“With respect, we hereby ask, for the blessings of those who paved the way, those whose wisdom feeds us, and those whose knowledge will continue to navigate our venture in this land.”
– Alisi Tulua
Tavae Samuelu is the Executive Director for Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC). As the Executive Director, Tavae provides strategic oversight towards realizing EPIC’s mission to promote social justice by engaging the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities through culturally-relevant development, advocacy, and research. She’s passionate about liberation work and supporting the political consciousness and growth of youth. Tavae was born and raised in Long Beach, CA, and moved to the Bay to attend Cal where she majored in Ethnic Studies. Before joining EPIC, she served as the Development Director for the RYSE Youth Center in Richmond and has since become a member of RYSE’s Board of Directors.
Clara Ahsiu is a Policy Intern for Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC). As Policy Intern, Clara manages projects that raise awareness about the needs of the Pacific Islander community as well as promote leadership, education, and culturally-relevant advocacy for Pacific Islander youth and adults. She’s also an alumni of EPIC’s Pacific Islander Leaders of Tomorrow (PILOT) program. Clara is humbled and driven by the work she does for her community. Clara was born and raised in Long Beach, CA and is currently in the process of transferring to a four year university to obtain her bachelor’s degree. Before joining EPIC, she was an avid participant of Forward Movement Projects with her PILOT alum which included legislative visits in Sacramento, facilitating workshops, and completing the LA Marathon in 2016. She’s also a senior intern with the Courtney’s Corner Los Angeles Sports Medicine.
Teofanny (Teo) Saragi is an intern at Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC). They are a current senior at Pomona College studying Asian American Studies and Sociology/Public Policy. Teo’s commitment to social justice is rooted in their experience as a low-income, first-generation college student and their indigenous Batak Indonesian roots. They are involved in various activist/organizing spaces on and off campus where they work toward collective liberation and intersectional justice. Teo’s involvement in EPIC is grounded in a deep love for community and movement-building, and they hope to continue their involvement in warm, tender spaces after graduation.