Founded in 2022, Chinese American Women in Action (CAWA) is a Naperville-based non-profit, non-partisan, 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering local Chinese-American women through education, advocacy, networking, and mentoring to engage and lead at all levels of government and community activities.
The group partners with Naperville city and school officials and civic and business leaders to promote cross-cultural understanding, raise visibility, increase representation, and ultimately achieve the recognition and belonging deserved by all.
A focus on education and youth initiatives
Since its inception, CAWA has supported the TEAACH Act, a new state law requiring the teaching of Asian American history in all Illinois public schools. CAWA donated 555 books on the history and contributions of Asian Americans to all Naperville public schools.
Recognizing the unique needs of Asian American youth, CAWA created a youth program in 2023 to empower Asian American high school youth in Naperville and surrounding areas to develop leadership skills, strengthen their voices, equip them to be resilient and confident in their Asian American identity and achieve a sense of belonging. Students are encouraged to express their viewpoints and lift their voices. By empowering students, we empower the community.
Prior to the Naperville mayoral and city council elections this year, CAWA encouraged community members to register to vote and to participate in candidate forums. CAWA sent questionnaires to all mayoral candidates on issues of special significance to Asian American voters. CAWA also helps women who want to serve on boards or run for office to have better pathways.