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 maintain 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 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 the 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

APASA Awards

APASA Sunny Low Award

About the Sunny Low Award

This award is named after Sunny Low, a 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.

Past Sunny Low Award Recipients

2023 - Fritzie de Mata

2022 - Harpreet Mangat

2020 - Villy Somthida

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.

Past Recipients

2023 - Shaomay Vong and Melissa Kwon

2022 - Eryn Hong

2020 - Larissa Charnsangavej

2019 - James Kato

2018 - Jenny Kwon

2017 - Kun Yang

2016 - Zoe Xu

Due to the inequities caused or exacerbated by COVID-19, the APASA Steering Committee chose to forego awards in 2021. 

A Message to our Community

We are saddened and horrified by the violent murder of 8 people in Atlanta, Georgia on March 16, 2021. We remember and honor the lives of Daoyou Feng, Hyeon Jeong Park, Julie Park, Xiaojie Tan, Delaina Ashley Yaun, Paul Andre Michels, and the two other unnamed victims.

As 6 of the 8 victims were Asian American women and their places of work were specifically targeted as Asian spas, the APASA Steering Committee recognizes this violence as motivated by racism and sexism. 

We want our community to know that we are with you in the pain, grief, outrage, and fear being felt widely, especially given the increased visibility of violence targeting members of our community, and in particular the elderly. While this recent uptick in violence is linked to xenophobic scapegoating due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we see this act of violence as embedded in the pervasive white supremacy, racism, misogyny, and xenophobia that has long been operating in this country against BIPOC and women of color.

APASA is committed to addressing racism and gender-based violence, and to supporting our community. 

Please take care and remember there are resources available to you. It is okay to feel whatever you’re feeling, to be angry, to grieve, to seek solidarity, to take things one day or even one hour at a time, and most importantly, it is okay to rest. Take the time you need.

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. Please feel free to email us if you have any questions, feedback, or ideas for how we implement this work.

APASA photo


2023-24 APASA Steering Committee

Em Huang
Linken Lam

Past Chair:
Ava Blustein

Fundraising Chair and Fundraiser:
Millie Calingo

Membership and Assessment Chair:
Phuong Tang

Communications Co-Chairs:
Nat Hoonsan
[Vacant, please contact if interested]

Professional Development Co-Chairs:
Bona Lee
Michael Bryann Gaetos

Recorder/Historian Co-Chairs:
Teresa Dinh
[Vacant, please contact if interested]

Education and Advocacy Co-Chairs:
Nina Moskowitz
Anthea Yugawa

Community and Social Programs Co-Chairs:
Joanie Ly
Vineeta Ram

Marcia Gee Riley
James Kato

At-Large Representatives:
Eryn Hong
Isabel Nguyen