November 6, 2021, This Adventure Called California found it's biggest screen ever, at The Lark Drive-in, in Corte Madera. Hosted by Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach, the annual fundraiser also featured art and poetry from local students, music videos by artists Ian Santillano and J.O.W.Y, and leadership and activism awards to Allan Low and the Vietnamese American Community Center of the East Bay. Everyone enjoyed massive bento boxes and popcorn in their cars, and settled down for the show.
Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach, or APILO, is an incredible local organization that helped Arnoldo in the aftermath of trafficking. They helped guide him through several legal obstacle courses, including testifying against his trafficker, getting access to immediate aid like food and health care, and helped him get a lawyer to apply for his Green Card. Clearly, their scope goes beyond the API community, and they have many Spanish speakers on staff!
In addition to its human trafficking program, APILO also helps low-income clients with legal issues with housing and eviction, provides training and legal services for elder abuse, and provides immigration services and education, free of charge. They also have a team providing legal help and resources to women experiencing violence, and have a youth outreach program to provide assistance to young people with immigration and gender-based violence issues, as well as social services.
I have rarely worked with an organization where every single person is intelligent, conscientious, effective and drama free. But that's exactly what happened with APILO. They clearly have created a workplace full of dedicated people who are there to make a difference in people's lives, full stop. If you are interested in providing real support to vulnerable, hardworking people who are struggling in the Bay Area, please support this hardworking team HERE.
Epilogue: After all that APILO has done to support This Adventure Called California, I certainly didn't expect anything more. But they gifted me with this original serigraph of Heart Mountain Internment Camp by Richard Tokeshi. As Dean Ito Taylor, APILO's executive director said, the work symbolizes "our quest for justice." Amen.
Not only is the image haunting and beautiful in it's own right, but it's especially meaningful because my husband Doug's parents were also interned during WWII, at Topaz. Having this work on my wall will be an inspiration when my computer crashes or I'm afraid to make that phone call, or I just get discouraged from the daily grind. Thank you, APILO, for an extraordinary night, and for all of your incredible service you provide to our community.
More photos of the big night!
And for those of you who made it to the very end, a bit of gratuitous self aggrandizement... Because the honking horns was such a singular, unexpected life moment, that I wanted to share it. I hope all documentary filmmakers can have a film at a drive-in!