In the final ceremony for Search to Involve Pilipino Americans’ Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and Mental Health Awareness Month webinar series in May, community leader John Eric Swing smiled proudly in his polo shirt emblazoned with the nonprofit’s logo.
“SIPA’s doors are always open,” he said of the organization. “We’re here to be a bridge and be impactful in many ways, and how we make that impactful is in everyone’s collaboration with each other.”
Swing was a leader in Los Angeles’ Historic Filipinotown and had worked with multiple community organizations serving the Filipino American community. He had been the executive director of SIPA, which is dedicated to Filipino American empowerment, for only two months when he died June 28 of complications from COVID-19. He was 48.
Swing was appointed after a yearlong nationwide search. He was excited to work on the redevelopment of SIPA’s headquarters, which looked to include a small-business center, community space and a cultural center. The project was years in the making, and Swing had hoped to see it through.
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