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Message from Dr. Kao, SGVPA President 10.26.23

(Also can be found on the blog page)

Hi everyone,

Every time there’s a conflict in the world, a sudden disaster, or a major event, I’m tasked with putting out a statement or “respond appropriately.” Whether it’s the COVID-19 pandemic, another mass shooting, Asian American hate crimes, the Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, I admit that these statements feel a little cold, despite its necessity. I’m sure I’ve even missed a couple, losing count of which disaster is most current. As I’m typing this message, I just read that there was another mass shooting in Maine.

However, in this time and place, with the current conflict/war between Israel and Hamas, I’m more interested in a simple question to our members.

How are you all doing?

I’m sure there are many and various opinions, feelings and thoughts around the most current conflict, but adding that onto all the other conflicts that have occurred and continue to occur, I really just want to know how everyone’s holding up. I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all been affected in some intimate way by the many crises that has occurred over the years, and I hope anyone with family/friends in Israel and Palestine are safe and physically unharmed. My heart goes out to anyone over these years that have suffered.

For those who are interested and willing to share, let’s start an email stream of how we’re all coping in these times.

Personally, my Summer has been filled with grief and chaos, but also hope. I’ve been trying to pick up the pieces of multiple family losses in a short period of time, as well as navigating the chaos that ensues. It’s been easy for me to become ambivalent, easy for me to want to give in to despair. Despite this, I’ve been hopeful from the emotional support and understandable concern I’ve received from those around me. I’m hopeful and grateful for the good work that I can do, and the team that I have.

I’d love to hear from the rest of you. Please feel free to reply.

I’m also planning a Lunch with the President tentatively planned for January on a Friday at noon. At

Congregation Ale House

300 S Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105

Please look out for more information & RSVP. I will get a couple of pizzas and a pitcher for everyone. I hope to see everyone there.

And last, be on the lookout for an email of upcoming events, include our 2024 January Jubilee!

Check out the newest Member Highlight on Dr. Sam Alibrando Ph.D. where he talks with SGVPA President Dr. Wayne Kao about his article, The Three Dimensions of the Psychological World: Power, Heart & Knowing
A video of the interview and access to his article can be found here

Recent Events:

  • Annual January Jubilee was held on January 27th, photos and videos of speeches are available here
  • On March 25, 2023 and April 8, 2023 we had our first CE Consultation group of 2023, held by Dr Alex Wong and Dr Sharon Thomas.
  • On April 22, 2023 we held our second annual Diversity Conference; photos of the event can be viewed here.
The Theme for the conference was: Bridging the Gap: Representation and Allyship. For further information click here

 On the Horizon:  

Learn more about & register for upcoming presentations and workshops!
SGVPA speed Networking Event Saturday January 20th, 9am-11am
RSVP & more info: [email protected]

Look out here for a link to an ongoing virtual newsletter starting in the near future!
Keep checking your email for news about SGVPA and future events through our Listserv. 
There are lots of opportunities to become involved at SGVPA.
If you are interested in becoming involved: 
Check out our various committees and opportunities to join under Membership and Committees.
Presidents Message
Hi everyone,
     At the beginning of my time as President of SGVPA, I made a concerted effort to highlight as many minority voices, heritage months, etc.. as possible. As time passed, I reduced the structured nature of these acknowledgements, hoping that our work together would speak for itself.
    However, I find it necessary to make an acknowledgement at this moment, as a voice is currently being silenced. In honor of AAPI Heritage Month, where AAPI voices are amplified, I'd like to acknowledge a Black voice that is being silenced, 25 year old poet, Amanda Gorman. It was recently reported that due to new laws enacted in Florida, her poem she wrote and read at President Joe Biden's Inauguration would be pulled from a Florida school shelf, due to accusations of hateful messages in her poem. 
     So, with that being said, I'm posting her poem in its entirety for you to read for yourself. If you disagree, I welcome you to reach out to me, as we need to continue to connect and come together, even in dissent.

The Hill We Climb

-        Amanda Gorman

 When day comes, we ask ourselves, where can we find light in this never-ending shade? 

The loss we carry. A sea we must wade.

 We braved the belly of the beast.

 We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace, and the norms and notions of what “just” is isn’t always justice.

 And yet the dawn is ours before we knew it.

 Somehow we do it. 


Somehow we weathered and witnessed a nation that isn’t broken, but simply unfinished. 

We, the successors of a country and a time where a skinny Black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother can dream of becoming president, only to find herself reciting for one.


And, yes, we are far from polished, far from pristine, but that doesn’t mean we are striving to form a union that is perfect. 

We are striving to forge our union with purpose. 

To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and conditions of man. 

And so we lift our gaze, not to what stands between us, but what stands before us. 

We close the divide because we know to put our future first, we must first put our differences aside. 

We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another. 

We seek harm to none and harmony for all.

Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true.

That even as we grieved, we grew. 

That even as we hurt, we hoped. 

That even as we tired, we tried. 

That we’ll forever be tied together, victorious. 

Not because we will never again know defeat, but because we will never again sow division. 

Scripture tells us to envision that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid.

 If we’re to live up to our own time, then victory won’t lie in the blade, but in all the bridges we’ve made.

 That is the promise to glade, the hill we climb, if only we dare. 

It’s because being American is more than a pride we inherit.

It’s the past we step into and how we repair it. 

We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation, rather than share it. 

Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy. 

And this effort very nearly succeeded. 

But while democracy can be periodically delayed, it can never be permanently defeated. 

In this truth, in this faith we trust, for while we have our eyes on the future, history has its eyes on us.

This is the era of just redemption. 

We feared at its inception. 

We did not feel prepared to be the heirs of such a terrifying hour.

But within it we found the power to author a new chapter, to offer hope and laughter to ourselves. 

So, while once we asked, how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe, now we assert, how could catastrophe possibly prevail over us? 

We will not march back to what was, but move to what shall be: a country that is bruised but whole, benevolent but bold, fierce and free. 

We will not be turned around or interrupted by intimidation because we know our inaction and inertia will be the inheritance of the next generation, become the future.

Our blunders become their burdens. 

But one thing is certain. 

If we merge mercy with might, and might with right, then love becomes our legacy and change our children’s birthright. 

So let us leave behind a country better than the one we were left. 

Every breath from my bronze-pounded chest, we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one. 

We will rise from the golden hills of the West. 

We will rise from the windswept Northeast where our forefathers first realized revolution. 

We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the Midwestern states. 

We will rise from the sun-baked South. 

We will rebuild, reconcile, and recover. 

And every known nook of our nation and every corner called our country, our people diverse and beautiful, will emerge battered and beautiful. 

When day comes, we step out of the shade aflame and unafraid.

 The new dawn blooms as we free it.

For there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it. 

If only we’re brave enough to be it.

Read past presidents messages here