October 1, 2015
Live Well and Love Well: Clara’s Story
By: Ben de Guzman

On May 7, the Diverse Elders Coalition, our member organizations, and our key partners had a very important opportunity to share the stories of our constituents with Nora Super, the Executive Director of the White House Conference on Aging. With discussions happening in English, Spanish, Khmer, and Tagalog, and a packed house at the Pilipino Workers Center of Southern California, we were able to provide Ms. Super and her team with a deeper sense of the challenges our communities face, their resilience and strategies for survival, and ultimately, their hope.

Nora Super addresses the crowd at our May 7th Town Hall in Los Angeles.

Nora Super addresses the crowd at our May 7th Town Hall in Los Angeles.

We’ve talked about this Town Hall in previous blog posts, but coming back to Los Angeles where I lived for two years gave me the chance to revisit old haunts, reconnect with old friends, and build new relationships with colleagues. Aquilina Soriano, the Executive Director of the Pilipino Workers Center, is someone I’m proud to call a longtime friend and colleague. Working with her in her role with the Caring Across Generations campaign allowed us a new venue to collaborate.

But perhaps the biggest surprise was when my dear friend Clara Chiu walked in the room. I’ve had the pleasure of working with her for a number of years, most recently in her work at Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles. Advancing Justice-LA was a personal and professional center for me during my time in Los Angeles, where I was always sure to find good friends, strong professional partnerships, and common values around community and social justice. I thought she was there to give welcome on behalf of her boss, another longtime friend and role model, Advancing Justice-LA Executive Director Stewart Kwoh. But when she grabbed the mic, her compelling and very personal story of caregiving for her parents and the struggles and joy she experienced added a new dimension to both our friendship as well as our professional relationship.

We’ve been through good times together and have grieved over the loss of dear friends (we miss you, Peter Corpus), and I’m so glad she has shared her story: first with the White House and now with us on our Diverse Elders Stories Initiative. Read about her journey with her parents and share your own story here.


The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Diverse Elders Coalition.