As the International Examiner honors Asia Pacific Cultural Center (APCC) for its Excellence in Arts Community Voice Award, the woman leading APCC is none other than Faaluaina Pritchard, or sometimes referred to as Lua or Auntie Lua, who has been a community leader for decades. Lua has been in leadership roles with Korean Women’s Association as its executive director for 15 years. She has served as the chair to the Pierce County Asian Pacific Island Coalition and as a commissioner on the Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs for a decade. She’s also chair of the Board of Trustees for Clover Park Technical College, a board member of Tacoma Urban League, and member of the Sound Transit Citizen Oversight Panel. Most recently she was appointed Lua as a Commissioner to the Washington State Arts Commission by Governor Jay Inslee.
She also served on the boards of DSHS Refugees Advisory Council for eight years and the National Coalition of Asian Pacific American Community Development. She is a member of the Finance and Fund Development Committee for International Congregational Christian Church of America Samoa.
Her credentials are impressive without question, but the best thing about Auntie Lua is her generosity, warmth, and her incredible ability to mentor young Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. While her professional schedule and family life continue to keep her busy, she always makes time for community. One young community member remembers meeting Lua in 2010 when she was a community organizer. She remembers being brand new to the community and was nervous to work with other well-respected and longtime Asian American and Pacific Islander community leaders. But the first person who welcomed this young community organizer into the fold was Lua. She fondly remembers Lua welcoming her and introducing her to her children and other youth who spent time at APCC. Shortly thereafter, the young community organizer felt at ease and was able to work with Lua and APCC.
No doubt Lua Pritchard is a ferocious community advocate, an impressive community leader, and a wonderful mentor. Her special talent to lead with open inclusivity is one of the reasons APCC is being honored by the International Examiner. Lua’s extensive executive director experience in social services, community development, primary/secondary education, and food/nutrition education has helped APCC to strengthens the bridge between communities and generations through art, culture, education, and business. APCC conducts multiple cultural and educational activities that showcase 47 Asia Pacific countries with over 50 cultures and hundreds of languages. Congratulations to APCC and the woman behind this great organization, Faaluaina Pritchard!