At Southwest Airlines, we believe that empowering young professionals in the communities we serve is an important step in helping those communities thrive. We take great pride in partnering with groups that support this goal, including the Center for Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment (CAUSE). Based in Los Angeles, CAUSE is a nonprofit organization with a mission of advancing the political and civic empowerment of the Asian Pacific American (APA) community through nonpartisan voter outreach, training, education, and leadership development.
Since partnering with the nonprofit in 2008, Southwest has supported the CAUSE Leadership Academy (CLA), a nine-week, paid internship program for undergraduates that prepares the next generation to lead and represent the APA community. With Southwest’s support, CLA interns have been able to attend the annual summit at the California State Capitol in Sacramento. At the conference, students learn the importance of civic engagement and political participation through mock committee hearings, speaker panels, and meetings with top legislators, staffers, and lobbyists.
At the beginning of 2019, Southwest announced that CAUSE was one of 24 organizations chosen to receive funding from our charitable grant program. CAUSE plans to use the grant money to ensure internship placements in the nonprofit and government sectors for future CLA participants.
“We are so grateful and excited to have Southwest’s support of this program. As a proud CLA alumnus myself, I know firsthand the degree of impact this program has on fueling the dreams and passions of our next generation,” says Kim Yamasaki, executive director of CAUSE. “With their support, we are showing young adults that it is not only possible, but also necessary, to take on leadership positions in order to ensure that the needs and voices of our community are brought to the forefront of the decision-making process.”
As Southwest celebrates Asian Pacific American Heritage Month throughout May, we are thrilled to honor CAUSE.