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Co-Executive Director

Regina was born in NYC into a tight knit immigrant Chinese family headed by her 4 ft, handful of inches paw paw (maternal grandma), a giant of a matriarch who flew halfway across the world to help raise her. Through them, she has been grounded in a strong Asian identity, and taught the value of family, community and the power of continually showing up for each other. 

Regina graduated with a BA in Economics & Sociology from the University of Michigan; her professional background includes experiential marketing, fundraising and special events in non-profit healthcare, and communications/volunteer coordination for an AAPI civic engagement org. Through Rising Voices, she hopes to help create spaces that encourage joy, empowerment, and collective learning and liberation. In her spare time, you can find her thrifting, starting books she can’t seem to finish, and telling her 5-year old daughter 500 times a day to “say it again, but in Cantonese”. Her favorite non-English words are exclamatory sounds that can mean a hundred different things with a simple tone change, like “aiyah”. “Kintsukuroi” (golden repair) is a dope word/concept as well.



Co-Executive Director

Jasmine was born in Detroit to an immigrant Filipino-American family, where she was raised by her activist parents to always engage in action and speak truth to power. Jasmine graduated from Michigan State University with a BA in International Relations at James Madison College and from Columbia University with an MFA in Film Directing. Jasmine will apply her skills in narrative storytelling and communications to help build APIA community and empowerment. Makibaka! Huwag matakot! ("Fight! Don't be afraid!") is one of her favorite Tagalog phrases. 

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Outreach Director

Da is a 1.5th generation Chinese-Canadian-American born in Chengdu and raised in Windsor, Ontario. She brings to Rising Voices a passion for language diversity, cultural accessibility, and usability that stems from her background as a linguist and software developer. Da finds inspiration in intergenerational relationships, shared meals, and restoring our connection to the earth and to each other.

Legislative & Political Director

Henry was born in Vietnam and immigrated to the US with his family when he was eight. He grew up in the San Gabriel Valley (aka “the 626”), a vibrant Asian American ethnoburb of Los Angeles, where there are more boba shops than Starbucks. This upbringing has shaped Henry’s views of how we can care for family, build community, and practice solidarity outside the oppressive structures of white supremacy.


As Rising Voices's Legislative and Political Director, Henry is responsible for developing and advancing the organization’s policy priorities, issue campaigns, and electoral strategies. He joined Rising Voices as an APALA Civic Engagement & Organizing Fellow during the 2022 midterms, then came on board as the first policy manager. In that role, he led the organization's statewide legislative advocacy program, which most recently advocated for the successful passage of Michigan's first comprehensive language access law. Previously, Henry served as the Program Manager and LA Field Representative at the California Association of Nonprofits, helping nonprofits obtain state COVID-19 grants and advocating for student debt reform for nonprofit workers. Henry also worked under DC Mayor Muriel Bowser at the Mayor’s Office on Asian Pacific Islander Affairs, where he administered the District’s million-dollar grant to CBOs to engage hard-to-count residents during the 2020 Census, served as the language access compliance officer, and spearheaded the reporting of anti-Asian hate crimes in the District. He earned his BA in Public Relations and Marketing from American University


Digital Organizer

Caitlin Shimoura Goedert is a yonsei, fourth generation Japanese American. She graduated from Wayne State University in 2021 with a degree in Political Science. She was a youth member of the Japanese American Citizens League and chosen for the Kakehashi project trip to Japan in 2020. She is passionate about digital organizing and is excited to connect with Asian American community members in Michigan. Caitlin is inspired by her mom, Irenita Shimoura Goedert and her two older sisters. In her free time Caitlin enjoys spending time with her pitbull Jasper .

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Operations Associate

Afaf Humayun is a first-generation Pakistani-American Muslim woman and mother. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Humanities and Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Before joining RV, Afaf was the Administrative Coordinator for Islamic Scholarship Fund and the Communications and Development Coordinator for the Michigan Center for Youth Justice. She serves as an advisory council member for both the Ypsilanti Area Community Fund and the Regional Equity Advisory Committee for Health for Mid-State Health Network. Afaf is an organizer for Narratives of Pain and a member of the NonBlack Persons of Color initiative which aims to abolish anti-Blackness in mosques and Muslim-led spaces. 

When not at work, Afaf can be found writing, singing or spending time with her family. Afaf enjoys listening to stories of Sheikhupur, India from her Nani Jan (dear maternal grandmother).

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Cultural Strategist

Kristine Patnugot is a Manila-born, Detroit-grown writer/producer. Crafted in LA and NY editing rooms, Kristine’s journey shaped an acute awareness of character and story. Her work draws on emotion and focuses on the liminal experience, the in-between, and moments of becoming as pertains to the intersections of ethnicity, race, class and gender. As a creator of the VH1 series TRANSform Me and producer/writer of the documentary, Style Exposed: Born Male, Living Female for the Style Network, Kristine’s work helped open the doors for transgender women of color on mainstream television, with TRANSform Me earning a GLAAD nomination for Outstanding Reality Program. For two decades, she worked in documentary, television, and commercials for HBO, PBS, CBS, A&E, National Geographic, Discovery, and others.


Now Detroit based, Kristine continues to pitch and develop ideas and works with local nonprofits producing, writing, and directing PSAs and political ads encouraging civic engagement. She is committed to increasing access for and amplifying the stories of women, immigrant, BIPOC and LGBTQIA+. Kristine has a BA in Film and Political Science from the University of Michigan and MA in Communication, Culture and Technology from Georgetown University.



Seeding Change Policy Fellow

Tiff is from Grand Rapids, Michigan and is currently a student at Columbia University studying International Relations and History. Alongside her academic pursuits, she loves running, traveling, exploring different cuisines, and engaging in wellness activities such as journaling and savoring acai bowls.

In tracing back the roots of her beliefs and passions, she is reminded of the formative influence of her upbringing. Growing up in a family of hardworking immigrants who fled the turmoil of the Vietnam War, she witnessed firsthand the injustices and marginalization experienced by her community, especially during the surge in hate crimes against the AAPI community in 2020. Even seemingly insignificant and microaggressive behavior we grew desensitized to spoke deeper truths about the realities of an America that swindled our parents and rendered our beloved communities invisible. This compelled her to contribute to the urgent need for social progression. It is this realization that fueled her decision to be a part of Rising Voices. Additionally, she gained valuable experience working with VietRISE, a nonprofit organization based in Orange County, California, which empowered her with skills in community organizing and advocacy, further deepening her commitment to social change and empowerment. She is driven by a deep-seated desire to advocate for disadvantaged families and dismantle oppressive systems to foster community liberation.



Education Campaign Coodinator

Brenda, a first-generation Chaldean-America from Macomb County, graduated from Wayne State University in 2022 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and minors in Arabic and History. Before joining Rising Voices, she dedicated much of her time to volunteering and interning to protect our elections and encourage voter participation. Brenda aspires to serve one term in Congress, before becoming a K-12 history teacher in the future. Her work at Rising Voices is crucial to her mission of advocating for a diverse curriculum for Michigan's K-12 students. In her rare freetime, she loves to read, scroll on TikTok, and spends most weekends watching sports with her family and friends.

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