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About The Conference

About AAWIL Conference

The AAWIL Conference is an interactive, one-day event aimed at growing and developing leadership skills. The program includes a keynote address, small group activities, networking opportunities, workshops, and training sessions. Conference participants include high school, college, and graduate school students and young, mid-career, and seasoned professionals from the Greater Boston area and around the country. It was started by ASPIRE in 2004.


Linda K. Paresky Conference Center, Simmons University, Boston, MA


Saturday, 8:30 AM to 5 PM
November 16th, 2019


Our keynote and speakers during the breakout sessions

Keynote: Diana Hwang

Diana Hwang is the Founder and Executive Director of the Asian-American Women’s Political Initiative (AAWPI), the country’s only political leadership organization for Asian-American women. Through coalition-building, advocacy and first-of-its-kind programming, AAWPI works to ensure that Asian-American women have a voice in their government, and trains and mentors the next-generation of low-income and immigrant women leaders.

Diana began her career in politics at the State House as the Executive Director of the Caucus of Women Legislators and as the Legislative Aide to late State Representative Debby Blumer (D-Framingham). She then served as Chief of Staff at the Boston City Council.


Diana Hwang

Founder and Executive Director of AAWPI

Breakout Sessions

Speaking for AAWIL Rise Up!


Elena M. Lau

The Asian-American Experience (Panel)


Hyeouk (Chris) Hahm, Ph.D., LCSW

The Asian-American Experience (Panel)


Monica Valdes Lupi, JD, MPH

The Asian-American Experience (Panel)


Regina Au

Develop Your Leadership Skills While Maintaining Your Authenticity


Manisha Bewtra, AICP

Diversity in Careers (Panel)


Courtney Pong

The Top 5 Habits & Skills of Improvisers


Michelle Garcia DeOcampo

Empowerment Through Wellness: A Safe Space Workshop


Diana Yuan

Land your Dream Job: Navigating and Nailing the Interview Process


Nancy A. Lee

Diversity in Careers (Panel)


Elizabeth Yang

Becoming A Powerful Networker


Judy Shen-Filerman

You’re Enough: Don’t Wait to be Perfect Before You Live Your Best Self


Iyleen Summer



Liza Talusan

How Far We've Climbed (Panel)

Conference Agenda

Our schedule for November 16th, 2019

Please notice that all sessions, topics, speakers, times and activities are subject to change.

Registration & Breakfast

Check in, grab food, and meet other conference attendees!


Keynote speech

Diana Hwang is the Founder and Executive Director of the Asian-American Women’s Political Initiative (AAWPI), the only political leadership organization for Asian-American women in Massachusetts and the country. AAWPI recently celebrated its 10th year with "Women On Fire", featuring powerful community leaders from the east and west coasts.



The Asian-American Experience (Panel) Elena M. Lau, Hyeouk "Chris" Hahm, Monica Valdes Lupi

Facing cultural clashes is a hallmark of growing up as an Asian-American: language barriers and different social values may create rifts in families; stories from others experiencing these struggles are not typically heard. This panel will shine a light on these challenges and how they were overcome by these successful women who are in real estate, mental health, and public policy professions today.

Manisha Bewtra

Diversity in Careers (Panel) Courtney Pong, Manisha Bewtra, Nancy A. Lee

Have you ever felt restricted by societal expectations? Were you ever interested in something nontraditional but didn’t find enough support to help you take that leap? Listen to these stories from an allstar panel of women in comedy, law, and city planning. Hear about not only the work they do, but also how community involvement is integral to what inspires them when navigating their careers and personal lives.

Regina Au

Develop Your Leadership Skills While Maintaining Your Authenticity Regina Au

Learn why it is important to identify your strengths and weakness—and how to acknowledge unconscious biases that may influence how you interact at work and affect the decisions you make, both in your career and in your personal life. In addition to building an understanding, you will also learn ten important leadership traits and how to find mentors, advisors, sponsors and other resources.

Speed Networking Lunch

Networking for students and young, mid-career, and seasoned professionals

Courtney Pong

The Top 5 Habits & Skills of Improvisers: How to Make Them Your Best Advantage When Navigating the Unknown Courtney Pong

The best professional improv comedians don’t “wing it.” They practice a highly-refined system of observing, connecting and responding. It’s how they swiftly and seamlessly work with their team while engaging audiences immediately, with only seconds to prepare. This system can be your best advantage. Elevate how you impact a room, from speeches to storytelling, and all of the unexpected in-between.

speaker name

You’re Enough: Don’t Wait to be Perfect Before You Live Your Best Self Judy Shen-Filerman

How often do you wonder if you’re qualified for that project, that new job or even a promotion? Most of us ask these questions. But research shows that Asian women possess a unique level of self-doubt that prevents us from recognizing and living our Best Self. In this Best Self Leadership workshop, you’ll discover how to identify culturally sensitive challenges and learn from them to unleash your Dream.

Michelle DeOcampo

Empowerment Through Wellness: A Safe Space Workshop Michelle Garcia DeOcampo

It's hard to open up, be honest about the hardships we face, and ask for help—especially for Asian American girls & women. The model minority stereotype makes us feel the need to hide our problems to “save face” even with family & friends, and our cultures & communities often normalize silence as a response to emotional stress. But we often experience similar struggles, related to personal identity, self-esteem, body image, relationships, sexuality, school/family pressure, violence/abuse, etc.. We don’t have to be silent or feel alone. This workshop will provide a safe space for participants to reflect on their personal journeys, and learn wellness tips & resources to manage stress, build self-esteem, and feel empowered.

Diana Yuan

Land Your Dream Job: Navigating and Nailing the Interview Process Diana Yuan

Put your best application forward and learn about common pitfalls and tips when it comes to nailing the Interview Process regardless of role or industry. We'll be focusing on ways you can set yourself apart from the rest and land your dream job!


Becoming A Powerful Networker Elizabeth Yang

Your leadership attraction is a networking must. Join us to learn the 7 secrets to networking (and the common mistakes to avoid) so you can begin to open doors to places you couldn't have imagined. We'll cover how to authentically network. You'll gain powerful insights into building your Power-Up Circles—the 5 right types of people you must surround yourself.


Liza Talusan

How Far We’ve Climbed (Panel) Liza Talusan, Elizabeth Yang, Trish Fontanilla

Meet trailblazers that unexpectedly changed their trajectories and have made it their success story

Closing Remarks & Raffle


Corporate Tickets

Raffle Prizes

In addition to financial sponsorship, ASPIRE welcomes support in the form of product donations for the conference gift bags and raffle.


Level 1 Improv Class ($250 value) and a pair of tickets ($30 value)

Automic Gold

Heart Earrings ($119 value) are solid 14k yellow gold. You can wear them 24/7 - no tarnishing!

Girls Gone Happy

Digital Group Kit ($75 value)

Curio Spice Co.

Mediterranean Pantry Set in a Curio Tote ($37.50 value)

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