Alvina Yeh is State Voices’ Deputy Director of State Capacity Building. She has extensive experience in civic engagement and electoral campaigns. Before joining State Voices, she worked at a consulting firm where she helped clients create and execute field and outreach plans for issue campaigns. Her previous experience includes work on several electoral campaigns and serving as Program Director at Asian Pacific Islander American Vote, where she developed and managed the voter education, registration, turnout, and protection programs. Alvina holds a B.A. degree from the University of Colorado-Boulder.
Meleanna has garnered praise and awards for her work as a Native Hawaiian artist, filmmaker, and arts educator. Ms. Meyer is committed to social justice issues by helping those she works with find their voice through the visual arts.
Meleanna is a published writer and illustrator whose commitment to underserved groups in her native Hawaiʻi is well recognized. A gifted teacher, she was recently awarded the Kumu Kukui award, 2014 for her excellence as a master teacher. .
2016 FELLOW IN TRAINING , ALVINA YEH, WAS RECOGNIZED AS ONE OF 50 YOUNG ASIAN AMERICAN STARS IN POLITICS by Asian Fortune News
ESTHER GOODHART 2000
“Portraiture Now – Asian American Portraits of Encounter” Esther’s portrait is one of more than two hundred by CYJO, a self-described Kyopo (the Korean term for ethnic Koreans living in other countries). CYJO is one of seven Asian American visual artists displayed at the Smithsonian from August 12, 2011-October 14, 2012.
Esther's father was a famous 100% Korean Presbyterian minister, mother the Korean Tammy Faye Bakker, handicapped since birth with a predominately Jewish physical handicap (Dystonia), born in Texas (the heart of the bible belt), grew up in the Catskills (the heart of the Borscht belt). Esther gets out of the wheelchair to do stand up, teaches all the little children Hebrew for Bar/Bat Mitzvah, ran for Council as a Republican, does all sorts of community service and mitzvot…
DONNA FUJiMOTO COLE 1996
named as one of Houston's Biggest Givers
story via the Houston Chronicle
Donna Fujimoto Cole helped get the Congressional Gold Medal awarded to Japanese-American soldiers who fought in World War II.
"The Japanese-American story is fraught with irony," Cole said. "After the Pearl Harbor attacks, many Japanese-Americans were placed in internment camps, but even through that, so many were willing to fight for this country and for freedom. These are very unique American stories that need to be told and need to be in our history books."
Cole worked on the project for more than five years, traveling around the country to listen to veterans' tales of valor. Her father fought in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, which provided much of her inspiration.
"It is a very rich history. More people should know about it, so it does not happen again, and history does not repeat itself," she said.
HOW TO HELP
All-Earth Ecobot Challenge
All-Earth Ecobot Challenge needs judges in engineering and technology fields who can help score; training takes only 45 minutes. Information:ecobotchallenge.com. For more information about Pantheon of Women, visit powproducers.com.
The Congressional Gold Medal awarded to the Japanese-American veterans went on a seven-city tour that included a stop at the Houston Holocaust Museum in January. It currently is on display at the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., which Cole hopes will be the medal's permanent home.
Cole also is passionate about young girls and women. She is involved with organizations such as Asian Women Empowered, the Center for Asian Pacific Women Leaders and the Women in Energy network.
"I am trying to help mentor young women to help guide their careers and professional lives," she said.
Cole wants to change the messages and images of women that are common in movies and TV shows. Along with others such as Scottie Gissel and Deborah Kainer, Cole founded Pantheon of Women to help tell the stories of inspiring everyday women.
"Right now, I am working with other women, and we are getting investors to produce movies, TV shows and musicals of great women because young women need better role models," she said.
Cole also likes to invest in children, which is why she founded the All-Earth Ecobot Challenge, an engineering competition for fifth- through eighth-graders that will take place May 17 at Reliant Center.