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Note:  Some ASC Staff , Core and Members have requested that their photos and names to not be mentioned nor displayed on any of our social media or public platforms due to safety purposes which is why they will not be featured on this page or on other materials at their request.

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Dr. DJ Kuttin Kandi

Co-Founder / Executive Director

they/them (she)

Candice Custodio-Tan also known as Dr. DJ Kuttin Kandi, is internationally known as a legendary "People's Hip Hop DJ Scholar" who was born and raised in Queens, NY.  Kandi is a disabled queer gender-fluid femme Filipinx-Pin[a/x]y-American Writer, Poet, Theater Performer, Educator, Hip Hop Feminist, and Community Organizer for over 25 years. DJ Kuttin Kandi is a Global Hip Hop and Cultural Ambassador by Next Level's Meridian International Center, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs where Kandi served as a Site Manager for the diplomacy program Next Level.  Kandi is a Co-Founder and Executive Director of Asian Solidarity Collective (ASC) and its newly launched center, The Asian Advocacy, Community & Action Center (The Action Center).  Likewise, Kandi has co-founded several other local grassroots organizations such as Families for Justice in Education San Diego, the Dede McClure Community Bail Fund, We All We Got San Diego and so much more.  Further, Kandi is the Co-Founder of national organizations People’s Collective for Justice and Liberation and the University for Justice and Liberation (UJL). In 2021, Kandi served on both the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, Committee for Persons with Disabilities and as a Human Relations Commissioner of Chula Vista. In 2020, DJ Kuttin Kandi received an Honorary Doctorate in Pinayism from six professors in the discipline who hail from five universities for their endless dedication to radical sisterhood, critical praxis, and transformative solidarity.  In April 2024, Dr. DJ Kuttin Kandi will be inducted into San Diego Women's Hall of Fame with the Spirit of the Hall of Fame Award.

Kandi first gained global reverence by competing in over 30 DJ competitions which eventually led them to being the first femme DJ to compete in the 1998 DMC USA Finals and winning the 1998 Source Magazine DJ Championships. Moreover, Kandi is the Co-Editor of the books "Empire of Funk: Hip Hop & Representation in Filipino/a America" and newly released anthology, "Closer to Liberation: Pin[a/x]y Activism on Theory and Practice." When Kandi is not performing, they are community organizing, speaking, writing or lecturing.  Kandi worked at UC San Diego Women’s Center for seven years and at Diablo Valley College in Student Life specializing in social justice & diversity programming for two years. Kandi is involved with the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance - San Diego, the Intersectional Feminist Collective, the F.I.E.R.C.E Coalition, Filipino American Educators Association of California, and organizes with various other organizations and coalitions throughout San Diego and across the United States.  In addition, Kandi is a strong Disability Justice and Special Education advocate with a Dis/Crit practice.  Today, DJ Kuttin Kandi continues to do community organizing work and provides various lectures on diversity, gender & sexuality, race, disability justice, organizational leadership & development, coaching for liberation and Hip Hop Feminism.  

Kandi has been a founding core member of ASC since its inception in October 2016.

Kandi's pronouns are they/them (and she)


Lon Chhay

Director of Alternative to Incarcerations & Reentry Initiatives


Lon Chhay's parents fled Cambodia during the Pol Pot regime as refugees, and he was raised in Southeast and City Heights. Unfortunately, he found himself caught up in the wide net of injustices of the legal system, leading to 22 years spent in its revolving doors. Chhay has an associate's Degree in Sociology, Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Communications and Media Languages, and was awarded the Student of Distinction Award during his studies.

Due to his lived experiences in gangs and incarceration, Chhay brings a common perspective to the challenges and divisions that poverty has brought upon our communities. He aims to bring unity and hope through education for communities and family members.

Lon is now the Director of Alternatives to Incarceration and Reentry Initiatives, responsible for organizing ASC’s campaigns and programming related to the criminal legal system and alternatives to incarceration. This includes providing programming and staff support, building relationships within and outside of the Asian American community, and moving them to action.

From his lived experiences in gangs and incarceration he brings an all too common perspective to the challenges and divisions that poverty has brought upon our communities. His goal is to bring unity and hope through education of our communities and family members.


CJ Mendoza

Outreach & Youth Coordinator


Coza Joy (she/her) is an Independent Artist, Activist & Organizer on unceded Kumeyaay Land - also known as San Diego, CA. Her work consists of a variety of not only art, activist & organizing practices, but continuous learning & growing edges. Growing up from Southeast SD throughout her life, she focuses on youth-young adult oriented outreach. From short spoken words to face painting to attaining organizing skills in hopes she can bring that base of knowledge back to her community - to assure that opportunities are out there.


Dianne Evan Culala Lapuz

Community Organizer


Formerly Incarcerated.

Born in the Philippines, Dianne Lapuz came to the States at a very young age along with her mother and sister. She grew up in Paradise Hills and got caught in a 14 year whirlpool of activities which resulted into her incarceration by the carceral system. After breaking the cycle, Dianne managed to regain custody of her children.


Gabby Simón

Community Organizer, Base-Building


Gabby is an organizer who has worked with various organizations in the Bay Area, including the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance and the Alameda Labor Council. She majored in Psychology at San Francisco State University where she took part in Pilipino American Collegiate Endeavor and volunteered at the Institute on Aging. She believes that you never finish learning and is excited to continue her journey in San Diego.

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Jacqueline Guan

MSW Intern


Jacqueline (she/her) is the oldest daughter of immigrants, born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is a life-long learner, putting in the work every day to be a better human, daughter, sister, partner, friend, organizer, and social worker. She has a Bachelor's Degree in International Studies/Anthropology from UC San Diego and is now pursuing her Masters in Social Work at San Diego State University after a decade in various nonprofit roles advocating for youth and workers.

As an MSW Intern with ASC this year, she will be supporting ASC's Alternatives to Incarceration and Reentry programs, facilitating mental health support groups, and building out ASC's direct services infrastructure. Jacqueline also works as the Development Manager at the Center on Policy Initiatives, a nonprofit research and action institute advocating for social and economic justice, sustainable communities, and a healthy environment for all. In her free time, she loves reading, running, camping, long walks with her dog, and catching up with loved ones.


Michael McDonald

Accounting & Administrative Associate


I'm excited to join ASC and bring my passion for organization, technology and justice to help the team. Since joining ASC as a member in 2020, I've learned and met so many great people along the way. It's been exciting to see ASC's growth during that time and I'm happy to contribute to our goals for years to come. I grew up in Okinawa, Japan before moving to San Diego when I was young. I've recently become more interested and fascinated with my heritage and ASC has helped to foster that curiosity. I enjoy spending time with my partner at home, puzzles, video games, tennis and watching tv.


Min Kim

Development & Programs Associate


Min is a Baltimore native who has worked extensively against the currents of social injustice and how they affect the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities. She especially believes in dismantling power dynamics that cause inequities by building diverse, deep, meaningful relationships. She envisions a world of healing, peace, and joy for her children and future generations.

Min has spent her time working at the Baltimore City Health Department’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Family League of Baltimore, Maryland Department of Health’s Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities, Thread as a Director of Opportunities and Support Systems, and Alliance Healthcare Foundation. She holds both her B.S. and M.S. in Health Science from Towson University in Baltimore, MD, and is also a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES).


Robin "Rob" Tan

Membership & Youth Development Associate


Robin has been a youth coordinator for over ten years. He has worked for the City of Chula Vista, in both the D.A.S.H. and S.T.R.E.T.CH after school programs as a site supervisor. Rob has worked for El Puente Academy For Peace & Justice running their after school basketball program for young adults in Brooklyn, New York. He has been a site supervisor for Kaplan’s after school program in Washington Heights, New York. In 2007, Robin was the Program Director for the after school program for houseless youth at Monarch School for three years. Robin is a devoted father to two children as he is dedicated to social justice with his past experience in organizing events, programs, and rallies. In addition, Robin has experience in the print industry and has worked for Fedex Office and UC San Diego in the production field. In 2020, Rob worked in the policy and records department at UC San Diego.  
With all of his experience, he is excited to start and see everything come full circle, which has brought him back to his roots with working with community. He not only believes that it takes a village to raise children, but he also knows that it will be the collective efforts of community that has and will lead to systemic change.

Core Members


Grace Shinhae Jun

Co-Founder, Core Member/Board


Dr. grace shinhae jun is a mother, wife, artist, scholar, organizer, and mover who creates and educates on the traditional and unceded territory of the Kumeyaay Nation. A child of Hip Hop culture, she values a movement practice that is infused with historical and contextual education and focuses on community, compassion, and empowerment to encourage rhythm and expression. grace founded and directs bkSOUL, an award-winning performance company that merges together movement, poetry, and live music to center issues of social justice and communities of color through a Hip Hop framework. She has presented her work in Trolley Dances, Live Arts Festival, Philadelphia Fringe Festival, Dumbo Arts Festival, San Diego International Fringe Festival, and at Link’s Hall. grace has choreographed for numerous staged plays, most notably for Will Power's "The Seven" at Occidental College. grace graduated with honors from UCSD with a BA in History and a BA in Choreography & Dance, received a MFA in Dance from Sarah Lawrence College, and completed her PhD in Drama and Theatre through the joint doctoral program at UCSD/UCI. She continues to research and present her scholarly work on Hip Hop Dance and Culture and teaches at UCSD, San Diego City College, SDSU, and with transcenDANCE Youth Arts Project. 


Josen Diaz

Co-Founder, Core Member/Board

she/her + they/them

Josen Masangkay Diaz (she/her + they/them) is a student and teacher of race, gender, colonialism, and authoritarianism. She is an assistant professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of San Diego.


Miss Piggy Rock

Core Member/Board / Interim Associate Director


Miss Piggy Rock is an artist, educator, and organizer. She believes the essence of community is within the ways we intersect x connect between the diversity of the people, cultures, stories, generations, the visions and aspirations.

Her life purpose is rooted in serving the community to build, learn, heal, grow, express, share and organize - To continuously work towards individual growth x collective liberation.

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