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The San Francisco Examiner from San Francisco, California • Page 6
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The San Francisco Examiner from San Francisco, California • Page 6

San Francisco, California
Issue Date:
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A-6 Wednesday, June 1994 SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER Oakland activist flourishes helping Asian community I A 7 i I c-J By Steven A. Chin OF THE EXAMINER 8TAFF society that was majority Asian. "It was the first time I felt like a minority." With that, Shinn saw the need to identify more strongly to his Korean heritage, as well as for community activism. "A lot of people are working in the Asian community to overcome obstacles, to get recognition of who we are and to gain parity," said Shinn, who has served as executive director of Asian Community Mental Health Services for the last five years. "We've got a long way to go.

We're shut out of a lot of arenas, not just social work." After working 12 years with the Jennifer Lin, 14, was slain at her Castro Valley home Friday. When Alan Shinn moved from Honolulu to Sacramento 20 years ago so his wife could attend law school, he faced several major ad-justments. "Where's the beach?" he recalled asking. "I would drive down to Santa Cruz a lot to go surfing. That was real culture shock." But Shinn's biggest adjustment to life on the mainland was related to his identity.

"It was like being in a different country," said the 44-year-old Shinn, who was accustomed to a APBtNMARQOT John Lin, victim's father: "We never did anything to hurt anyone. Slain teerc Ji mil needs," said Rosemary Trujillo, his former supervisor at the Association for Retarded Citizens and now a medical social worker at Highland Hospital "He enables people to be independent and to speak for themselves, instead of somebody who creates more dependency." With an annual budget of $2.4 million and a staff of 50, the Oakland-based Asian Community Mental Health Services offers mental health, substance abuse, youth and family, and developmental disabilities services to Asian Americans in 12 languages. The agency handles about 525 outpatients, a great majority of them Southeast Asian immigrants recovering from post-traumatic stress. The agency reaches another 100 youths through its prevention services and its Recovery East Bay Asian Youth project, a new alcohol and substance abuse prevention program. Agency counselors also maintain a monthly caseload of 75 Asian American youths in the juvenile justice system and hold kly support groups for teens.

Shinn said he had learned a lot about community activism through his experience as a member of the Choi Soo Lee Defense Committee in the early 1980s. In a case of mistaken identity, Lee, a young Korean immigrant, was wrongly convicted of a 1974 murder in San Francisco's Chinatown and sentenced to life in prison. He was acquitted in a retrial in 1983. "The amount of support he got from the community was astounding," Shinn said. "As with a lot of Korean Americans, it galvanized my feelings about being Korean American." recalls an odd ilwocfi EXAMINERKURT ROGERS Alan Shinn heads Asian Communi-' ty Mental Health Services.

By Tanya Schevitz Wills SPECIAL TO WE EXAMMER I tl) mum Association for Retarded Citizens in Alameda County, Shinn now oversees one of the largest agencies addressing the mental health needs of the East Bay's diverse Asian American community. Shinn is one of eight individuals honored as a "Local Hero" by The Examiner and KQED during Asian Pacific Heritage Month. Shin, who lives in Oakland with his wife, Ember, serves on a number of Asian American social agencies' boards of directors. He is also a member of Oakland's Drug and Crime Advisory Committee. Shinn has exhibited "extreme sensitivity toward people and their CASTRO VALLEY Two weeks ago, Jennifer Lin's father rushed home to make sure she was safe after a man approached him in Bay Fair BART station parking lot and told him he had his daughter.

That time she was fine, but Fri- day when John Lin, 45, came home from his job as a computer specialist in San Francisco, he found a gruesome scene. His 14-year-old daughter was lying in a pool of blood in an upstairs bathroom of the family home in the 7600 block of Pineville Cir-cle. She had been stabbed to death. During an emotional news conference Tuesday, Lin said he had COW PALACE Major Brand Names Only $1 Admission Lowest Prices in U.S.A. Millions of in New PC Compatibles, Hardware, Software and More! SATURDAY, JUNE 4, 1994 Cow Palace Corner of Geneva Santos, Daly City RA PRODUCTION, Burtingame, CA Hours: 10 AM-4 PM $1 thought little of the strange encounter at the BART station until his daughter was killed He said that when the man approached him near his car and said, "I have a proposition for you.

I got your daughter," he had dismissed him as a kook and had driven off. Investigators don't know whether the incident had anything to do with the slaving of the Canyon Middle School eighth-grader, but they are taking it seriously, Alameda County sheriffs Lt. Ted Nelson said. Lin had never seen the man before and could provide investigators with only a vague description, Nelson said. Because the slaying was the "only deed" committed by whoever was in the house nothing was stolen investigators do not believe the killing was a random act, Nelson said.

The killer probably entered the house with the intent of attacking the girl or someone in her family, he said. In a voice breaking with emotion, John Lin appealed to anyone with information about the killing to help. "We are a very simple, hardworking family, with outstanding children, living a straightforward American lifestyle," he said. "We never did anything to hurt anyone. We cannot imagine how Jenny could be the target of such a I SON I II AUC SUNDAY, JUNE 26, 1994 San Francisco Pacific Heights it 9 "if I A V.

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