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“New Faces of Leadership,” a timely and important topic, will be discussed when the Asian and Pacific Islander Vote-Michigan (APIA Vote-Michigan) launches its programs for this year on  Feb. 17, 2012 at the Philippine American Community Center of Michigan (PACCM) in Southfield.

A reception-networking event at 6 p.m. will precede the forum which will start at 7:15 p.m.

A panel of resource speakers on the topic will be presented shortly before the discussion. It is composed of Congressman Hansen Clarke, Senator Hoon-Yung Hopgood, Dr. Syed Taj (Canton township trustee) and Kevin Ketels (Woods City councilman).

They will speak about the challenges and triumphs of Asian-Americans as candidates and as elected officials in Michigan.

The keynote speaker will be US Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-California), chairperson of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC).

The discussion is deemed important because this year is a presidential election year.

APIA Vote-Michigan will play a key role in the efforts to register Asian Americans for their participation in the coming election. Its target is to register 2,000 voters.

The organization is requesting the involvement of every Asian American in the voters registration and mobilization as well as in its advocacy for political empowerment.

The event is open to the public and free of charge. But RSVP is urged on or before Feb. 14th. This may be done by sending a message at e-mail ad contact@apiavotemi.org or by calling 734-751-9814.
[box type=”default” size=”large”] Field organizer needed [/box]Michigan Voice (MV) is accepting applications for the position of field organizer in the Lansing or Detroit areas. MV is seeking applicants who are result-oriented and excellent in relationship-building with strong project-management skills.

The applicants must have at least two to three years of experience in labor, political and community or progressive organizing. It is a full-time, regular position, and the compensation will depend on experience. The position carries full benefits, including health, dental, vision care and 401 (k).

MV, a state-based collaboration formed in 2005, aims to improve long-term coordination and communication among non-profit, civic organizations in Michigan. Its nonpartisan mission is to draw the participation of the underrepresented and socially responsible voters in the democratic process and to take collective action based on a common agenda.

Applicants are asked to send their resume with cover letter to Art Reyes lll at art@statevoices.org. The deadline for the submission of applications is Feb. 15, 2012.[box type=”default” size=”large”] Housing fellowship [/box]Applications are now being accepted by the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) and the Asian Real State Association of America (AREAA). The two entities have jointly created a fellowship program to provide fellows with unique professional and educational experience of serving as full-time staff in the US Congress. The two groups are trying to develop future leaders who are dedicated to addressing the diverse housing and community development needs of the Asian American and Pacific communities.

The AREAA fellow will be assigned at a congressional office and will work on housing community-development needs of Asian American and Pacific Islanders.

The application deadline is March 1, 2012. For more details of the program, interested individuals are asked visit http://bit.ly/AREAAFellowship.

Save the date: The 10th Annual Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Heritage Month will be celebrated in the capitol building in Lansing on May 22, 2012.

The event will be hosted by the Michigan Asian Pacific Affairs Commission (MAPAAC). As in the past year, it will be supported by the Michigan Department of Civil Rights and State Senator Hoon-Yung Hopgood.

On the day of the celebration, there will be a regular MAPAAC meeting that will start at 9 a.m. Several Asian-American organizations will be invited to attend the meeting.

The program for the celebration will be presented at Capitol Rotunda starting at 3:30 p.m. It will include the speech by the guest speaker and the performance by several cultural groups.

Last year, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder graced the celebration as a speaker.

The program will be followed by a reception at 4:30 p.m. Food will be served.

Save the date: APIA Vote-Michigan will hold its second annual dinner on June 8, 2012 at the Golden Harvest Restaurant on 12 Mile Road, Warren. A dynamic speaker will address the gathering. The event will offer a 10-dish dinner at $40 per guest. Persons intending to attend the affair are urged to make early reservation for tickets.

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Willie is a teacher at the Detroit Public School. A very popular and influential leader in the Filipino-American community in Michigan, Dechavez is the incumbent Michigan state chairperson of the National Federation of Filipino-American Associations (NaFFAA) and public relations officer of both the Filipino-American Community Council (FILAMCCO) and the Philippine American Community Center (PACCM). A native of Sorsogon, Philippines, he is also vice president of the Bicol Association of Michigan. He is recipient of numerous awards.

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