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  • Civil Society: Asian American Business in Austin

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    March 03, 2021
    Civil Society: Asian American Business in Austin

    I am Barry Silverberg, Director of the Center for Nonprofit Studies at Austin Community College. Welcome to Civil Society where we explore issues affecting our communal well‐being through a nonprofit lens. We are a proud partner of ACC TV. Given Covid 19, we continue to operate virtually for our 5th season.

    This episode is part of our series on The Asian– Pacific Islander Experience in Austin which includes people from at least 25 countries who represent 40 different ethnic groups. This diverse community makes up at least 8% of Austin’s population and is growing rapidly.

    Asian Americans are often overlooked partly this can be attributed to the “model minority” myth the assumption that all Asians are wealthy and highly educated and therefore not needing social services. But income and education within the Asian community vary; immigrants coming for professional opportunities and refugees starting from scratch are often lumped together. Also, language can be a
    the barrier for people accessing social services.

    My guest today is Fang Fang, CEO of the Greater Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce. Its mission is to “Promote the Asian Pacific American community and community at large as a catalyst for local and global economic growth through advocacy, connections and education.” It fulfills that mission through advocacy initiatives, connection events and education programs.

    Fang assumed the Chamber’s leadership just five months ago during the Covid 19 pandemic. She replaced Marina Bhargava who led the Chamber for 7 years and helped grow it from 100 to 590 during her tenure.

    Fang has a diverse background in journalism, government, entrepreneur, and non-profit. She was most recently a liaison of the U.S. Census Bureau and Austin-Travis Complete Count Committee, a collaborative effort to ensure a complete and accurate count of the Austin-area population in the 2020 decennial Census.

    Before that, Fang was the founder of a media startup, as well as a co-founder of a tech startup in supply chain optimization. Fang has also worked with the consulting firm Edelman in New York city and the news agency Voice of America in Washington, DC. Fang serves on the board of organizations that promote economic development and elevate AAPI communities locally and nationally. 

    You can watch my full interview with Fang Fang here.