Change Maker Awards 2019
•The Change Maker Awards recognize and award outstanding individuals for their vision and leadership in the Asian Pacific American (APA) community. Each year, CACF honors individuals who are often not recognized for their commitment and dedication to the APA community. The Change Maker Awards Reception brings together community advocates, youth leaders, and supporters. The evening includes a reception and program to present these awards.
2019 CHANGE MAKER HONOREES
Shuk King Cheng
Chinese-American Planning Council
Shuk King Cheng is the Program Supervisor for Manhattan Youth Programs at the Chinese-American Planning Council, Inc. (CPC). Shuk oversees various youth programs including the Learn and Earn afterschool program, Summer Youth Employment Program, Work Learn and Grow Employment Program, and YMI Mentorship Initiative. Under Shuk’s leadership, her team was awarded the second highest rate of participation, best facilitation skills and best activity across all Department of Youth & Community Development (DYCD) Learn and Earn contracts. In addition, Shuk continues to motivate her team and community members to participate in civic engagement initiatives, such as APA Voice (Asian Pacific Americans Voting and Organizing to Increase Civic Engagement). She has led her team to be active with and city and state advocacy effots, including participation with Youth Advocacy Day in Albany, March for Our Lives, rallies to support DACA recipients, Census 2020 Advocacy Initiatives, National Day of Action to Fight for Families Rally and March, and National School Walkout Day Against Gun Violence. Although her previous background was in the corporate tax field, her passion for youth development, higher education, and immigration drove her to get her certification in Youth Mental Health First Aid and certification in Teach English as Second Language to Adults, TESLA. Since transitioning into her position with CPC, Shuk has been committed to advancing and transforming the lives of the youth they serve. She has established a safe and supportive space for community members and has especially been dedicated to creating an empowering and equitable learning environment for youth members.
Eunhye Grace Kim
Korean Community Services of Metropolitan NY, Inc.
Eunhye Grace Kim is the Assistant Director at Korean Community Service (KCS) of Metropolitan NY. She currently oversees Affordable Care Act Health Care navigator programs in NY and NJ, Independent Consumer Advocacy Network (ICAN- managed long term care related), Access Health NYC, and participates in many advocacy activities regarding immigrants and health issues. Since 2013, her healthcare access team has successfully helped over 5,000 Korean Americans with health insurance assistance and enrollments in NY and NJ. She received a Master’s in Social Work from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. She is passionate about her work with the Korean community and prides herself on being among the first generation of Korean Americans who is able to navigate health care services and advocate for immigrants. She is dedicated to improving the quality of life for immigrants by advancing health care access, providing assistance with health insurance enrollments, promoting education and outreach, and seeking out funding resources. Previously Grace was in charge of the REACH (Racial and Ethnic Approach to Community Health) Project, aimed at using community-driven, evidence-based, culturally tailored interventions to improve health disparities that affect racial and ethnic groups. Specifically, her project focused on the promotion of low sodium diets to decrease heart disease and addressed the prevalence of tobacco use in the Korean American population. Grace has been involved with KCS’ Kids’ Line, through a partnership with Autism Speaks, which is a hotline service that provides referrals, information, and support for families in the Korean community.
South Asian Council for Social Services
Rehan Mehmood, is the Director of Health Services at South Asian Council for Social Services (SACSS). He joined SACSS as a Program Manager in 2012, working on various healthcare access programs at SACSS, which included connecting families to essential health-care and helping them with post-enrollment issues. During this time, Rehan gained a deep insight of the challenges that South Asian and other immigrant communities experienced while accessing healthcare in New York City. With his hard-work and dedication, Rehan in a very short period became the Director of Health Services and is now an integral part of SACSS’ core management team. Presently he oversees all of SACSS’ healthcare access and education programs including the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Navigators, the Community Health Advocates (CHA), and the Independent Consumer Advocacy Network Program. He has also been actively involved in educating the South Asian community on health literacy and empowering them about their healthcare rights. Rehan has given numerous presentations at Faith-based, community and senior centers where he has presented to community members on important topics such as the significance of preventive care and how to use their health insurance. Rehan has represented SACSS at various collaboratives, forums, and panel discussions and has testified before the NYC City Council advocating for increased funding for healthcare access programs. Prior to working at SACSS, Rehan worked at Akhuwat a non-profit based in Lahore, Pakistan, for six-years in the area of micro-finance. During his time at Akhuwat, Rehan led a team that helped low-income families overcome poverty by connecting them to micro-finance. Rehan has a Master’s degree in Commerce from Pakistan and is fluent in Urdu, Punjabi and Hindi.
Sakhi for South Asian Women
Shyda Rashid moved to New York in September 2014 from Bangladesh and since then, has worked for community-based nonprofits in the city. Shyda joined Sakhi for South Asian Women in December 2015, and is currently the Domestic Violence Program Manager & Advocate. Shyda was selected as one of the 2018 Advocates of New York City by the Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence (ENDGBV). This award is an honor recognizing Shyda’s tireless advocacy and support for Domestic Violence Survivors and Community. While at Sakhi, she has developed and implemented very popular survivor-centered programs which break isolation, build community between survivors, address internalized stigma, and lift survivors’ voices. Shyda is a Social Worker, an activist, and an advocate for people facing gender-based violence. She is passionate about helping and supporting women and children in difficult and crisis situations and finds this work extremely rewarding. She has worked in different countries and values diversity. Prior to working at Sakhi, from 2005-2014, Shyda delivered consistently high levels of consular and forced marriage service in the British High Commission in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Shyda not only made a difference in the lives of survivors of forced marriage in Bangladesh and the United Kingdom, but also played a pivotal role in the development of the United Kingdom’s forced marriage policy. Shyda’s suggestions have been incorporated into the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Consular Guidance. Shyda is fluent in Bengali, Hindi, and conversational in Urdu.
THE ASAP LEGACY DISTINCTION
Mayor’s Center for Faith & Community Partnerships
Sadaf Omar is a Community Coordinator at the New York City Mayor’s Center for Faith and Community Partnerships housed under the Community Affairs Unit. Prior to joining the Mayor’s Office, Sadaf served as the Deputy Director of Scheduling for the Honorable Melissa Mark-Viverito. In addition to her community organizing role, she serves on the Board of Muslim Writers Collective (MWC), a grassroots national initiative dedicated to reclaiming the Muslim narrative through storytelling. Muslim Writers Collective has been featured in Vice, The Guardian, Buzzfeed, The Daily Beast, and many more media publications. MWC has active chapters in seven cities across the country, and has been credited with providing “a space for young Muslims to honor their humanity” by Vice. She is a current fellow with the JCRC-NY “We are All New York” Fellowship, which is a 10-month leadership development program dedicated to advancing the next generation of New York City’s diverse leaders and helping them become change agents to strengthen our city. Sadaf serves on the Young Professionals Board of Breakthrough New York, a non-profit organization that transforms the lives of talented kids from low-income backgrounds by providing educational support from middle school through college and into careers. Sadaf is a community organizer, storyteller and event planner who aims to create unity among extremely diverse and complex communities throughout New York City. She hopes to infuse the culture of inclusion everywhere she goes. Sadaf immigrated to New York City from Calcutta, India at the age of three with her parents. She is multi-lingual and enjoys traveling all over the world. Sadaf began her journey in politics and community relations as a youth leader and advocate when she joined the second cohort of CACF’s Asian American Student Advocacy Project (ASAP). Since then, she has remained actively involved with CACF. She truly believes that “change begins with me”.
Council Member Daniel Dromm
New York City Council, District 25
Council Member Daniel Dromm has been a progressive leader in Queens for over 20 years. Dromm was elected to the New York City Council in 2009 and represents District 25 (Jackson Heights & Elmhurst). He serves as the Chairperson of the Finance Committee. In the City Council, Dromm has been a tireless advocate with a proven record of delivering for the community. $4 million to Elmhurst Hospital to create a Cardiac Care Unit and expand the Emergency Room. $6 million to double the size of Travers Park in Jackson Heights, adding much needed green space. More than $860 million to build new schools for our community and fight overcrowding. Led the effort to enact Local Law 6, certifying that all undocumented immigrants in City foster care get put on a path to citizenship. Reformed Stop and Frisk policies – and implemented real policing solutions. Passed Paid Sick Leave’ defending workers from unfair employers and protecting consumers from the spread of contagious illness. Implemented innovative and successful open space initiatives like the 78th Street Play Street and Diversity Plaza (37th Road) to promote local small businesses. Created IDNYC, the city’s first government-issued identification card. Established the community’s first slow zone, bringing crucial safety measures to the district. Funded the first LGBT liaison within the NYC Department of Education, helping to ensure no child falls through the cracks in our schools. Leading voice in the effort to end corruption and bring transparency to the Rikers Island jail complex. Prior to his election, Dromm was an award-winning New York City public school teacher at PS 199Q in Queens from 1984 to 2009. Dromm is a pioneer of the LGBT rights movement in Queens and organized the first Queens LGBT Pride Parade and Festival. A fluent Spanish-speaker, Dromm graduated from Marist College and earned his master’s degree at City College. He lives in Jackson Heights.