Reflections and Transitions from Monna Wong

by Monna Wong | March 8, 2016

Dear API Equality – Northern California community,

I just celebrated my 3 year anniversary as Executive Director of API Equality – Northern California, and I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished during this time. From collecting over 50 stories for the Dragon Fruit Project to piloting a new training program, we’ve made strides in building LGBTQ API power through storytelling, leadership development, organizing, and relationship building.

Of course, there have been challenges. Due to shifts in the political and funding landscape, we’ve had to grapple with tough questions. Through this, we examined our staffing and leadership structures, re-evaluated our program offerings, and ramped up our grassroots fundraising. There were moments when we stretched to lead with our values, take risks, and sit with uncertainty, and our community rose to the occasion every time. We strengthened our foundation with a dedicated team of leaders, a base of over 100 volunteers, more than 300 individual donors, strong organizational systems, and emergent programs. Now, more than ever, our work of building intergenerational connections, of valued-based organizing, and of deep solidarity and collaboration, is necessary for building a just world.

It is with this confidence in our work that I’ve decided to transition out of my role as Executive Director in the next six months. I will be moving on to help coordinate and strengthen the Asian Americans for Civil Rights and Equality (AACRE) network. APIENC has been part of the AACRE network for years, and the resources and connections accessed through the network have been invaluable. In addition to supporting APIENC in this new capacity, I will remain committed as a volunteer, donor, and advisory council member.

API Equality – Northern California has never been just a place of work. It has been my community, my political home, and a site of constant transformation, learning, and opportunity. I’ve been honored to work with such resourceful and compassionate people. I see my transition as a way to create space for new leadership, ideas, and work as the organization continues to grow and respond to our community’s needs.

I am asking that each of you help us make this transition a success by continuing to support API Equality – Northern California in the ways that you have—as volunteers, donors, advisors, and community partners. You can start by helping us find our next Executive Director by sharing our job announcement within your networks!

Once again, thank you for all of your contributions, insight, and support throughout these years. If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.

In community,

Monna