On the journey to becoming an ally

Interested in how you can be a part of the movement to make communities safer for LGBTQIA+ people? Learn about being a straight ally!


Defined generally, an ally is “a person who is a member of the dominant or majority group who works to end oppression in their personal and professional life through support of, and as an advocate for, the oppressed population.” (Evans & Washington, Becoming an Ally)

Becoming an effective ally requires a great deal of self-reflection, humility, and exploration of one’s own privileged identities and biases. It may be uncomfortable and confrontational at times, but being an ally means you have an important role to play in the lives of LGBTQIA+ individuals and the community at large.


An Ally strives to…

  • be a good friend and an open-minded listener
  • be informed with regard to terms related to gender, sex, and sexuality
  • believe that all persons regardless of their age, sex, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression should be treated with dignity and respect
  • confront their own prejudices
  • join others with a common purpose of developing a culture free of homophobia, transphobia and heterosexism and learn how to respond to homophobia or transphobia in the community
  • recognize their shortcomings, but not use them as an excuse for inaction
  • recognize the legal powers and privileges that cisgender straight people have and which LGBTQIA+ people are denied
  • commit themselves to personal growth in spite of the discomfort it may sometimes cause

An ally is NOT someone with ready-made answers, or only someone with professional training to be a service provider, lawyer, or advocate.


As CPAF works to further its mission to build healthy and safe communities, we continue to learn more about the importance of allies in protecting LGBTQIA+ members of our communities who are vulnerable to domestic violence and sexual assault. As an agency, we are constantly learning and re-thinking how we can more effectively create safe spaces, provide sensitive services and resources, and be a better ally to the LGBTQIA+ community. We invite you to join us on this journey. To continue learning more about being an ally, read the PFLAG Guide to Being a Straight Ally.

Fathering a Future Free of Violence

Father's Day 2018

CPAF recognizes that men have a critical role to play in securing a violence-free future. In honor of Father’s Day this year, CPAF is launching a campaign asking men to share about what inspires and motivates them to make choices aimed at a future free of violence. We’re inviting men to share video clips, pictures, or stories sharing about these choices and the motivation behind them. Please send content you’re willing to share to cpaf.engagement@gmail.com as soon as possible, and throughout the month of June. We’ll be reposting selected content throughout the month, and ultimately hope to create a media collage for future sharing about our collective efforts to father a future free of violence.

CPAF Names Debra Nakatomi 2018 Champion for Change Award Recipient

At this year’s CPAF 40th Anniversary gala on September 21, CPAF is pleased to present the Champion for Change award to longtime community leader Debra Nakatomi, for her leadership and support in building healthy and safer communities.

Debra is president of Nakatomi & Associates, a communications firm dedicated to advancing social change, promoting equity and designing initiatives for nonprofit, public and private organizations committed to social good. For more than 25 years, the firm has led campaigns to combat sexual violence and child abuse, promote health and wellness, environmental awareness and sustainable community development. As a lifelong advocate for women and girls, Debra’s clients include organizations committed to expanding philanthropy, promoting health equity and advancing wellness.

We asked Debra to provide her thoughts on a few key issues – please click here for the full interview.

To become a sponsor of CPAF’s 40th Anniversary Gala, please contact:
Michelle Esperanza, Development & External Relations Director
323.653.4045 ext. 334

CPAF 40th Anniversary: May Activity Highlights

CPAF staff, volunteers, supporters and friends were out in the community all month long in May. Since January, we have reached more than 1,300 people, raising awareness about domestic and sexual violence and engaging support for survivors. Read on for highlights of our May activities.

Honored Moms in Our Shelters for Mother’s Day – We celebrated the moms staying at CPAF’s three shelters with lunch and activities centered around making the mothers feel special.

Thanks to our South Bay Advisory Council supporters and additional volunteers who played a critical role in supporting the mother’s day activities with pampering such as hairstyling, makeup and glamour photos.

South Bay Advisory Council member applies makeup to a CPAF resident at Mother’s Day party.

Thank you to our CPAF Advisory Board members May Ma Ross and Yvonne Nishio and all their colleagues Yvonne Chang, Lisa Pai, Naomi Uyeda and Wes Tanaka who partnered with CPAF staff on Mother’s Day activities at all three CPAF shelters. They joined shelter children in making Mother’s Day cards and succulent plant arrangements for the kids’ moms, followed by pound cake desserts.

Samples of the succulents and cards assembled by children living in CPAF’s shelters

Reached Out in San Gabriel Valley – We led a workshop on dating violence and sexual violence at South Pasadena High School, and facilitated a Teen Dating Violence Prevention workshop with the Teen Advisory Board (TAB) group at San Gabriel Library. At Evergreen Baptist Church in Rosemead, we networked with other organizations and individuals doing important work in their communities

At the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), our team participated in discussions with community members about CPAF’s services, healthy relationships, domestic violence and sexual assault. We engaged with Chi Alpha Delta sorority, who made a donation in honor of the families we serve, and the Contemporary Asian American Community class. Thank you, Chi Alpha Delta, for your contribution to the families served by CPAF. With Asian Pacific Coalition, we co-hosted the “Narratives of Us” discussion to challenge the way our stories are told for us. This discussion aimed to center the experience of survivors and unpack the impact of media on survivors’ agency to have their own stories heard and believed.

Convened Community and Supported Self-Determination – Held in partnership with HEART Women and Girls, South Asian Network and Peace Over Violence, the “Log Kya Kahenge” event focused on pushing back against all forms of victim blaming and creating space for support and affirmations.

Made New FriendsAsian Professional Exchange (APEX) and Project by Project LA (PbPLA) hosted a friendraiser at 18 Social, with all proceeds benefiting CPAF. The event’s purpose was to raise awareness about domestic and sexual violence in the API community, and gauge interest from folks to volunteer with CPAF. Thank you to APEX and Project by Project LA for helping raise $1,000 to benefit the families served by CPAF.

APEX, Project by Project LA and CPAF

Connected with New Volunteers – individuals interested in or in the process of joining CPAF’s volunteer program were invited to the Community Center for a “Meet and Greet”. We talked about CPAF’s programs and services and how volunteers can get involved. New volunteers connected with each other and shared why volunteering at CPAF is important to them. For more information about how you can get involved or our next Meet and Greet, contact volunteer@cpaf.info.

Partnered in Support of LGBTQ Pride – CPAF staff supported the LGBT Center in tabling for their table at Long Beach Pride, and had the great honor of having LBGTQ community supporters and leaders Marsha Aizumi and Mia Frances Yamamoto speak at our all-staff meeting. We thank them for sharing their experiences and stories in working in the LGBTQ community, and are inspired by their fearless advocacy. The San Gabriel Valley (SGV) API PFLAG is a support group for Asian-Pacific Islander (API) gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgenders (LGBT), as well as for their parents, families, and friends; it is the first independent API PFLAG chapter in the nation.

LBGTQ community supporters and leaders Marsha Aizumi and Mia Frances Yamamoto spoke at our monthly staff meeting.

Provided Technical Assistance with Partner Organizations to Increase Language Access – Organized by My Sister’s House, we co-presented a training as part of the MYLAR (Multi-Year Language Access Resources) Collaborative for community organizations Su Casa and WomenShelter Long Beach. The MYLAR project aims to increase language access at workplaces and serve victims of crime more effectively throughout the state.

Celebrated Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with Friends & Supporters – We conducted outreach and education about CPAF’s services with Sony Pictures Asian Resource Community (SPARC).

Our friends at Comcast NBC Universal’s Asian Pacific American employee resource group, APA@NBCU, – made Touchstones – small pieces of art to be carried with you (founded by our partner, A Window Between Worlds) – to be added to artwork at one of our transitional shelters.

Many thanks to Southern California Edison (SCE) for recognizing CPAF with their Community Partnership award at this year’s SCE AAPI Heritage Month celebration at Garden Grove Community Center, and to YWCA of Greater LA for naming CPAF one of their Phenomenal Allies at their “Phenomenal Women” luncheon.

Thank you for your support and partnership! Let’s keep on nurturing change together.

Learn more about CPAF’s 40th Anniversary here.


This month, we join to celebrate PRIDE. We recognize that the inclusion of LGBTQ individuals is critical to building a healthy community.

History of PRIDE MonthRemembering the Stonewall Riots


  • Stonewall Riots took place in New York on June 27th & 28th of 1969. A bar had been raided and attendees (most identified as LGBTQ) were being violently arrested in public. Previous to this event, police raids were common in LGBTQ spaces. On this particular day, bar attendees were fed up and started protesting and rebelling against the police. The following year, June 1970, the very first PRIDE parade was held in Manhattan in honor of the Stonewall Riots. The Stonewall Riots were believed to be the beginning of the LGBTQ movement to equality.
  • In June 2014, Former President Barack Obama recognized Stonewall Inn as a National Historic Landmark—the first in LGBTQ history.

DV/SA in the LGBTQ Community

We recognize that DV/SA can happen to anyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

How to get involved

Participate in your local PRIDE parade/festival. Find your closest PRIDE parade here.


Celebrate with us!

In honor of PRIDE month, we will be posting weekly visibility posts throughout the month of June. Like us on Facebook  or follow us on Instagram @CPAForg to see our posts.


Building Relationships

Some of the students we work with at San Gabriel High School joined Peace Over Violence’s students for a night of fun and karaoke! We believe that a part of ending violence in our communities is bridging the gap and building relationships!

Become a Digital Advocate with CPAF!

Advocates are at the very core of CPAF, serving the mission and goals of the organization and working in the community to prevent violence. CPAF’s Family Advocates at our shelters work with clients and their families to find safe housing, secure income, and process the trauma they have experienced. Our Intervention Program Advocates at the Community Center answer hotline calls, work with non-residential clients, and facilitate healing and support groups for survivors. Volunteers serve as advocates by getting involved with many aspects of CPAF’s work and provide critical support to our shelter, community center, and community-based programs.


Introducing our newest way to be a CPAF Advocate…


Help CPAF expand its reach, promote messages that support survivors, and advocate for accountability, justice, healing, restoration, and an end to the cycles of domestic violence and sexual assault in our communities. Join us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CPAForg/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/CPAForg/


If you’re looking for a way to support CPAF and the movement to end cycles of violence, becoming a Digital Advocate is a great first step! Contact volunteer@cpaf.info for more information about how to become a Digital or Volunteer Advocate.

Our 40th: Raising Awareness to End Sexual Violence

April was Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), and we invite you to join us in our year-round effort to raise awareness about sexual violence and the fact that it affects so many in the communities we serve. As we celebrate CPAF’s 40th anniversary this year, we look forward to working in partnership with you, our supporters, and many communities in this ongoing effort to prevent and end all forms of violence.

In April, we organized and participated in 10 activities and involved more than 250 people in support of ending violence, bringing us to a total of more than 600 community members engaged since January. In honor of SAAM, here are a few highlights of our community activities from this past month:

#RIPSexual Violence Awareness Campaign – Throughout April, we engaged our community via social media. We asked community members to Recognize the signs of sexual violence, to Intervene and support our survivors, and learn ways to Prevent the violence before it starts.


Comcast NBC Universal “Comcast Cares Day” – The Asian Pacific Americans @ NBC Universal employee resource group convened 27 volunteers to our CPAF Community Center to assemble children’s welcome kits and mother’s day gift baskets for the families we serve; build two large storage cabinets and a bookcase; clean and organize our Community Center kitchen, counseling room toys, IT room, and more!

Asian Pacific Americans @ NBC Universal

Healthy Relationships Workshop with UPLIFT – CPAF staff conducted a Healthy Relationships workshop with UPLIFT Los Angeles, an undocumented Asian and Pacific Islander (API) youth-led organization that advocates on behalf of immigration legislative issues. As many undocumented youth may struggle with many barriers in wanting to report abuse in their personal relationships, CPAF staff led an open discussion about issues regarding domestic and sexual violence, and services provided by CPAF that can help.

Earth Day Hike with Shelter Clients – CPAF team members led two different hikes with some residents of our transitional and emergency shelters. The families enjoyed a day of hiking and connecting with nature, as we celebrated Earth Day, and all that Mother Earth has to give to us.

Denim Day, April 25, 2018 – In honor of Denim Day, various CPAF team members spoke at different locations to discuss sexual violence in light of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, as well as the importance of voicing consent in all our relationships. We spoke at several schools, including San Gabriel High School, Occidental College, and University of Southern California. We also joined San Gabriel Valley Medical Center to be interviewed on in-language media and provide more information on how we work with the hospital to help those affected by sexual violence.

Denim Day collage by CPAF Youth

Arbor Day at CPAF – In celebration of Arbor Day, some of our CPAF staff and clients planted a baby Meyer lemon tree, and had a butterfly and ladybug release afterwards. A lemonade reception followed, where CPAF staff led a tasting of several different homemade lemonade recipes.

Arbor Day at CPAF

CPAF’s Shelter Director, Patima Komolamit, was named a “SHEro” by the National Organization of Sisters of Color Ending Sexual Assault (SCESA) – read more in our blog post here.

CPAF's Shelter Director named a SHEro by SCESA

Please visit our 40th Anniversary page to learn about upcoming events, as we continue to engage with you – our community – to end domestic and sexual violence.

Thank you for your support of the families we serve. We thank you for caring and demonstrating your support for survivors of domestic and sexual violence.

CPAF’s Shelter Program Director Recognized as SCESA SHERO


We are pleased to announce the National Organization of Sisters of Color Ending Sexual Assault (SCESA) has named CPAF’s Shelter Program Director, Patima Komolamit, as one of their 15 “SHEroes” in honor of their 15th anniversary this year. Over the past 15 years, SCESA has been a leading voice for Women of Color in the anti-sexual violence movement, centering the voices of Communities of Color and especially Women of Color.

Thank you for recognizing Patima’s leadership and tireless efforts in advocating for communities of color, especially in the field of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Read Patima’s full interview here.

We salute you, SCESA, and congratulate you on 15 years of advocating and lifting up the voices and experiences of Women of Color. We stand together with you in partnership with many to build healthy communities free of violence.

Bank of Hope Contributes $20,000 Grant to CPAF


CPAF received a $20,000 general operating grant contribution from Bank of Hope to support CPAF’s emergency and transitional housing programs, which shelter and provide counseling and case management services to low- and moderate-income survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in 30 Asian and Pacific Islander languages and dialects.


We are thankful for Bank of Hope’s support which helps CPAF meet the critical needs of the individuals and families we serve. We appreciate partnering with Bank of Hope to build healthy and safe communities and nurture change together.