A Message from the President of the Board

September 2019

To our friends across America,

As our new fiscal year begins, I would like to take this opportunity to express, on behalf of the AIISF board and staff, our sincere appreciation for your support for the Foundation’s work. We start this year with ambitious goals to use the personal stories of Pacific Coast immigrants and remind a troubled nation about the hope, struggle, and triumph in becoming an American.

Looking back to our 2018 - 2019 year, it was, indeed, a busy year for AIISF. With your financial support, we launched a new program to subsidize class visits and helped nearly 500 children from Oakland, San Francisco, and Marin County visit Angel Island and learn our immigration story. To bring more children and their parents out to the immigration station for a day of learning opportunities and fun activities, we also launched our first annual Family Day in July 2018.

At the college level, we guest-lectured the Angel Island story in history classes at Dominican and Mills college. At Stanford, we organized panels to discuss more contemporary immigration issues - one panel on asylum and refugee issues and another panel on immigrant identity with Stanford professors Chang-Rae Lee and Eavan Boland. Both sessions were well attended, and, in fact, the Lee/Boland event was standing room only.

To reach the general community, we partnered with artists who created Angel Island-inspired performances - with Chad Cannon in a musical composition performed in San Francisco and San Jose, with Heather Klein in a one-woman musical “Shanghai Angel” depicting her Jewish grandmother’s Angel Island experience, and with Lenora Lee presenting a wonderful ensemble dance performance at the Immigration Station. We have continued to work with additional artists this year.

In April, over 350 people attended our Gala honoring, with our Immigrant Heritage Award:

  • Thuy Vu, a Vietnam war refugee, now a well-respected Bay Area news anchor;

  • Vijay Amritraj, former Indian tennis player and now philanthropist; and

  • Dennis Wu, Filipino immigrant and now board chair of Recology.

Thank you, again, for your continued confidence and support for the Foundation. We hope to seeing all of you at some of the Foundation’s events this year.

Truly yours,

Buck Gee
President, AIISF Board of Directors

Russell Nauman