OUR TEAM

Executive Director

Dr. Sandra So Hee Chi Kim is AAJIL’s founder and Co-Executive Director. She is an adjunct professor of race and ethnic studies at Cal State LA and a Visiting Scholar in USC’s Department of American Studies and Ethnicity. Her research explores the intersections of race, global coloniality, migration, and culture. Her articles have appeared in Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies, Positions: Asia Critique, Korean Studies, Discourse: Journal for Theoretical Studies in Media and Culture, and Occasion: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities. She is currently working on a book manuscript entitled The Kinship of Empires: Transpacific Coloniality and Korean Historical Trauma.

Alex Cena is AAJIL’s Co Executive Director. He is a diversity and inclusion professional  with 11  years of experience specializing in leadership development and community organizing. He has served as a Center Director for Higher Achievement and as a Programs Manager for Asian American LEAD. His background in diversity and inclusion work comes from his experience in higher education when he served as the Director of Asian Pacific Islander American Affairs at the University of Florida and when he served as the Community Outreach Coordinator for the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities. 

Executive Director
Education Director

Elaine Chiu is AAJIL’s Education Director. She is a born and raised New Yorker but moved to California in 2018 to pursue a second masters degree in Intercultural Studies with a focus on Asian American Contexts at Fuller Theological Seminary. Although Elaine started out with an early childhood special education background, she is currently a 5th grade teacher at Polytechnic School. She’s excited to integrate her studies in graduate school with her work in education and as a classroom teacher to rethink curriculum that can expose and engage students to think more deeply and compassionately about the world. 

Jean Park is AAJIL's Community Engagement Director and a member of the API Artists Lab, Lotus Art Collective. She is a Community Engagement Coordinator at API Forward Movement, a nonprofit working to cultivate healthy and active API communities through grassroots organizing. She is currently working on the CleanAirSGV Campaign. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Jean is inspired by advocacy organizations and coalitions fighting to end homelessness and is actively involved with Ground Game LA and Chinatown Community for Equitable Development (CCED). 

Community Engagement Director