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Asian Pacific Heritage Heroes

Regina Clewlow

Regina Clewlow
Founding Executive Director
Engineers for a Sustainable World

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San Jose native Regina Clewlow is founding Executive Director of Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW), a nonprofit organization dedicated to building a sustainable world for current and future generations.

After earning her bachelor's and master's degrees in engineering, Clewlow started ESW to mobilize engineers to raise awareness about global sustainability; work in developing nations to increase sustainable access to water, sanitation and energy; and take action in their own communities to reduce resource consumption.

Since 2002, ESW has grown into a network of thousands of student and professional members, as well as more than 30 collegiate chapters, including those at Stanford and UC Berkeley. ESW chapters integrate sustainable development projects into engineering education and volunteer programs on their campuses. Clewlow has served on the board of the Cornell Engineering Alumni Association, as well as several international committees on engineering education.


Norman Fong

Reverend Norman Fong
Deputy Director
Chinatown Community Development Center

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Reverend Norman Fong has committed his life to grassroots social justice for immigrant communities, advocating for services and affordable housing for low-income families and seniors, as well as youth leadership development and multicultural understanding across diverse communities.

As deputy director for the Chinatown Community Development Center (CCDC), Rev. Fong serves as a neighborhood advocate, organizer, planner, developer and manager of affordable housing. He joined CCDC as the director of programs in 1990 and was promoted to deputy director in 2007. As deputy director, he oversees a variety of programs involving tenant services, community organizing, neighborhood planning and youth leadership development.

Rev. Fong is an ordained Presbyterian minister who has served as a parish associate for the Presbyterian Church in Chinatown, where he was born and raised. He has also served as General Assembly Commissioner for the Presbyterian Church USA. Prior to his work with CCDC, he was director of youth programs and immigrant youth ministries at Donaldina Cameron House, a Chinatown-based, multi-service agency serving Asian communities in the Bay Area.

Rev. Fong helped create many innovative youth programs such as the Adopt-An-Alleyway Youth Project, the Chinatown Alleyways Tours Program (a youth-led tour program), summer youth programs for new immigrants and Farm Day in Chinatown. He is a member of several community boards and coalitions and has worked to address regional and statewide issues of interest to the Asian Pacific American community. He is also one of the founding members of the Jest Jammin Band - now celebrating 40 years together.


Cathy Inamasu

Cathy Inamasu
Executive Director
Nihonmachi Little Friends

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Cathy Inamasu is the executive director of Nihonmachi Little Friends (NLF), a nonprofit, Japanese, bilingual and multicultural childcare organization providing families with quality, affordable childcare services in San Francisco's Japantown. Inamasu began volunteering at NLF when it opened in 1975. The following year, she joined the organization's teaching staff and, in 1987, she became the organization's executive director. Under her leadership, NLF has received numerous awards and has flourished as a respected community institution, serving more than 170 children through two preschool sites and an after school program.

As an advocate for social justice, Inamasu has worked to preserve the historical integrity of one of NLF's preschool sites at 1830 Sutter Street in San Francisco, and has participated in the movement to secure reparations for Japanese Americans unjustly incarcerated during World War II. Her community-minded efforts have also involved her support of Wage Plus, a group formed to enhance wages for those working in early childhood education, and of Preschool for All, a state program committed to quality preschool education for all four-year-old children statewide.

Inamasu actively participates in the Asian Pacific Islander Family Resource Network, a consortium of organizations that provide support for families in the Asian Pacific Islander communities, and is involved in the Japantown Better Neighborhood Planning Committee to improve the Japantown area and ensure its viability for future generations.


Christina Mei-Yue Wong

Christina Mei-Yue Wong
Director of Community Initiatives
Chinese for Affirmative Action

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Christina Mei-Yue Wong currently directs policy initiatives at Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA), with a specific focus on K-12 education and the subjects of language access, multilingual programs, school integration and violence prevention. She works closely with the Visitacion Valley Parents Association, CAA's parent leadership group of monolingual Chinese immigrant parents who strive to ensure immigrant parents have the opportunity to be involved in their children's education.

Wong chairs the Asian and Pacific American (APA) Education Coalition in San Francisco, which includes youth, parents, service providers, teachers and administrators working to meet the needs of APA youth and their families. She also oversees the organization's immigrant rights project that monitors local and federal legislation and provides local resources to immigrant communities.

Prior to joining CAA, Wong was the director of the Immigrant Assistance Program at the Northern California Coalition for Immigrant Rights (NCCIR). At CAA and NCCIR, she developed expertise in working with new and established immigrant communities and in identifying policy issues relevant to immigrant service needs. She currently serves on the board of San Francisco School Volunteers and the Bay Area Parent Leadership Action Network.


Connie Young

Connie Young Yu
Historian, Writer and Board Member
Chinese Historical Society of America

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As an Asian American historian for the past 40 years, Connie Young Yu has made local history accessible and relevant to the Bay Area community through articles, presentations and books recounting the early experiences of Chinese Americans.

Working to ensure that local Asian American historical sites are recognized, restored and made available to the public, Young Yu has been instrumental in launching projects across the Bay Area. They include: the restoration of the Immigration Barracks at Angel Island; exhibits of the Ng Shing Gung building at History Park in San Jose; the Chinese Walls in Woodside; and the archeological excavation on the Chinatown site in San Jose.

Her work and passion for recounting the experiences of immigrants draws on years of research, oral histories and her own family background. Young Yu's paternal grandfather, Young Soong Quong, was among the early merchants of the Heinlenville Chinatown in San Jose, and her maternal grandmother, Lee Yoke Suey, was detained on Angel Island for 16 months while the Chinese Exclusion Act was in effect.

Young Yu is the author of Chinatown, San Jose, USA. She is a member of the Chinese Historical and Cultural Project, the Advisory Council of Asian Americans for Community Involvement and is a trustee of the Hakone Foundation. Young Yu is also a former trustee of her alma mater, Mills College in Oakland.

Also on KQED.org this week ...

Truly CA: Everything Comes from the Streets
Latino Heritage Month

KQED proudly celebrates the diversity of our community by commemorating Latino Heritage Month. During September, KQED Public TV 9 and KQED 88.5 FM schedule programs that focus on Latino themes and issues.

Summer Arts Guide
San Francisco Opera on KQED

Get your front row seat at one of the leading opera companies in the world! Shot in brilliant HD, the fifth season of San Francisco Opera's acclaimed series brings you four spectacular productions performed by world-class singers.

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