06 Jun Act To Change welcomes new slate of Board Members in fifth year as a non-profit
POSTED JUNE 6, 2023
Act To Change welcomes new slate of Board Members in fifth year as a non-profit
Act To Change is proud to welcome new board members as we advance our mission of ending bullying and uplifting Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) youth.
- Dr. Adam Collins, founder of Envision Zero Bullying, author of Effective Bullying Prevention: A Comprehensive Schoolwide Approach, and the Statewide Bullying Prevention Manager at the Colorado Department of Education
- Gang Fong, director at Copia Power, an energy transition company in the U.S. committed to accelerating decarbonization in all areas of our economy
- Satjeet Kaur, non-profit executive focused on civil and human rights issues, community mobilization and organizing as well as fundraising and operations; former Executive Director of the Sikh Coalition
- Krizia Medenilla, Head of Brand Partnerships for Jubilee Media, an AAPI-owned digital media company producing content for Gen Z that provokes understanding and creates human connection
- Sumi Parekh, Executive Director for the Group Effort Initiative (GEI), an organization that exists to create a pipeline for members of underrepresented communities to get real experience towards lasting careers within the entertainment industry
“Our new board members bring an unmatched slate of experiences in fields ranging from education, child psychology, climate action, media, advertising, policymaking and public office,” said Chair and Co-Founder Maulik Pancholy. “In their respective leadership positions, the members are continually working to advance visibility and representation for AAPIs, and influence policies at the local, state and national levels. In our fifth year as a non-profit and with the support of our mighty board, Act To Change is proud to continue our mission of creating a world where all children can live without fear and achieve their full potential.”
As children and grandchildren of immigrants, and proud parents of AAPI children, Act To Change’s new board members are familiar with the impacts of bullying in the AAPI community. They have ensured that our community has a seat at important decision-making tables as authors, educators, media managers and community leaders. AAPIs are often overlooked and underrepresented, and Act To Change is proud to work with stellar community leaders who are advancing visibility and representation in several fields.
Act To Change started its anti-bullying mission as a national public awareness campaign out of President Obama’s White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) in 2015 and relaunched as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 2018. In its 5th year as a nonprofit, Act To Change has reached and empowered thousands of youth and equipped them with tools to speak up against bullying and injustice.
During Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander Heritage Month 2023, Act To Change celebrated its 5th Annual National AAPI Day Against Bullying and Hate, supported by over 40 cities and states, and over 100 community organizations. The accompanying gala honored the legacy of Vincent Chin, celebrated leading AAPI trailblazers including United States Office of Personnel Management Director Kiran Ahuja, Daniel Dae Kim, AAPI Youth Rising, Ryan Alexander Holmes and more; and gave a strong reminder to AAPI youth that we all belong here.
Read on about our new board members below and meet our full team here.
ADAM COLLINS (he/him)
Dr. Adam Collins is the founder of Envision Zero Bullying and the author of Effective Bullying Prevention: A Comprehensive Schoolwide Approach and Data-Based Decision Making within Multi-Tiered Systems of Support: Applying the 4-Step Problem-Solving Model at All Tiers (in press). He has researched and implemented bullying prevention best practices for over 15 years at the local, state, and national level. His approach to ending bullying is focused on supporting the children involved and improving the systems around those children to prevent further incidents of bullying. His work has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, Teen Vogue, and Time.
Currently serving as the Statewide Bullying Prevention Manager for the Colorado Department of Education, Dr. Collins leads the largest state-funded bullying prevention program in the nation which has shown an over 35 percent drop in student-reported bullying. Additionally, he led the creation of Colorado’s first state model bullying prevention policy and its subsequent revisions which included the collaboration with families with students targeted for bullying, education leaders, and community members.
Prior to serving at the Colorado Department of Education, Dr. Collins was a school psychologist at an elementary school in the Denver metro area for several years. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from the University of Kansas and his Doctorate of Philosophy in school psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Dr. Collins is a third-generation Japanese American, a husband, and father to two young children.
GANG FONG (he/him)
Gang Fong is a director at Copia Power, an energy transition company in the U.S. committed to accelerating decarbonization in all areas of our economy. Prior to Copia Power, Gang was a management and technology consultant for 15 years, leading and supporting public, private, and government organizations to implement transformational programs, process improvements, and optimize their operations. Gang received his Executive Master of Business Administration (Valedictorian) from the University of Oregon and a Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems from Oregon State University.
As a first-generation Chinese American immigrant, Gang is familiar with the impacts of bullying in the Asian American and Pacific Islander community and is passionate to support and amplify Act To Change’s mission and initiatives. Gang resides in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and children.
SATJEET KAUR (she/her)
Satjeet is a non-profit executive focused on civil and human rights issues, community mobilization and organizing as well as fundraising and operations.
She most recently served as the Executive Director of the Sikh Coalition, the largest and most prominent Sikh civil rights organization in the United States. Though she became Executive Director in 2018, she has worked in nearly every core facet of the organization’s work throughout her 12 years on the team. During that time, Satjeet served as a leading organizer and activist providing direct support to Sikh communities across the country, including the rapid response after the Oak Creek Gurdwara shooting. Under her leadership as executive director, the Sikh Coalition passed hate crime laws at the state and federal levels, successfully fought back against attempts to roll back federal policies that protected Sikhs from discrimination, improved how Sikhism is taught in six new states, oversaw the development of classroom-ready resources, mobilized grassroots voter registration drives, and successfully litigated cases to set strong precedence against religious discrimination. Recently, the organization led a U.S.-based response to the farmers’ protest in India, and provided crisis response support after the mass shooting in Indianapolis.
She currently serves as a Spiritual Life Advisor at New York University. She was named as one of 15 Faith Leaders to Watch by the Center for American Progress and has appeared on New York City and State list of leading Asian Americans. Satjeet has also served on interfaith advisory councils for Netflix, Facebook, and New York State. Previous to her tenure at the Sikh Coalition, Satjeet worked at SAMAR to increase the number of minorities registered on the National Bone Marrow Registry.
Satjeet was born and raised in New Jersey and currently lives in Connecticut. She is a graduate of New York University with degrees in Religious Studies and Psychology.
KRIZIA MEDENILLA (she/her)
Krizia Medenilla is Head of Brand Partnerships for Jubilee Media, an AAPI-owned digital media company with the purpose of provoking understanding and creating human connection for its millions of Gen Z and Millennial audiences globally.
Her support for the Act to Change mission is fueled by a long-standing passion to represent the underrepresented, as is evidenced by 13+ years of experience within the AAPI and multicultural marketing/advertising landscape.
In a previous role leading brand partnerships with TDW+Co, a purpose-driven multicultural and AAPI-focused ad agency, Krizia worked relentlessly to cultivate meaningful campaigns with the AAPI consumer top of mind. In managing strategic multicultural marketing efforts for household brands like Disney, Procter & Gamble, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and more, her passion for multicultural representation skyrocketed.
As a daughter of Filipino immigrants, she was exposed to disgraceful first-hand experiences of racial and ethnic bullying. With raising awareness for Filipino-related issues as a focal point, Krizia led passion projects with organizations like NextDayBetter, Gawad Kalinga, and the Apl.de.ap Foundation. In 2015, she launched a Los Angeles-based grassroots Filipino Food for Thought speaker series, in partnership with a small and mighty volunteer team, which has been credited for kickstarting a Filipino cuisine boom in Los Angeles and beyond.
While Krizia resides in Los Angeles leading integrated brand campaigns for Jubilee Media, she continues to ask, “How can I help?” for value-aligned initiatives in her spare time.
SUMI PAREKH (she/her)
Sumi Parekh is the Executive Director for the Group Effort Initiative (GEI), an organization launched and financed by Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively that exists to create a pipeline for members of underrepresented communities to get real experience towards lasting careers within the entertainment industry.
Prior to her role at GEI, Sumi held several positions in the office of Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti, including the Executive Officer to the Deputy Mayor of Economic Development.In that role, she served as a thought partner to the Deputy Mayor and as the Mayor’s Business Team Director and entertainment liaison, focusing on improving diversity, equity, and inclusion within Hollywood. While in Mayor Garcetti’s office, she started the Evolve Entertainment Fund, an alliance between the City of Los Angeles, industry leaders in entertainment and digital media, non-profit organizations, and educational institutions, that were dedicated to building career pathways into film, television, and music for women, people of color, and low-income Angelenos through paid internships, focused mentoring, and an ongoing series of workshops and panels. She also helped to launch LA Collab, an unprecedented effort to connect Latinx talent, executives, and creators to opportunities in the entertainment industry — and double Latino representation in Hollywood by 2030.
Sumi was also a Program Manager at the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles, a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to improving life for all Angelenos, and prior to that she was the Director of Legislative Affairs and Programs at the Los Angeles Business Council (LABC).
Sumi currently serves as a Commissioner to the City of Los Angeles and serves on the LA Collab Board.
She graduated in 2013 from the University of Southern California with a Master’s in Public Policy and has a B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Texas at Austin.