American Sociological Association

Sociology in Action: Furjen Deng

Furjen Deng, Sam Houston State University, provides pro bono services for the organization Light and Salt Association in Houston, TX. ASA asked Deng about her work:

What is the mission of Light and Salt Association? The mission of the association is to provide culturally and linguistically competent services with compassion and knowledge to the needy and vulnerable, to promote healthy living, and to foster a sense of community responsibilities.

Can you describe your work with the organization? I provide a variety of pro bono services to the organization:

  1. Since 2007, I have written more than 20 grant proposals for the organization. The funding agencies/organizations include, but are not limited to: Susan G. Komen for the Cure-Houston Affiliate (seven grant awards from $8,000 to $32,000), Houston Foundation ($5,000), Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (twice: $329,933; $1,101,986), United Way of Greater Houston (two times, $2500 each), Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities (twice: $10,000; $375,000), University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston ($8,000), and U.S. Department of Health and Humans Services-CMS Navigator grant (twice: ($295,180; $1,374,462) .
  2. I conducted program evaluation and helped prepare the quarterly/annual/final reports for these projects.
  3. I also helped organize cancer support group meetings and provided individual support services to cancer patients. These services include patient navigation, language assistance, visit, and peer counseling.

What sociological knowledge and/or skills do you use? The skills I use include grant writing, research methodology, data analysis, program evaluation, advocacy, community, and medical sociology.

How did you connect with Light and Salt Association? As a cancer survivor, I first served as volunteer and then as a board member.

Is there anything else you would like to share about this work? The first few grants focused on building the capacity of the Light and Salt Association. However, during the last few years, the focus was expanded to form a consortium among more than 11 Asian American community-based organizations in Texas (CPRIT and CMS-Navigator grants). The targeted communities include Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, and Filipino in Houston, Austin, and Dallas/Fort Worth areas of Texas.