NMAFC was founded in 2006 by a circle of Asian women who came together to address the lack of culturally and linguistically tailored services for the state's Pan-Asian community. Having started by providing counseling and case management services in a house, NMAFC has now grown to include survivor led and centered services, programs centering traditional methods of healing, youth and community leadership programs, financial education workshops, cross-racial movement building,and civic engagement work.
We believe the solutions to our issues lie within the deep wisdom and experiences of our communities, and that our organizational leadership, as well as our programs and services, should be reflective of this. We are continually striving to frame our work within a social justice lens, and believe that all children and families deserve equitable access to resources and opportunities in order to thrive. All of our services and programs are offered in multiple Asian languages. We utilize phone interpretation and community interpreters for languages not spoken in-house.
Founder of NMAFC, Dely (Ph.D) served as the volunteer Executive Director and grant writer in the early years of NMAFC. Dely was a lifelong advocate for social justice, verans, and children’s issues. She founded the Filipino American National Historical Society FANHS) Rio Grande Chapter and served as a trustee of FANHS National. In collaboration with TRICKLOCK Theater Company, Dely and her husband, Ted Jojola, established the Manoa Project, an annual teen playwriting competition and ensemble apprenticeship. Ted and Dely also established an endowment for Cultural Diversity at the Albuquerque Academy in honor of their son, Manoa. As a past president of Bataan-Corregidor Memorial Foundation, she was instrumental in the construction of the Bataan-Corregidor Memorial in honor of the 200th and 515thCoast Artillery. She facilitated the passage of the Senate Joint Memorials that created the Asian American Day and the Veterans Day at the State Legislature. Dely was also the director of the University of New Mexico Geospatial and Population Studies. She has a Ph.D. in Sociology with specialization in Demography and Gender Studies from the University of Hawaii and the East-West Center. She has a B.A. in Philosophy, minor in Psychology from the University of the Philippines at Diliman.
Sachi Watase is from Albuquerque, New Mexico. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Pitzer College in Claremont, California where she also co-founded organizations that coordinated services and programming for survivors of sexual assault and that worked with people of mixed racial, ethnic, and cultural heritage. Additionally, after serving as an English teacher at Trà Vinh University in Vietnam, Sachi was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and served as an English teacher in Sindhupalchok, Nepal. Sachi is the daughter of a Japanese immigrant, so she understands on a personal level the importance of providing resources for this community in New Mexico. Outside of a professional setting, she likes to bake cakes, cook Japanese food, play board games, and continue her language studies in Vietnamese, Japanese, and Nepali!
Carol M. Suzuki is a Professor of Law at the University of New Mexico School of Law. She supervises law students in the Community Lawyering Clinic, where they represent clients mainly in the areas of family law, immigration, and juvenile delinquency. She also serves as the Faculty Advisor for the NEW MEXICO LAW REVIEW and teaches first-year Torts. Professor Suzuki received her J.D. from Columbia University School of Law and her A.B. from Stanford University in Psychology.
Kiran is an East-African, Asian-Indian woman, born in Kenya and raised in England. She received her Ph.D. in Educational Thought and Socio-Cultural Studies at the University of New Mexico. For twenty years she's worked with local community organizers and leaders through the University of New Mexico's Community Engagement Center, where she facilitates the growth and development of students who apprentice with community leaders. She also teaches university courses, which focus on anti-racist education, peace & justice, and critical multicultural education.
Jaime has over 18 years of accounting experience in a variety of industries. Prior to joining Axiom CPAs, Jaime worked for a Big 4 firm, national and regional firms for over 15 years.Jaime holds a BS in Accounting from the Philippine School of Business Administration and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the State of New Mexico, Colorado and Virginia. He is also Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) and Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP).
Myra is an associate professor at the University of New Mexico in the Department of Communication & Journalism. Her research focuses on the intersections between race, identity, and culture. She is invested in how community building happens, especially how communities of color act in solidarity with each other. As the daughter of an Asian immigrant, Myra understands first-hand the importance and significance of organizations like the NMAFC and is dedicated to supporting NMAFC's pan-Asian and inclusive vision and mission.
Heddy and her husband started the Marriage Encounter program in Brazil in 1973 before becoming the first lay person and Filipina as Family Life Director for the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. She is a representative on the Board of the National Association of Catholic Family Life Ministers and the Ecumenical Commission of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. Heddy graduated from Holy Ghost College with a major in Sociology before teaching Tagalog as a Second Language at tenco de Manila University to diplomats, missionaries, and the Peace Corps.
Richard is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy with a master’s in Business Management from the University of the Philippines. He served in the Air Force as a security police officer for 8 ½ years. He retired from the Air Force Reserve as a major with a total of 22 1/2 years of service. He also worked in retail for more than twenty years before retiring. Aside from being an AFC board member, he was also the vice-president of Bataan-Corregidor Memorial Foundation and currently a member of the Filipino American Foundation.
Linda is currently a judge on the New Mexico Court of Appeals where she's been serving since 2008. She was the Chief Judge of the Court from January 2017 to January 2019, and is currently the Chair of the Judiciary Budget Committee. Prior to joining the Court of Appeals, Linda was a district court judge in Bernalillo County. Linda has a background working for large corporations as a safety and environmental health engineer and owns a small business in Taos. She continues to be actively involved in civic organizations and teaches at the UNM School of Law.