2018 Keynote Speakers
President, Asian American Psychological Association
Helen is a staff psychologist, Asian American specialist, and lecturer at Stanford University, current president of the Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA), and Training Advisory Committee Member of the American Psychological Association APA) Minority Fellowship Program. She is also an adjunct professor at Palo Alto University. Helen also served on the APA Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Expression, and was a Union City Human Relations Commissioner for 10 years.
As a bi-cultural, bi-lingual clinician, Helen has worked within the Alameda County Behavioral Health Care system in roles ranging from intern to clinical supervisor within Asian Community Mental Health Services and the City of Fremont Youth and Family Services. Her work has focused primarily on intersectional diverse communities, culturally responsive treatment, parenting education, school-based clinical services, and mentorship and leadership training of psychology students. She is a consultant for the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why and author of several book chapters on clinical topics.
Spiritual Healer & Mental Health Advocate
Pisey Sok was born in a refugee camp in Thailand shortly after the Khmer Rouge genocide in Cambodia. His family immigrated to the US when he was four years old. The son of a Buddhist shaman, Sok responded to his calling to be a spiritual leader and practitioner of the arts of healing.
After receiving his MDiv and MFT from Fuller Theological Seminary, Sok worked in Long Beach, providing mental health counseling for the Cambodian community dealing with
post-traumatic stress, acculturation issues, and intergenerational trauma. He is currently a pastor at Christian Assembly church
in Los Angeles.
CA State Assembly 18th Assembly District
First Filipino-American elected in California Legislature, Robert Andres “Rob” Bonta is an American politician serving in the California State Assembly. He is a Democrat representing the 18th Assembly District, which encompasses the central East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area. Prior to being elected to the Assembly in 2012, he was an Alameda City Councilmember. He is the current Chair of the California Asian and Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus. Bonta was the first Filipino-American ever elected to the California Legislature.
The Pool of Consumer Champions
Alameda County BHCS’s Consumer Empowerment Department
The Pool of Consumer Champions (“POCC”) is a program of Alameda County BHCS’s Consumer Empowerment Department.
It is a diverse group of 1,500 members, with over 500 of them very active members. They have lived experience with trauma and
other challenges, and they help to transform services with a recovery vision. A panel of four members of the POCC Asian American Committee will share personal experience of tough times, healing, and what is meaningful to them. Adrianne DeSantis staffs the POCC Asian American Committee, and will be one of the four panelists.
Alameda County Supervisor
Chan served as the California State Assembly Majority Leader from 2002–2004; she was the first woman and the first Asian American to hold the position. She also served as Assembly Majority Whip from 2001-2002.
During Chan's term, she chaired the county’s committee on Health. She was the first Chair of the Alameda County Children and Families Commission that annually distributed $20 million for children's services. As a member of the Board of Supervisors, she worked to expand the number of school-based health clinics and worked to restore benefits to legal immigrants. She initiated a pilot welfare-to-work project in Oakland's San Antonio neighborhood, and developed the strategic plan on the future of health care services in Alameda County.
Preet Sabharwal, PsyD
Mental Health Clinician, The Hume Center
Dr. Preet Kaur Sabharwal received her PsyD at the American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University in Alameda. She has been providing clinical services at The Hume Center for the past 5 years in their South Asian program. Preet’s interests in psychology are focused around breaking stigmas of mental health and increasing utilization of behavioral health services in the South Asian community. Preet is especially passionate about bringing awareness within the Punjabi community about behavioral health through outreach, psychoeducation, and language and culturally based services. Her own experiences of not feeling connected to other South Asian providers in the area and feeling the lack of supervision and support for those working with the population fostered the creation of the South Asian Mental Health Consortium, an organization that puts on a yearly South Asian Mental Health Conference. Preet has presented on South Asian Mental Health at conferences all across the United States and is considered to be one of the front runners of South Asian Mental Health Advocacy. She is also a proud mother of a vibrant and sassy 2 year old who keeps her busy in her free time.
Natalie Ah Soon, MPH
Program Director, Richmond Area Multi-Services, Inc.
Natalie Tualemoso Ah Soon currently manages two population-focused mental health promotion and early intervention programs for RAMS, Inc.: Asian and Pacific Islander Mental Health Collaborative in San Francisco County and Pacific Islander Wellness Initiative in Alameda County; and, she also coordinates the Asian and Pacific Islander Health Parity Coalition, including serving a leadership role on San Francisco’s Joint Health Equity Coalition.
Ms. Ah Soon is co-chair and founding member of the Regional Pacific Islander Taskforce in the SF Bay Area, focusing on increasing the visibility of Pacific Islander health and social disparities and its strengths and assets. She is a public health professional with over 10 years of experience working in the areas of mental health, health, healthcare, health promotion, health education, and policy advocacy on the local, state, and national level. Ms. Ah Soon is a proud native of American Samoa and fluent in Samoan.
Rev. Michael Yoshii
Pastor, Buena Vista United Methodist Church
Rev. Michael Yoshii is pastor of the Buena Vista United Methodist Church in Alameda. Buena Vista is historically rooted in the Japanese American community founded in 1898 with outreach to first immigrants from Japan. Now serving a Pan-Asian and Multi-cultural constituency, Buena Vista is engaged in ministries advocating for affordable housing and housing equity, immigration justice, and disability & mental health wellness.
Sanjida Mazid, MA
Workforce Education and Training Manager, Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services
Sanjida oversees the administration of the Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services workforce education and training programs, for which she develops and implements programs, procedures, and systems to expand a culturally responsive, skilled, and diverse workforce capable of effectively meeting the health needs of the consumers of Alameda County. Prior to joining Alameda County, she served as the Workforce Education and Training Manager for the Solano County Health and Social Services, Mental Health Division. Sanjida obtained an M.A. in Public Administration from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. She is bi-lingual and speaks Bengali.