September 18, 2019
NAAAP Detroit Held Panel Discussion on APA Opportunities & Experiences in Public Service
DETROIT, MI – The National Association of Asian American Professionals’ Detroit chapter (NAAAP Detroit) held its fourth Learn & Grow session for this year on Saturday, September 14 at the Plymouth Public Library. The program, entitled “APA Opportunities and Experiences in Public Sector,” was a panel discussion with six panelists: Dr. Sook Wilkinson (former Chairwoman of the Board of Trustees, Northern Michigan University), State Senator Stephanie Chang (1st Michigan State District), State Representative Padma Kuppa (Michigan’s 41st House District), Roland Hwang (Vice President of the Northville School Board), Willie Council (Community Outreach Specialist for the FBI’s Detroit Division Office of Public Affairs) and a Senior Officer from the Central Intelligence Agency. NAAAP Detroit member and its Career and Professional Development committee co-chair, Dr. Aparajita Jeedigunta moderated the panel discussion.
Panelists were asked about how they got involved in public service, what their experiences have been and why it is important for Asian Americans to consider running for public offices or to pursue a career in public service. The panelists shared invaluable insights and lessons through personal stories, experiences and watershed moments that shaped their journeys in public service. Representative Kuppa and Dr. Wilkinson talked about the impact of their experiences as new immigrants in the United States in advocating for better representation and inclusion. Senator Chang explained how her community activism from her college days and later engagement with the APIA-Vote Michigan initiative encouraged her to run for public office. Roland Hwang made a strong pitch for Asian American parents to join their children’s school PTAs, and, to consider running for their local school and education boards. Willie Council and a senior officer from the Central Intelligence Agency talked about why they chose federal government jobs as their career options, and, about the sense of pride and job satisfaction they feel every day by serving and protecting our nation.
NAAAP Detroit would like to thank Susan Stoney from the Plymouth Public Library for her cooperation and assistance with securing the venue and the audio-visual equipment. A special note of gratitude also goes to Thai Ocha and Pakwaan Indian Cuisine restaurants located in downtown Plymouth for sponsoring light snacks for the event.
NAAAP Detroit’s events provide excellent opportunity to hone professional and leadership skills, as well as meet professionals and employers in the Greater Detroit area. Through our umbrella of national organizations, NAAAP.org, our members connect with the broader Asian American professional network throughout North American via national leadership gatherings and interaction with the 33 Chapters.
NAAAP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and leading organization in North America that cultivates and empowers Asian leaders through professional development, community service, and networking. NAAAP has a long tradition in the US and Canada, and there is dynamic energy and enthusiasm for the future of NAAAP Detroit Chapter. NAAAP Detroit Chapter encourages members and friends to join to provide and experience leadership and professional development programs and service experiences to grow personally and to contribute to the growth of others in NAAAP and where they work and live. Go to www.naaap.org and www.naaapdetroit.org for more information.