AAPI Heritage Month: Centering Asian American and Pacific Islander voices
24 hours left to RSVP for Here All Year: Celebrating AAPI Heritage With Family! Registration closes Thursday, June 1, at noon
Our Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebration continues, and this week we are lifting up another local union leader! We spoke with Evelyn Curiel, industry chair for the City and County of San Francisco. Evelyn will be one of our community speakers at SEIU 1021’s free, family-friendly AAPI celebration for SEIU members and their families on June 3rd at Snow Park in Oakland
(Only 24 hours left to RSVP! RSVP HERE).
Scroll down for our Q&A with Evelyn to hear about why she thinks what made her want to get more involved in her union and why AAPI voices are so important in unions.
SEIU 1021: What is your title with the union, how long have you been with the union, why do you think it is important to be active in your union, and how has it played an important part in your life?
Evelyn Curiel: I have been an SFMTA City and County of San Francisco employee and an executive board member for 10 years. I have been involved with various projects throughout my union career, blitzing and even joining strikes in various communities and states. I have volunteered at a lot of actions within our union and other unions to help them out. I love helping people.
S: Do you think unions play an important role in AAPI communities? Why?
EC: The reason I joined a union was a former manager suspended me for one day because of a car accident I was in, despite the fact that I had been hospitalized due to this accident. That showed me she didn’t care about my well-being. And no one came forward to help me, and I had to fight against management alone. With effort, I won and gained respect for what I had done. So, I applied to do steward training through our union to be a union steward and to help members, or anybody, with their battles.
With the good work I did, people recognized I could be a great leader. And here I am now. Still a great leader and willing to fight for what is right for all of us. I help our members and even other members from different unions ask for my help. I am open to helping everyone.
S: Why is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month important to you, and why is it important for our greater community?
EC: I am a proud Filipina, and, being AAPI, I feel could do more in ways of bringing people up and showing them not to be shy, scared, afraid, or quiet in life, especially if they’re in need of help. We’re here to let people know that you have a voice, you have a right, and there are people behind you to help you and be with you. I just don’t want people to be treated like they are nobody or belittled. We only live one life, and we have to guard it, love it, and respect it.
We are excited to have Evelyn speak more about her experience at “Here All Year: Celebrating AAPI Heritage with our Family” on June 3rd!
Don’t miss SEIU 1021’s free, family-friendly event on June 3rd in Oakland, where Mariette Shin and other union leaders will be speaking. There will also be delicious food, live dance and musical performances, and a solidarity march with healthcare workers. Registration closes Thursday, June 1st, at 12 pm. RSVP Today!
Can you volunteer? Sign up here!