Miriam Yeung, Executive Director
Miriam W. Yeung, Executive Director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF), guides the country’s only national, multi-issue, progressive organization dedicated to social justice and human rights for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women and girls in the US. With offices in NYC, DC and Atlanta, and chapters in 15 cities, NAPAWF is the country’s policy advocacy and leadership platform for AAPI women to win reproductive justice, immigrant rights and economic justice.
Prior to NAPAWF, Miriam held many positions during her 10-year career at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center (the Center) in New York City, the last of which was Director of Public Policy & Government Relations where she oversaw policy matters on the local, state and federal level. She started her career at the Center as a Youth Worker responsible for empowering young people to fight bullying and create safer schools.
Miriam is published in diverse publications in print and online and is a sought after speaker and workshop presenter. In 2016 Miriam will receive the Ms. Foundation’s Woman of Vision award. In 2012, Miriam was recognized by the National Council for Research on Women (NCRW) with the Making A Difference for Women award. In 2007, Miriam received special recognition from the New York City Council for her work with the LGBT youth community.
Born in Hong Kong and raised in the projects of Brooklyn, Miriam is a proud queer Asian American immigrant woman activist who is committed to social-justice movement building and raising her two young daughters to be fearless. Miriam holds a Master of Public Administration from Baruch College and a bachelor’s from New York University.
Leng Leng Chancey, Deputy Director of Systems and Sustainability
Leng Leng was born and raised in Singapore and came to the United States to attend college, and received her BA in History and Asian Studies from Washington State University. Her longstanding passions revolves around social justice issues concerning AAPI women and beyond, with “equitable access for all” as her motto. In addition to holding numerous senior management positions in nonprofits such as the United Way of Greater Atlanta and Culture Connect, Inc, Leng Leng is a founding member of NAPAWF’s Atlanta Chapter. She is also a trained facilitator for the Anti-Defamation League and facilitates training around cultural competency and diversity. Her spare time includes social change advocacy via the soulful beats of an all-women Korean folk drumming group, which she co-founded.
Sung Yeon Choimorrow, National Field Director
Satyam brings over 18 years of experience facilitating community dialogue on bringing diverse groups of interests and people to build coalitions. She has facilitated refugee women’s groups to create local campaigns and be a part of national women’s rights agenda. She has organized immigrant and refugee communities to create a media campaign to respond to the anti-immigrant media coverage and to put stories that highlight strengths that immigrant and refugee communities bring.
She is an entrepreneur who established a non-profit consulting firm that provides fundraising and development services to community based non-profits. She brings years of experience working with women, immigrant and refugee communities, underserved urban and rural communities. Her past experiences include working at Refugee Women’s Network, Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Legal Momentum, Asian and Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Intervention Program (DVRP) in Washington D.C., Janakpur Women’s Development Center (JWDC) and Women’s Foundation of Nepal.
Her volunteer community involvement have been at facilitator for Men Stopping Violence’s Because We Have Daughters Campaign, Board Member at Raksha, volunteer fundraiser with United 4 safety and lead organizer of college prep. program at the Clarkston Community Center for refugee and immigrant youth.
Satyam has a M.A. in International Development from American University, B.A from University of Maine in Interdisciplinary Studies on Political Science, Sociology and Women Studies and a B.Sc. in Home Science from Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning in Anantapur in India. Satyam is an immigrant to the United States from Nepal.
Melissa Kwon, Research Coordinator
Melissa Kwon, PhD leads the organization’s research efforts on AAPI women and girls in the US. She also serves as Faculty for the Minnesota Young Women’s Collaborative (MYWC), which is currently hosted at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. Additionally, Melissa is currently Co-Chair of the newly founded Twin Cities Chapter of NAPAWF.
Dr. Kwon has over 12 years of experience conducting health and educational research with the AAPI community and has worked with numerous programs that aim to eliminate health disparities and increase access to higher education for AAPIs. She is Affiliate Faculty in Asian American Studies at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus. She has been a researcher and evaluator at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities Campus, University of California at Irvine, University of California at Santa Barbara, and WestEd. She has served as Chair of the Asian American and Pacific Islander Health Coalition (AAPIHC), a coalition of AAPI serving nonprofit community organizations in Minnesota. She has also volunteered her time to local community organizations and has served as the Executive Director of the Midwest Asian American Students Union (MAASU), a Board Member of Neighborhood House, Member of the Minnesota Minority Education Partnership’s (MMEP) Research Collaborative Table, Board Member of United Cambodian Association of Minnesota (UCAM), and Board Member of The Cambodian Family. She is currently located in the Twin Cities Metro Area in Minnesota.
Dr. Kwon earned her B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. She earned her M.A. in Education-Research Methodologies and Ph.D. in Education Cultural Perspectives and Comparative Education from University of California, Santa Barbara.
Stephanie Zhou, Communications and Development Associate
Stephanie helps implement the strategy for communications and development to articulate NAPAWF’s mission and lift the visibility of AAPI women and girls in the US to our constituents, policy makers, and funders.
Prior to NAPAWF, she worked at Sesame Workshop, creating educational content for elementary schools in China. She has also worked in development for the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund and has written for Mochi Magazine, an online publication with a mission to empower young, Asian American women.
Stephanie holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Media Culture and Communication from New York University. She is passionate about education, travel, dance, and increasing diversity in media. During her spare time, she trains with a competitive dragon boat team.
Christine Posadas, Finance and Operations Associate
Christine joins NAPAWF in Atlanta after a decade of staying at home with her two children in the suburbs of Augusta, GA. Christine earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of South Carolina, Aiken in 2015. She is a keen observer of people and cultures and is comfortable being uncomfortable–a skill that is useful as she navigates her way through Southern culture. As a second generation Filipina-American and native of the West Coast, Christine looks forward to a future of breaking through racial and gender barriers with meaningful interactions within her community.
Aliya Khan, Policy Associate
Aliya supports the advocacy efforts of the organization by representing the needs and perspectives of AAPI women and girls on a local, state, and national level.
Aliya has a strong background in research, writing, and communication. Prior to NAPAWF, Aliya completed her M.S. in Counseling, Family, and Human Services and a Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS) certification from the University of Oregon. In addition to training in multicultural counseling, Aliya has a background in curriculum development, teaching, and facilitation. She is a Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP) and has worked with women and girls in a variety of direct service capacities, including as a crisis hotline advocate at the Women’s Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh and a youth worker at Girls Inc. of Monroe County. She is passionate about social justice and ensuring that women and girls have opportunities to be heard and represented.
Additionally, Aliya served on the Leadership and Advocacy Team of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon where she was able to engage in grassroots organizing on behalf of women’s reproductive rights on a local and state level. She completed the Oregon Women’s Campaign School, gaining critical communication, advocacy, and policy skills necessary to help advance legislation and pro-women’s health initiatives. She continues to be an active member of the Association of Women in Psychology, a feminist organization committed to social justice.
Aliya earned her B.S. in Psychology from Indiana State University and her M.A. in Psychology from Chatham University. As a multiracial, second generation Pakistani American woman, Aliya is excited to raise awareness of the diversity of perspectives, experiences, and needs of AAPI women and girls.
Bex Kwan, New York City Program Coordinator
Bex is a Chinese-Singaporean multimedia artist who comes to the work at NAPAWF through creative practice. Their art making and organizing stem from a need to make mirrors for their communities to see themselves, to know that the ghosts they struggle with are big and real, and to build power in all difficult and magnificent parts of their being. Bex runs NAPAWF’s New York City Reproductive Justice Leadership Institute for AAPI women and trans folks and is thrilled to be working closely with some incredible organizers in the city. When not working at NAPAWF, they are often performing. Bex has been invited to present at theaters/galleries/universities in Singapore and the US, including La MaMa and the National Asian American Theatre Company, and was a part of EMERGENYC—the Hemispheric New York Emerging Performers Program. Bex has a Master’s of Social Work in Community Organizing, Programming and Development from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College and a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard College.
Mohini Lal, Reproductive Justice Fellow
Mohini Lal graduated from Chicago-Kent College of Law in Chicago, Illinois. During law school, Mohini interned with the Criminal Defense Clinic at Chicago-Kent where she worked on cases ranging from drug offenses to murder. She has also worked with the Domestic Violence Legal Clinic, where she represented clients in Order of Protection matters, and at the Domestic Violence Team at the Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Family Services, where she represented clients in family law cases where domestic violence was a factor. During her final semester at law school, Mohini worked for the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, where she worked on cases regarding ethical violations in the legal community.
Mohini volunteered with the Self-Help Web Desk at the Daley Center in Chicago where she assisted pro se litigants in housing and small claims matters. During her six years in Chicago, she worked in interfaith efforts through Interfaith Youth Core and One Chicago, One Nation, where she spoke on panels alongside faith representatives from all over the country, including Eboo Patel. She also volunteered regularly as a clinic escort for Illinois Choice Action Team. As a law student, Mohini founded Chicago-Kent’s chapter of Law Students for Reproductive Justice and served as Vice President of the American Constitution Society. She also served on the executive boards of the South Asian Law Students Association, the Philosophy Board, and the Kent Justice Foundation. She was an active member of Chicago-Kent’s Trial Team, and won two regional competitions. Mohini earned her Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences from Shimer College in Chicago.