Asian-American Advisory Board
In the early nineties, threatened by a set-aside program, some Asian community leaders recognized that they required a voice in the hall of government to protect the economic future of their community. This initiated the efforts, which resulted in Commissioner Pedro Reboredo sponsoring the following resolution:
- Whereas, the status of Asian Americans has long been ignored;and
- Whereas, Asian Americans have been underrepresented in our hall of government and other public and private institutions; and
- Whereas, the Board of County Commissioners desires to recognize the contributions of Americans to the cultural, political, social and economic life of Dade County.
Thus, on July 22, 1997, a 26 member Miami-Dade County Asian-American Advisory Board was created by Ordinance No. 97-128 to serve in an advisory capacity to the Board of County Commissioners, the County Administration, the community, and all agencies and persons in Miami-Dade County, Florida, with respect to matters pertaining to the Asian community of Miami-Dade County.
After initial appointments, in January 1998, the Board met for the first time, the following were privileged to become the founding members of the Board as Commissioners sought more Asian-Americans in their districts to fill remaining vacancies:
Mr. Woo H Jacob Lee; Mr. M. Siddiq Khan; Ms. Winnie Tang; Mr. Tasnim Uddin; Billy K. Yeh, M.D., Ph.D.; Mr. Edward Deng; Dr. John J. Tsai; Bob De La Fuente Esq.; Ms. Mimi Lam Friedman; Mr. Nasir Alam; Mr. Dennis Murasaki; Vincent Chen, Esq.; Mr. Felix Lima were appointed by their respective commissioners. Laura Morilla Esq., shared the responsibility of staffing this Board, in addition to her own, the Miami-Dade County Commission for Women.
On December 28, 2000, the Board had its first full time Director - Mohammad S. Shakir was the first Asian-American to staff the Board.
In September 1998, Commissioner Reboredo was honored for his leadership in forming the Board. In May 1999, marked the beginning of APA Heritage Month celebration as Professor Paul George presented the history of Asian-Americans in Miami-Dade County. In May 2000, first Annual Award Reception was held, which were to become the signature event for the Board.
September 11, 2001 was a defining moment as much for the Asian-American Advisory Board, as it was for our nation. The Board was engaged in the cultural activities, since its inception, and now had to undertake the responsibility of educating the Asian-American community about the new directives and instructions coming from the federal, state and local agencies, as well as sensitize the society that in our society, we do not hold a group responsible for the crimes of a few individuals. We aggressively embarked on sensitivity training as well as vouch for the rights of the Asian-American community.
In November 2016, the Board welcomed Joshua Ho as new Program Director after the retirement of Mohammad S. Shakir.
MissionEstablished on July 22nd, 1997, the Asian-American Advisory Board was created to work in an advisory capacity to the Board of County Commissioners, administration, community, and all agencies in Miami-Dade County, with respect to matters pertaining to the Asian-American community. In addition, the Board and its staff routinely assist people with their grievances and intervene with the appropriate parties to seek a resolution to issues the community faces.
Agendas and Minutes
List of Asian-American Advisory Board agendas and minutes available for viewing.
Board MembersExecutive Committee
- Sadrul Fasihi, Chairman
- Sharon Fine, 1st Vice Chairwoman
- Phong Tony Vu, 2nd Vice Chairman
- Vinita Chakravarty, 3rd Vice Chairwoman
- Mehmet Ulutas, Immediate Past Chairman
- Joshua Ho, Executive Director
- Melissa Braynon
- Michael Chen
- Reza D'Jahanshahi
- Christina Fuentes
- Josephine Gordy
- Li Gurau
- Oscar Herrera
- Stephen Matsumoto
- Anjana Mishra
- Subbarayan Pochi
- Linda Sun
- Victor Swaroop
- Stephen Lian Thang
- Adrianne Thompson
- Phonethip (Tai) Vaz
- Nick Vicera
- Manny Wong
- Jim Yu
Bylaws and Founding OrdinanceThe bylaws and founding ordinance for the Asian-American Advisory Board can be found below.
- Cultural Advancement Committee
- Economic Development Committee
- Education/Civic Engagement Committee
It is my honor and privilege to serve our community as Chair of the Miami-Dade County Asian American Advisory Board (AAAB) for 2017-2018. I thank our AAAB members, friends and organizations for their dedicated support in contributing to AAAB's primary goal of promoting Asian culture in our community.
The Asian Americans in Miami-Dade County brought with them their heritage that contributes to the diversity in our community. Life in our Miami-Dade community has been enriched by Asians who have chosen to come and work here.
All across America and around the world, individuals of Asian descent have consistently distinguished themselves in various disciplines such as business, academia, public and private sectors, science and arts. Asian Americans have helped advance prosperity, peace and innovation in the United States. There are countless Asian American success stories buoyed by the long standing American tradition of hard work, ingenuity and entrepreneurship. Many of these success stories take place right here in Miami-Dade.
AAAB's objectives can be summarized as follows:
- Highlight the intersections of Asian and non-Asian communities
- Educate our fellow Americans about the wealth of our Asian cultures as well as our contributions to our South Florida community.
- Foster relationships with our public officials
- Build coalitions with other community groups
- Engage and support advocacy and community outreach programs
- Organize programs to recognize and appreciate outstanding Asian American community members
These are a few of the community-based non-profit Asian organizations the AAAB engages with:
- FASC, Florida Asian Services Center, provides a full community service institution helping the elderly and providing a wide range of community services.
- SAHARA helping the victims of domestic violence, providing mental health counseling, referral in legal services and helping victims gain independence.
- UHI Community Care Clinic providing free preventative healthcare to uninsured and poor in our community, regardless of race, sex or faith.
- NUR Center providing a safe house for women and children in distress, the victims of domestic violence, and human trafficking.
- APABA, Asian Pacific American Bar Association, dedicated to ensuring that the Asian Pacific American community is effectively represented in South Florida.
- COSMOS, Coalition of South Florida Muslim Organizations, keeping media engaged, responding to special needs and keeping media informed of Islam/Muslim related events and activities.
- ACRC, Asian Community Resource Center, provide services for our community's seniors.
- NAAAP, National Association of Asian American Professionals, promote career development and leadership development through networking, promoting Asian multiculturalism and inclusion by supporting diversity and community services.
AAAB also supports the following Asian cultural events that not only display the cultural richness of a very diverse Asian American community but also generates millions of dollars in economic activity:
- Asian Culture Festival
- Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month
- Chinese New Year Festival
- Asian American Heritage Night with the Miami Heat
The beauty of Miami-Dade lies in the multitude of cultures and people who live here. With our combined efforts, we can continue the work of creating a cohesive Asian American community that adds to the vision of an inclusive and diverse county.
Thanks and Regards,
ServicesSAHARA - Asian Women in Distress
Asian Women in distress, especially those who are the victims of domestic violence need support from their families, extended families and the community at-large.
In response to the needs of Asian women in our communities, The Women's Caucus of the Asian American Advisory Board and the Women's Fund of Miami-Dade County Women's Advocacy Project have formed Sahara - a group of concerned women in the Asian community working to support Asian Women in distress.
Documents Translation & Authentication: The Board also offers a community service to translate documents from Asian languages to English for official needs in the United States. It is a free service for limited use and subject to the availability of translators.
- Translation Service: Asian-American Advisory Board provides interpreters on need basis for official uses, especially for immigration or court needs. We offer limited help to Florida Immigration Advocacy Center (FIAC) and other social organizations who provide pro bono services to their clients.
The NUR Center Inc.: is a safe house for women and children in distress. In order to find culture-friendly safe housing for the growing need for women and children in distress—the victims of domestic violence, and human trafficking, the Board collaborates with the NUR Center Inc., to house women and children in distress. It is a temporary solution, the NUR Center and SAHARA work with the victims to resolve their needs as much and a problem.
- Free Medical Services: Asian Board also collaborates with the UHI Community Care Clinic, located at 4851 NW. 183rd Street, Miami Gardens, FL 33055-2955, to assist people in need of medical care. The Clinic provides free preventive medical care to anyone with no insurance or any other government entitlement for medical care. Clinic also works with medical labs for subsidized X-Rays; MRIs; and blood tests. For critical needs Clinic fast-tracks patients to Jackson healthcare system.
This is an exceptional opportunity to gain work experience and gain a deeper understanding of the County's political system. It is anticipated that after completing this position interns will have gained practical skills. Interns will observe diversity in action and gain exposure to Miami-Dade County's unique community building model.
Eligibility and Qualifications
The intern should be a college or graduate student who is bright, excited, and motivated. The Office of Community Advocacy (OCAd) is seeking a diverse group of interns who can offer fresh, multifaceted, and diverse perspectives. The position will be most applicable to students interested in communication, international affairs, ethnic studies, political science, community development, public policy, and other social sciences. We are seeking applicants with the following skills:
- Computer skills
- Communication skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Research skills
- Organizational skills
- 8 weeks minimum
- Part time or full time
- To be completed between June 1st and September 1st
- Spend time working with other boards and/or local organizations and institutions
- Other duties to be determined based on Board needs and intern interests
To apply for Internships, download and complete this application and send it along with a resume, cover letter, and an explanation of internship requirements from your internship coordinator or other school official . In your cover letter please explain your interest in the internship and the skills you are able to offer. Applications may be sent either by mail or by email to:
Attn: Joshua J. Ho, Program Director
Asian-American Advisory Board
Stephen P. Clark Center
111 NW 1st Street, Suite 1034
Miami, FL 33128
Direct: (305) 375-1570
Fax: (305) 375-5715
April 15th for summer, rolling deadline for internships during the school year.
The Office of Community Advocacy is looking for volunteers to serve as liaison between the Advisory Boards and the Miami-Dade County community at large.
All volunteer members must be permanent residents of Miami-Dade County. In addition, members should have demonstrated an interest in the field, activity or sphere covered by the board.
The primary consideration in appointing volunteer members is to provide the board with the needed technical, professional, financial, business or administrative expertise.
Please note: all volunteers must pass a background check, provided by Miami-Dade County.
- For more information, please read the Standards for Creation and Review of Boards Generally.
Duties & Responsibilities:
- To assist in programs and services, and to coordinate the activities of governmental entities and nongovernmental agencies pertaining to the Asian community.
- To recommend solutions to the social, economic, cultural and political problems in the Asian Community, as well as to serve as a liaison between the Asian community and the Miami-Dade County community at large.
- To foster relationships with the public officials and maintain formal channels of communication so that Asian concerns are effectively transmitted and heard.
For more information, please read the Asian-American Advisory Board Code of Ordinance