Adhikaar, meaning rights, is the only women-led community and worker center serving and organizing the Nepali-speaking immigrant and refugee community. A home away from home, Adhikaar builds leadership and power to win rights and improve working condition
The child of parents directly affected by U.S. policies against Japanese Americans during World War II, Suki Terada Ports has dedicated her life to fighting for social justice, beginning with issues of school integration and community empowerment to ensure that housing and park land were protected from institutional expansion to quality health care access.
In 1985, the New York City Council of Churches tapped Ports to organize a conference for their clergy and other community leaders about the implications of AIDS in minority communities. The conference led to the formation of the first minority AIDS organization in NYC, which Mrs. Ports directed. This experience inspired her to help launch programs for specific communities as the National Minority AIDS Council, the Asian and Pacific Islander Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Iris House and in 1989, the Family Health Project. The Family Health Project provides HIV/AIDS prevention information, advocacy and support services for low income women of color and their families in parenting centers, schools, religious centers, and in the streets.
As the Project’s executive director, Ports has helped to raise awareness among public officials, service providers and foundations about the impact of HIV/AIDS on communities of color through participation in workshops and conferences.
Aiyoung Choi was born in Korea and lived in Shanghai, Taiwan, and Japan before coming to attend college in the U.S. After graduating from Knox College in Illinois, she came to New York following her dreams as an artist but soon left the arts in order to support her family as a single parent. She also began volunteering in community organizations that espoused education, social services, and social justice in the most underserved communities in New York City.
Regarding her work in API communities, Aiyoung started in 1978 with Asian Women United (where she’s still an active member), followed in 1986 by co-founding and chairing the Coalition for Korean American Voters (CKAV). Soon after the Los Angeles Riots in 1992 she co-founded and chaired the Black and Korean Mediation Project (BKMP) in New York City. Then starting in 1995 she served for nearly 10 years as board chair of the Korean American Family Service Center which she continues to serve today as a regular board member. In 1999 she joined the board of Asian Americans for Equality, serving until 2007. In 2005 she became a founding member of Asian Women Giving Circle which she continues to serve on the Steering Committee, and in 2015 she walked with Women Cross DMZ, a global women’s movement working for peace and reconciliation in Korea, becoming board chair in 2018.