Edward Tepporn

Edward Tepporn
Location: San Francisco, California Cohort Start Year: 2019 Project Topics: Communications, Community/Civic Engagement, Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Education, Environmental Justice, Food Systems and Nutrition, Health Care Access, Health Care Quality, Immigrants and Refugees, Leadership Development, LGBTQ+ Health, Public Policy, Public, Population and Community Health, Racial Justice, Social Sector/Non-Profit Populations Served: Adolescents (12-20 years), Adults (21-64 years), African-American/Black, Asian/Asian American, At-Risk/Vulnerable Populations, Children (6-11 years), Children and Families, Hispanic/Latino/Latinx, Immigrants and Refugees, LGBTQ+ Communities, Low-Income Communities, Migrant Workers, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders (NHPI), Native/Tribal/Indigenous People, Older Adults (65+), Puerto Rico and other U.S. Territories, Rural Communities, Urban Communities, Young Children (0-5 years)
Executive Director
Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation

Edward is the executive director of the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation (AIISF), the California State Parks’ nonprofit partner in the effort to preserve and restore the historic immigration station at Angel Island. From 1910 to 1940, Angel Island (sometimes referred to as the “Ellis Island of the West”) served as an interrogation, detention, and quarantine site. Unlike Ellis Island, which is known for its role in welcoming immigrants to the U.S., Angel Island was used to enforce the nation’s exclusionary immigration policies designed to keep Asians from entering the U.S. AIISF seeks to raise awareness of these historical stories and draw connections to the current-day experiences of immigrants. Edward previously served as the executive vice president at the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, a national policy and advocacy organization focused on improving the health of our nation’s Asian-American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities.

STRATEGIC INITIATIVE: Video Series to Spark Awareness and Dialogue About Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders
Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AANHPIs) are not meaningfully included in health/racial equity discussions at the local, state, and national levels. AANHPI communities are often mistakenly perceived as universally healthy, wealthy, and well-educated (i.e..,the model minority myth) and/or too insignificant in size to merit priority or resources. These factors contribute to decreased social cohesion (in the Healthy People 2020 framework) for AANHPI communities. My strategic initiative will result in the development of five to 10 brief, animated videos (less than three minutes each) to spark awareness and dialogue. My video series will help address the dearth of basic AANHPI histories and contexts that must be understood and included as the foundation, nonprofit, government, and business sectors across the nation continue to invest in DEI-related approaches to improving health and racial equity. My initiative aims to facilitate cross-cultural dialogues while reinforcing the comprehension of AANHPI leaders and advocates regarding the intersections of these histories and contexts with other racial/ethnic groups. This approach aims to promote greater allyship. Committed partners include a DEI consultant and an Asian American Studies lecturer.

As a queer Asian immigrant, Edward’s personal and professional experiences reinforce his belief that immigration status is a health determinant. He seeks to dismantle the misperceptions and inaccurate generalizations about the health and socio-economic status of AANHPIs to ensure that these communities are meaningfully included in health and public health efforts.

Click here to watch Edward’s Legacy Project video.