LOS ANGELES — A diverse groups of Asian Americans have kicked off their latest installment of the Center for Asian Americans United for Empowerment, or CAUSE, program.
It’s a 26-year-old collective of Asian Americans finding ways to empower the fastest growing demographic in the US.
Over the years, CAUSE has helped push for civic engagement, while grooming future Asian American leaders.
Last year it held a gubernatorial debate.
Now in its second year, the CAUSE Leadership Network is made up of some 60 mostly Asian American members, representing different sectors from government to corporate, nonprofit, the legal community and media.
“The CAUSE Leadership Network was founded with the intention to increase representation at the executive leadership level, to foster cross-sector collaboration, to address community issues, to change the civic landscape in Southern California, to reflect the AAPI community, and lastly to support a network of members with personal and career development,” said director John Tang.
The members of the CLN met atop Los Angeles City Hall, where they got to hear from the leaders and keynote speaker Bill Wong Political Director for California’s State Assembly Democrats.
“So of the 60 plus members of the CAUSE Leadership Network, I am very surprised delighted and honored to be one of the newest members, so I look forward to seeing what we can do as BA in terms of helping empower the Asian American community. I also looking forward to hearing from the other Asian American community members, meeting with other people from different sectors different industries.”
Data from CAUSE shows in the US, about one out every 17 people is Asian American; however, the country’s most influential positions in both the private and public center lack the Asian American perspective.
“Despite our AAPI community being 6% of the country’s population we are nowhere near 6% of the leadership positions that are out there and in a region as diverse as Southern California, we are definitely more than 6% of the population, yet we are only 4% of the Fortune 500 board seats and 5% of foundation board seats and there aren’t even numbers tracking aapi leadership representation in other sectors,” said Jade Leung.
As CAUSE launches events, and workshops and looks to tackle non-partisan issues to benefit the Asian American community, the 26th annual CAUSE gala will take place next month in downtown Los Angeles, and looks to honor the high ranking Asian Kim Delevett of Southwest Airlines and Dr. Leana Wen Planned Parenthood Foundation of America.