Reflecting on the 2022 Building CAPACD Convention

Last month, National CAPACD convened over 350 members, partners, and sponsors at the 2022 Building CAPACD Convention in the Westin Seattle, WA from July 11-13. Coming together in person for the first time since 2018 due to a global pandemic that changed the world and our work, our theme was aptly Reuniting to Re-imagine our Future. 

Through a variety of plenaries, workshops, mobile tours, and alternative networking spaces, the programming provided many opportunities for participants to share, connect, and brainstorm together about our collective vision for a more just and equitable future. With the support of the Building CAPACD Convention host committee of local member organizations, they also learned about the leadership, history, and experiences of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) communities in Seattle and King County. And in light of the continued risk of COVID, the health and well-being of all participants was a top priority in shared spaces and many of our participants reported feeling well taken care of during Convention.

We opened our Convention with welcome remarks from Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-7), who spoke about federal opportunities and strategies to respond to current challenges faced by local communities. Her remarks were followed by the State of CAPACD from National CAPACD Executive Director Seema Agnani and National CAPACD Board Co-Chair Rachelle Arizmendi and Board Member Duncan Hwang. They reflected on the impact of National CAPACD members during the pandemic and shared about our 2022-2025 strategic planning process. Watch the recording here

On the opening day of Convention, many participants joined Supporting and Retaining Staff Through Uncertainty, where they learned about tangible ways to support staff’s emotional and mental well-being through the uncertainties of our time. Learn more about the other sessions here. In the afternoon, participants commuted together to join workshops and walking tours offsite in Seattle’s International District with the support of Convention host committee members, Friends of Little Saigon, InterimCDA, and SCIDpda

We ended the first day of Convention with an evening reception for participants at the Russell Investments Center rooftop SkyGarden, which was emceed by locally loved social(ite) activist, Aleksa Manila and attended by Seattle’s Deputy Mayor Kendee Yamaguchi. With views of Mt. Rainier and surrounded by old and new friends, our coalition celebrated the opportunity to be together in person again. 

On our second day of Convention, our morning plenary, Paradigm Shift: Moving from Imagination into Action, was moderated by Vu Le who writes the blog NonprofitAF and is the former founder and executive director of Rainier Valley Corps (RVC). Panelists included:

They were asked to share their “big ideas” to re-imagine the future of our communities, and how they were building cross-racial solidarity to move their ideas forward and responding to obstacles that emerge in doing so. Watch the recording here

After the plenary, participants joined sessions that included Solutions to Housing Insecurity for Asian Americans and Communities of Color, where panelists spoke about their organizational responses to housing challenges faced by low-income Asian Americans and BIPOC communities during the pandemic and discussed solutions to tackling housing affordability and insecurity. In the afternoon, participants were able to choose from a series of mobile tours throughout Seattle and King County hosted by the Building CAPACD Convention host committee. Mobile tours ranged from a visit to one of Low Income Housing Institute’s tiny house villages, a successful temporary shelter program that reduces homelessness in Seattle, to a walking tour of the White Center neighborhood hosted by White Center CDA and bus tour to Asia Pacific Cultural Center in Tacoma, WA. Learn more about all the mobile tours here.

On the first and second days of our program, we also hosted our “Lunch & Learn,” a new and fun model of sharing experience with participants. They were able to eat their lunches and watch “CAPACD TV” via Zoom, which was hosted by special correspondent “Connie Chung” (Scott Oshima of Sustainable Little Tokyo). Scott joined from Seattle’s Japantown to share more about the Seattle Betsuin (Seattle Buddhist Temple) and be in conversation with Japantown small business and property owners. Watch the recording from Tuesday here.

On the final day of Convention, participants joined sessions that included Communities of Color-Led Strategies for Land Stewardship, where they learned about Community Stewardship of Land (CSL) models in Seattle, including Seattle’s Equitable Development Initiative, an innovative approach to fund community based organizations for land stewardship initiatives. We closed our Convention with a plenary discussion and town hall, Re-Imagining Our Future: What’s at Stake with Infrastructure and How to Engage in Transformative Change Together. The panel was facilitated by Hyeok Kim, former Executive Director of InterimCDA and longtime National CAPACD ally, and the panelists included:

They discussed the potential impact of infrastructure projects on the economic and social futures of the communities they serve, including the opportunities and challenges created by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. We then opened it up for remarks and questions from the audience through an open mic town hall. Watch the recording here

We incorporated performances from local artists throughout our programming and extend our thanks to:

We also deeply appreciate the efforts of the 2022 Building CAPACD Convention host committee, many of whom have been supporting us since we began our planning in 2019. They generously welcomed us to and shared their city, and offered their time, expertise, resources, and spaces. Thank you:

We would also like to thank our sponsors for their generous support of our event!

If you attended Convention, thank you for your engagement and support in making our event a great success! If you did not submit an event evaluation, we would still like to hear about your experience to inform our planning in the future! Please complete the evaluation here.

We’ll see you in 2024!