Cathy Dang

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Cathy Dang

Cathy Dang-Santa Anna was raised in New York City to ethnic Chinese-Vietnamese refugees from Vietnam. She spent her childhood in her parents' nail salon in Downtown Brooklyn pre-gentrification. Her young adult life was raised in Los Angeles where she found organizing as her love and life commitment. Cathy has over 10 years of community and labor organizing working with youth, immigrants and refugees, unions, and worker centers.

She is the executive director of CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities, a pan-Asian organization that organizes low-income Asian immigrants for systemic and institutional change towards racial, gender, and economic justice. Their primary area of organizing is housing justice in Chinatown and Queensbridge Public Housing. While living conditions can become deplorable, CAAAV fights for safe and healthy living conditions in addition to preventing massive displacement of long-time residents and families. CAAAV has organized on police accountability since the 90s recognizing that in order to win racial justice we need to tackle the system that perpetuates the root causes of racism and economic inequality.

Cathy has organized in labor and community-led development for over 10 years with Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, the Retail Action Project, and other grassroots organizations.[1]

Cathy is a consultant and a Senior Advisor with the Center for Empowered Politics (CEP), a movement capacity building organization that aims to grow our movement infrastructure, particularly around organizing and power building strategies. She is a 2019-2020 Soros Equality Fellow developing an organizing toolkit for organizations to combat ethnonationalism. Cathy is originally from Ridgewood, Queens and Los Angeles, California.[2]

Selected Speaking Experience

  • Law and Organizing - at Yale Law and NYU Law
  • Community Control through Rezoning -- Legal Services New York
  • Intersectionality: Radicalization of AAPI Community and How to Talk about Progressive Issues with your Conservative Uncle -- Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance National Convention.[3]


  • University of California, Los Angeles, Master's degree Social Work, 2008 – 2010.
  • Loyola Marymount University, Sociology, Minors: Asian American/Pacific Islander Studies, Women's Studies, 2003 – 2007.

YUC supporters


Youth United for Change - Rapheal Randall thanks Monica Cordova, Vanessa Moses, Cathy Dang, Harmony Goldberg, Hiram Rivera Marcano, and Fahd Ahmed.

Asian American Racial Justice Toolkit

This toolkit is a project of love from the grassroots, from and by Asian American communities.

As Asian Americans, we believe that our liberation is tied to Black liberation and we continue to dream about a world where all of our people will be free. The toolkit would not have been possible without the following organizations and individuals:

Project Coordinators

Writing Consultants

We thank Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, Rosenberg Foundation, Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation, The California Endowment, The California Wellness Foundation, Unbound Philanthropy for their generous support of this project.

Special thanks to the Friends Doing Good giving circle, National CAPACD and Cathy Cha.

Thank you to the following racial justice organizers and fighters at the grassroots who have made this toolkit possible:

Alex T. Tom, Aiden Pham, Alvina Wong, Ashley Uyeda, Cathy Dang, Chhaya Chhoum, Christopher Cara, Dae Joong Yoon, Fahd Ahmed, InHe Choi, Joshua Fisher Lee, Kabzuag Vaj, Khamarin Nhann, Lai Wa Wu, Lillian Galedo, Mia-lia Kiernan, Minh Thanh Nguyen, Nancy Nguyen, Naved Husain, Rachel Aceberos, Rishi Singh, Sarath Suong, Steven Dy, Naroen Chhin, Sandy Saeteurn.[4]

2015 Agent Orange Justice Tour

Ngo Thanh Nhan December 19, 2015:


2015 Agent Orange Justice Tour: First meeting with Asian Americans, Cathy Dang (CAAAV), Chhaya Chhoum, Socheata Meng, Le Dai Duong (Mekong NYC)... December 8, 2015 in Chinatown NY... as soon as VAVA delegation landed in NYC.



Cathy Dang, May 14, 2016 ·

Thank you Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) for inviting me to meet your national executive board! Together, we will build the left in our immigrant and refugee communities. So great to be in the space with many of the people who helped develop me as an organizer. — with Gregory Cendana, Monica Thammarath, Susan Li and Kent Wong.


In December, 2017, three LeftRoots cadres—Merle Ratner, N’Tanya Lee, and Rose Brewer—got to spend a few weeks on women’s delegation to Vietnam, one of the few surviving 20th century socialist experiments. On April 19, 2018, the three of them, along with LeftRoots compas and fellow delegates Cathy Dang and Juliet Ucelli, hosted a national LeftRoots hangOut to talk about their experience.[5]

The delegation included US-based movement leaders from the labor movement, Black Lives Matter and national women’s organizations. It was hosted by the Vietnam Women's Union.[6]

Friends of Gabe

Gabriel Strachota September 4, 2015.


I recently joined LeftRoots a new National org of social movement Leftists. This dialog with activist intellectuals Marta Harnecker and Michael Lebowitz will be our first public event on the coast. Check it out: Skanda Kadirgamar, Shahana Hanif, Betty Yu, Negesti Kazuko Cantave, Cathy Dang, Eli Schmitt, Brigid Flaherty Tah Ohso Grand, Naved Husain, Elliott Liu, Rosa Libre, Akrm Ahmed Joshua Allen.

Host Committee

The Chinese Progressive Association (San Francisco) Celebrates 45 years of Resilience and Resistance.

On Saturday, October 7, 2017, the Chinese Progressive Association (San Francisco) will celebrate our 45th anniversary with the theme, “Harnessing the Strength of a Thousand Rivers.

Host committee members were:

Fahd Ahmed, Alysabeth Alexander, Mike Casey, Myra Chow,Cathy Dang, Antonio Diaz, Supervisor Sandy Lee Fewer, Norman Fong, Conny Ford, Alicia Garza,George Goehl, Rudy Gonzales, Corinna Gould, Sherry Hirota, Dana Kawaoka-Chen, Helen Kim, Supervisor Jane Kim, Aarti Kohli, Laura Livoti, Gordon Mar, Xavier Morales, Vanessa Moses, Tim Paulson, Supervisor Aaron Peskin, Ai-jen Poo, and Mu Ping Poo, Supervisor Hillary Ronen, Saket Soni, Sarath Suong, Mabel Teng, Shiree Teng, Supervisor Norman Yee, Haeyoung Yoon, Miya Yoshitani, Anand Singh.[7]

Left Forum 2018


Left Forum May 18:

Don't miss Cathy Dang speaking with Ajamu Baraka, Bhairavi Desai, Mark-Winston Griffith and Kali Akuno at the closing plenary of #LeftForum2018! register at