Staff

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Dr. DJ Kuttin Kandi

Co-Founder, Core Member / Executive Director

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Candice Custodio-Tan, a community organizer for nearly 25 years, is internationally known as Dr. DJ Kuttin Kandi, a legendary "People's Hip Hop DJ Scholar" who was born and raised in Queens, NY.  Kandi is a disabled queer gender-fluid femme Filipinx-Pin[a/x]y-American Writer, Poet, Theater Performer, Educator, Hip Hop Feminist, and Community Organizer for 25 years. DJ Kuttin Kandi is a Global Hip Hop and Cultural Ambassador by Next Level's Meridian International Center, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs where Kandi serves as a Site Manager for the diplomacy program Next Level.  Kandi is a Co-Founder and Executive Director of Asian Solidarity Collective as well as the Director of Campaigns & Organizing for the Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans.  Likewise, Kandi has co-founded several other local grassroots organizations such as Families for Justice in Education San Diego and so much more.  Further, Kandi is the Co-Founder of national organizations People’s Collective for Justice and Liberation and the University for Justice and Liberation (UJL). Newly appointed by San Diego County Board of Supervisor Nora Vargas, Kandi serves on the Committee for Persons with Disabilities. Additionally, Kandi is recently appointed by Mayor Mary Salas as a Human Relations Commissioner of Chula Vista. In 2020, DJ Kuttin Kandi received an Honorary Doctorate in Pinayism for their endless dedication to radical sisterhood, critical praxis, and transformative solidarity.

Kandi first gained global reverence by competing in over 30 DJ competitions which eventually led them to being the first femme DJ to compete in the 1998 DMC USA Finals and winning the 1998 Source Magazine DJ Championships. Moreover, Kandi is the Co-Editor of the book "Empire of Funk: Hip Hop & Representation in Filipino/a America" and is currently co-editing the new anthology on Pin[a/x]y Activism, releasing in Spring 2022. When Kandi is not performing, they are community organizing, speaking, writing or lecturing.  Kandi worked at UC San Diego Women’s Center for seven years and at Diablo Valley College in Student Life specializing in social justice & diversity programming for two years. Kandi is involved with the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance - San Diego, the Intersectional Feminist Collective, the F.I.E.R.C.E Coalition, Filipino American Educators Association of California, and organizes with various other organizations and coalitions throughout San Diego and across the United States.  In addition, Kandi is a strong Disability Justice and Special Education advocate with a Dis/Crit practice as they also serve on the Chula Vista School District's Special Education Parent Committee.  Today, DJ Kuttin Kandi continues to do community organizing work and provides various lectures on diversity, gender & sexuality, race, disability justice, organizational leadership & development trainings, coaching for liberation and Hip Hop Feminism.  

Kandi has been a founding core member of ASC since its inception in October 2016.

Kandi's pronouns are they/she and Kandi.

For more information on Kandi visit www.djkuttinkandi.com

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Miss Piggy Rock

Organizer, Core Member

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Miss Piggy Rock is an artist, educator, and organizer. She believes the essence of community is within the ways we intersect x connect between the diversity of the people, cultures, stories, generations, the visions and aspirations.

Her life purpose is rooted in serving the community to build, learn, heal, grow, express, share and organize - To continuously work towards individual growth x collective liberation.

Pronouns: she/her

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Lon Chhay

Organizer, Freedom & Justice

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Machinist, Formerly Incarcerated

Lon Chhay is the son of refugee parents who fled Cambodia during the Pol Pot regime. He grew up in City Heights where he found himself caught up in the wide net of injustices of the legal system where he has spent 22 years in its revolving doors. Chhay has an Associates Degree in Sociology, Social & Behavioral sciences, and Communications & Media Languages. During his studies he was awarded the Student of Distinction Award.
 

From his lived experiences in gangs and incarceration he brings an all too common perspective to the challenges and divisions that poverty has brought upon our communities. His goal is to bring unity and hope through education of our communities and family members.

Lon is our new temporary, part-time Organizer who will be responsible for organizing ASC’s campaigns related to the criminal legal system and alternatives to incarceration including providing programming and staff support as well as building relationships within and outside of the Asian American community and moving them to action.

Core Members

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Grace Shinhae Jun

Co-Founder, Core Member/Board

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Dr. grace shinhae jun is a mother, wife, artist, scholar, organizer, and mover who creates and educates on the traditional and unceded territory of the Kumeyaay Nation. A child of Hip Hop culture, she values a movement practice that is infused with historical and contextual education and focuses on community, compassion, and empowerment to encourage rhythm and expression. grace founded and directs bkSOUL, an award-winning performance company that merges together movement, poetry, and live music to center issues of social justice and communities of color through a Hip Hop framework. She has presented her work in Trolley Dances, Live Arts Festival, Philadelphia Fringe Festival, Dumbo Arts Festival, San Diego International Fringe Festival, and at Link’s Hall. grace has choreographed for numerous staged plays, most notably for Will Power's "The Seven" at Occidental College. grace graduated with honors from UCSD with a BA in History and a BA in Choreography & Dance, received a MFA in Dance from Sarah Lawrence College, and completed her PhD in Drama and Theatre through the joint doctoral program at UCSD/UCI. She continues to research and present her scholarly work on Hip Hop Dance and Culture and teaches at UCSD, San Diego City College, SDSU, and with transcenDANCE Youth Arts Project. 

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Josen Diaz

Co-Founder, Core Member/Board

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Josen Masangkay Diaz (she/her + they/them) is a student and teacher of race, gender, colonialism, and authoritarianism. She is an assistant professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of San Diego.