Dear friends and supporters,
As many of you know, APIOPA (Asian and Pacific Islander Obesity Prevention Alliance) was started in the early 2000s by fierce advocates for our communities. Our founders were fired up by the need to include APIs in work to address the obesity epidemic, which is why our organization’s name centered obesity prevention. This explicit emphasis was an important tool for pushing public health conversations to include the real health needs and cultural specificities of our communities, which had been left out of the discussion.
Since then, APIOPA’s work has broadened and flexed to ensure APIs are not only represented within, but also leading efforts to address a range of health and environmental justice issues. Many of you know us for this work, whether it’s our food justice activism through our CSA and collaboration with local Asian American farmers, or our environmental justice work with youth leaders in San Gabriel Valley. And many of you have participated in or supported our active living programs, like Bike to Japan and our monthly hikes. More recently, we have also been working on transportation and parks, to ensure that discussions on these key issues include our faces, our voices, our cultures, and our languages. Our team is constantly working to ensure that API voices always have a seat at the table, and leadership in our communities.
It’s this passion for amplifying the needs of our communities and moving our leadership forward that motivates us. To honor these core motivations, we are officially changing our name.
Effective today, APIOPA becomes Asian Pacific Islander Forward Movement (APIFM). *insert mic drop*
Forward: With the current state of our country and the new administration, we are faced with leadership that wants to move us backward–to roll back the rights and access we have fought so hard for in the name of racial, social, economic, and health justice. We are challenging this affront with a clear emphasis on pushing forward. Pushing forward to protect the basic rights of our diverse, immigrant families and beloved communities. Pushing forward to expand those rights and enhance access to the resources we all need to live healthy, vibrant lives in empowered communities. We want to be forward in our approach to advocacy and justice, and to support everyone in looking forward, with hope, to a better tomorrow.
Movement: Localized, grassroots organizing in our Southern California API communities is the foundation for our work because we are committed to building movements for healthy change. We want to continue fusing advocacy, education, and leadership development, so that the people who are directly impacted are the people driving not only the conversation, but also the change. And for us, as a health justice group, movement means getting both physically and politically active. When we hike, bike, walk or roll together, we aren’t just exercising–we are also actively facilitating one another’s growth to become local health activists who are part of a larger movement for healthier communities.
Our new mission is clear: Forward Movement is here to cultivate, healthy, long-lasting, and vibrant Asian and Pacific Islander communities through grassroots organizing. This identity honors the work we have already been doing–working with API community members throughout Los Angeles County, Orange County, and beyond to increase access to healthy foods and healthy environments–and conveys our ongoing commitment to tackling, as organizers, the root causes and systemic issues that inform our ability to live healthy lives.
Thank you for being part of the APIOPA family up to this point, and we can’t wait to keep building together as API Forward Movement.
The Forward Movement Team