Wednesday, May 17, 2017

APA Labor Alliance selects new executive director


A DAUGHTER of refugees will helm one of the country's key labor organizations focusing on the needs of the Asian American and Pacific American communities.
The National Executive Board of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO (APALA) announced that Alvina Yeh has been selected to serve as the organization’s next Executive Director.

“Ever since I became involved, I have always found a sense of community in APALA that you can’t get anywhere else," said Yeh. "With such a supportive National Executive Board and staff, I am excited to hit the ground running this June, especially in a progressive space that is a leader in the resistance needed in the AAPI and labor communities.”

Alvina Yeh
Originally from Colorado, Yeh has been an APALA member with the Washington, DC chapter for eight years and has served most recently as a chapter leader. There, she has helped facilitate and organize civic engagement programming in Virginia, various education roundtables, membership engagement events, and bolstered the DC chapter’s efforts with APALA priorities around supporting local Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) workers and communities.

Her prior experiences at State Voices, Asian Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote), and political campaigns, including the 2012 Obama presidential campaign, have also uniquely positioned her as an expert in electoral strategy, program management, strategic planning, and organizational development.

Yeh is the daughter of Chinese refugees who fled the Vietnam War. Her experiences as a child of immigrants and growing up in a house that welcomed and supported refugees and immigrants have shaped her values and commitment to community. Yeh's career demonstrates her deep passion for empowering traditionally disenfranchised groups to become active participants in our democracy.

“In trying times like these, we need leaders to step up and prioritize movement building and intersectional organizing,” stated Johanna Puno Hester, APALA National President and Assistant Executive Director of the United Domestic Workers, AFSCME Local 3930.

“Alvina brings years of coalition-building experience for amazing year round civic engagement, and knows how to organize on the ground to engage the AAPI community and broader people of color in the civic and political process. She is a fierce advocate for our community, and I am confident she will lead APALA and IAPALA to the next level.”
Outgoing Executive Director Gregory A. Cendana, added, “I’ve known Alvina for almost a decade, and her vision, leadership, and track record show she's not only capable but the kind of leader we need in this political moment.”