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.
Serena Moy, Administrator, Blowitz-Ridgeway Foundation, and co-founder of Asian Giving Circle
1. Why are you passionate about advocating for AAPI communities?
As AAPIs, we need to continue to be vocal on the complex and vast needs of the AAPI communities, what it takes and how to resolve/meet these needs. If we don’t who will? In my role as a local grantmaker and past role as a grantwriter/fundraiser and volunteer at community-based organizations, I saw the challenges that many AAPI community-based organizations faced in accessing funding to support their important work. Seeking grants has become even more competitive today with the ever-increasing cuts to public funding and changes to private funding. That’s why giving circles are critical in providing another funding resource to AAPI organizations.
2. What do you believe are the most critical issues facing AAPI communities today?
Current events have raised awareness and intensified issues affecting the community, such as immigration, mental illness, violence, trafficking, among others. The ACA has helped make healthcare more accessible, but the community’s healthcare needs are varied and multifaceted. Continued education and awareness on issues facing the AAPI community is critical, as well as the importance of AAPIs at the table, in the forefront and part of the decision makers/policy makers.
3. In what ways do you strive to address the unmet needs for AAPI communities?
By continuing to ensure that the Asian Giving Circle continues to be relevant and a viable resource to the Chicago community. AGC started in 2002 because of the limited funding going to the community. Part of our goal also is to raise awareness among the community about the importance of giving back and community giving, and the impact we can have together. Through community giving vehicles we can help leverage funding for small AAPI organizations, as well as support funding areas that have difficulty receiving support.
4. What keeps you inspired?
The enthusiasm and dedication of the AAPI community leaders and the critical work of the AAPI organizations. I am inspired by their tenacity, wisdom and creativity.
Serena L. Moy is the Administrator at the Blowitz-Ridgeway Foundation located in Schaumburg, Illinois. Serena has been managing the day-to-day operations of this private independent foundation for ten years. She is responsible for all aspects of the Foundation’s operations, from grantmaking, budgeting, investments management, and Board governance.
Prior to this role, Serena was a Program Officer at the Chicago Foundation for Women. Serena managed the portfolio for Capacity Building, Violence against Women, and Social Services.
Serena is one of the co-founders of the Asian Giving Circle in Chicago, where she has held several leadership positions, including most recently the Chair of Grantmaking Committee. She is also a member and past Chair of the AAPIP-Chicago Chapter. Serena has volunteered at various nonprofit organizations in the Chicago area for many years.