Participant List

Aeriel A. Ashlee, St. Paul, MN | @aerielashlee

Aeriel is co-founder of Ashlee Consulting LLC, an educational consulting firm built around story-
sharing and self-work as tools for social justice. Aeriel earned her Bachelor of Arts from the
University of Minnesota in Strategic Communication, Political Science, and Business Management.
She then went on to complete her graduate studies at the University of Maryland in Counseling
and College Student Personnel. Aeriel currently serves as Co-Chair for the Asian Pacific American
Network, within ACPA College Educators International, a professional development community for
Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) higher education administrators. As a scholar-
activist, Aeriel is passionate about Pan Asian community advocacy, college student identity
development, transracial adoptee and mixed race family dynamics, as well as issues related to
complex intersections of identity (i.e., race, gender, class). Aeriel currently lives in Saint Paul,
Minnesota with her life/business partner and their lovable cat, Valentina.

Akash Tharani, Washington, DC | @akashhh

Akash currently works as a Trainer at the Posse Foundation, one of the most renowned and
comprehensive college access and youth development programs nationally. In his role, he
supports over 150 college students to persist and excel at top-tier institutions across the country.
Akash attended Boston College in Chestnut Hill, MA and in addition to gaining a B.A. in
mathematics, it was during his college years that he became politicized and discovered a passion
for social justice. Upon graduation, Akash joined the Teach for America program where he taught
high school math in Chicago and earned his Master of Arts in Teaching from National-Louis
University. With a solid foundation in selfie etiquette and the do’s and don’ts of Buzzfeed posts,
Akash is excited to take his knowledge to the next level and use the tools provided at AAPI Digital
Leadership Weekend to continue his work improving educational outcomes for all students.

AJ Titong, Oakland, CA | @ajtitong

AJ has expertise in visual storytelling, social media, brand awareness, and multimedia design. She
currently works as a communications specialist at the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health
Forum, managing online mobilization campaigns and the designing and disseminating of the
organization’s print and electronic publications. When she’s not working, she is an active member
of her community. AJ is a board member for the Daly City Partnership and leads their
communications and marketing efforts and is also a member of the Liwanag Kultural Center, a
Filipino advocacy group in the San Francisco, Bay Area. AJ graduated from the University of
California, Los Angeles with a bachelor’s in Asian American Studies and Communications. AJ is
also a current student at the Art Institute in San Francisco, CA working on an advertising and
design degree. She likes to run marathons for the views, stalk people on Public Shaming, and is
an ad junky.

AAPI Digital Leadership Weekend

Carmen Ye, Washington, DC | @carmenye_

Carmen is a San Francisco to DC transplant, and currently work at USAID. As an undergraduate
at UC Berkeley, she worked in organizations such as Alternative Breaks and the Chinatown
Community Development Center. With a background in community organizing, program
coordination, and service-learning, Carmen is excited to see how she grows from this Digital
Leadership Weekend.

On the side, Carmen dabbles in baking and writing, and has been featured in Thought Catalog,
hardboiled Asian Pacific American newsmagazine, and Words Dance magazine. I also currently
serve on the Board of Directors for the Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership.
Carmen’s long-term goals include pursuing a joint Master's in Public Policy and Master's in
Urban Planning, to improve the quality of life for communities of color via environmental justice,
politics, and city planning.

Christopher Chan, Washington, DC | @babblesaur

Chris is the first law clerk to the Hon. Raymond T. Chen at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
Federal Circuit. Chris was a intellectual property attorney at top-tier law firm. Chris formerly was
a business consultant living and working in India. In DC, Chris served as President of the Asian
Pacific American Bar Association. He helped establish the first Asian language immigration law
clinic in DC and organized the 2012 NAPABA Annual Convention for over 1,700 attorneys. DC’s
Mayor appointed him as a Commissioner to the Office on APIA to deal with issues on race and
politics. He studied biology and psychology at Duke University and law at Case Western Law
School. On APA media initiatives, Chris conducts interviews and has a TV episode on
HGTV. He is competing in his second Ironman this November. After @tbtdigital Chris is moving
to Singapore before deciding which job he wants to take overseas or in San Francisco for next

Cindy Le, Carson, CA | @umcindy

Cindy is an L.A. native and UCLA Bruin who majored in sociology and women’s studies. After
making the daily commute to Orange County for a healthcare administration job, she is now
trying to hack it in D.C. and looking for new opportunities in a new city!

Cindy is planning on eventually going to law school for a JD and MS in library
science/information studies, and would totally appreciate your recommendations on pizza, pho,
ramen, and fried chicken joints.

Cynthia Brothers, Seattle, WA | @cindybro1

Cynthia is currently a consultant for foundations and nonprofits supporting the immigrant rights,
civic engagement, and arts and media fields. Recently, she’s worked with the AAPI online
organizing group, coordinated cultural strategies to advance pro-migrant
narratives for The Culture Group and Culture/Strike, led agenda development for the National
Immigrant Integration Conference in Miami, and co-developed and moderated a panel on Asian
American Arts & Activism for the Brooklyn Museum. Cynthia is Managing Blog Editor for
Hyphen, a board member of SEARAC, and past Action Council member for the Coalition for
Asian American Children & Families (CACF). She co-founded the Asian Pacific American
Student Alliance (APASA), NYU Wagner’s first AAPI student group. Cynthia was raised in
Seattle and admits to clichés like playing in bands and once making espresso for a living—and
is proud she went to the high school where Bruce Lee first demonstrated his famous “one-inch

Edil De Los Reyes, Washington, DC | @mari_delosreyes

Edil is the daughter of Filipino immigrants who shared with her their passion for helping others.
The experiences of her family shaped her political interests and understanding of social justice.
Since college, she has made it her journey to become a better organizer and to empower others.
Over the years, Edil's work has focused on engaging and strengthening underrepresented
communities to secure a seat at the decision table. As an advocate, Edil has worked as the
Political Director of PowerPAC+; Deputy Political Director of; New Media
Organizer for the One Nation Working Together campaign; and Field Organizer for the California
Democratic Party’s 2008 campaign.

Edil is an alumna of American University’s School of Public Affairs, and graduate of their
Campaign Management Institute and Women & Politics Institute. She is also a member of
NAPAWF-DC and FYP-DC. In her spare time, Edil trains for marathons, bakes copious amounts
of cookies, and blogs.

Kelsey Crow, Washington, DC | @kelseyrcrow

Prior to joining the VENG Group as a Communications Associate, Kelsey Crow was a press
secretary in the U.S. House, working for Democratic Members in the Southwest. She
coordinated media hits and subsequent outreach for immigration and veterans events, and also
handled responses to the 2013 government shutdown and events in Syria and Iran. A proud
Longhorn, Kelsey graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with degrees in Spanish
and political communication.

Kim Rescate, San Diego, CA | @krescate

Kim Rescate is the Communications Coordinator for Alliance San Diego and Southern Border
Communities Coalition where she spends her days (and sometimes nights) fighting for social

Kim is a lover of food and a runner (’cause of all the food). Though her passion for most things
geeky is certainly a main driving force in her life, she also loves traveling, snowboarding, and
hiking. She conformed to society’s measurements of success by going to college for accounting
and media but she is mostly a self-taught geek who forged her way into unknown lands with
cunning and guile. She watches a lot of movies which often leads to nerdy, bizarre ideas. Kim
works in Communications but hopes it leads to a recurring role in Doctor Who, Orphan Black or
Lost Girl. She did not choose the way of the Jedi, this life-long path chose her.

Linh Chuong, Los Angeles, CA | @LHChuong

Linh is the VISTA Health Coordinator at Southeast Asia Resource Action Center's (SEARAC)
California office. In addition, she volunteers with 18 Million Rising, an online digital organizing hub
for the Asian American Pacific Islander community; and with Leadership Education for Asian
Pacifics (LEAP) to develop a scholarship writing curriculum for high school students. Most
recently she was in Taiwan on a Walker Odyssey Fellowship to learn about Vietnamese
immigrant women's lives in the Vietnamese Diaspora. She was also an International Fellow
placed at the Taiwan office of the Coalition to Abolish Modern-day Slavery in Asia, an
international coalition committed to combatting human trafficking in the Asia Pacific region; a
Fellow and civic engagement organizer for Young People For; and an APIASF/Gates Millennium
Scholar. She is a double major in Gender and Social Justice and Sociology/Anthropology, with an
emphasis in Sociology.

Megan Roberto, Philadelphia, PA | @megoroberto

Meg attended UC Berkeley and is the first in her family to graduate from college. She was drawn
to Teach for America and its commitment to ensure all children have access to a quality
education. In Philadelphia, she taught English to middle and high school scholars. Meg was first
drawn to social media as a way to create conversations in the classroom and utilized this tool to
understand multicultural identity development as a part of her graduate program at the University
of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education.

In wanting to be a part of a larger conversation about AAPI’s in higher education, Meg joined the
Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund as the Director of Programs and Student
Affairs. Working with APIASF and Gates Millennium Scholars from across the country Meg hopes
to grow the awareness surrounding our community’s barriers to higher education, specifically
within the Pacific Island community.

Michael Kwan, Washington, DC | @mikekwan

New media guy, politico and karaoke fan. Formerly digital media manager at the Center for Asian
American Media. DC transplant from SF charting a new path.

Michelle Huey, Sacramento, CA

Michelle is a student at University of California, Davis majoring in Design and Political Science -
Public Service. This past year she worked with Foundation Beyond Belief as a Pathfinder to
assess potential partner organizations for a service corps. Prior to that she worked as the
Graphics Coordinator at the Cross Cultural Center at UC Davis, where she solidified her passion
for social justice.

She is Japanese and Chinese and was born and raised in Sacramento, California. Growing up
Michelle’s family constantly recounted stories about Tule Lake, the internment camp, which made
her aware of the impact that discrimination can have. She is incredibly excited about utilizing the
internet to give others the opportunity to recount their experiences to a larger audience - it
validates those who have had similar experiences and opens people up to new ideas.

Mickey Wong, Clinton Township, MI | @mikiwong

Mickey got her Bachelor of Arts degree from Central Michigan University in Applied Linguistics
and English. She is currently the Director of Social Media for a small startup company called
The Film Village for indie filmmakers and other independent filmmakers to get their films funded
and distributed. In her spare time, she does research on sociolinguistics where she focuses on
how language affects race, gender, and sexuality and how language discrimination plays a
huge role in overall discrimination of minority groups. She particularly focuses on AAPIs and
hopes to bridge the language gaps in the community and foster better communication between
groups. In addition, she wants to generate more solidarity in Michigan high schools and
universities where AAPIs often feel excluded and singular by creating a network for those
students to connect. And lastly, she has a fish named Fred that’s recently recovered from fin rot
and he’s been doing swimmingly.

Phirany Lim, Chicago, IL

Photo and bio not available.

Rebecca Lee, Washington, DC | @RebsL

Rebecca Lee serves as Communications Advisor for the White House Initiative on Asian
Americans and Pacific Islanders (@WhiteHouseAAPI). In this capacity, she oversees the
Initiative’s strategic communications. Rebecca joined the Initiative as a Presidential Management
Fellow from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where she worked in the public
affairs, health information technology, and public health offices. Prior to her fellowship, she was a
senior consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton specializing in strategic communications for federal
health clients. Rebecca received her Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and Master’s
degree in health policy from Columbia University. At Cornell, she led a diverse coalition to found
the Asian & Asian-American Center, a student resource center for the community on campus.

Rebecca served as Chair of the Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership (CAPAL), an
educational nonprofit dedicated to building the pipeline of Asian Pacific American leadership in
public service.

Sandhya Bathija, Arlington, VA | @SandhyaJB

Sandhya Bathija is the director of strategic communications for Asian Americans Advancing
Justice. Prior to joining AAJC, Sandhya served as the campaign manager for Legal Progress,
the legal policy and communications program at the Center for American Progress. In this role,
she drafted policy papers on constitutional legal issues and built and managed the Why Courts
Matter grassroots and communications campaign in key states.

Sandhya previously worked in the communications departments of the national American Civil
Liberties Union and Americans United for Separation of Church and State. She was once a
reporter for The National Law Journal and practiced law for a boutique civil rights firm in Detroit.
Sandhya holds a law degree from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and dual
bachelor degrees in journalism and history from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of
Public Communications and Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.

Sandy Yang, New York, NY

Born and raised in Manhattan’s Chinatown, Sandy Yang knows how to navigate through
dozens of tourists. She is a rising senior at Fordham University studying Natural Science and
Psychology. She is the Social Media Coordinator for the East Coast Asian American Student
Union (ECAASU), where she is responsible for all the postings for the social media handles.
For fun, she experiments with Adobe Photoshop and later designed the ECAASU logo for the
2014 conference.

Living in Chinatown, she was interested in giving back to her community. In High School, She
organized events for Chinatown Youth Initiative (CYI) and Asian American for Equality (AAFE).
In College, she was part of the New York Asian American Student Conference (NYCAASC),
where she worked with a large group of passionate young leaders to host an annual
conference. Other than social media, she works as a savvy Computer Technician.

Shivani Parikh, Cincinnati, OH | @iamshivs

Boston-born and Cincinnati-raised, Shivani is a student, avid reader, dancer, occasional
runner and aspiring organizer. At the moment, she calls Cleveland home, double-majoring in
Marketing and Political Science at Case Western Reserve University. Past experiences
working for an NGO in India and interning for the White House Initiative on Asian Americans
and Pacific Islanders have strengthened her identification with her South Asian identity, and
cultivated within her a drive to make the voices of the AAPI community heard.

When not flitting between work, class and activities, Shivani can be found reading (usually
Jhumpa Lahiri or Kurt Vonnegut), choreographing for her school’s fusion dance team, binge-
watching several shows on Netflix, or attempting to cook Indian food. Other interests include
entrepreneurship, writing and all things political.

Tony Choi, Little Ferry, NJ | @tonykchoi

I am an undocumented, queer 1.5 generation Korean American twentysomething from New
Jersey by the way of Seoul, Hawaiʻi and Kentucky. I currently work at a community based
organization in Flushing, Queens called MinKwon Center for Community Action as a
communications specialist and organizer. Simply put, I design, do social media, and

By day, I am a commuting social media warrior channeling my anger for NJ Transit and the
MTA for social justice. By night, I am a gaymer burning through the midnight oil. Until the
day that I win the 150CC cup on Mario Kart 8 or catching all 7904859 Pokemon, there will
be no rest for this weary one.

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