Board Spotlight: Mark Anthony Florido

Dearest Community,

Her name was Ana, but we all called her Lola Ima. She was my maternal grandmother –  known for her sinigang and her love of shopping. She loved her grandkids, often sneaking us little spoonfuls of coffee as a treat! It’s been more than a decade since she’s passed, but I’ve been thinking about her a lot recently. As more and more news about Asian community members, particularly our elders, being subjected to anti-Asian violence come to light, I can’t help but see my Lola Ima in them. I can’t imagine what it would feel like to have a beloved member of my family be a victim to such hate. But I know, I must do something.

That’s where my role as a Board Member for Advancing Justice | Chicago comes in. I am thankful to be able to support efforts that honor my Lola Ima by engaging in work that uplifts the Asian American community and educates our community on how to protect others like her. For example, our bystander intervention training offerings give us some concrete tools that we can use to protect folks like Lola Ima during instances of anti-Asian bias motivated incidents. I am proud to know that through these trainings we are helping to create a safer world for all our Asian family members.

But the work doesn’t stop there. As one of the Core Leaders for A Just Chi, I am in awe of the community’s endeavors to ensure that immigrants like my Lola have equitable access to resources and that they can live their lives without fear.

  • Our Immigrant Justice Working Group worked hard on getting a number of amendments to our current Welcoming City Ordinance passed. These amendments will close a number of loop-holes in our Welcoming City Ordinance and will help Chicago become a true sanctuary city for all immigrants. This has been years in the making and we are glad to see this passed.
  • Our Police Accountability Working Group also scored a win a few weeks ago when the Illinois legislature passed the Pretrial Fairness Act which ended money bond in Illinois. We organized a number of actions to educate and activate the Asian American community towards ensuring folks wouldn’t be held in jail just because they couldn’t afford cash bail.

On behalf of my Lola Ima, salamat and thank you for your continued support. Would you consider making a gift today? Your generosity means that we can continue to work towards a better future for all generations. I hope that you will stay on this journey with us. Let’s do the work together.

Mahal kita, Lola Ima!

In Solidarity,

Mark Anthony Florido
Board Director
Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago