Why do you do what you do?
My parents and their families were among the 120,000 Japanese Americans who were forcibly removed from their homes and incarcerated in Internment Camps by the United States government during World War II. The fact that my mother and father were born in America and U.S. citizens did not protect their civil and constitutional rights during an era of wartime hysteria and racial scapegoating. Because of my family’s history with structural racism, I was raised with an understanding that I have a responsibility to stand up against forces of marginalization and oppression and work to create a world where everyone can participate, prosper, and belong.
What drew you to serving on the board?
I’ve had the privilege of being in relationship with SFF for more than 30 years – first as a grantee when I was running the San Francisco Asian American International Film Festival, as a member of the SFF program staff in the mid-nineties, and as a funding partner and frequent collaborator over the past 20 years in philanthropy. SFF has always been grounded in values of justice, inclusion, and community. Under Fred Blackwell’s leadership, SFF has boldly and unapologetically set racial equity as its North Star and committed to using all of its assets – financial resources, networks and connections, and leadership – to achieve it. I’m excited to have the opportunity to continue my relationship with this amazing institution and resource for the Bay Area.
How would you describe your role as a board member?
My role as a board member is to act as a prudent steward of the foundation’s resources, help formulate policy and strategy, support Fred and our amazing staff in achieving our desired goals and impact, and always put the voices and lived experiences of our community members at the center of our work.