PRESS RELEASE: AACI to Host Virtual Fireside Chat and Fundraiser to be held on August 25th

August 10, 2022


AACI to Host Virtual Fireside Chat and Fundraiser to be held on August 25th

AACI Contact: Sarah Guertin | Sarah.Marr-Guertin@aaci.org | (408) 975-2071| aaci.org

San Jose, CA – AACI will be hosting its virtual annual fundraiser Better Together 2022 on Thursday, August 25, 2022, from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM with the goal of raising over $200,000 to support AACI programs assisting refugee families resettling in the Bay Area along with other at-risk, low income, and underserved, individuals and families.

“We continue to live through challenging times,” said Sarita Kohli, AACI President & CEO. “Our communities are grappling with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, with  health and racial inequities, and now with global economic and political instability. This year, we wanted to shine a spotlight on our work with refugees, both to bring greater awareness of  their struggles of displacement and loss, and to highlight the efforts to help them rebuild their lives successfully here in the Bay Area. As a community with a long and proud history of welcoming new neighbors and working to ensure they can thrive, it is important now more than ever, to stand firm in our commitment to providing our clients with culturally sensitive healthcare, behavioral health, and wellness services. AACI’s doors remain open to all thanks to your support, and I hope you’ll join our virtual event on August 25th.”

Donations collected at Better Together will be used to serve refugee families with mental health counseling to begin healing from trauma as well as meeting basic needs such as enrolling kids into school, obtaining household essentials, etc. AACI is excited to honor the accomplishments of community leaders, Congresswoman Anna Eshoo and Santa Clara County Supervisor Susan Ellenberg, for their significant support of marginalized immigrants and refugees communities that AACI serves.

  • Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, Gordon N. Chan Leadership Award Honoree: Congresswoman Eshoo, the only Assyrian American in Congress and one of two of the only Armenian women in Congress, is the U.S representative from California’s 18th congressional district since 1993. Throughout her time of service, Eshoo has fought for access to health care for families and children as well as protecting immigrants’ rights to citizenship. Like the Silicon Valley region she represents, Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo exemplifies innovation. She’s creative, boundary breaking and productive. She is a problem solver and a consensus builder.
  • County Santa County Supervisor Susan Ellenberg, Community Champion Award Honoree: Supervisor Ellenberg represents District 4 as the Vice President of the Board of Supervisors, the Chair of the County’s Public Safety and Justice Committee and the Vice Chair of the Children, Seniors and Families Committee. Her efforts to improve equity and quality of life for children and families resulted in the first ever Children’s budget to highlight county services for the youth as well as securing additional funding for programs benefitting children and families with local organizations. She also strives for equity within healthcare; co-creating a taskforce that identifies more equitable approaches and outcomes.

Mike Inouye, Traffic Anchor for NBC Bay Area, will be the Master of Ceremonies for the lunch time event. This year’s event will also feature a Fireside Chat with guests Humaira Ghilzai and Halima Kazem-Stojanovic to learn more about what refugees in our communities are facing and what is working to help refugee families be successful as they resettle in the Bay Area.

  • Humaira Ghilzai, Afghanistan Cultural Advisor and Writer.  Humaira co-founded the non-profit Afghan Friends Network and she has done extensive work for the past 18 years to improve education for girls, boys, and women. Humaira is a sought-after cultural expert who has worked with notable professional theatres authors, playwrights, and artists, utilizing her extensive knowledge of Afghan people, culture, religion, and history to bring authenticity to their creative work relating to Afghanistan and the Islamic world. Humaira made her Broadway debut in 2022 with the production of the Kite Runner.
  • Halima Kazem-Stojanovic, Afghanistan Historian, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.  Halima is an oral historian at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. She is also a post-doctoral fellow at the University of California Santa Cruz in Film and Digital Media Studies. Her research focuses on feminism, empire, and resistance in Afghanistan and intersects with media and human rights. Halima was a journalism and human rights lecturer at San Jose State University for ten years. She continues to serve as the Journalism Coordinator and core faculty member of the San Jose State University Human Rights Institute. Before entering academia, Halima spent 17 years as a journalist and filmmaker, including a decade reporting on Afghanistan’s war and rebuilding efforts. Halima’s articles have been published in the Los Angeles Times, the Guardian, the San Francisco Chronicle, Al Jazeera and the Christian Science Monitor. She is the co-producer of a documentary (Frontrunner) chronicling the campaign of the first female presidential candidate in Afghanistan.

The generous sponsors partnering with AACI to support this event include: The Gordon N. & Anita T. Chan Foundation, NBC Bay Area, Southwest Airlines, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Santa Clara Family Health Plan, Asian Law Alliance, FIRST 5 Santa Clara County, eBay, AT&T, The Health Trust, Stanford Children’s Health | Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, Dennis Fong and Polly Kam, American Leadership Forum Silicon Valley, Google, and more.

Press and media are encouraged to attend and can RSVP by contacting development@aaci.org

Event tickets are $20 per person. All proceeds are donated to AACI’s programs, and donations are tax deductible. To purchase your tickets, please visit bettertogether.aaci.org.

AACI Better Together 2022 Virtual Fireside Chat and Fundraiser
Thursday, August 25, 2022
11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Online Virtual Event

About AACI 
Founded in 1973, AACI (Asian Americans for Community Involvement) serves individuals and families with cultural humility, sensitivity, and respect, advocating for and serving the marginalized and ethnic communities in Santa Clara County. AACI’s mission is to strengthen the resilience and hope of our diverse community members by improving their health and well-being. Our vision is for everyone in our diverse community to be healthy, safe and well.  Our many integrated programs provide support that is client-centered and removes barriers to accessing care.  Current programs include behavioral and primary health services, substance abuse prevention and treatment, center for survivors of torture, shelter and services for survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking, senior wellness, youth programs, and community advocacy. To learn more visit www.aaci.org