Duncan Hwang is currently the Associate Director of Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO) and serves as Councilor for Metro District 6. This interview gives listeners insight into how APANO began, its core values, and goals moving forward. APANO started in the 1990s as a volunteer group aimed to offer culturally specific services to the Asian Pacific Islander community. Since 2010, APANO has become an independent organization and has been running since. APANO's current mission is to unite Asians and Pacific Islanders in Oregon through advocacy leadership, advancing equity through organizing, and cultural and community development.
In this interview, Hwang goes into detail about the history and objectives of APANO. At the time of this interview, Hwang was the Associate Director, a job which he describes in detail; he explains his work with various programs and how he ensures that each project has adequate resources and assistance to be successful. Hwang then talks about APANO’s origins and founders, and how it grew from being volunteer based to an independent organization that provides culturally specific services. Hwang also describes APANO’s relationship with the Vietnamese community in Portland, and how they support the community through helping to create programs like the Vietnamese Dual Language Immersion program for Portland Public Schools. Hwang then discusses APANO’s mission to adapt to community needs, such as providing pandemic relief for individuals and businesses. He ends the interview by discussing some of APANO’s future goals and plans for increasing efficacy and community outreach.