The efforts and labor of the following individuals have made this conference possible.
Julie Thi Underhill
Born of Cham, French, and Scottish/Irish-American descent, Julie Thi Underhill is an artist, activist, and scholar based in the Bay Area. Her creative work includes film/video, photography, performance, painting, poetry, and essay. Her activism includes two Cham delegations to the Forum on Minority Issues at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, focused on guaranteeing the rights of women in 2011 and on religious minorities in 2013, and one delegation to Capitol Hill. Through her doctoral studies at UC Berkeley, her scholarship focuses upon Cham American history, memory, and cultural production. Julie’s received fellowships from the Chancellor at UC Berkeley and the William Joiner Center for the Study of War and Social Consequences at University of Massachusetts Boston. As a board member of the Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network, she served for three years as a managing editor of diaCRITICS, and twice-directed the first Vietnamese film festival in the Bay Area. She’s the current artist in residence for the Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network. Her documentary portraiture series is on display at Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco. She’s received fellowships from the Chancellor at UC Berkeley and the William Joiner Center for the Study of War and Social Consequences at University of Massachusetts Boston. Currently a Ph.D. student instructor/lecturer at UC Berkeley, Julie holds a BA in Liberal Arts (Social History, Fine Art, Film/Video) from The Evergreen State College (Olympia, WA) and a MA in Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley. Julie will speak on the social justice and activism panel about her trips to the UN. She will also screen her excerpted documentary The Centaur, filmed in Cambodia in 2010, a collaboration with Asiroh Cham. She co-directs the conference with Azizah Ahmad.
Azizah Ahmad is an active member of the Cham community in Sacramento, CA. Her experience advocating and analyzing policies affecting Southeast Asian and Asian Pacific American communities began when she was a student at UC Davis. After graduating, Azizah began working as the Language Access Project Director at the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association in Washington, DC and later as the California Policy Advocate at the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center. In the fall of 2013, Azizah was part of a three-women Cham delegation, which included Julie Thi Underhill and Khaleelah PoRome, testifying at the United Nations Forum on Minority Issues in Geneva. Azizah is also active in the arts community, as a past member of Sulu DC and co-chairing the 2013 AAPI Literary Arts and Performance Poetry Festival. She is currently the Communications Manager at the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. Azizah holds a BA in Religious Studies and Sociology from UC Davis. She will speak on the activism panel, and she co-directs the conference.
Amina Sen-Matthews is currently an Outreach Intervention Specialist at the Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance (OCAPICA), a non -profit organization in Garden Grove, California. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California-Riverside in Sociology and minored in Education and a Master of Education in cross cultural teaching. Amina holds a California teaching credential for early childhood education through elementary. Amina’s earlier career involves her being in a classroom teaching elementary age children. She is very passionate about working with children and families and helping them get over difficult obstacles. Amina enjoys fulfilling family life with her husband, who is also an educator, and their seven- year-old daughter. She is very committed to her daughter’s education and often volunteers at the school. Amina enjoys working in the community and is always advocating for those whose voices are not heard. Amina is on the Programming and Planning Committee.
Asma Men began her career working with the Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance, where she worked on a range of civic engagement projects and campaigns such as Get-Out-The-Vote and Redistricting. She has continued to stay involved with OCAPICA as a member of their Policy Committee. Asma is currently Manager of the CA Public Leadership Pipeline Project, a collaborative that supports progressive individuals entering public leadership. On her spare time, if any, she is involved with several nonprofit organizations. She is an interim board member of Islah LA, which aims to service the neighborhoods of South Los Angeles, Secretary of Tu Sach Islam—an online-based educational organization that provides Islamic resources to the Vietnamese-speaking community, a committee member for the Women’s Mosque of America, and a consultant for Project Kinship—an organization that works with the formerly incarcerated population. Asma received her Bachelor of Arts in Asian American Studies from UC Irvine and Masters in Public Policy from UCLA. Asma is on the Programming and Planning Committee. She will also moderate the Social Justice, Issues, and Activism panel in the morning.
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