To commemorate AAPIP’s 25 years of building a more democratic philanthropic sector, we asked you to help us identify 25 leaders who are making a difference in your local community and/or nationally. The 25 Leaders in Action honorees represent a diverse group spanning a wide range of organizations, years of experiences, roles and sectors. We invite you to learn about these outstanding leaders, their inspiring work and what keeps them going in our blog post series.
Frank Liu, Chief Creative Officer, Spiegelvision, and Co-Founder of the Dinner Guys
1. Why are you passionate about advocating for AAPI communities?
I was born in Taiwan and moved to the U.S. when I was 11 years old and I didn’t speak a word of English. My family lived in a town where there were only 2 other AAPI families. They helped my family in so many ways so we could integrate into the community. My parents have always paid their kindness forward and have instilled that sense of responsibility in me.
2. What do you believe are the most critical issues facing AAPI communities today?
Visibility and influence. ‘Differences’ is what makes this country great. The AAPI community has so much to contribute to this amazing country and every single person counts. Assimilation is important, but that does not mean we abandon our roots and blend in. I work in the creative field and I firmly believe innovations come from diversity. This country is built on innovations.
3. In what ways do you strive to address the unmet needs for AAPI communities?
AAPIP’s Giving Circle movement is brilliant! When I learned about the Giving Circles I was working with large non-profit organizations and foundations every day, but it took forming The Dinner Guys Giving Circle to help me focus on the AAPI LGBT issues that were clearly overlooked. Who are the Dinner Guys? We are a group of 8 friends who meet for dinner at least once a month. When we learned about AAPIP’s Giving Circle movement, we decided to eat cheaper meals so we can pool our money and join in the efforts to strengthen our community. We recognized a need in the underserved LGBT AAPI mature-adults community and partnered with SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders) to provide such needed services. We also work with GAPIMNY (Gay AAPI Men of New York) to build the next generation of leaders.
4. What keeps you inspired?
ALL the amazing people in the AAPIP Giving Circle family. I am particularly in awe of Asian Women Giving Circle and Asian American Impact Fund because they are both located in New York so I am lucky enough to see what they do first hand. Their dedication and passion is contagious and humbling. The people who run the organizations we fund also inspire me. Seeing real results and impact that our Giving Circle has made keeps us going. And, of course, all the Dinner Guys! I am so fortunate to have them as friends.
Frank is the Chief Creative Officer at Siegelvision, a branding consulting firm founded by Alan Siegel. Siegelvision works with non-profits and purpose driven organizations. Prior to joining Siegelvision, Frank was a Creative Director at the Robin Hood Foundation. Frank studied art at Cornell University and has been in the branding, marketing and advertising business for 30 years.