Peggy Saika interviewed by Loretta Ross, February 20, 2006
Scope and Contents
Dates of Materials
- February 20, 2006
- Saika, Peggy, 1945- (Interviewee, Person)
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Web Access
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
Biographical / Historical
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Saika was involved in left study groups and in Asian American and multiracial community activism for education, immigrant, tenant, and labor rights in Sacramento. She became coordinator of Asian Community Services. Encounters with sex discrimination in employment, an abortion experience, and an abusive personal relationship attuned Saika to women's issues as well. While living in New York City from 1978 to 1983, she worked at the Chinatown Health Center and was active in Bronx Women Against Rape (WAR), the Organization of Asian Women (OAW), and third world women's activism.
Since returning to the Bay Area in 1983, Saika has continued to combine employment in nonprofits with community activism. From 1983 to 1991 she served as executive director of the Asian Law Caucus. In 1986 she became the first Asian American appointed to the Alameda County Commission on the Status of Women. She was a co-founder of the Asian Women's Shelter, the first shelter for abused Asian women in northern California, and in 1989 she helped organize Asian Pacific Islanders for Choice (APIC). From 1993 to 2000 Saika served as founding executive director of the Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN). After attending the 1995 UN Women's Conference in Beijing, she participated in creating the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum (NAPAWF). Since 2002 Saika has been executive director of Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP). She is active in the Buena Vista United Methodist Church.
Saika has served on several boards, including the Ms. Foundation for Women, the California Wellness Foundation, the New World Foundation, and Choice USA. Saika is married to Art Chen, a political activist and physician. They have two children.
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