Los Angeles, CA – On Wednesday, March 27th, members of the CAUSE Leadership Network (CLN) were officially introduced to the community at the Meet the Network Reception which was hosted at Los Angeles City Hall’s Tom Bradley Tower. The CAUSE Leadership Network serves as a platform for today’s leaders across all sectors who are committed to creating a space for driving our collective AAPI Community forward.
CAUSE’s Executive Director, Kim Yamasaki, observed of the Network that “these are leaders of all industries who are making it happen in their respective fields and are often the only Asian American face in their space. They are leaders who often bear the weight of being a ‘first’ or an ‘only’ and with that comes a heavy responsibility to represent an entire community’s needs and voices.”
The Reception provided a space for networking between the CLN and invited attendees, which included corporate executive officers, nonprofit executive directors, and members of the press, etc.
The evening started off with Network members mingling with other prominent community figures over drinks, light refreshments, and stunning panoramic views of the city’s skyline and surroundings.
The program began with welcoming remarks from Jessica Caloza, Commissioner for Los Angeles Public Works and a member of the CAUSE Leadership Council. Jessica spoke to the significance of holding the reception at City Hall.
Next, fellow CAUSE Leadership Council members, John Tang and Jade Leung, introduced the origins of the network concept, community need, and the shared vision. In addition to covering the background, they shared the program’s mission and where the members see the Network going in the future.
Speaking of the initial meetings to form this group, John recalled the driving force behind this effort as “our collective goal to ensure that the next time we’re approached by a CEO at a major corporation, a headhunter for our leading nonprofits, a recommendation for an appointment, a candidate for office, a reporter looking for a quote for their story, the list goes on, we know exactly what names to hand over... AAPI leadership has always been here.”
Jade then shared the topic of some of the Leadership Network’s discussions at its all-member retreat, and how “the day’s discussions revolved around the number: 6%. Despite our AAPI community being 6% of the country’s population, we are nowhere near 6% of the leadership positions that are out there. In a region as diverse as Southern California, we are much more than 6%. And yet, we are less than 4% of the Fortune 500 board seats, less than 5% of foundation board seats, and there aren’t even numbers to track AAPI leadership representation in other industries.”
Bill Wong, Senior Political Advisor to California State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and Political Director to CA Assembly Democrats, served as the evening’s keynote and spoke to the importance of uplifting others in roles of leadership. He stressed that while it is vital to collaborate and form partnerships, simultaneously the APA community must continue its efforts on coalescing to form a strong and united front in order to promulgate its message and its cause. He ended by urging the leaders in the room to take a moment to consider the efforts of the leaders that came before them and the paths and opportunities that were blazed for them, and to always think of ways to pay it forward to the next generation of leaders to come. Bill remarked: “If you suffer without succeeding, that means people will succeed after you. If you succeed without suffering, it means people have suffered before you.”
The program was concluded by Leadership Council Members, Lisa Thong & Thomas Wong, who shared what the Leadership Network has in store and what the community can expect for the 2019 year.
Lisa issued a call to action for “leader[s] in the room, [to] find your accomplice, your partnership, your collaborator, a new friend you didn’t know you needed in this room.”
Thomas closed the evening with special thanks to members, staff, supporters, and guests in attendance.
The evening concluded with conversations between the members and guests as they continued to connect and strategize on how to work together to move the APA community forward. We’re excited to officially present the 2019 CAUSE Leadership Network!
The CAUSE Leadership Network is an invitation-only, membership program and platform for next generation leaders to channel skills, expertise and passion for the purpose of cross-sector advancement and the empowerment of APA communities. Through opportunities for key connections, knowledge-sharing, and dialogue, CLN is a space dedicated to the mutual advancement of emerging APA leaders across all sectors. See a listing of all Leadership Network members here!