CPC Welcomes Leaders from Around the World to 40th Anniversary CISANI Conference | Chinese-American Planning Council
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CPC Welcomes Leaders from Around the World to 40th Anniversary CISANI Conference


CPC welcomed members from around the world as host of the 40th anniversary CISANI conference on November 11th, 12th, and 13th in New York City. The CISANI: Chinese Immigrant Service Agencies Network International conference is an annual event that brings member organizations who address the evolving needs and challenges facing Chinese immigrants together to share ideas, resources, and best practices.

This year’s theme was "From Wall Street to Main Street: Civic Engagement in Changing Times" and included a series of panel discussions and talks with elected officials and local community-based organizations. The opening session included a welcome from CPC’s Board Chair, Veronica Tsang, and a keynote address from Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou who spoke about leadership, policy, and service impacts for Chinese communities. “It’s okay to have different kinds of leadership. You have to find your own style- you don’t need a desk, you don’t need an office, you just need a listening ear and then you can lead from wherever you are,” she said. The conference closed with a tour of CPC Queens Community Center and a roundtable discussion with Assembly Member Ronald Kim, APA Taskforce Director Kai Zhang, and CPC’s President and CEO Wayne Ho. See below for a full list of speakers and sessions. 

CPC would like to thank the members of CISANI for attending from all over the U.S., including leaders from organizations based out of Chicago, Houston, and Seattle, Canada, New Zealand, and Hong Kong.  

See coverage of the 40th anniversary CISANI conference in World Journal. 


Panel 1 – Civic Engagement

Panelists from around the U.S. and around the world discussed how youth, millennials, and seniors are becoming actively engaged, looking back on what has been accomplished and looking forward to what still needs to be done.

  • David Chen, Former Executive Director, Chinese-American Planning Council (NYC)
  • Jenny Wang, Executive Director, CNSST Foundation (New Zealand)
  • Bernie Wong, Former Executive Director, Chinese American Service League (Chicago)
  • Stephen Yau, Chief Executive, International Social Service Hong Kong
  • Moderator – Wayne Ho, President & CEO, Chinese- American Planning Council (NYC)


Panel 2 – Policy Implications

Panelists from around the U.S. discussed Census 2020 and its impacts on elections, voting, and redistricting among the Chinese American community in their cities. Panelists from around the world will explore the policy implications of democratic movements in their countries.

  • Grace Chan, Executive Director, Coalition for Better Chinese American Community (Chicago)
  • Vanessa Leung, Co-Executive Director, Coalition for Asian American Children and Families (NYC)
  • Jerry Vattamala, Director, Democracy Program, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (NYC)
  • Moderator – Alice Wong, Chief of Staff, Chinese- American Planning Council (NYC)


Panel 3 - Service Implications

Panelists explored how Chinese social services organizations and communities are responding to progressive and conservative policymaking.

  • Charles Lai, Executive Director, Chung Pak Local Development Corp.
  • Nina Loc, Behavioral Health Department Director, Chinatown Service Center (Los Angeles)
  • Lilian Ma, Executive Director, Canadian Race Relations Foundation (Toronto)
  • Thomas Yu, Co-Executive Director, Asian Americans for Equality (NYC)
  • Moderator – Simon Chiew, Chief Strategy Officer, Chinese-American Planning Council (NYC)