Name: Vincent Pan
Title: Executive Director
Organization: Chinese for Affirmative Action
Organization’s Mission: To protect the civil and political rights of Chinese Americans and to advance multiracial democracy in the United States. As a progressive voice in and on behalf of the broader Asian Pacific American community, we advocate for systemic change that protects immigrant rights, promotes language diversity, and remedies racial injustice.
Years in the sector: 15
1. What was your first nonprofit job?
In college I was very active in community service jobs teaching and tutoring students in low-income schools. This led me to co-found a non-profit youth development organization that I helped lead for eight years. That direct service work shaped the way I now think about public policy and advocacy.
2. Why do you do the work you do / what motivates you to keep at it?
I believe that we live in a time of great hope and great danger. If we choose to be a more compassionate, fair-minded, and inclusive society, we can create a world that works for everyone. The alternatives are not encouraging.
3. What part of your job do you most enjoy?
Solution-driven and ides-based discussions with community leaders I admire and respect.
4. What is your favorite nonprofit organization (beside the organization you work for)?
There are too many to name one. But I love the ecosystem of groups that advance social justice promoting cultural change.
5. What is the reform you admire most?
Very impressed today with attempts to unite rather than divide those that are marginalized. For example, efforts that are addressing the intersection of the LGBT and immigrant rights movements.
6. Who is your favorite real life hero/heroine?
Grace Lee Boggs
7. Who is your favorite nonprofit sector hero/heroine?
The staff at Chinese for Affirmative Action.
8. What did you learn from the person who has most influenced you?
9. What is your connection to CompassPoint?
Currently serve on the CompassPoint Board of Directors.
10. What is your favorite thing about CompassPoint?
The culture of learning in pursuit of excellence.
11. What is the most important quality in a leader?
12. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
13. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
14. What does the world need now?
15. Who is your favorite historical or literary hero/heroine?
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison