For Immediate Release
Sangini Brahmbhatt, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago
Kevin Hsia, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago
CHICAGO, IL — September 1, 2022 – Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago is proud to announce two new board members, Mary “Mimi” Mam and Maria Odiamar Racho.
“Together, Mimi and Maria bring their impressive talents and passion to the board of Advancing Justice | Chicago. I’m excited to work with them and add their networks and influence to scale the organization’s impact,” said Board President Khai Yang.
Mary “Mimi” Mam – (LinkedIn)
Mimi is mother of two, a supply chain professional, ERG leader, LGBTQ+ ally, and mental health advocate. She currently works as a vendor performance manager at US Foods and leads a team of Asian Americans and allies with the development of an ERG strategy focused on cultural preservation and development. Mimi’s intention is to push social and cultural progress in the workplace, enact purpose in others to help them connect with their true selves, and promote wellness in individuals and communities. She draws from her experiences as a Southeast Asian woman and daughter of Cambodian refugees overcoming PTSD and assimilation difficulties.
“Immigration and racial advocacy have been a passion of mine since childhood and I have a deep understanding of the need for funding to help these programs support their respective communities,” said Mimi. She spent her childhood helping her parents sponsor and support refugees and immigrants’ resettlement, adjustment, and integration phases into the United States. Her passion for inclusion originates from her personal story with the Cambodian Association of Illinois (CAI) and she deeply understands the needs of community advocacy and development.
“My father was a refugee case manager and co-founded CAI and Cambodian Network Council. I spent many years at the CAI office helping the underserved find pathways to citizenship while bringing awareness and preservation of culture to the Cambodian and Southeast Asian Communities,” Mimi shared.
Mimi hopes that in joining the Advancing Justice | Chicago board she will build a deeper connection to her identity as a child of Cambodian refugees, advocate for marginalized AAPI and BIPOC communities, and be part of change.
Mimi graduated from Roosevelt University in Business and attended Lewis University’s graduate organizational and leadership development program.
Maria Odiamar Racho – (LinkedIn)
Maria is an intrapreneur, C-suite advisor, and community builder turned investor with experience in large scale business transformations, building over a dozen Asian American and Filipino networks, and founding a 700 person corporate incubator called Intrapreneurs@Allstate (i@a).
Maria is co-founder and Managing Partner of FilKor Capital, whose mission is to empower resilient Asian Americans to build enduring companies. Its initial focus is on underserved parts of the community, particularly Asian American women.
Maria shared, “My introduction to Advancing Justice | Chicago was almost two decades ago when it was still called the Asian American Institute. I helped co-found 3AN, the Allstate Asian American Network, and even at that time, AAI was creating community, making Asian Americans visible, and building leadership. We sponsored AAI/Advancing Justice | Chicago and through my research on Asian American Leadership, I took an active role leading one of the tracks of the AALF (Asian American Leadership Forum), an annual cross-organizational effort Advancing Justice | Chicago led.”
Maria hopes that by joining the board, she will be part of a passionate, talented, driven team pushing boundaries and creating systemic change for the AAPI community.
“The systemic impact that Advancing Justice | Chicago has made through the years is what stands out most for me and what I desire to contribute to as a board member. The Illinois TEAACH Act is one example of that, not only influencing change locally, but setting a precedence nationally,” shared Maria.
Maria has an Executive Master of Science in Organization Development from Pepperdine University, where she is also an adjunct faculty member. Maria currently serves as a board member of the Organization Development Network – Chicago, a mentor in the 2022 Global Insurance Accelerator, and published researcher and speaker on Asian American leadership.
Founded in 1992, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago’s mission is to build power through collective advocacy and organizing to achieve racial equity. We have achieved landmark wins in racial equity and policy by advocating for immigrant rights, education equity, language access, voting rights, and criminal justice reform the past 30 years. As an organization with an unshakeable commitment to the advocacy and reinvestment of the Asian American community, the induction of new board members enriches our work and continues a rewarding collaboration with our staff and community.