NAPAWF in Chicago, IL

NAPAWF’s Chicago Chapter was founded in 2005 to create a safe space for API women, support and develop API women leaders, and move forward conversations about API women’s issues in the Chicago area. If you are in the Chicago area and would like to learn more about NAPAWF-Chicago and/or would like to get involved, please contact us at You can also visit us on Facebook by searching for “NAPAWF Chicago”.


We look forward to continue growing our chapter, and working with both new and former sisters toward social justice and human rights for all API women and girls!


  • January 2014 We stand with all immigrant communities fighting deportations as this issue is our issue and as our communities our deeply intertwined. We stand with Mr. Fuentes-Aguilar, a caregiver and economic provider to his child, an American citizen; a worker and soccer coach; a member of the Latino Union where he organizers for low wage immigrant worker rights alongside Filipina caregivers; an American without a criminal record or ties to his home country. Read More
  • January 2013 – We kicked off the year with a splash, with a chapter meeting featuring special guest Myrla Baldonado! Ms. Baldonado educated chapter members about her current organizing efforts among Filipina domestic workers, as well as her decades long work to clean up U.S. bases in the Philippines. Many thanks to Ms. Baldonado for graciously sharing her time with us, and to Sarah Macaraeg for her help in facilitating this event!
  • November 2012 – Chicago Chapter members were involved in various election related efforts, from GOTV to poll monitoring. We were thrilled by the many progressive API victories in this election cycle! In November, former Chapter Chair Rose Olea also gave a brief talk to Northwestern University’s Kappa Phi Lambda Sorority (KPL), as part of their fundraising event highlighting human trafficking. Many thanks to KPL for their generous support, and to Rose for speaking on behalf of NAPAWF on this important issue!
  • October 2012 – We were thrilled to meet real life hero and NAPAWF founding sister Helen Zia, who was in town to deliver UIC’s LGBTQ Heritage Month Keynote Address. We hosted a NAPAWF-Chicago dinner event with Ms. Zia after her address, and are grateful to her for so generously sharing her time with us. Many thanks to Liz Thomson, for her tremendous help in facilitating this event! In October, we also participated in a community forum to launch the Asian American Trafficking Outreach Project (AATOP), spearheaded by the International Organization for Adolescents (IOFA) and key strategic partners like the Asian Pacific American Legal Advocacy Network (APLAN).We look forward to further engaging in this project as it develops here in Chicago.
  • September 2012 – With Fall officially kicking in, we co-hosted a Progressive AAPI Networking Mixer with Invisible-to-Invincible (i2i): API Pride of Chicago. Thanks to both new and continuing members who came out, as well as the many visiting NAPAWF sisters and friends who dropped by!


  • July 2012 – We had a very productive monthly chapter meeting, as we planned for the fall, and finalized details for our August Reproductive Justice Project Celebration.
  • June 2012 – As part of NAPAWF’s annual membership drive, we put up a fierce collage of some of our Chicago members and supporters, BEING SEEN, BEING HEARD! We also wrapped up our Reproductive Justice Online Survey, and invited new members to join our main boardas well as our advisory board. Finally, we ended the month with a splash, as we gathered an energetic NAPAWF contingent for this year’s Dyke March in Argyle! Many thanks to Kathy Huynh and H’Rina DeTroy for getting us our brand new, beautiful NAPAWF banner, just in time for the March! Cheers also to Nebula Li, who led many fierce chants, to Liz Thomson and Joy Messinger for their tireless organizing, and to Richard Shiehfor his assistance in photo-documenting our contingent (photos can be found on our Facebook page).


  • May 2012 – Happy Asian American Heritage Month! In addition to our monthly chapter meeting and final “Let’s Talk about Reproductive Justice” event, we proudly celebrated fierce sister Joy Messinger as one of this year’s Breaking Barriers Awardees selected by the Chicago Foundation for Women’s Asian American Leadership Council.
  • April 2012 – In addition to our monthly chapter meeting, we were thrilled to collaborate with Northwestern University’s Kappa Phi Lambda Sorority on a Reproductive Justice Panel in Evanston. Thanks to all the KPL sisters who made the event such a great success!
  • February 2012 – Despite the cold, a fierce group of NAPAWF sisters trekked out for our February Open Chapter meeting, as we prepared for an exciting March.
  • January 2012 - We launched our Reproductive Justice Online Survey in January, and organized our first “Let’s Talk about Reproductive Justice” event at UIC’s Gender and Sexuality Center.
  • August 2011 – We had a strong showing at our August open chapter meeting and are excited by the momentum building in our chapter. Our chapter’s Reproductive Justice Survey Project is also off to a strong start, with newly hired fierce sister, Joy Messinger coming on board. We look forward to celebrating sisterhood and social justice at our upcoming Fall mixer in october and will also continue hosting open chapter meetings on the first Thursdays of every month.
  • July 2011 – NAPAWF-Chicago seeks an energetic consultant to help develop and implement  a groundbreaking Asian and Pacific Islander (API) Reproductive Justice focused community survey project. The two-fold purpose of the project is to better understand the current reproducitve justice needs and priorities of API women and girls in Chicago and strengthen the API community in Chicago by creating linkages between organizations where API women and girls access services. There will be a stipend to compensate for the position and the deadline to apply is August 15, 2011. To get more details, click here.
  • June 2011 – NAPAWF Reproductive Justice Fellow Jaspreet Chowdhary joined us from Washington, D.C. to facilitate a workshop on the complex connection between son preference in API communities and sex selection abortion bans. This robust and thought provoking discussion was co-sponsored by the Chicago Foundation for Women’s Asian American Leadership Council, and generously hosted by Planned Parenthood of Illinois (PPIL).
  • May 2011 - We held a book discussion on Somaly Mam‘s “The Road of Lost Innocence” at Women and Children First Bookstore in Andersonville. NAPAWF-Chicago members discussed the powerful memoir as well as the human trafficking issues that it raises. Special thanks to Fierce Sister Hannah Jurowicz for her help in organizing this event!
  • April 2011 – Growing out of our January event, NAPAWF-Chicago hosted a more in-depth workshop in April on API Reproductive Justice, graciously facilitated by long time community activists Inhe Choi and Aparna Sharma, and co-sponsored by Rape Victim Advocates (RVA) and the Chicago Foundation for Women’s Asian American Leadership Council. Participants explored the concept of Reproductive Justice, and its meaning within the Asian American community.
  • March 2011 - We organized a tour of the internationally touring art exhibit “Off the Beaten Path: Violence, Women and Art” at Chicago’s Cultural Center. The powerful exhibit addresses violence against women and their basic human right to safety, security and justice around the world. NAPAWF-Chicago members and supporters toured this powerful exhibit, led by Rape Victim Advocates Executive Director Sharmili Majmudar.
  • January 2011 – Building off of several afternoon teas last fall, NAPAWF Chicago hosted a high level gathering of API women leaders in January to discuss reproductive justice, co-sponsored by the Chicago Foundation for Women’s Asian American Leadership Council and the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health. The January gathering identified a clear need for a more cohesive and prominent API women’s voice in Chicago on reproductive justice, and will be followed by a reproductive justice focused workshop in the spring. Coming out of the January gathering, Chicago is also working to develop a community survey tool to better understand the needs of the community, and the resources currently available to community members as related to reproductive justice.

  • December 2010 – We hosted a third successful afternoon tea on domestic violence, featuring speakers Hye Shin Park from KAN-WIN and Ranjana Khan from Apna Ghar, two of Chicago’s leading organizations that provide services to women and children affected by domestic violence and abuse. Attendees included Kappa Phi Lambda sisters from Northwestern University, who came out despite finals and below zero weather!
  • October 2010 – We co-sponsored an afternoon tea on reproductive justice with the Chicago Foundation for Women’s Asian American Leadership Council that featured fierce sister Soo Ji Min, 2010 Chicago Community Trust Fellow, and was hosted by Northwestern University School of Law. Inspired by the discussion at the tea and the clear need for a stronger API women’s voice on reproductive justice issues, we plan to continue working with participants from our tea to strengthen and build up the API women’s community and voice here in Chicago.
  • September 2010 – We hosted an introductory afternoon tea that brought Karin Lee and Eileen Rosete into the Chicago chapter. Karin brings with her over 6 years of experience with NAPAWF’s Yale and Washington, D.C. chapters.  Eileen comes to NAPAWF Chicago with a B.A. in Asian American Studies from the University of California Irvine, extensive experience working with Asian American nonprofit organizations, and a passion for women’s reproductive justice issues. Many thanks to stalwart NAPAWF activists Diana Lin and Rose Olea as they pass on the reins to Karin and Eileen! We are so grateful to Diana and Rose for their years of leadership, and are lucky that they both plan to remain active with our new and growing board!

We look forward to continue growing our chapter, and working with both new and former sisters toward social justice and human rights for all API women and girls!

We are looking for more API women to join NAPAWF-Chicago as a general member or a Board member. If you are in the Chicago area and would like to learn more about NAPAWF-Chicago and/or would like to get involved, please contact us at You can also visit us on Facebook by searching for “NAPAWF Chicago”.

Get plugged into our events and discussions via the NAPAWF Chicago listserv: