Dear Community is a group of accidental activists that ignited in response to anti-Asian hate violence. We found each other in the midst of the pandemic through the shared passion of wanting to protect our community and elders. We are healing our community by curating safe space events that foster discourse while generating income for merchants fighting to survive. Our goal is to support Asian small business corridors that have disproportionately suffered from COVID-19 and racism. We are calling to attention the Asian American experience and we work to engage and inspire the community to join the movement.
To uplift Asian pride and inspire new leaders through community building and activism.
A proud, empowered, and safe Asian community.
and Supporting Small Businesses.
FOUNDER, Community Relations Director
Amy Lee is a San Francisco native and first generation Chinese American. Chinatown has a special place in her heart as she grew up there. She attended weekend Chinese school and her family ran a local grocery store.
In 2021, the attacks against Asians elders angered and activated her to find ways to help and this is how Dear Community was born! Lee wanted to create a positive space to connect to the older generation and bring younger people back into Chinatown while simultaneously revitalizing the businesses that were affected by the pandemic. Now she continues to serve as the vision behind the organization and create programs that keep us on the path of Building Community.
During her free time she loves to try out new recipes, explore new and old stand up comedy and rewatch her favorite movies- Monsters Inc. and Seinfeld, anyone?
Jade Tu is a Chinese-American and a San Francisco native. She has a Masters in Higher Education, and has the best dog named Cooper.
In 2021, her world was shaken up when she watched the murder of Grandpa Vicha Ratanapakdee. Tu decided to take action and spent time volunteering in Chinatown Safety patrols to make an impact on the community. From there, she, Amy, and Forrest co-founded Dear Community formerly Revive SF Chinatown. She’s proud to be part of this coalition of leaders that are like-minded and determined to end Asian Hate.
Forrest Liu’s an Asian Community Activist working to Stop Asian Hate.
In 2021, he saw the video of Grandpa Vicha Ratanapakdee's murder which inspired him to start a nonviolent volunteer foot patrol in San Francisco Chinatown. That started his journey as an activist, where he joined a national movement to Stop Asian Hate.
Liu aspires to inspire others to join a community of supporters who believe in working towards a sustainable solution to Asian hate.
Tâm Ngô is a Vietnamese American, born and raised in East Side San Jose. She’s lived in San Francisco since 2009 where she started up several of her own businesses, served on several nonprofit boards, is an award winning filmmaker, and is currently program director for nonprofit Welcome Home Project.
Ngô joined Dear Community in 2021 to join in the efforts to Stop Asian Hate and to build community. She became Board President in 2022 continuing the work of connecting and bringing resources to the community along with a team of Asian leaders and activists. She’s community-focused and driven. Not only does she and the team bring awareness to issues in the community, but also contribute and create solutions that make a meaningful impact.
During the height of random acts of violence against our Asian elderly in 2021, Jonathan Wen was motivated to do more than just write a donation check. He got involved with Dear Community after meeting founders, Amy, Forrest and Jade while participating in safety patrols on the streets of San Francisco Chinatown. He was inspired by the vision and commitment of these young budding community activists who didn't just complain about what was happening on social media, they went out in the streets to do something about it. Jonathan is committed to ending Asian hate, building community and supporting the next generation of Asian American community leaders.
Jonathan has an over 20 year career in corporate business technology consulting. He is also a father who wants to make his sons proud by standing up for something greater than himself.
Philip Vy is a 3rd generation half-Filipino half-Vietnamese American born in Monterey raised in Modesto. Remembering Chinatown with great fondness, he always made sure to get a couple of selfies, a bite to eat, and some souvenirs every time he visited San Francisco during his youth. In Chinatown, he found familiarity with food, culture, and identity that wasn’t present in the Central Valley.
During the height of the pandemic, Vy’s call to action was to capture as many images as possible with his camera at protests, rallies, and demonstrations from the likes of Asians Are Strong, Stand With Asians, and of course Dear Community in his free time. With the murder of Michelle Go as his breaking point, he roamed Chinatown as a street photographer and accidentally started patrolling on his own until he found Dear Community. He can’t wait to be more engaged with the AAPI community. With his new self appointed purpose, his mission is to change the narrative that Asians are passive and easy targets by getting people together at events to show solidarity and pride one picture at a time.
William Brega is a third-generation Chinese American, born in San Diego and raised in the East Bay. He has lived all around the Bay Area and has committed himself to being involved with the many unique and diverse Asian communities in the region. After moving to San Francisco, he naturally found his way into the Chinatown community through his organizing and volunteer work. Being engaged in the neighborhood and living closer to his immigrant relatives led to him developing a passion for uplifting and advocating for the many Asian-owned small businesses across the city.
As a Dear Community board member, William hopes to empower the younger generation of Asian American residents in San Francisco to embrace their cultural roots and establish themselves as powerful stakeholders in the community.
Benzi Blatman is a San Francisco native and second-generation Taiwanese American. He previously worked at the Retail Investment Advisory team at Cushman & Wakefield and now works for local developer Wilson Meany. At the core of Benzi’s pursuits is a love of placemaking and healthy community, which he finds is often best cultivated by a city’s local retail establishments.
Benzi joined Dear Community to help carry out its mission of supporting independent Asian-owned businesses as well as the San Francisco Asian community at large through its various events and programs.
EVENTS PROGRAM MANAGER
Kimberly Szeto’s a Hong Kongnese American who’s a constant advocate and activist in the community. She first got involved in the SF Chinatown community when she joined the Chinese Historical Society of America in 2020 at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic when she knew she couldn’t sit back and watch the attacks and violence from her TV screen. She had to find ways to help the community.
In her free time, she’s active in the community supporting organizations like Save Cantonese and serving on the Okinawa Memories Initiative's Advisory Board.
Jeffrey Ambas is a second-generation Filipino American who grew up in Las Vegas and the diverse Southern California scene.
He started his own theater group called The Improv Collective, showing his knack for both business and creativity. In 2018, after visiting San Francisco annually for the Outside Lands festival, Jeffrey and his wife decided to call the city their home.
When anti-Asian sentiments rose in 2021, he felt compelled to take action. He joined forces with Dear Community, an organization dedicated to standing against Asian hate.
When he's not busy with all that, Jeffrey enjoys trying out new cooking recipes, playing frisbee golf, and expressing his artistic side by painting in the beautiful Golden Gate Park.
Instagram Social Media Manager
Jenny Lee grew up in San Francisco as a first-generation Chinese American. Chinatown holds a special place in her heart as it was a second home to her where she would buy BBQ pork buns,
dim sum, fruit tea, and pastries.
Jenny was introduced to Dear Community when it was still called Revive SF Chinatown and really resonated with their values to stop Asian hate crimes. Because of this, she started volunteering at events such as doing outreach, event check-ins, decor, and content collecting for posts. After some time, she finally joined Dear Community to help uplift Asian pride by using social media platforms to create positive content.
TikTok Social Media Manager
Paul-Jose "PJ" Wong is a Chinese-Nicaraguan first-generation American, born and raised in San Francisco, California.
PJ played college basketball for Pacific University in Oregon from 2021-2023 and recently moved back to San Francisco to start a life coaching business for younger athletes called BFT (Better For Tomorrow) Life Coaching, and currently plays semi-pro basketball for the California Golden Tigers from the American Basketball Association.
This year, he joined Dear Community as a social media manager in efforts to Stop Asian Hate, support Asian-owned small businesses, be more in touch with his culture, and build community. He has gained experience and still learns from social media from being a content creator on TikTok and YouTube (@thepauljose).
Mary Jung - SFAR Foundation Executive Director
Jay Cheng - SFAR Director of Government Relations
Vanita Louie - Parks & Recreation Commissioner