PUBLIC EVENT: AAPI Perspectives on Mental Health Care

Facebook Livestream Recording (Edited video links forthcoming)

What are the unique contexts, needs, & challenges in AAPI mental health support? How do ethnic, religious, & communal identities factor into the sense of well-being in AAPI communities?

Our first speaker, Venerable De Hong from the Engaged Buddhist Alliance, will discuss how intergenerational trauma affects mental health in the AAPI community. The second speaker, local mental health advocate Ms. Jaime Yan Faurot, will share her experiences overcoming mental health issues in Marin County. Finally, Ms. Mai McGuire-Tran, a Mental Health Clinical Specialist from Contra Costa County Behavioral Health, will present her hands-on experiences working with the Vietnamese population in Contra Costa County.

Bios of the Speakers

Venerable De Hong is a Ph.D in Buddhist Studies (2015) from the University of the West, where he is currently an adjunct professor. He is one of the co-founders of the Engaged Buddhist Alliance and has volunteered in several state prisons in California, teaching mindfulness meditation and Buddhist psychology since 2013. Ven. De Hong has been a Buddhist monk since 2006 in the Vietnamese and Chinese Pure Land Tradition. He was also ordained in the Burmese’s Theravada Tradition of the Mahasi Lineage in 2014. 

As an AAPI and Mental Health Advocate who wears many hats, Ms. Jaime Yan Faurot has made significant contributions to the Marin community through her volunteer work and leadership roles in various programs and county initiatives such as the MHSA Advisory Committee and Recovery Change Team. The core of her work is promoting cultural humility and meeting people where they are. In 2021, Ms. Yan Faurot received a Commendation from the Board of Supervisors, Marin County, for her volunteer role as a BIPOC Peer and Community Advocate. She also was awarded in the Celebrating the Uncelebrated Ceremony for her service from the Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS) Team, Marin County in 2019. 

Ms. Mai McGuire-Tran is a bilingual and bicultural Mental Health Clinical Specialist, working with the Vietnamese population in Contra Costa County for 15 years serving 4 generations in the Vietnamese Community. Ms. McGuire-Tran dedicates her heart and effort in serving the Vietnamese community who experience and encounter with mental health issues within themselves and their loved ones. As an immigrant from Vietnam herself, Ms. McGuire-Tran combines her own life experiences and professional knowledge to assist her clients to recognize early signs of mental health in themselves and their family members. 

Visit Angel Island with Us

Update: Thank you to those who joined us on the visit!

What does the history of Angel Island mean to the AAPI community?

How might we understand Angel Island as a site for continuing reflections on AAPI identities and advocacy toward racial equity?

As a way to observe the Qingming festival, which is traditionally a time for Chinese ethnics globally to sweep the tombs of their ancestors, we will be taking a journey of remembrance to Angel Island. We will take the 10am ferry from Tiburon, spend the day at Angel Island, and return to Marin with the 3:30pm ferry. Besides a docent-guided tour of the historic Angel Island facility, we will also spend some time as a group to reflect and share our thoughts. Before the visit, we will share with all registrants a link to view Felicia Lowe’s film “Carved in Silence,” as well as additional references on the significance of ancestor veneration in AAPI communities and cultures.

AAAM Statement: On the Mass Shootings in Monterey Park on January 21 and Half Moon Bay on January 23, 2023

There is no way to describe the overwhelming loss of life that has taken place over the last week and its impact on the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community and the communities of Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay.

The new year, especially Lunar New Year, is usually celebrated with immense joy in our diverse AAPI community. Unfortunately, our community has faced much tragedy and trauma over the last several years, and we are in shock while we are mourning.

These acts of violence, during a time where Asian American families come to gather and celebrate, are creating feelings of fear. Yet at the same time, we are reminded of our communal strength and resilience as we work to heal during a difficult time.

In response to these events, Asian American Alliance of Marin will continue to support victims and communities through local advocacy, and social and racial justice work. We will continue to connect our AAPI community to mental health resources that are available in various languages and through a lens of cultural humility and proficiency. Finally, we will work to ensure our lawmakers support policies that restrict opportunities for gun violence to occur. Together, we will keep the communities of Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay in our hearts, while we recommit to our Marin AAPI community to act locally and work on solutions to prevent tragedies like these to happen again.

Resources to Strengthen our AAPI Community:
Stop AAPI Hate – Support Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay
Marin Behavioral Health and Recovery Services – Connect to Local Help and Information
Marin Outreach and Prevention Team – Building Resilience, Connections, and Hope
Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations – AAPI Mental Health Resource Guide
National Alliance on Mental Illness – NAMI Marin

2020 Solidarity Statement and Call to Action
Standing in solidarity for basic human rights and the elimination of structural racism is an ongoing quintessential moral position—and not merely a temporary political position. All members of the Board of Asian American Alliance of Marin (AAAM) express our deepest grief over the tragic loss of Black lives—most recently Tyre Nichols, but the list goes on—under the unjust fatal force of law enforcement. We denounce the historical and ongoing oppression of our Black brothers and sisters from state-sanctioned violence and systemic oppression. We also recognize that the fight towards freedom and equality for all Americans, especially those people of color historically oppressed in America, is truly what should be embodied in the freedom our country celebrates on the 4th of July.

The Board of Asian American Alliance of Marin recommits our organization’s mission of advocating for social and racial justice. We also commit to creating more opportunities for anti-racist reflections, dialogues, and actions in which all members of the Marin County community can participate.

Read our original solidarity statement here

Recording of Conversation with Jalena Keane-Lee and her film STANDING ABOVE THE CLOUDS

STANDING ABOVE THE CLOUDS follows Native Hawaiian mother-daughter activists at the forefront of the movement to protect their sacred mountain, Mauna a Wakea, from an eighteen story, Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT). STANDING ABOVE THE CLOUDS won Best Documentary Short at LA Asian Pacific Film Festival, Best Short Film at Melbourne Women in Film Festival, and Special Mention from the Center for Asian American Media.

We had the pleasure to screen this very special film on May 13, 2022. Jalena Keane-Lee is not only the maker of this film, but also comes from a family of generations of Asian American community advocates in Marin County. As a professional filmmaker, she explores intergenerational trauma and healing through an intersectional lens. Named Paper Magazine’s Top 5 Asian creators to know, Jalena’s work subverts traditional narratives about the female, Asian American Pacific Islander experience. Jalena co-founded Breaktide Productions, an all women of color production company, produced commercial series for Nike and Facebook, hosted the national environmental television show Eco Company, and won Tribeca Through Her Lens 2020. She’s also been an AAJA, NeXt Doc and Jacob Burns Film Center Fellow.


Vietnamese immigrants and refugees make up the majority of the workforce in the nail salon industry in California. As part of AAAM’s programming for Asian American Heritage Month, we wanted to uplift the experiences of the Vietnamese American nail salon workers in their resistance and persistence toward reforms in cosmetic product regulations and workplace safety!

On April 28, 2022, nail salon workers Tina Bui and Mong Thu Pham, who gave testimonies before state and local policy-making bodies, spoke about their experiences and answered questions from Marin county residents on live Zoom. Tony Nguyen, the Outreach & Digital Organizing Coordinator from the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative, shared more about the the state bills the Collaborative has helped pass, and the results of the Collaborative’s recent survey.

Founded in 2005, the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative is a statewide grassroots organization that addresses health, environmental, reproductive justice, and other social issues faced by its low-income, female, Vietnamese immigrant and refugee workforce. Using a multi-tiered approach that blends community organizing, grassroots policy advocacy, and community-based research, the Collaborative builds power of the nail salon community to develop solutions that benefit the nail salon workforce, their families, small immigrant and refugee owned businesses, and their communities.

Recording of Numbers Matter: Importance of Census Data for Community Advocacy

On Thursday April 21, 7-8pm, we hosted a talk and Q&A with Census Expert and Covid Vaccination Program Manager Sonny Lê! He explained the importance of census data, especially for specific marginalized and invisible Asian American groups, and what data is actually available for advocates to ask for. We recorded the session for those who could not attend the Zoom event live.

Prior to Vaccinate ALL 58, the State of California’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign, Sonny Lê served as the US Census Bureau 2020 Census Partnership Specialist, his third decennial census. In 2000 and 2010, he was the Census Bureau’s Senior Media Specialist representing the states of Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Oregon and the northern half of California. Prior to the 2020 Census, he taught strategic communications in the Non-profit Management Program at San Francisco State University. Sonny came to the US as a refugee from Vietnam in 1979. He has been a media consultant, community organizer, journalist, and a Vietnamese language medical interpreter for over 20 years. 

AAAM 2022 AAPI Heritage Month Events

Thursday April 21, 7-8pm | Numbers Matter: Importance of Census Data for Community Advocacy

Talk and Q&A with Census Expert and Covid Vaccination Program Manager Sonny Lê. See recording HERE.

Thursday April 28, 7pm-8pm | Health Advocacy Behind the Painted Nails

Presentation and Q&A with California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative. See recording HERE.

Saturday May 7, 6-7:30pm | Chinatown Rising

Film screening and Q&A with father and son filmmaker and activists, Harry and Joshua Chuck. Co-sponsored with AAPI Coalition of the North Bay.

Friday May 13, 7-8pm | Standing Above the Clouds

Film screening and Q&A with filmmaker and indigenous leader Jalena Keane-Lee discusses efforts to protect their sacred land. See recording HERE.

AAAM 2021 Virtual Community Gathering

On November 12, 2021, AAAM had our annual community gathering virtually again. Recordings of different parts of the gathering are here:

We encourage all to donate to San Francisco State University Asian American Research Initiative for the important research Dr. Jeung and other scholars do to provide concrete data and insightful analysis as grounding for AAPI advocacy and civic engagement. We also urge you to become a member of AAAM, or make a general donation to AAAM.