Asian Pacific American Systemwide Alliance (APASA)

APASA logo

Mission and Purpose

APASA strives for the following:

  • Promote the general welfare of Asian Pacific Islander (API) staff, faculty, and students at the University of California, Berkeley
  • Strengthen the professional and social networking between API staff and faculty, the Berkeley campus community, the University of California systemwide, and the general public
  • Encourage the recruitment, hiring, promotion, and retention of API faculty, staff, and students
  • Review and assess campus issues and their impact on the API campus community
  • Act as an informative and proactive organization to address, develop, and influence policy recommendations that affect the Asian Pacific Islander community on the Berkeley campus
  • Connect to the (API) community beyond the Berkeley campus


Promote Inclusivity

APASA will increase membership engagement to less “visible” API staff and allies to recognize our API diversity, as well as maintaining a strong relationship with our current members. We will offer leadership opportunities through participation in subcommittees and panels, promote events that meet the needs of our constituents such as staff/faculty community-building events and professional development programs.  

Professional development

Along the lines of increasing membership engagement, APASA will provide professional development resources for our members through a series of brown bags, workshops, scholarship opportunities, and informal mentorship and networking opportunities. By providing these resources, we hope to support the advancement and promotion of API staff/faculty as well as enhance their visibility and recognition.  


Develop awareness and education for our API staff community, especially through our current campus climate changes and through campus bureaucracy.  This includes providing visibility for our API staff to leadership roles on campus.

Identity Development

APASA strives to help members become more aware and comfortable with the supportive API community at UC Berkeley.  More importantly, we hope to offer opportunities for members to develop their own API identity on campus and within greater society.  We hope for our members to become confident with their heritage and who they are in all their intersecting identities.

What does it mean to be an APASA general member?

  • There are various levels of involvement
  • Opportunity to build community with other API staff on campus
  • Hear first-hand of API related news happening on campus
  • Attend professional development, social, and career-focused events
  • Be a part of a large network of staff across campus

Join our listserv to get up to date information on APASA events! 


Lasana Hotep, Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging

Statement and Actions in solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives A sign that says Black Lives Matter

We, as members of APASA, recognize the importance of understanding and addressing anti-Blackness in our own communities and using a developed politicization around anti-racism to engage thoughtfully and actively in the Movement for Black Lives. Therefore, in recognizing this need, APASA’s purpose and goals in addressing anti-Blackness are to: 

  • Affirm and amplify that Black Lives Matter in all areas of our work as APASA.

  • Develop a shared understanding of the connections between AAPI histories and racial dynamics in the US, particularly in regards to white supremacy and anti-Blackness, to recognize and challenge anti-Blackness within and beyond AAPI communities.

  • Create spaces for the AAPI community to actively engage in anti-racist work and hold our leadership and membership accountable to active community engagement. We commit to being thoughtful, reflective, willing to grow as well as being willing to recognize both our collective and individual positionality and intersectionality in how we show up to and follow through with community-based anti-racist work. 

We commit to:


  • Including educational resources about anti-Blackness and/or anti-racism in all of our newsletters
  • Hosting workshops and trainings on (but not limited to) anti-Blackness, anti-racism, power & privilege, inclusive language in collaboration with organizations on and off campus wherever possible
  • Hosting events for the APASA community by engaging members on different topics on anti-Blackness and anti-racism as well as historical grounding in AAPI history and how it was and is shaped by white supremacy, colonialism, settler colonialism, and imperialism


  • Increasing collaboration with BSFO in hosting events and uplifting the work and needs of the BSFO community

     Community Engagement: 

  • Using APASA’s platforms to support Black-owned businesses in Berkeley and the Bay Area

  • Using APASA’s platforms to support Black-led community spaces in Berkeley and the Bay Area

  • Understanding the demands of the Movement for Black Lives and supporting organizations that are implementing those systemic changes in their community


  • Prioritizing time in the APASA steering committee to assess, refine, and transform our commitment to amplify that Black Lives Matter and be willing to hold the reflection space to make sure our engagement in this work is intentional, growth-oriented, and accountable to Black communities

If you are interested in getting involved in this work in APASA, please email the Education and Advocacy Co-Chairs Em ( and Miya ( Please feel free to email us if you have any questions, feedback, or ideas for how we implement this work.

 APASA Sunny Low Award

About the Sunny Low Award

This award is named after Sunny Low, long-time staff member of UC Berkeley and co-founder of APASA. This award shall honor a staff member at Cal who has demonstrated outstanding service and commitment to the campus community. The recipient of this award shall have made a positive impact on the API community in the areas of service, mentorship, and equity & inclusion, and will be selected by a panel including Sunny's family, past award winners, and retired UC Berkeley staff.

Sunny Low was a beloved Cal staff member, APASA leader, husband, and father. Sunny dedicated his services to Cal for more than 30 years, retiring as associate registrar in 1992. He passed away in 1998 after battling Multiple Myeloma. During his tenure at Cal, Sunny mentored many staff members on campus and was a strong advocate for Asian Americans. He is remembered for his service, advocacy of diversity and inclusion, kindness, honesty, work ethic, and leadership. The Sunny Low award was established by APASA in 1992 in Sunny's honor.

2020 Recipient - Villy Somthida

Sunny Low Award Recipient

Left to right: Walter Wong, Villy's nominator, and Andrew Hua, APASA membership and assessment chair.

Past Sunny Low Award Recipients

2019 - Sunny Lee

2018 - Kathy Kwong

2017 - Glenn DeGuzman

2016 - Walter Wong

2015 - Marcia Gee Riley

Outstanding New/Mid Level Award 

About the New/Mid Level Award

The recipients of these awards shall have made a positive impact on the campus community. A panel of APASA steering committee members will select winners based on nominees' professional contributions to UC Berkeley, contributions to programs or projects which positively impact students, staff, and/or faculty, and support of the mission of APASA.

2020 Recipient, Larissa Charnsangavej

APASA mid level award

Left to Right: New/Mid-Level Award recipient Larissa with Andrew Hua, Membership & Assessment Chair

Past Recipients

2019 - James Kato

2018 - Jenny Kwon

2017 - Kun Yang

2016 - Zoe Xu



2020-21 APASA Steering Committee

Clara Ng-Quinn

Past Chair:
Eryn Hong

James Kato
Marcia Gee Riley

Communications Co-Chairs:
Ava Blustein
Judy Huang

Community & Social Programs Co-Chairs:
Patricia Cruz
Phuong Tang

Education & Advocacy Co-Chairs:
Em Huang
Miya Sommers

Fundraising Chair & Treasurer:
Millie Calingo

Membership & Assessment Chair:
Steven Nguyen

Professional Development Co-Chairs:
Nithya Raghunathan
Suzanne Sutton

4th Street Representative:
Isabel Nguyen

Recorder & Historian: