MoCoPAAN involves active community leaders and members who are invited to the network. On a case by case basis, they will individually opt to join in any strategic communication with other Asian Americans to demonstrate a public position on a timely and relevant issue pertaining to people of color, immigrant and underrepresented communities.
Photo by Aryani Ong
We are residents of Montgomery County, Maryland, who have been involved with issues pertaining to
Asian Americans in academic research, community education and organizing and advocacy on the national, state and local levels for decades.
Founder & Co-Director
Aryani Ong is an advocate, community leader, attorney and consultant. She has worked with the top leading national organizations such as AAAJ-Asian American Justice Center, OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates and United Chinese Americans. The issues that she has addressed ranges from civil rights and civil liberties protections in the face of heightened national security concerns; racial discrimination, particularly hate crimes; and, public representations of Asian Americans in policymaking and by the media. She is active in politics.
Closer to home, Aryani served on an Asian American parent advisory group to Montgomery County Public Schools and the Beyond the Boundaries Working Group with Impact Silver Spring on diversity, inclusion and equity issues. She chaired the board of the Montgomery Coalition for Adult English Literacy (MCAEL) as it was building a countywide ESOL system in support of immigrant integration and workforce development. Aryani is a founding member of Communities United Against Hate (CUAH) and a former board member of OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates, DC Chapter and the Conflict Resolution Center of Montgomery County (CRCMC). She also served on County Executive Marc Elrich's transition team.
Aryani was recognized as Maryland's Top 100 Women in 2019. She is a regular public speaker. Currently, Aryani
is working on a blog called Six Hues to elevate stories with multi-dimensional perspectives, especially from Asian Americans.
Janelle Wong is a resident of Montgomery County, MD and both of her children attend MCPS schools. Janelle has published four books on Asian Americans and politics. As a scholar and teacher, she has worked closely with social service, labor, civil rights, and media organizations that serve the Asian American population.
Outside of her work as a faculty member in Asian American Studies at the University of Southern California (2001-2012) and the University of Maryland (2012-present) Janelle advocates for immigrant rights, civil rights, and racial justice through public presentations, research and writing. She co-founded Chinese American Progressive Action and is a board member of AAPI Progressive Action.
Janelle received her PhD in Political Science from Yale University after earning her undergraduate degree at UCLA.
Sandy Shan is an organizer, activist and researcher. She works for Justice is Global, a special project of People's Action, building a grassroots base in the pan-Asian diaspora around issues of Progressive Internationalism.
Previously, she worked for Oxfam America and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Sandy has a Ph.D. in Political Science from Northwestern University with a specialization in American political institutions and political development.