CPAF Gala – A Sneak Peek at What’s to Come on Friday, September 22

Gala - Sneak Peek!

CPAF Gala – A Sneak Peek at What’s to Come on Friday, September 22

The CPAF Gala for Change is coming up soon on Friday, September 22 – here’s a preview of the evening:

6-8PM Food Tasting & Silent Auction

A reception featuring dishes prepared by 12 of SoCal’s finest restaurants – get your taste buds ready! Learn more about our Culinary Partners below.

8-9PM Program & Awards Presentation

Our theme is Together We Rise, in celebration of CPAF’s recent integration with Asian Pacific Women’s Center (APWC) – we united to expand our capacity to serve the community.

We are pleased to announce ABC7’s David Ono will serve as emcee for our gala this Friday. David Ono is the co-anchor for ABC7 Eyewitness News at 4pm and 6pm. He also anchors with Coleen Sullivan on Eyewitness News on KDOC-TV at 7pm.

Join us as we honor Susan Hirasuna, anchor/reporter, Fox11 News, Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Nixon Peabody LLP with our Champions for Change award for their incredible volunteer spirit! Read more about our honorees here.

9-10PM Live Band Entertainment

The Inspiration is a dance band with a full-on horn section playing funk, disco, soul and rock to make for a high-energy performance for this gala. Band Leader Tony Ryan has also served as The Inspiration’s musical director for the past two CPAF galas. We are grateful for The Inspiration’s continued support to CPAF.  We are thankful to all the band members for their donation of their talent, time and effort to bring fun and joy to our gala again this year.

TICKETS ON SALE NOW: CPAF Gala General Admission tickets are $200 and reserved seating tickets are available at $500. For a complete listing of sponsors, participants and to purchase tickets for this year’s event, visit the CPAF gala page.

Food Tasting Reception Sneak Peek: Featuring Our Culinary Partners

We are so thankful to our Culinary Partners who are donating delicious food AND their time and talent to make our food tasting an delightful experience! Learn more about their culinary specialities below.

Returning Culinary Partners

Ayara Lūk

Ayara Lūk is a pop-up operated by Chef Vanda Asapahu, who also owns Ayara Thai and they return to participate in their 3rd year with CPAF’s gala. Their changing menu is small and curated to feature favorites from Ayara Thai and they feature environmentally-conscious ingredients. They were one of the first restaurants to introduce the Northern Thai style curry noodles dish soi koi to Los Angeles.

Read more about Ayara Lūk here.

Barbara Jean

Barbara Jean serves quintessential Soul Food with a focus on the roots of African American cooking.  Long time supporter of CPAF, Chef Jason Fullilove is also known for dinner series called RED at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) created tasting menus and meals directly inspired by current art exhibits, live readings and the films of Stanley Kubrik & Danny Boyle.

Read more about Barbara Jean here.

Chicas Tacos

Chicas Tacos is a downtown taqueria inspired by the food of the Valle de Guadalupe region and Carmela (a.k.a. Chica), the woman who inspired the restaurant’s bold flavors of Mexico.  Three native Californians – Chris Blanchard, Jon Blanchard, and Nico Rusconi who opened Chicas, grew up traveling to Mexico as kids where they cultivated the appreciation of the food of the region.

Read more about Chicas Tacos here.

House of An

The House of An has a culinary approach is based on the principles of Eastern Medicine, rich in anti-oxidants and healthy herbs, made from the finest ingredients, used only when they are in season and at their freshest. This family business comes from three generations of women from Vietnam who rose from the loss of home and country with the fall of Saigon to their relocation to America and building a multi-million dollar food and hospitality empire — their restaurants include Tiato in Santa Monica, Crustacean in Beverly Hills, and Anqi in Orange County.

Read more about House of An here.

Osteria Vicario

Chef Matt Dhillon and Osteria Vicario have participated in the CPAF Gala in both 2015 and 2016. Their menu changes often to showcase the best of what is in season.

Read more about Osteria Vicario here.


Chef Perry Cheung heads up Phorage, a Vietnamese eatery offering fresh, local and sustainable ingredients.  Cheung was recently just on  Food Network’s Beat Bobby Flay and also won on The Esquire channel’s Knife Fight and Culinary Battles 2014.  This is their third year joining us for the CPAF Gala.

Read more about Phorage here.


New Chef Lionel Killens focuses on reintroducing bright coastal flavors to Los Angeles and recently opened a Playa del Rey location.  He returns this year to CPAF to bring the flavors and beach vibes of Hawaii and Mexico with favorites like ceviche and poke that goes beyond the usual tuna and salmon.  Tikifish builds in the DIY concept where to can personalize bowls from a variety of rotating fish and sauces, with options for uni, crab salad, and more.

Read more about TikiFish here.

New Culinary Partners

Chaya Downtown — Chef Inoue continues Chaya’s legacy as a pioneer in Franco-Japanese cuisine. He has also introduced a Japanese fish market program to the restaurant, with a renovated Kaisen raw bar and tableside whole fish presentations.

Commerson is a centrally-located, late-night spot with gorgeous ambiance and they serve American fare.

Read more about Commerson here.

Emporium Thai Cuisine

Emporium Thai Cuisine focuses on Southern Thai cooking and is a family owned business that has been voted best Thai food by Thrillist, LA Magazine, and the Culture Trip.  They support the local growers and nearby farmer markets where they get their fresh seafood, meats and produce daily.

Read more about Emporium Thai Cuisine here.

Gloria’s Restaurant & Bar

Gloria’s Restaurant & Bar serves a wide array of Mexican cuisine and are known for their parrilladas and their special off-menu ceviche that includes guacamole, “the way Juan eats it.” They also serve amazing chicharron and tripe so be ready for a food adventure.

Learn more about Gloria’s Restaurant and Bar here.

Red O features Mexican dishes as well as prime steak and seafood and an extensive tequila selection, brought to you by Rick Bayless, who carries the title of Bravo’s 2009 Top Chef Master.


Special thanks to our Beverage Partners for providing tasty drinks for our guests!

Peking Tavern

  • Participated 2014; and again in 2016 with baijiu cocktails – we are excited to have them back!

Ketel One

  • Participated every year since first food tasting (2014)
  • Signature cocktail Violet’s Ketelit’s purple in commemoration of Domestic Violence Awareness Month (October)

Lotte Beverage America

  • Beer and soju pair well with the special dishes at our reception

Mira Laguna Wines

  • New this year – looking forward to this lovely syrah from Solvang!



Café Dulce

Café Dulce is a Little Tokyo/DTLA Arts District staple that serves coffee and desserts.  You might remember when they made bow-topped Hello Kitty donuts and lattes during Hello Kitty’s Hungry Hunt, as part of the Hello Kitty 40th Anniversary Celebration.  Donut flavors include options like Green Tea Brick Toast, Red Bean Roti, and seasonal Pumpkin Spice Roti. Congrats to Café Dulce – soon to open location #3 at USC Village!

Read more about Café Dulce here.

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Recognizing Champions for Change – CPAF Gala 2017

Honorees - Gala 2017

CPAF Gala – 2017 Champion for Change Honorees

Each year at our gala fundraising event, we recognize organizations and individuals who share our mission of building healthier and safer communities by naming them a “Champion for Change”.  Read more about our 2017 honorees below.

A Story of Volunteerism

Susan Hirasuna, award-winning broadcast journalist and FOX11 news anchor, has served as CPAF’s Culinary Chair since 2014. She single-handedly recruited executive chefs from dozens of premier restaurants to donate their talent, time and food during the annual fundraisers. This year-round labor of love resulted in elevating CPAF’s Gala to an exquisite food tasting event. We are so thankful to Susan for her commitment and dedication.

A Story of Integration

In March 2017, after more than 17 years of partnering to serve survivors of domestic violence, Asian Pacific Women’s Center (APWC) and Center for the Pacific Asian Family (CPAF) integrated to enhance our capacity to serve the diverse Asian and Pacific Islander communities in Los Angeles. This integration was possible because community service-minded law firms Kirkland and Ellis LLP and Nixon and Peabody LLP donated their legal work. We are grateful for their countless hours of pro bono service.

We thank our honorees for their contributions to CPAF and for making a difference in the lives of the families we serve.

Please join us on September 22 in honoring our Champions for Change and celebrating our community’s stories!

CPAF’s Gala for Change on 9/22 Brings Together Food, Fun in Support of Building Healthy, Safer Communities Free of Family and Partner Violence

Together We Rise - Gala 2017

PRESS RELEASE:  CPAF’s Gala for Change on 9/22 Brings Together Food, Fun in Support of Building Healthy, Safer Communities Free of Family and Partner Violence

Chefs from Several of LA’s Finest Restaurants Share Their Talents for the Cause
General Admission Tickets at Early Bird Rate of $150, Available Through Aug. 22 While Supplies Last – Click Here to Purchase Tickets


August 11, 2017 (LOS ANGELES, Calif.) – Tickets are now available for the Center for the Pacific Asian Family’s (CPAF’s) 39th Anniversary Gala for Change on Friday, September 22, 2017 at the Los Angeles River Center & Gardens.

The evening features a food tasting reception hosted by premier local culinary partners, a silent auction, and a program and award ceremony, followed by live music entertainment from “The Inspiration”. Proceeds benefit Center for the Pacific Asian Family (CPAF), a nonprofit whose mission is to build healthy and safe communities by addressing the root causes and the consequences of family violence and violence against women. CPAF is committed to meeting the specific cultural and language needs of Asian Pacific Islander (API) women and their families. The event’s Leadership Sponsors include Anthony Caminiti, Cathay Bank, East West Bank and Nossaman LLP.

More than 10 of Southern California’s finest restaurants serve as Culinary Partners by donating their time and talent to prepare special dishes for the reception. Returning Culinary Partners include Barbara Jean LA, Chicas Tacos, The Guild, House of An, Osteria Vicario, Phorage, TikiFish, with Peking Tavern serving cocktails and Café Dulce providing desserts. New Culinary Partners include Bone Kettle, Commerson, and Emporium Thai.

General Admission ticket prices begin at $150 (Early Bird rate through August 22, while supplies last). Reserved seating tickets are available at $500. To purchase tickets for this year’s event, visit the CPAF ticket page. A complete list of sponsors and culinary partners is on the gala event page.

The gala’s theme, “Together We Rise”, celebrates the integration this year of CPAF and Asian Pacific Women’s Center (APWC), a nonprofit dedicated to providing a safe haven and support services for women and children who are survivors of domestic violence. CPAF and APWC share the same vision of an Asian and Pacific Islander community that is free from violence and both organizations provide services that are sensitive to the cultural and language needs of Asian and Pacific Islander survivors of violence and their families.

“The integration enhances our capacity to serve the diverse Asian & Pacific Islander communities in Los Angeles. At the gala, we will celebrate our united efforts and pay tribute to APWC’s legacy,” said Debra Suh, CPAF’s executive director.

The gala will be emceed by award-winning news anchor, David Ono, and CPAF will present its “Champion for Change” awards to:

  • Susan Hirasuna, a volunteer who has worked tirelessly on behalf of CPAF
  • Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Nixon & Peabody LLP for their pro-bono legal services

For information on how to become a sponsor, contact CPAF’s development team at or (323) 653-4045, ext. 334.

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About Center for the Pacific Asian Family (CPAF)

Founded in 1978, CPAF established the first multi-lingual and multi-cultural hotline, emergency shelter, and transitional housing in the United States to specialize in serving Asian and Pacific Islander (API) survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Today, CPAF responds to thousands of crisis calls on its 24-hour hotline in 30 API languages and shelters hundreds of survivors and children, in addition to providing community prevention programs. For more information about CPAF, visit or call 1-800-339-3940.


Stay Connected with Center for the Pacific Asian Family on social media.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @CPAForg

CPAF Congratulates Project by Project on 20 Years of Service

One of CPAF’s community partners, Project by Project, is celebrating its 20th anniversary by hosting a Plate by Plate Tasting Benefit on August 5, 2017.

Project by Project’s annual Plate by Plate Tasting Benefit will mark the organization’s 20th anniversary.


The event will be held at the Wallis Annenberg Building at the California Science Center in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles.


In honor of its 20th anniversary, Project by Project is inviting all past beneficiary partners to join their organization in continuing to advance awareness of important social issues in the Los Angeles Asian and Pacific Islander community.


Approximately 50 restaurants and beverage purveyors from around Southern California will be in attendance and supporting the cause. A full list of vendors can be found on the event page.


Past Plate by Plate events have featured a non-profit organization based on a theme or issue that addresses current needs in the Asian American community. CPAF was selected as a partner in 2015 to address housing.


CPAF congratulates Project by Project on 20 years of developing leaders through innovative philanthropy and looks forward to attending the event in August.

What If This Happened To You?

Domestic violence can be a difficult subject to talk about when you don’t know the audience very well. But what if I showed you a story of someone who looks like you or someone you love?

Visual storytelling can be a powerful way to break through some barriers that currently exist in many communities and in particular API communities when it comes to talking about domestic violence or sexual assault (DV/SA).

CPAF’s hope is to produce a collection of stories featuring survivors from various Asian and Pacific Islander (API) backgrounds. We plan to share these stories with the hope that the audience can identify with the survivor and develop a stronger personal conviction to help end DV/SA in their community. We also hope the videos will serve as empowering tools for other survivors, leading them to seek help or to share their personal journeys as well.

We are currently seeking API survivors to be featured for the upcoming Survivor Series episodes. Please contact us if you feel led to share your story with others in this way.

-Christine Lee

CPAF Thanks Bank of America for Support in Helping Survivors of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

CPAF is thankful for Bank of America’s partnership to help us meet the critical needs of the individuals and families we serve.

Leaders from Bank of America’s Asian Leadership Network – Southern California visited CPAF this summer as part of a continued partnership with the organization.

This summer, Center for the Pacific Asian Family (CPAF) received a $10,000 economic mobility grant from Bank of America to sustain and enhance our services for low-income, homeless survivors of domestic and sexual violence. CPAF is thankful for Bank of America’s partnership to help us meet the critical needs of the individuals and families we serve. This support helps CPAF respond to the needs of survivors who have difficulty obtaining jobs due to limited English, or lack of résumé writing skills or community connections due to years of isolation and abuse:

• More than 1.4 million Asian and Pacific Islanders (APIs) reside in Los Angeles County. 1 out of 2 API immigrant women have been physically, sexually, and/or emotionally abused, and they are the least likely to report abuse or access services, facing multiple barriers.
• At CPAF, we help survivors increase their economic resources and establish safer homes for themselves and their children.
• Our staff and volunteers provide coaching for financial literacy, budgeting and job seeking in languages such as Mandarin, Korean and Vietnamese.

We look forward to partnering further with Bank of America to build healthy and safe communities and nurture change together.

CPAF is here to help those seeking refuge from domestic violence and sexual assault through our 24-hour confidential hotline: 1-800-339-3940. CPAF’s mission is to build healthy and safe communities by addressing the root causes and consequences of family violence and violence against women. CPAF is committed to meeting the specific cultural and language needs of Asian and Pacific Islander women and their children.

The Invisible Among the Invisible

Lianne was 17 years-old when her parents sent her off to live with her uncle in California. They hoped that the Korean teenager could have a chance at a better future by immigrating to the United States

A tragic car crash one night killed Lianne’s uncle suddenly, leaving the then 18-year-old alone and afraid. Lianne became undocumented and resorted to working at a Los Angeles-area restaurant for less than the minimum wage.

According to the American Community Survey conducted by Pew Research Center in 2014, an estimated 1 million undocumented immigrants reside in Los Angeles County

Seeking company, she took to online dating and met Ashley. Lianne did not tell her family that she identified as queer, and this was the first time she openly sought a same-sex relationship online.

A 2013 study by The Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law shows that more than 40,000 adult API immigrants identify as LGBTQ

Lianne moved in with Ashley after three months of dating. Soon after, she noticed that Ashley became controlling. Ashley constantly asked Lianne where she was going and often accused her of cheating. Ashley proceeded to pinch and slap Lianne when she became upset. When Lianne attempted to leave, Ashley threatened to call Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to deport her. Lianne sought help from her friends, but they dismissed her by saying that it was no big deal. Lianne felt discouraged and decided that there was no other choice but to stay in this abusive relationship.

Lianne, whose name has been changed to preserve her anonymity, is an example of a domestic violence survivor who is caught in the unique intersection of being both an immigrant and a queer individual. As we wrap up Immigrant Heritage Month and Pride Month in June, CPAF recognizes this special and unique population who may not have the privilege of speak out freely and safely when it comes to domestic violence and sexual assault (DV/SA). The more intersecting identities a person has, the more vulnerable they become.

Our sister agency Asian Women’s Shelter (AWS) in San Francisco has a Queer Asian Women and Transgender Support (QAWTS) program that provides comprehensive services for queer survivors of violence

Immigrant survivors of domestic violence (DV) and sexual assault (SA) make up the majority of the clientele at the Center for the Pacific Asian Family (CPAF). Last year, CPAF received more than 3800 hotline calls in 18 different languages. Additionally, CPAF housed more than 100 survivors and their children in our shelters. Although CPAF has not seen many clients identifying as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ), CPAF is here to help everyone seeking refuge from domestic violence and sexual assault via its 24-hour confidential hotline: 1-800-339-3940.




CPAF attends “Engaging Boys and Men Conference” featuring Dr. Jackson Katz

On Tuesday June 20th, CPAF staff attended the “Engaging Boys and Men Conference” hosted by House of Ruth and featuring author, filmmaker, and educator Dr. Jackson Katz. The goal of the conference was to address the need to engage men and boys in the fight to end domestic and other forms of violence.

Katz’ main point was that men’s violence against women not only hurts women, but also hurts men – including boys who grow up in households with domestic violence. While men are more often the perpetrators of gender violence, they are also the victims – however, men are often absent when addressing the issue of intimate partner violence.

Katz posed the need to hold individuals accountable for their actions while simultaneously confronting the attitudes that underpin social systems excusing men’s use of violence against women.

The conference provided interesting learning points for CPAF as we continue working with boys and men in our prevention and intervention work.

Interactive Art featuring CPAF Survivors – Opening Reception, June 11

A collaborative mural created by survivors of 11 agencies in Los Angeles. (Click here for a closer look at CPAF’s panel.)

Over the many years, CPAF has been fortunate to partner with A Window Between Worlds (AWBW), a local agency committed to helping empower survivors through artistic expression.  This partnership has provided our clients countless opportunities to process the trauma they experience and help them on the journey to transitioning into a life free from intimate partner violence and sexual assault.

In the past year, CPAF was invited to join in a 2-year AWBW art initiative entitled “At the Core: Transforming Trauma Together”.  The first year consisted of creating a collaborative mural created by clients of 11 LA County agencies, and was led by AWBW Artist-in-Residence Fabian Debora, who conceptualized and created the design of the overall piece. Each of the 11 agencies was given a section of the mural to paint and decorate around a central theme that each agency generated for its community. For CPAF’s Transitional Shelter residents who participated in this project, the central theme was “What does healing look like in the context of our culture?” The process of creating the art piece served as an invaluable opportunity to share their struggles and to deepen understanding and connection among the shelter’s families.  The resulting artwork became a dynamic expression of their persevering hope and optimism. We at CPAF are so honored and proud to provide our contribution to AWBW’s art initiative. We would like to invite you to come view the final artwork which will be displayed at the San Fernando Valley Arts and Cultural Center. Details are below:

At The Core: Transforming Trauma Together
Opening Reception: Sunday, June 11th  2-5pm
Exhibition runs from June 7th through June 24th.

San Fernando Valley Arts and Cultural Center
18312 Oxnard St.
Tarzana, CA 91356
For information on parking, click here.

Statewide Training Held on How to Be Culturally Responsive

The Center for the Pacific Asian Family (CPAF) helped launch a pilot training series to help strengthen cultural responsiveness practices across California. As an organization that has been dedicated to helping Asian and Pacific Islander survivors facing cultural and linguistic barriers, it was a fitting task for CPAF to partner with other agencies in a joint mission to eliminate all forms of violence.

MYLAR Training in Petaluma, CA
Photos Courtesy of Everyday Impact Consulting

Six organizations met in January 2017 to collaborate on an unprecedented model of learning. Since then, the group has been traveling across the state to bring together service providers in an effort to increase access to victim services. This project, known as the MYLAR (Multi-Year Language Access Resources) Collaborative, is being led by My Sister’s House and Everyday Impact Consulting. Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence (API-GBV), Center for the Pacific Asian Family (CPAF), Korean American Family Services (KFAM) and Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA) round out the group.

This exercise is called Blanketed By Blame and is designed to help participants see the structures that can cause harm and how they can be different

The training location alternates each month from NorCal to SoCal to cities in between. Adopting a diversity framework, enhancing leadership/budget strategies, and increasing language access at each workplace are examples of what participants learn in reference to serving victims of crime more effectively throughout the state.

The MYLAR training includes many styles of learning. Session three is a panel discussion on budgeting and staffing for cultural responsiveness

The training is free and open to any organization or government/social service agency that is willing to reflect on its current practices and be open to making necessary improvements to better serve its population. Post-training technical assistance can also be provided. 

Here is the current list for upcoming dates and regions:

8/24/2017 (Thursday) – Alameda / Contra Costa

8/25/2017 (Friday) – San Jose

9/14/2017 (Thursday) – Bakersfield

9/15/2017 (Friday) – Fresno

11/2/2017 (Thursday) – Ontario / Riverside

12/8/2017 (Friday) – San Diego

1/25/2018 (Thursday) – Chico

1/26/2018 (Friday) – Sacramento

To RSVP, please email Sherrie Calibo at

This project is made possible by the California Office of Emergency Services and the Office for Victims of Crime.

This blog was written by Christine Lee, CPAF’s Community Engagement Manager