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Partner Spotlight: Center for the Pacific Asian Family

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Community members at
CPAF's 35th Anniversery Gala

Thanks to a generous grant from the JIB Fund Community Building Initiative, we were able to collaborate with our long-time shelter partner, Center for the Pacific Asian Family (CPAF), to develop I CAN WE CAN as a community engagement resource for the domestic violence and sexual assault movements. Wanda Luong, CPAF's Transitional Program Manager, shares:

"For CPAF, I CAN WE CAN was the opportunity to bring the API communities’ voice to a primarily English project. CPAF was also able to think about how we can incorporate art into various outreach and engagement strategies.

"In October, CPAF planned an online and fundraising campaign to commemorate Domestic Violence Awareness Month. By adding the I CAN WE CAN component, we were given a structure to engage the community in bringing awareness to the issue of domestic violence. At our annual gala, many API professionals attended, and some are getting to know CPAF and AWBW for the first time. Having an art activity provided an avenue for participants to share creative ways they could help end violence.

"CPAF staff, who worked together on I CAN WE CAN this year, all agree that we want to develop and refine the project for future outreach and community engagement strategies. Seeing people get excited and visit the Gallery Neuartig art exhibition, our gala, etc., reminds CPAF how a message of any size is as important as a grandiose message to end violence. Participating in a unifying annual campaign will make our commitment even stronger, and generate the publicity and momentum needed to shift the movement from 'only a few can understand and help end violence' to 'we all can understand and help end violence.'"

Here are a select group of CPAF's I CAN WE CAN hands and stories:

I CAN Be Me by Wanda Luong

I keep my I CAN in my purse. I see it everytime I open it to get my wallet and it reminds me that the most important thing to do on a daily basis is to be me. Nothing more, nothing less. This humbles and strengthens me to know that I can be me and make changes in the face of adversity.

Pieces of Peace

As an intern for the emergency shelter in Center for Pacific Asian Family, I have had many opportunities working for and interacting with survivors of domestic violence. Prior to this experience, I had difficulty creating an I CAN statement because it was an area I was not too familiar with and I did not know how I would go about making an impact, big or small...

You Are Not Alone

I have worked with abused clients and will continue to work with abused clients at DCFS. I CAN is a form of self-therapy that enables a survivor, or those experiencing abuse, who cannot express how they are feeling verbally, to express themselves through creative works of art.

Hands Unite by Jen Li

I remember the first time I heard about the program I was very curious. I wondered how could my art contribute to ending domestic violence. However, after the program, I realized that it was not only me that spreads the message, it is everyone. And when everyone unites together and supports a cause, WE CAN make it happen. I am happy to be a part of this movement...

Open Hand, Open Heart

As a legal advocate at LAFLA, I sometimes meet or talk to victims of domestic violence. It is difficult to see how a victim can overcome difficult reality. However, the experience with this art project helps me to have faith and a great hope.

Strength in Love by Alfred Mendiola

I can prevent domestic violence and sexual assault by advocating for gender equality. I can do this by advocating for myself, individuals, families, communities, institutions, and education as a social worker. I believe that all of these factors can create powerful change once they work together as one.

I CAN Make a Difference... I CAN End Violence by Winnie Lam

I practice my I CAN every day at my job, specifically while working with children who have witnessed and/or experienced violence. My I CAN hand serves as a reminder for me to continue to have an empathetic ear, use kind words and practice nonviolence teaching methods so I can be a positive role model...

A Dream

I enjoyed my experiences with AWBW's I CAN WE CAN project. It brought out a creative side of me that I wasn't very familiar with. In the past, I associated art as difficult and hard to relate to. AWBW helped create a safe space for me to freely express myself without judgment.

Educate by Siedah

I CAN WE CAN has impacted my life by showing me that domestic violence and sexual assault are important issues. It is not a sole individual or family issue; it is community issue. I CAN WE CAN has inspired me to take action by educating people about domestic violence and sexual assault.

To see all of CPAF’s artwork and stories, click here.

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