Hapa Issues Forum (HIF) was founded in 1992 at UC Berkeley
to create a voice and space for mixed race Japanese Americans. As a student
group, HIF developed a strong relationship with the Japanese American
community through education and outreach programs focused on the inclusion
of mixed race Japanese Americans in the greater Japanese American community.
Shortly after incorporating as a nonprofit organization in 1993, HIF broadened
its scope by shifting to a pan-Asian mixed race focus in 1994. The organization
continued its expansion with the founding of the Southern California (later
to become Los Angeles) chapter in 1997, followed by UC Irvine (1999),
San Francisco (1999), Stanford University (2000), UC San Diego (2001)
and UC Los Angeles (2001).
As chapters provided local campus and community programs, HIF’s
national programs grew to include an annual conference, diversity trainings
to Asian American community organizations, advocacy for multiracial people,
and a speaker’s bureau on multiracial Asian American issues. Through
these programs, HIF has helped to educate Asian American communities on
the multiracial Asian American experience, provided opportunities for
leadership development and personal growth, and successfully advocated
for official recognition of multiracial people by the federal government.
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The Future of HIF?
Starting in late 2004, the Board and
Staff of HIF began an assessment and planning process for the future.
This was sparked by internal changes within HIF as well as external.
One of our main goals was to figure out, is what we do still relevant?
Is there still a need? And if so, how will we as an organization
meet those goals.
As a result, we developed and adopted
a strategic plan last October 2004, the culmination of almost a
year of intensive work by staff, board members, and volunteers.
During that period, we worked closely with consultants, held numerous
board and staff meetings and retreats, and poured over organizational
program, evaluation, and assessment data from the last five years.
In considering our strengths and drawing
from our experience, we have decided to focus on three areas of
organizational competence: advocacy, education, and research. As
part of our advocacy efforts we will engage in community organizing,
but we will no longer focus on social-oriented or chapter-based
programs. In moving from a direct-service model, we see our greatest
strength and opportunity in focusing on the creation of specialized
educational programs, the shaping of public policy, and the fostering
of innovative and topical research on multiracial Asian Americans.
That is the what and why of HIF but the
form still remains to be determined. If you are interested in shaping
these future initiatives, please contact us and keep checking back
here for updates as we forward with our mission of enriching the
lives of multiracial Asian Americans and fostering a world based
on acceptance, inclusion and a commitment to community-building
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