We are a peer-led, community-based network dedicated to advancing Asian women's health and wellness through
education, advocacy, and support

AWFH Newsletter | January 2020
2020: A year with AspirAsians!!

As I was giving an orientation to our newly hired program coordinator (welcome aboard, Ashley Yuen), I suddenly realized how much we have accomplished in the past 7 years!!

2019 was a year with innovative initiatives:
  1. From Resilience to Radiance” monthly podcast, produced and hosted by none other than our Awesome Audrey Paek;
  2. “MobilizAsians” - an online WeChat support forum for Chinese women living with breast cancer, which is funded by the Massachusetts Medical Society
  3. National HepB Foundation funded AWFH to identify key stakeholders and orchestrate a statewide effort in collaboration with APAMSA and organizations serving the Asian American communities.

Moving forward, we will continue using technology to maximize our reach while reducing cultural and language barriers.
We aspire to launch the following new initiatives to build the confidence, capacity and connections of Asian women:
  1. Monthly socials that will take place on the 2nd Saturday every month (see the pictures and a short write up below for Jan Dumpling So Special event). RSVP for the Feb Potluck Hotpot here.
  2. EducAsians” - train peer health educators to provide point of care and heart health education at the Boston Public Market and Roxbury Tenants of Harvard
  3. ASSIST: Asian Sisters Supporting Individual Survivor’s Transformation” - a retreat to heal the mind, body and spirit of Asian cancer or trauma survivors

Please put the dates below on your calendar for our signature annual events, and let us know how you’d like to be involved:

Finally, our annual meeting will take place at Impact Hub Boston (50 Milk Street, Boston 15th floor) on Wednesday, June 17th from 6-8 p.m.  We’d love to see you there and hear your ideas about how we can advance Asian women’s health and wellbeing.

Stay healthy, stay connected!

Chien-Chi Huang

"I Didn't Think It Could Happen to Me"
Hi! My name is Ellie Nguyen. I am a 26 year old first-generation Vietnamese-American woman who spent a year with Asian Women for Health facilitating cervical health workshops. I led workshops on the risks of HPV (human papilloma virus) and cervical cancer among Vietnamese women, because they are 3 times as likely to develop cervical cancer. As a minor demographic, these rates are alarming. 
HPV can be prevented by using protection, along with regular testing and vaccinations for young women and femmes, depending on their age. Throughout my work and knowledge on the issue, I never imagined that I would be affected. In 2018, I went for a routine Pap Smear and received my results back that said I had “abnormal cells” present. Usually, this isn’t a reason to panic as it can go away on its own over time. Instead of testing every 3 years with normal results, I had to get another Pap smear in a year. 
In summer of 2019, I received abnormal results again which is followed up by a procedure called a “colposcopy” which allows doctors to get a closer look of your cervix. Turns out, I had high-risk cells (NOT cancer cells), which if left untreated over time would turn into cervical cancer.

Lastly, a few months after I had another procedure called a “LEEP (Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure)”, which removes those high-risk cells from your cervix. This is mostly successful but includes close monitoring to make sure that the high-risk cells were removed.

Despite all of the knowledge I had, my ability to successfully navigate through the healthcare system, and privilege to access that care that I need - I was still really terrified and dissociated from the process. I knew I needed to push through to follow up on testing and procedures but I can understand why patients may delay their processes. It was surreal to hear that I had high-risk cells. I couldn’t find the language to talk about it with my family so I felt isolated. I was caught up in work and life things, so I had to push these to the back of my mind until the time of my appointments. Luckily, all of my providers were supportive, thorough in explaining what the procedures were and none of them were particularly painful. They all took 10 minutes or less.

I feel a huge relief for myself however I feel a surge to continue disseminating this information to Vietnamese women because cervical cancer is so preventable. Whether it’s due to stigma, lack of awareness, or lack of medical or communal support - we must break the barriers that prevent patients from receiving the care they need. 

Learn more about HPV
From Resilience to Radiance: Episode #11
Living Beyond Cancer and Cultural Stigma / Breast Cancer

While the prevalence of women’s breast cancer varies significantly by race/ethnicity, an earlier age-onset of breast cancer incidence, specifically among Asian and Asian American women, have warranted more research and public outreach for early screenings and mammograms, and education on the risk factors.

In this episode, we follow the personal journey of one young cancer survivor and advocate, Jeannie Karkowski, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 30.  In the face of stigmas and struggles with her bi-cultural identity, she discovered the power of her own voice, as well as a support network that has helped her to heal and contribute to the community.  Read More
Please see links below to our podcast episodes:
Apple Podcast
1/11 Dumpling So Special
@Roxbury Tenants of Harvard

Thank you to everyone who joined us at our January social: dumpling making party on 1/11! We hope you all had a great time making these Chinese-style dumplings and meeting new friends! Click the button below and check out albums on our Facebook page to see more pictures! And please stay tuned for our upcoming events!
See more pictures
AWFH is Looking for Volunteers!!

We need help staff the table and conduct field surveys at the below events.
Please email info@asianwomenforhealth.org to signup for am or pm shift:

Upcoming Community Events

Girlx Empowerment Career Night
Call for volunteers!!

If you are a woman (of color, if possible) working in Medicine, Science and Public Health-related fields who would be willing to share your stories and experiences to other young girls, please come join this Career Night under Girlx Only Leadership Program (GOLD) hosted by YWCA Cambridge on January 28, from 5:30-8:00 p.m. at Cambridge City Hall. 

This career night is mainly designed for middle schoolers in Cambridge/ Boston who identity with the struggles of girlhood, and will allow them to hear from professionals about their careers and life experiences through small group discussions to build self-confidence, intergenerational relationships, and positive femme and women professional role models.

Please feel free to pass to your networks and to have interested parties directly contact: pkranz-howe@ywcacam.org and phone number is: 617-491-6050 x 3035.

Date: 1/28 (Tue.)
Time: 5:30 - 8:00 p.m.
Location: Cambridge City Hall
(795 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139)
Learn more about GOLD
What's Next for Boston Public Schools? 

Please join us for a conversation with the Superintendent of Boston Public Schools, Dr. Brenda Cassellius, on January  30, from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. At this forum, she'll share her community-informed vision for the district.

Appointed in May 2019, Dr. Cassellius has visited all 125 schools in the school district and hosted well over 100 community conversations and town hall meetings.  The visits, conversations, and inputs have helped to shape her strategic priorities and budget recommendations for the coming school year. Dr. Cassellius will provide an overview of her priorities and plans, and a panel discussion will follow the presentation.

Date: 1/30 (Thu.)
Time: 8:30 - 10:30 a.m
P.S. Unfortunately, registration and the waitlist for this event have reached capacity. However, the event will be broadcast online. Click the button below for the live stream.
Join the live stream
Boston Girls Empowerment Network
Girls Research Presentation

SAVE THE DATE for this year's Boston Girls Empowerment Network Workshop!
On 2/19, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m, BGEN and The American City Coalition (TACC) present you Girls Research Presentation. Pathways for Girls Study assesses the personal assets, resources, challenges, experiences, and interests of 14 to 21-year-old girls and young women of color from the Roxbury community.

Date: 2/19 (Wed.)
Time: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Location: Bolling Building (Boston Public Schools Headquarters), 6F Community Room
(2300 Washington St. Roxbury, MA 02119)
Research Study on Patient-Provider Relationships

Zara Ahmed, a student in the Kilachand Honors College at Boston University is looking for participants who are White or Asian Americans over the age of 18 to participate in this research study.

The purpose of this study is to explore patients' relationships with their primary care provider. Participants would be required to take this 5-10 minute online survey. The questions being asked will ask questions regarding a person’s relationship with their Primary Care Provider (PCP).  These questions will cover topics such as: trust, helpfulness, and accessibility of your PCP. All data collected will remain anonymous and will not be connected to the email provided for compensation.

If you would like to participate in this study or have any questions about it, please email zzahmed@bu.edu or call 203-824-3893 with any questions.
WeChat group for Chinese breast cancer patients, survivors and their love ones

AWFH is creating a WeChat Group for Chinese breast cancer patient, survivors and their care givers to share information and support one another.

If you are interested in joining or need more info, please email info@asianwomenforhealth.org

Job Opportunities

Tech Goes Home is hiring a Program Manager

Federation with Children of Special Needs is hiring for part-time position 

HHS-Office of Adolescent Health has ORISE Fellowship positions available

Boston Explorers is seeking Day Camp Counselor/Teen Program Leader

Boston Public Health Commission is looking for a full-time public health program coordination

Volunteer with AWFH

Asian Women for Health is always seeking volunteers to become part of our network! If you are interested, please take part in this brief survey. Your participation will help us match your interests to the various volunteer opportunities. We look forward to growing the AWFH network with your help!
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Sackler Auditorium, Tufts Medical Center | 145 Harrison Ave, Boston
General Chen is the first Chinese American 2-Star General in the U.S. Army; his father was a captain and pilot of the U.S. Army Air Forces assigned to the 14th Air Force (Flying Tigers) under General Claire Chennault in the Chinese-Burma-India Theatre during World War II.
Click here to reserve your FREE seat

General Chen will give highlights from his distinguished career, an Overview of Chinese American Veterans Involvement in WWII, the Status of the Congressional Gold Medal design process, the projected Spring 2020 DC ceremony, and the Project’s official registration process and database. Included will be coverage of Chinese Americans in the American Volunteer Group, China Air Task Force, and 14th Air Force.

Event hosted by the Chinese American Citizens Alliance - Boston, and the American Legion Boston Chinatown Post 328 and sponsored by the Chinese Historical Society of New England, East Boston Savings Bank, and South Cove Community Health Center

CHSNE is contributing to a new exhibition at the Boston Athenæum

Required Reading
Reimagining a Colonial Library 

Boston Athenæum | 10 1/2 Beacon St, Boston
September 2019 - March 2020

The exhibition showcases and interprets the King’s Chapel Library Collection, one of the surviving treasures of 17th century Boston, exploring the city's colonial history, the fine crafts of bookbinding and furniture-making, and the meaning of “essential knowledge.” In 1698, the set of more than 200 books crossed the Atlantic to serve as a compact library of necessary works for King’s Chapel, the first Anglican church in Boston. As this 1698 library was assembled from a singular point of view, the Athenaeum invited CHSNE, along with other community partners representing a plurality of perspectives, to share in curating the exhibition by providing our “required reading” list of ten titles. 
Click here for more information
CHSNE’s “essential reading” list seeks to give an overview of the struggles and triumphs of Chinese immigrants and their descendents in the United State. The list includes legislation, scholarly works that analyze the effects of these laws, and expressive works that offer more personal perspectives.
Click here for more information

We're excited to announce that CHSNE is taking part of a new exhibition at the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) in New York City. 

Collecting and Documenting Chinese American History

Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA), New York City
October 2019 - March 2020

Gathering: Collecting and Documenting Chinese American History will tell the origin story of historical societies, museums, and organized projects that document and make public the history of Chinese throughout America. This first-of-its-kind survey exhibition is part of MOCA's year-long initiative to commemorate the contributions of Chinese railroad workers in the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad 150 years ago. MOCA's goal is to showcase the breadth, depth, and investment of organized documentation and collection of Chinese history in America. Through this project MOCA hope to expand the dialogue, strengthen connections, and increase collaborative work among these organizations. 
Click here for more information about the exhibition

For Gathering, CHSNE submitted a variety of photographs and event materials from the past 27 years. We sent the architectural model of the Chinese Immigrant Memorial at Mount Hope Cemetery.

More than fifteen hundred Chinese immigrants have found their final resting place in three sections of Boston’s Mount Hope Cemetery since 1930. Many of them had been sojourner-workers who lived difficult lives during the Chinese Exclusion Era. Their customary final journey home after death was interrupted first by World War II and later by the civil strife in China. The once temporary burial ground on foreign soil became a permanent one. 
CHSNE was founded in 1992 with a goal to restore the Chinese section of the cemetery and create a central memorial. In March 2007, after over 18 years of dedicated planning, fundraising, and gaining community support, CHSNE members and supporters dedicated the completed Chinese Immigrant Memorial to the unsung heroes buried at Mount Hope. 
The memorial was designed by Joo Kun Lim of Twinspine Architects with input from the community. Lim explained that the modern design was chosen to “[give] the immigrants who are buried there a place in their new home. It’s been almost 100 years since some of them have died [and should] reflect where they are today.” The memorial provides a place for present and future generations to reflect on the contributions and sacrifices of those Chinese American pioneers who first settled in the Boston area. 
Click here for more information about Mount Hope

CHSNE NEEDS YOU! CHSNE is dedicated solely to documenting, preserving, and promoting the history and legacy of Chinese immigration in New England. Please consider becoming a member or donating to help cover our projects and operating expenses. 
Become a member today!
Donate to CHSNE

Learn how to Life Hack Your Business with Outsourcing at ACE NextGen presents Launch: 4th Annual National Conference with workshop host, Lakhi Siap!
Lakhi is the founder of the Chicago Asian Network and partner at the East Wave Group, a full-
service Multicultural marketing agency serving the fast-growing Asian American community. He has over

12 years of experience in Asian American outreach, PR, and Business Development. He travels regularly
to the Philippines for international business projects and is involved with US-Philippine leadership
relations programs with US Dept of State and the Philippine Department of foreign affairs.
Find out more about our conference at acenextgen.org/annual-conference
Early Bird ticket prices will end Sept 22!

Come and celebrate AAWPI's 10th anniversary in Chinatown along with national and community leaders and our alumnae on fire on Sunday, October 13th at 2:00pm.
As the country’s only political leadership organization specifically for Asian American women, the Asian American Women's Political Initiative (AAWPI) has worked to ensure that Asian American women have a voice in their government. As we celebrate our 10th year, we want to honor our sheroes while we energize, heal with and continue to fight for our immigrant communities and communities of color.

Our AAWPI alumnae are Dreamers, anti-foreclosure activists who have experienced foreclosure themselves, aspiring artists and filmmakers, nonprofit entrepreneurs and candidates for local officeOne thing that connects us all is our love of community, activism and willingness to fight for our right to be seen and herd. AAWPI is dedicated to changing what politics and government look like and to building this pipeline of low-income, immigrant women from and committed to our communities.

Please join us for our 10th year celebration: Women on Fire featuring Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), civil rights attorney and former California Board of Supervisors Jane Kim, and Chinese Progressive Association Executive Director Karen Chen.

AAWPI will be honoring State Rep. Tram Nguyen and Chair of House Ways and Means, State Rep. Aaron Michlewitz as our Legislative Champions and Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center (BCNC) as our Community Champion.

Sunday, October 13th
2:00pm - 4:30pm
Hei La Moon in Boston's Chinatown

September 11, 2019
Early bird tickets for the Asian American Women in Leadership Conference end Sunday, Sept. 15 - don't miss out on this discount!

Applications are open for the 2019-20 Youth Leadership Program! This program is for high school females interested in exploring Asian American identity.

Applications close on Saturday, Oct. 26 and the first session is on Saturday, Nov. 2. 

More information and application can be found here!

ASPIRE Meet and Greet!
Wednesday, Oct. 2
6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
50 Milk Street, 5th floor

Whether you're new to the area or looking to expand your current network, come meet some awesome people and learn about ASPIRE and our open roles! There will be snacks and light refreshments.

Mentorship Program - Self-Care Night!
Friday, Sept. 13
6:30-8 p.m.
50 Milk Street, 16th floor (Room: Edison)

We'll be talking all things self-care! Not only about what you can do at home (face masks and bubble baths!) but also self-care at work (taking time to walk away and finding safe spaces). We'll also practice a self-guided mediation together.

Everyone is invited! Please email mentorship@girlsaspire.org to RSVP or send questions.

Mentorship Program - Experience Chinatown Arts Festival!
Saturday, Sept. 28
1 p.m.
Boston Common/Chinatown

Join us at the (free) Experience Chinatown Arts Festival! Meet us at the Bandstand in Boston Common at 1 p.m. and we'll head over to Chinatown to watch performances, eat food, and check out the festivities.

Everyone is invited, including your friends! Please email mentorship@girlsaspire.org to RSVP or send questions.
Youth Leadership Program (YLP) Facilitator

In this role, you'll work with the YLP Director in running a development program for Asian American girls aged 14-18. The YLP team member(s) must also adhere to all volunteer expectations and responsibilities listed in the ASPIRE bylaws. 

Key Responsibilities:

  • Prepare materials for the Saturday workshops
  • Plan and facilitate sections of Saturday workshops
  • Track attendance of participants
  • Conduct outreach to no-show participants


  • Pass CORI background check
  • Experience with teaching, tutoring, mentoring, and/or workshop facilitation preferred

Time Commitment:
  • Two Saturday afternoons per month November-May

Position application and all other ASPIRE opportunities can be found here. Please email info@girlsaspire.org with any questions.
Did you know that a percentage of your Amazon purchase can be donated to ASPIRE at no cost to you? Start your shopping at smile.amazon.com and choose "Asian Sisters Participating In Reaching Excellence Inc" as your benefiting charity!

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