Strategist, politico and coalition builder Gregory Cendana is the first openly gay and youngest-ever Executive Director of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance and Institute for Asian Pacific American Leadership & Advancement. He is the immediate past Chair of National Council of Asian Pacific Americans, co-founder of the diversity initiative Inclusv, Treasurer for the Labor Coalition for Community Action and is the youngest General Board member of the AFL-CIO, a federation of labor unions representing 12 million workers. Gregory has been named one of Washington DC's most influential 40-and-under young leaders, one of the 30 Most Influential Asian Americans Under 30 & the "Future of DC Politics". He also co-authored Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) Behind Bars: Exposing the School to Prison to Deportation Pipeline, a first of its kind report on the impact mass incarceration and mass criminalization in the AAPI community. Previously, he served as President of the United States Student Association (USSA), where he played an integral role in the passage of the Student Aid & Fiscal Responsibility Act and Healthcare & Education Reconciliation Act. In his spare time, Gregory enjoys singing karaoke, choreographing dances and trying new cooking recipes. Be a part of his journey by following him on Twitter at @GregoryCendana.
National Political Director
Gloria Caoile is a recognized civic leader in the Asian American and Pacific Islander Community. She was a founding member of the Asian Pacific American Women Leadership Institute (APAWLI), the only national organization dedicated to nurturing nad developing leadership skills among Asian American and Pacific Islander women. She was also a founding member of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APAL), a national organization of Asian Pacific American labor union members. She has served on the boards of several civil rights group including the Filipino American Civil Rights advocates and the National Federation of Filipino-American Associations. Gloria’s professional experience includes more than 30 years of service with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), a 1.3 million-member union. At the time of her retirement she was the assistant to the AFSCME President. Although retired, Gloria is still active with AFSCME. In her most recent service, Gloria led a disaster response and relief team to help 3,000 AFSCME survivors of hurricane Karina. She previously headed a similar effort on behalf of AFSCME a few days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York. She personally managed the AFSCME September 11 Fallen Heroes Fund to assist members who were directly affected by the tragedy.
Membership & Chapter Coordinator/Policy Analyst
William currently serves as the Membership Chapter Coordinator/Policy Analyst for the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO (APALA) where he is committed to advancing worker, immigrant and civil rights. As the first and only national organization of Asian Pacific American workers and union members, his work with APALA serves as the bridge between the broader labor movement and the AAPI community. Prior to coming to Washington DC, William was born and raised in Oakland California where his family arrived as political refugees of the Vietnam War. Growing up in a low income environment where his parents struggled to assimilate due to language barriers and had to work multiple low wage jobs to make ends meet, William realized how his experience as an Asian American male differed greatly from what the model minority myth suggested. As a product of the California public schools in Oakland and at UC Berkeley, he received an insider’s view of the various systematic challenges present in low resourced schools as well as institutions of higher education. The experiences and challenges he faced growing up in Oakland politicized him and gave him a sense of agency in the work that he does today. William strives to be a resource to the underserved communities he identifies with and is committed to ensure that institutional barriers does not prevent working families from achieving the American Dream they desire.
Born and raised near District 7, Nha Be, Vietnam, and grew up in the Los Angeles Chinatown, Minh is a 1.5-generation Vietnamese American, constantly straddling both sides of her unique identity. She graduated from UCLA and was 1 of 2 of the commencement speakers for the Asian American Studies Department graduation ceremony.
Always inspired and motivated by her hardworking father and devoting mother, Minh felt a personal connection to the history and struggles of the Asian Pacific American communities, and developed a keen sense of understanding and respect for their resilience and sacrifices. Through her studies and personal experiences, she is constantly amazed and inspired by stories of unsung and unknown heroes like her parents, whose lives are constantly moved and transformed by external forces beyond their control as they seek brighter futures for their children. It is with this personal understanding and compassion which propels Minh towards the social justice movement. She firmly believes that all people deserve a chance to succeed within the perimeter of a socially and economically just society. She hopes to further her learning of the unique challenges facing the Asian Pacific American communities today, and look forward to tackling them by applying her academic training in addition to the support of her communities.