AAPIP Voices

Message from the Board Chair

At today’s annual membership meeting, Peggy announced her plans to step down as President and Executive Director of AAPIP at the end of 2014.  Having led the organization for twelve years, Peggy believes this is the right time to make room for a new leader.

Since 2002, Peggy has used her passion and commitment to justice and equity and AAPIP’s vantage as the national conduit between Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities and organized philanthropy to elevate issues and ideas that improve conditions and opportunities for AAPIs. For half of AAPIP’s existence, Peggy has led AAPIP with energy, determination, and optimism about the possibilities of this work, while also working to build the national infrastructure needed to carry it out.   

With a strong track record of work on behalf of women and AAPIs, Peggy came to AAPIP as a well-respected leader within AAPI leadership circles and leveraged her relationships to build a more inclusive society.  Her passion for AAPIP’s work and the possibilities it presents comes through in every conversation, action, and presentation.  Peggy has been masterful in representing AAPIP and our interests to stakeholders, including those who had not previously focused on AAPI communities, as well as to our members, chapters, and the broader AAPIP network.  Peggy is a deeply respected and admired leader.

As we prepare to celebrate AAPIP’s 25th anniversary in 2015, it is appropriate to take stock of AAPIP’s work, role and future—all of which have been nurtured and shaped by Peggy.  In the years that Peggy has led AAPIP, she has harnessed the organization’s potential to lead change in philanthropy and transform AAPI communities and inspired others to envision a multiracial, multicultural democracy.  Under her direction, AAPIP seeded grassroots empowerment to advance justice and equity for Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian communities as well as LGBTQ AAPI communities.   AAPIP activated young Vietnamese Americans to improve the quality of life of communities in the US and Vietnam.  AAPIP democratized philanthropy through giving circles throughout the nation; to date, AAPIP’s Community Philanthropy work has facilitated 37 giving circles that have contributed $1.7 million to AAPI serving organizations in thirteen communities. Over the last two years, AAPIP and the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have collaborated on a national effort to transform funding to the AAPI community by aligning public and private priorities and mapping private capital to public resources and assets.

Today, AAPIP’s membership numbers over 600 in ten chapters across the country.  Unique among the identity affinity groups for this structure, we engage with our regional chapters to tap our deep network, advocacy tools and local assets to increase our influence and efficacy.  Under Peggy’s guidance, AAPIP has grown its staff, budget, stature, and influence.  We are well positioned to expand the boundaries to increase philanthropic resources to the AAPI community.

While Peggy is stepping down at the end of 2014 and will no longer hold a formal role at AAPIP, she will continue to serve as a trusted advisor and enthusiastic cheerleader.  On behalf of AAPIP’s board, I would like to thank Peggy for so generously sharing her vision, passion, and compassion with AAPIP.  We are the better for her leadership. 

The Board is committed to working with the staff and key stakeholders to build on this important legacy.  We have engaged CarlsonBeck to guide us through this transition, including finding AAPIP’s next leader. 

Please continue to watch this space for additional updates.

Beadsie Woo
Chair of the Board of Directors