API Forward Student Leadership Conference

Date: Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022
Time: 9:30 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. PST
Location: University of Oregon – Portland
70 NW Couch Street,
Room 142/144,
Portland, OR 97209

“If you want to build a ship, do not task people with collecting the wood. Do not assign them tasks and orders. Instead, teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” – Shan-Lyn Ma, CEO of Zola.

There’s more to leadership than having a title and there’s more than one type of leader. Join API Forward in a leadership conference designed specifically for college students of Asian or Pacific Islander descent.

Understand what it takes to be a leader in the 21st century and shift from unconscious bias to conscious inclusion. Students will discover possibilities, explore their own journey from “me” to “we,” and what you can do to help bring diversity, equity, inclusion and justice to our communities.

Topics of discussion include:

  • Leadership in the 21st century
  • Leadership in public service
  • Leadership in social and racial justice

Speakers include (more announced soon):

  • Octaviano Merecias-Cuevas, Organizational Training & DEI Education Manager, OHSU
  • Sheila Murty, Executive Vice President of People and Culture, Tillamook County Creamery Association
  • Amanda Park, Project Manager, Prosper Portland, and Co-Founder of My People’s Market
  • Makerusa Porotesano, Multicultural Student Services Coordinator, Portland Community College Sylvania
  • Rep. Khanh Pham, State Representative for Oregon House District 46
  • Toc Soneoulay-Gillespie, Director of Community Health, Health Share of Oregon

FREE and open to API college students. Snacks and lunch included. Door prizes and other giveaways.

Special thanks to University of Oregon – Portland for sponsoring this conference.

Seating is limited. RSVP is required by January 19, 2022.

  • Out of concern for our guests, in order to attend this conference, attendees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have received a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours prior to attending. Additionally, attendees must follow safety protocols based on CDC and local guidance at the time of the event.
  • The event facility or organization may have additional safety measures, including but not limited to wearing masks, regardless of vaccination status.

  • Smart Park Garage is located on the corner of NW Naito Parkway and NW Davis (1.5 blocks away). Payment is required. If this poses a financial hardship, please contact API Forward at communications@apiforward.org.
  • Do not park on the street as it is limited to 2 hours.

Quick Select:

7th Annual Asian Pacific Islander Heritage and 10th Year Celebration

Vision 2021: Moving Forward

Date: Tuesday, December 15, 2020
Time: 5:30 p.m.- 6:30 p.m.
Location: Virtual Event – Free Registration!


Join us for an evening of inspiration, community-building, and fundraising as we share our hopes and dreams for the new year. Don’t miss your opportunity to bid on a suite of auction items just in time for the holidays, including Asian-fusion dinner packages, decadent desserts, artwork, and many more. 

Besides the fun, we also have a special keynote speaker from KGW-TV, Christine Pitawanich, who will share stories from the field and discuss leadership in a time of misinformation.

About Christine Pitawanich:
Christine Pitawanich has been working in local TV news for nearly a decade. She is currently a reporter and fill-in anchor for KGW-TV on channel 8. She joined the team in 2015. Prior to that, she worked as a reporter and main anchor for KOBI-TV NBC 5 News in Medford, Oregon. During the pandemic she has mostly covered stories on the impact of COVID-19 on education and also covered the Beachie Creek Fire that swept the Santiam Canyon destroying homes and businesses in early September. She is always open to hearing from her community about issues they feel are newsworthy, so feel free to contact her if you’d like to discuss any ideas.

With your loyal support, API Forward can continue to develop more conscientious, strong, and compassionate leaders at a moment when our mission is more vital than ever. Your generosity will also allow us to raise the $5,000 necessary to make the 2021 FLP program a success. Now and always, thank you for the impact you make possible.

Thank you to our sponsor, Port of Portland.



Lotus Sponsor

Orchid Sponsor

Jasmine Sponsor

Date: Friday, May 10, 2024
Time: 6:00 p.m.- 9:30 p.m. PT
Location: Portland Spirit
Dock Location: Salmon Street Springs Dock,
1010 SW Naito Parkway, Portland OR 97204

Tickets Now Available!

You are cordially invited to API Forward’s 7th annual Asian Pacific Islander Heritage and 10th Year Anniversary Celebration.

This event honors our diverse community and raises funds to educate local students and young professionals of Asian and Pacific Islander descent to become leaders in our community. This year also marks API Forward’s 10th year anniversary of serving the community through education and leadership.

This event is a formal gala. We also welcome and encourage wearing your cultural and traditional attire. Enjoy a night out dressed to impress!

We are thrilled to bring our annual celebration aboard the Portland Spirit for a quintessential Portland experience! Aboard, you will enjoy a three-course dinner while enjoying dazzling city sights and lights along the Willamette River in the company of friends and incredible members of our community.

The evening will also feature:

  • Rep. Hoa Nguyen

    Keynote Speaker: Rep. Hoa Nguyen (D-East Portland and Damascus), a first-term legislator, current school board member, and the daughter of Vietnamese refugees.

  • Learn about API Forward’s impact on the community and how you can help invest in our mission in the next 10 years
  • Celebration of the Asian and Pacific Islander culture and community through special performances, friendship, and dance
  • Meet current and past students of our Forward Leadership Program
  • Remarks from community leaders about the importance of advancing API leadership

Stay tuned and come back for sponsorship opportunities.

Thank you for celebrating our 10th-year anniversary and supporting Asian and Pacific Islander education and leadership advancement!

Get Your Ticket(s) Below!