences of bias motivated crime victimization. She oversees a program to collect data on human trafficking investigations for the U.S. Department of Justice and has studied and published research about how local, state and federal law enforcement agencies identify, investigate and prosecute human trafficking cases. She recently completed projects examining labor trafficking victimization in the US and assign the effectiveness of state anti-trafficking law reform efforts.

Professor Farrell has testified about police identification of human trafficking before the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee. She was also appointed to the Massachusetts Attorneys General Human Trafficking Policy Task Force and oversaw a committee that developed recommendations for improving the collection and sharing of data on human trafficking victims in the Commonwealth.

Professor Farrell was a co-recipient of NIJ’s W.E.B. DuBois Fellowship on crime justice and culture in 2006 and the American Society Criminology Mentor of the Year Awardee in 2014.

Timothy E. Moran, Assistant U.S. Attorney/Director of the Civil Rights Enforcement Team (CRET), U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Massachusetts

Timothy E. Moran is an Assistant United States Attorney, Deputy Chief of the Organized Crime and Gang Unit, and Director of the Civil Rights Enforcement Team. As director of the team, he supervises all criminal civil rights cases in the office and helps with training and outreach for law enforcement partners, NGOs, academics and other interested parties.  He has been with the Department of Justice since 2004 and is an honors graduate of Amherst College and Harvard Law School.

Worker’s Rights in the Workplace

What protections do you have in the workplace and who do you call if you need help?  This presentation will give you a brief overview of three federal enforcement agencies-Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA), Wage and Hour Division (WH), and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the statutes each agency enforces.  Worker safety, wage protection and pay obligations by your employer, and how to determine if you have experienced discrimination in the workplace will be the focal point of the session. 


Patricia Collarosi

Patty Colarossi started with the US Department of Labor /Wage and Hour Division in 1990. Ms. Colarossi worked as an Investigator and remained in that role until August 2011. Ms. Colarossi is currently serving as the Community Outreach and Resource Planning Specialist for the Boston District Office. This role within Wage and Hour is to help assist with sustaining Wage and Hour compliance by providing educational outreach and support to employers, employees, and various organizations that have an interest in Wage and Hour issues. Ms. Colarossi has been the recipient of many Secretary Exceptional Achievement Awards as well as being named Wage and Hour Employee of the Year in 2002 and 2004. Ms. Colarossi has a BS degree in Education from Springfield College.


Anthony PIno

Anthony Pino, Enforcement Supervisor is an eight -year veteran of the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Boston Area Office. Anthony started with the Commission in December of 2009 as an investigator and was promoted to Enforcement Supervisor in October of 2014. Anthony has an extensive military and law enforcement background. He served as a Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps, Deputy Sheriff for Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office, Federal Air Marshal and served as an adjunct hand to hand combat instructor for the agency, and Police officer with the Department of Veterans Affairs.   Anthony has experience investigating complex, systemic, pattern and practice and class cases for the EEOC. Anthony has received many awards during his tenure with the EEOC to include but not limited to, the District Directors Award and Sustained Performance Awards.

Peter Barletta, OSHA

Peter Barletta is the current “Compliance Assistance Specialist” from the Boston South OSHA Office in Braintree MA, providing technical assistance, outreach and training to OSHA stakeholders and the public through the development of alliances, partnerships, and cooperative programs.   From 2004 to 2014 he was the Assistant Area Director for the OSHA Braintree Office, supervising OSHA Compliance Officers. He also spent 14 years in the field as an OSHA Compliance Officer conducting inspections and accident investigations on various construction and general industry sites including Boston Central Artery Construction Projects and Deer Island Tunnel Projects. Education holds a Master Degree from Suffolk University Boston’s (MPA) Program, a Civil Engineering Degree (BSCE) from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and a graduate from Boston Latin High School.  He is a Certified Safety Specialist (CSP), and Engineering in Training Certificate (EIT). Mr. Barletta is also an active member of the American Society of Safety Engineer’s Boston Chapter.

AAPI and Health Disparities Consciousness


Dr. Elisa Choi, Asian American Commission (AAC)

Dr. Choi has previously served as both Vice Chairperson and Chairperson of the AAC, during her Commissioner tenure. She is currently the Chair of the Health and Human Services Committee of the AAC. She is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, and practices both as an Internist and as an Infectious Disease, HIV, and Hepatitis infection specialist. Dr. Choi has a particular interest in healthcare disparities, and in providing culturally competent care of health issues affecting Asian-Pacific Islander and minority populations. She has published articles, has written book chapters, and has been invited to lecture regionally and nationally on various Infectious Disease, HIV, and healthcare and health policy topics. Dr. Choi has been on the faculty at Harvard Medical School for many years, and holds a clinical educational leadership position in her practice. She is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians (ACP), serves as an elected member of the Massachusetts ACP Chapter’s Governor’s Council, and currently holds an Officer position as Secretary/Treasurer. Dr. Choi is also the Co-Chair Emeritus of the Health and Public Policy Committee of the Massachusetts ACP Chapter and remains an active member of this committee. She has extensive experience in healthcare and public health advocacy efforts at Capitol Hill, Washington, DC, for a number of years, and has also been actively involved in the planning and organization of an annual Advocacy Day at the MA State House for the MA ACP Chapter since 2016. Dr. Choi has received the MA ACP Chapter’s Leadership Award in 2014, and serves on numerous national ACP committees. Dr. Choi is the current Governor-Elect, and will be the next Governor, of the MA ACP Chapter, becoming the first woman, and only Asian American female, to serve as Governor, in the history of the MA ACP chapter. In addition to her professional efforts, Dr. Choi has been active in the Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) community for many years, through her involvement as a Board member, Board Secretary/Clerk, Board Chair, and current role as Board Chair Emeritus of MAP (Massachusetts Asian & Pacific Islanders) for Health, a community-based nonprofit organization that works to improve healthcare access, disease prevention, and service delivery for the Asian & Pacific Islander (API) community in Massachusetts. She also serves on the Board of numerous other non-profit organizations (ATASK – Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence; KACL-NE – Korean American Citizens League of New England; NAAAP Boston – National Association of Asian American Professionals, Boston Chapter; Company One Theatre, as Board Advisor), which support the AAPI communities of MA in various ways. Dr. Choi is also an invited Advisory member of various regional and national healthcare related panels and committees. Dr. Choi remains passionately committed to promoting advocacy and awareness of issues affecting the AAPI populations of the Commonwealth in her role as Commissioner. 


Dr. Ivy Ho, Ph.D – Associate Professor, U-Mass Lowell

Ivy K. Ho received her PhD in Clinical Health Psychology from the University of
Louisville.  She is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of
Massachusetts Lowell.  She is also a founding member of the UMass Lowell Center for Asian American Studies.  She conducts research in women’s health, with particular focus on the biopsychosocial factors associated with physical health of women who occupy other marginalized identities.  Much of her work focuses on health disparities and social determinants of health among Asian American women. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in health psychology, women’s health and applied psychology. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Lowell Community Health Center, and is on the Greater Lowell Health Alliance’s Steering Committee. She also serves as a commissioner on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Asian American Commission.

Dr. C‎arolyn Leung-Rubin, ED, MA – Assistant Professor, Tufts Medical Center
In her teaching, Dr. Rubin utilizes experiential, art-based, hands-on pedagogical strategies to create a productive learning community for students. She is committed to teaching and mentoring that challenges students to be creative and empowered in directing their own learning paths, while honoring the history of their families and communities.


Research Interest(s):

Dr. Carolyn L. Rubin is a social scientist trained in theories of racial and ethnic inequality, immigration, community development and qualitative methods. Her research agenda focuses on using collaborative community research partnerships to address health disparities in underserved communities in Boston. She has led community-based participatory research projects related to Asian women’s health and also developed research capacity-building programs for community partners. Currently, she is co-investigator on two community-engaged projects, one with the Asian Community Development Corporation that looks at the impact of stable housing on health outcomes, and the second with the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood that looks at the role of arts and culture in promoting social cohesion and social networks.  Dr. Rubin also directs the ADAPT Coalition, (Addressing disparities in Asian populations through translational research), a project of the Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute. The ADAPT Coalition focuses on strengthening the capacity of Tufts researchers and Chinatown community partners to use community engaged research approaches to address Asian American health disparities.  Her work as a researcher and teacher is informed by twenty years of experience working as a community builder with the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in various cities around the US. She grew up in San Francisco, California.

Monica Valdes-Lupi, Executive Director, Boston Public Health Commission

Monica Valdes Lupi, JD, MPH, joined the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) as Executive Director in February 2016. Among other public health priorities, she has promoted three strategic organizational priorities: preventing and treating substance abuse, strengthening the city’s partnerships with healthcare organizations, and advancing health equity for all Bostonians.   

As the Executive Director of the BPHC, the city’s health department, she serves as the key advisor to Mayor Walsh on health issues and continues to build innovative partnerships across city agencies to leverage strategic opportunities for housing, economic development, transportation, education and environmental policies to positively impact the health of all Boston residents.
Prior to joining BPHC, Ms. Valdes Lupi served as the Chief Program Officer for the Health Systems Transformation team at the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) where she led initiatives on health equity, public health integration with primary care, Medicaid/Public Health Partnerships, public health informatics, and state health policy.
Ms. Valdes Lupi also served as the Deputy Commissioner for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) before joining ASTHO. She was also the first Chief of Staff at the Boston Public Health Commission where she led the City’s early efforts to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities and oversaw the distribution of nearly $2 million in grants aimed at improving the health for Boston’s most vulnerable residents.  
Ms. Valdes Lupi received her JD from the Dickinson School of Law, her MPH from the Boston University School of Public Health, and her BA from Bryn Mawr College.  She lives in Boston with her husband, two children, and a house full of pets.