Uncle Bob Santos Mentorship Award
The “Uncle Bob” Santos Mentorship award is ACLF’s newest award, established in 2016 in Uncle Bob’s memory with 2017 being the first year it will be awarded. Beyond all his leadership and his accomplishments, Uncle Bob was a leader of leaders who took many aspiring activists and community members under his wing at the grassroots level of movements and gave them the experience and mentorship to become the leaders in the community that they are today.
Inaugural Uncle Bob Santos Award Winner:
Elaine Shoji Ishihara’s commitment to social justice was influenced by her family’s experience and growing up during the civil rights movement. She is a Sansei, third generation Japanese American whose parents and grandparents were incarcerated at the Minidoka concentration camp during World War II, later returned to Seattle, where Elaine and her brother were born and raised.
Elaine is the director of the Asian Pacific Islander Coalition Advocating Together for Healthy Communities (APICAT), a coalition she helped organize in 1997 to address tobacco use in the Asian American Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander community. With over 35 years of community organizing and non-profit experience, Elaine values her family, friendships, mentoring and cross-cultural partnerships that have allowed her to fulfill her passion in addressing social and health justice issues.
Elaine attended Seattle Central Community College, received a BA in Sociology from the University of Washington and later earned her Master’s in Public Administration as a National Urban Fellow from Baruch College, City University of New York. She and her husband Jon live in Seattle and are the proud parents of their adult children Derek and Brianna.