The agency has 20 staff members who provide direct services, community education and administrative support to the agency.
Community members interested in serving on the board should contact
Darlene Lanham at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Darlene Lanham is Executive Director of Asian Family Support Services of Austin (AFSSA), serves on the Board of Texas Council on Family Violence which serves survivor-focused organizations across Texas, and is a Board Trustee at University of the West in California, where higher education is informed by Buddhist wisdom and social justice.
Darlene's vision is to end domestic and sexual violence. Along with her team at AFSSA, she educates, advocates, and empowers Asian and immigrant communities to break the cycle of violence.
AFSSA is the only Asian/immigrant-focused organization that offers a 24/7 in-language hotline for people who experienced abuse, long-term support for survivors of violence, supportive housing, economic empowerment, and prevention efforts in ten counties in Central Texas. AFSSA is creating an environment built on the values of Prevention, Advocacy, Responsiveness and Transformation -- where we can all live our lives with peace, dignity, and joy rather than oppression and violence.
Darlene served on the Capital Area Council of Governments Criminal Justice Advisory Committee for 12 years, helping to prioritize victim services funding and projects in the 10-county region; is active with Texas Council on Family Violence, Texas Association Against Sexual Assault, the Greater Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce, and is an active leader in diversity and inclusion practices of National Coalition Building Institute. She formerly worked for a statewide law enforcement association and through a consultancy she founded, served a number of business-member associations and created CAFRDATA to help people leverage the power of government comprehensive annual financial reports.
As a survivor herself, and as a bi-racial woman of Han Chinese ethnicity and national origin of Taiwan, who immigrated to Texas by adoption, she knows the level of power and resilience – and essential supports—that it takes to create a life of basic safety, dignity, and independence.
Michelle Arishita is an attorney at Vinson & Elkins LLP, where she has represented clients in both federal and state courts in commercial disputes involving contract, antitrust, oil and gas, and trade secret law. In addition to working on commercial and business litigation matters, she has also represented individuals in pro bono matters. She graduated from Texas A&M University with a B.S. in Psychology and received her J.D. from The University of Texas School of Law. A native of San Antonio, Texas, Michelle has lived in Austin since 2011. She and her husband have one young son and dog. Michelle enjoys distance running and traveling.
Al Bovik is the Cockrell Family Regents Endowed Chair Professor at The University of Texas at Austin in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Institute for Neuroscience. He teaches classes in Digital Image Processing and Digital Video and conducts research at the nexus of visual neuroscience, streaming video, social media, and deep learning. He and his students have created many neuroscience-based algorithms that are used to monitor and control most of the traffic that passes over the Internet. Along the way, he has won a couple of national Emmy awards, but he is mostly in it because working with students is the best, teaching is even better, and the technology is cool and has real-world applications at the largest scales. He is most proud, however, of his son and daughter who are in the process of learning to become an astrophysicist nonpareil and a Broadway star, respectively, and a spouse whose high-tech job at Whole Foods is way more important than his own – and that his family is diverse, consisting of people of Tamil, Liberian, and Swedish descent.
Lila Brolsma returned to Austin in 2014 after living in Switzerland for two years. She is a Certified Public Accountant, whose experience includes working for ABB Ltd in Switzerland, Arthur Andersen, and the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Lila is currently the Accounting Director at Abilitie. She recently joined the AFSSA Board because of its mission to provide culturally relevant support to victims of domestic violence within the Asian community. Lila desires to lend her accounting knowledge to AFSSA, as well as to help promote its mission to the wider Austin community. She has been an active volunteer at her son’s schools and extracurricular activities in the US and Switzerland. In addition, she has volunteered at various organizations within the Texas community, such as the Ronald McDonald House, Fort Worth/Dallas Ballet and Special Olympics.
Along with her husband and son (and sometimes their dog), she enjoys traveling, hiking and exploring the outdoors. The entire family is happy to be back in Austin, where the food, music and art options are plentiful!
Caroline Tang is an attorney practicing immigration law in the Austin office of Ogletree Deakins. She has spent a decade helping multinational corporations navigate and apply U.S. immigration policy, helping immigrants secure better lives. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the State Bar of Texas, and the Austin Asian American Bar Association. She is also actively involved with the Mother Attorneys Mentoring Association of Austin and was a member of the Leadership Austin Emerge Class of 2015. Caroline graduated from Northwestern University with a B.A. in Sociology and Gender Studies and received her J.D. from Boston University School of Law. A native of Katy, Texas, she has lived in Austin since 2007, and she and her husband have two young sons. A native of Katy, Texas, she has lived in Austin since 2008, and she and her husband have two young sons. Caroline is a foodie, who enjoys travel and musical theater in her spare time.
Lorrayne Ward, MBA, MPP is the Executive Director of Planning and Business Development for UT Austin’s Dell Medical School. In this role, she leads strategy development and business partnerships for Dell Medical School and its clinical enterprise, UT Health Austin. She has been at Dell Medical School since its inception in 2015, serving the organization in various leadership positions. Prior to moving to Austin, she served in an internal consulting role at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center. Lorrayne started her career at McKinsey & Company, and worked in global health organizations in Switzerland and Tanzania for several years before pursuing her Masters in Business Administration and Masters in Public Policy at Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School. She also holds a BA magna cum laude in Social Studies from Harvard College.
Lorrayne was inspired to join the AFSSA board based on her own personal experience as an immigrant from Asia to the United States who helped her family manage through challenges acclimating in a new country. She enjoys cooking, hiking, traveling and spending time with her partner and two dogs.
Board Member-at-Large, Helen Wormington, has lived in Austin for 25 years, graduating from the University of Texas at Austin with bachelor’s degree in Communications and a master’s degree in Higher Education. Helen currently works at the University of Texas at Austin as the Deputy to the Vice President of Diversity and Community Engagement and has been with the university for close to 20 years. She is actively involved with working with the Texas Exes and their mentor/mentee program, and dedicated to working with her mentees to make their transition to UT and beyond as smooth as possible. Helen’s work in the Division has led her to the amazing work that AFSSA is doing in the Austin community. Her husband and her two sons enjoy the movies, musicals, skiing, traveling, and spending time with their close friends.
Dr. Charles Lu currently serves as the Director of the Office of Academic Support and Instructional Services (OASIS) at the University of California, San Diego. In his role as Director, he provides strategic oversight and management over the university’s oldest and largest student equity and success center. Dr. Lu has also served as a clinical assistant professor, teaching courses on critical issues in higher education, organizational leadership, and undergraduate research methods for TRIO’s Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program. A published author, Dr. Lu’s research on STEM identity development, student success, and diversity in higher education has been highlighted in popular media, book chapters, and peer-reviewed academic journals. Over the years, Dr. Lu has served as an educational researcher, consultant, school director, academic coach, middle school science teacher, and was the recipient of the Toyota International Teacher of the Year award, where he created a virtual curriculum on environmental sustainability in the Galápagos Islands. He is a proud alumnus of several notable programs, including the U.S. State Department’s Fulbright Program, Education Pioneers, and Teach for America. Dr. Lu received his Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration and B.S. in Psychology from The University of Texas at Austin, and his M.A. in Secondary Science Education from Loyola Marymount University.