DC Panel: On Being Asian American in the Berkshires during Covid

Monday 04/12/2021 @ 7 pm EST
Purple field with photographs of three panelists: Yuki Cohen, Michelle Decepida, and Helen Moon. The text says, “What has been the experience of local Berkshire County AAPI during Covid-19? What were the experiences of work and at home? Please join the DC on a panel discussion with local AAPI leaders as they reflect upon the year. The zoom link is: bit.ly/3dsmENf Click on the image to access the zoom link.

 


ABOUT THE PANELISTS:

  • Helen Moon, RN

    Helen Moon (she/her) is a Pittsfield City Councilor, a member of the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee, and on the Ward 1 Democratic City Committee. As a registered nurse at Fairview Hospital and the Development and Communications Coordinator at Elizabeth Freeman Center, Councilor Moon is rooted in the community and committed to sustainable change. 

    Elected to the City Council in 2017, Councilor Moon was the first AAPI and immigrant to be elected to a municipal office in Pittsfield. She tries to approach her role on the council with a lens of equity and justice, working to reduce barriers for her constituents while ensuring that municipal government is accessible and transparent. From petitioning to require implicit bias training for all councilors; to advocating for Spanish translation from all official city communications, to engaging in difficult conversations about police oversight and accountability, Councilor Moon hopes for a future where all levels of government are for, by, and of the people.

    Recently honored by the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus with a Public Service Award, Councilor Moon is a card-carrying union member of AFT, serves on the Berkshire Immigrant Center’s Board of Directors, is co-chair to the Berkshire’s Chapter of the MWPC, is on the steering committee for the Berkshire Brigades, and is an active member of the Berkshires Branch of the NAACP and the Berkshire Democratic Socialists. She is passionate about electing women of color up and down the ballot and across the Commonwealth. 

 

  • Yuki Cohen, MBA

    Yuki Cohen is the Owner of Methuselah Bar and Lounge, located in Pittsfield, MA. Prior to opening Methuselah in February of 2015, Yuki spent 25 years in the Financial Services Industry, managing assets for high net worth individuals first in New York City and most recently, in the Berkshires.   She holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Brooklyn College and a Masters of Business Administration from New York University Stern School of Business.   Yuki also serves on the Community Board for Barrington State Company, and on the Board of Directors for RSVP, and for Jacob’s Pillow, where she is a member of the Community Engagement Committee along with the Financial Committee.

    Outside of her professional life, Yuki’s greatest “job” is being mom to her very active daughters, Sophie, age 13, and Zoe, age 11.   During her spare time, and in order to bring balance to her hectic life, she enjoys dance, horseback riding, skiing, and reading.

 

  • Michelle Decepida

    Michelle Decepida is a first-generation Filipino-American who has lived and worked in the Berkshires for the past 7 years. In 2014 she earned a Dual B.S. degree in Mechanical and Materials Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute of Technology. There, she held several roles within her sorority, Sigma Delta Sorority Inc., that encourages multiculturalism, sisterhood, and academics.

    After graduating from RPI, she moved to Pittsfield, MA to join General Dynamics’ Engineering Leadership Program, which exposed her to the depth and breadth of the company across the country. Through that program, she pursued a M.S. degree in Systems Engineering at Johns Hopkins University and is currently leading a team that is breaking new ground in terms of how to use computer modeling programs to capture the design of a complex system. Within General Dynamics, she is committed to several employee-focused efforts that are dedicated to providing employees with the opportunity to learn what Berkshire county has to offer or providing networking opportunities and exposure to other individuals throughout the organization that is looking to develop themselves personally and professionally. Outside of General Dynamics, she is on the Board of Directors for the Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity Chapter as Treasurer and lead of the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access Committee.