Liberation in Practice #1 – Indispensable Community Connections, Wednesday, May 4, 2022 | 5 – 6:45 PM

Bree Kalima (she/they) Senior Program Coordinator, Pacific Islander, Asian & Asian American Student Center

Bree Kalima is from the island of Oʻahualua in the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi. She earned her BA in Psychology, a BA in Administration of Justice and a minor in Hawaiian Studies from the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo; she later got her MA in Postsecondary Educational Leadership, Specialization in Student Affairs from San Diego State University. Bree has served as the Senior Program Coordinator for the Pacific Islander, Asian & Asian American (PIAAA) Student Center at Portland State University for the last three years and has been serving as the Coordinator for the Pacific Islander Student Alliance (PISA) for the last two years.

Kittie Kong (she/her) Washington County Supplier Diversity Coordinator & Chinese American Citizens Alliance Portland Lodge, Current Vice President, Past President

Born and raised in Mississippi, Kittie is a 5th and 2nd generation Chinese American. A career in corporate Food Service and Hospitality led her to move around the country, finally settling in Portland and joining public service to better serve the working class workforce and Asian American communities. She has devoted her volunteer time developing as a community leader, serving on the board of the Chinese American Citizens Alliance, and partnering with local organizations to advocate for equity, labor rights, social justice, cross-cultural education, civic engagement and civic education among BIPOC populations. Beyond community outreach and public service, Kittie’s greatest passion is being a hardcore food nerd, cooking, eating, and feeding people. She believes that breaking bread and sharing a meal together is always an act of trust and nurtures personal relationships.

Nikki De Leon (she/her) Secretary General, National Alliance for Filipino Concerns. Board Member, Filipino Bayanihan Center

Nikki De Leon is a Filipina, born in the Philippines and raised in Portland, Oregon. She currently serves as the Secretary General of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns US which brings together organizations, institutions, and individuals to respond to the issues experienced by  Filipinos in the US and in the Philippines. Nikki has supported in launching campaigns such as the Bayanihan Response: Magkaisa at Kumilos and Karapatang Kalusugan: People’s Right to Health, Prioritize over Profit that aim to achieve both the immediate relief as well as sustained long-term solutions and advocacies by the community for the community.  In Oregon, this campaign led to the launch of the Filipino Bayanihan Center.

Liberation in Practice #2 – Time for Growth – Disaggregating the term “API,” Wednesday, May 11, 2022 | 2 – 3:30 PM

Bennie Moses-Mesubed (she/her) COFA Alliance National Network Board Member and Dean for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Columbia Basin College. 

Daughter of Agatha Temarsel Kib (mother), Yusim Blesam Kib (step-father) and Bilal Soalablai (birth father), from the Republic of Palau; a Compact of Free Association nation in the Micronesian Region in Oceania. Bennie is a board member for the COFA Alliance National Network and  the Dean for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Columbia Basin College. She has also served several Oregon commissions and board and led the CANN COVID-19 efforts in 2020 as the CBO Lead. She is passionate about diversity, equity and inclusion as a foundational principle in all that we do and that it must not be an afterthought. That intentionally is key in ensuring that DIE is at the forefront as core value in personal and interpersonal leadership development as well as institutional and systemic policy change work in order to uplift marginalized voices and promote an equity-centered and inclusive community where members can live and thrive.

Liberation in Practice #3 – Leadership, Power, & Healing, Wednesday, May 18, 2022 | Noon – 1:30 PM

Hoa Nguyen (she/her) David Douglas School Board Member & School Attendance Coach (PPS)

Hoa is a 2nd generation Vietnamese-American born and raised in New Orleans, LA and has called Portland home since she was 15 years old. For the past twenty years, she has worked in nonprofits and schools around program development, community organizing, and youth and family advocacy. She currently works as a School Attendance Coach in Portland Public Schools and her work focuses on chronic absenteeism which is often linked to poverty, homelsessness, mental health, and discipline with the most underserved students in the district. In her work Hoa has developed relationships with hundreds of students, parents, teachers, and educational leaders. In her elected position to the David Douglas School Board, Hoa has expanded her work with schools, students, and families as she supports both districts. When Hoa isn’t working, she enjoys walking her senior dog Pepper, houseplants, cooking, and spending time with friends and family.

Susheela Jayapal (she/her) Multnomah County Commissioner, District 2

Susheela Jayapal has proudly served as District 2 Multnomah County Commissioner since January  2019. She was born in India and came to the United States when she was 16, to go to college. Susheela is a lawyer, whose last legal job was as General Counsel for Adidas America. She also spent two decades as a volunteer community leader/advocate for a number of different community-based organizations including Planned Parenthood of the Columbia-Willamette, Oregon Community Foundation, All Hands Raised, Literary Arts, CASA, and Metropolitan Family Service.