Thursday, September 19, 2019
5 – 6 PM Exhibit Preview & Cocktails
6 – 8 PM Food Tasting
8 – 9 PM Award Program
L.A. River Center & Gardens
570 W Ave 26, Los Angeles, CA 90065
2019 Champions For Change
During her more than 24 years in the world of nonprofits and foundations, Wendy has become known as a respected leader in the field with expertise in grantmaking, program development, public policy, technical assistance, and training. Currently, Wendy directs grantmaking, special initiatives, and capacity building activities at the Dwight Stuart Youth Fund.
Click here for more information.
Dwight Stuart Youth Fund (DSYF)
The mission of the Dwight Stuart Youth Fund (DSYF) is to support organizations in Los Angeles County that provide direct services and experiences to underserved children and youth so they may gain values, skills, and confidence to achieve their potential.
Click here for more information.
Questions & Answers
With Wendy Chang
What motivates you to invest in children and youth?
Dwight Stuart Youth Fund’s vision is to help our community’s most vulnerable children dream more – with a deep knowing that possibilities are boundless and regardless of circumstance. At the core of our focus of supporting educational enrichment programs is the desire to humanize education and close the disengagement gap. What we know matters, but who we are matters more.
What challenges do you think children and youth from immigrant Asian and Pacific Islander community face?
While there are many challenges that immigrant families face, barriers to integration and lack of participation (due to fear and limited resources) restricts them from building their lives and being an active community member.
A fundamental misconception and association are that immigrants are criminals thus should not receive support. Not all immigrants are undocumented nor broke any laws. Approximately 83% of families living in LA County are mixed status immigrant families. Legal Permanent Resident, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), US Citizens, and undocumented. No matter where you are on political spectrum, we can agree that more participation in our democracy makes the country stronger. We are all immigrants so to move towards a just society we must support integration and participation.
One of the biggest worries for girls, no matter their background, is a lack of self-confidence. Where did you find your own self-confidence?
For as long as I can remember, I was a perfectionist – or trying to be “perfect.” The thing about that is it paralyzes, keeps you quiet, and you’re walking around thinking you’re not enough – ever. I hustled perfectionism. While I will always have this part of me, it’s slowly dissolving once I realized that I’m not alone and my experience is human.
Going it alone is revered in our culture but we need support. Often times our greatest fear is asking for help. Especially as our national conversations are centered around fear and blame, rather than coming together to heal we’re angry and scared. We all want to be brave so often times we fabricate certainty. This is not a good thing as we lose our capacity for connection, build more uncertainty and fear, and limit love. However, openness is not weakness – we confuse feeling with failing and emotions with liability. In reality, openness sounds like truth and feels like courage.
What tips do you have for getting teens to learn and build healthy relationships?
When we are our true selves all things that come to us are exactly what we need. Sometimes, our belief system holds us back - we hold on to things for fear of unknown. As long as we let go of things that do not belong, there will be room for those that do belong - to create something new. When we're with others in a healthy relationship, connecting to others as your authentic self, wonderful things occur -- life works when you let it! We are creating our reality every moment and giving life meaning. We are that significant. We are that powerful.
What motivates you to keep giving for the issues you care about?
For me personally, education and empowerment are key and fundamental human rights. Social Justice is at the core of everything that I am involved in. Social Justice is founded on one principle: each of us has the full rights of any of us to pursue our purpose. Whenever conditions occur that limits this, we must challenge it. Whenever any of our communities are faced with lack of opportunity, lack of resources, or lack of justice -- we must challenge it.
In your long career in philanthropy, what would you like to share with the audience to encourage them to support CPAF and other community-based organizations doing social good?
The work of CPAF has an incredible healing message of “you’re not alone.” Beyond shelter – acknowledging the fragility and fear each individual is facing while providing the necessary supportive services to build their lives is critically important. CPAF, like many of the best community organizations, champion cultural humility and whole community engagement.