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Union of Pan Asian Communities | Special Collections & University Archives

Name: Union of Pan Asian Communities

Historical Note:

The Union of Pan Asian Communities (UPAC) was first organized in 1972, and incorporated in 1974, by founding Executive Director Beverly Yip and leaders of the Asian and Pacific Islander communities. UPAC is a community service agency providing programs for a vast range of Asian and Pacific Island linguistic groups, including Japanese, Samoan, Korean, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Chinese, Chamorro, Khmer, Ilocano, Hmong, and Lao groups in addition to others. During the 1970s and early 1980 UPAC was, funded with federal, state and private foundation support.

UPAC Historical Highlights, 1973-1982


UPAC is created in response to the need to unite the small and geographically dispersed groups of Pan Asians.


The City/County Human Care Service Program awarded UPAC with its first grant of $36,000; The Pan Asian Bulletin, UPAC's first newsletter, is sponsored by Lamb Chevrolet.; UPAC incorporated as a private, non-profit organization on December 16, 1974.


UPAC and COPAO (Council of Pilipino American Organizations) created the Employment Consortium Project (now known as Occupational Training Services) with an initial manpower contract.

The first wave of Southeast Asian refugees arriving at Camp Pendleton participated in cross-cultural adjustment programs develop by UPAC staff and volunteers.

The PacFinder, a directory of individuals and services available to Pan Asians, was compiled and distributed.

UPAC staff provides income tax assistance through the federal VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Program.

Pan Asian Senior Services (PASS) was funded by the Area Agency on Aging.

UPAC moved to 2459 Market Street, San Diego - its home for the next five years.

The City of San Diego awarded funding to UPAC to operate a summer youth program for Pan Asian youths.

A Senior Nutrition Program jointly sponsored by UPAC and Operation Samahan/COPAO  was funded by the Area Agency on Aging.

UPAC sponsored its first annual Culture Fair in May.

UPAC was funded by the City to operate the Pan Asian Family Shelter, which provided emergency housing for families in distress.

The County's Department of Human Services awarded UPAC with a $10,000 grant for Vietnamese Adjustment Services (VAS); eventually these services were expanded to all refugees under the Indochinese Service Center (ISC).

The Tiny Tots Christmas Program provided gifts and treats to several hundred low income Asian children.

The Pacific Asian Preventive Program (PAPP) was funded for $100,000 by the County to provide mental health services to Pan Asians.


The Convair Contrib Club's donation of $1,600 for building improvements was  utilized to renovate the main office's basement into more office space.


Four conferences were sponsored by the California Council on Humanities and Public Policy on education, affirmative action, human care services and immigration.

The Indochinese Community Health/Education Project (ICHE) was awarded $150,000 from the Department of Health, Education and Welfare to train Southeast Asian mental health paraprofessionals.


Two research studies were completed; one on Pan Asian Youth and the other on Samoans in San Diego County.

The Pan Asian Parent Education Project (PAPEP) was funded for three years from the National Center for Child Abuse and Neglect to develop a model of parent education services for Pan Asian families.

PAPP, ICHE and Trabajadores de la Raza joined forces to create the Pacific Asian/ Latino Training Center (PALTC), which was eventually funded for five years by the National Institute of Mental Health to develop a mental health training model for Latino and Pacific Asian paraprofessionals.


PAPP received one-time-only funding with which to develop an audio-visual preventive mental health slide presentation and to translate mental health materials.

Social Assault Workshops were funded through the Office of Criminal Justice Planning for other service providers to learn more about working with Pan Asian social assault victims. Updating and re-issuing Understanding the Pan Asian Client was possible through this funding, also.

The Pan Asian Senior Nutrition Program was funded through the Area Agency on Aging.

The Indochinese Youth Corps was funded through the California Department of Youth Authority to provide delinquency prevention services for Southeast Asian youths.


UPAC moves into its own building at 1031-25th Street, San Diego, with the financial backing of hundreds of individuals.

A Handbook on working with Asian Wives is funded by the Office of Domestic Violence.


The National Clients Council funds a leadership training class for the foreign-born.

Ethnographic Studies on Vietnamese and Khmer Adjustment are completed.

Refugee Title XX Type Services funded by the Department of Social Services.

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