On June 12, 2014, Chinese for Affirmative Action will celebrate 45 years of social justice work. CAA’s annual Celebration of Justice is a special time to recognize our allies for outstanding community service and civil rights leadership. This year’s four honorees embody the best of what CAA stands for and inspire our movement for social justice.
The California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC) has been an unwavering voice for immigrants and immigrant rights since 1996. Over the past few years, with House Republicans continuing to block progress on federal immigration reform, CIPC has been fearless in their leadership for state policies that can make a difference now and model how advocates across the country can organize for change at local, regional, and state levels. With leadership from CIPC and others, California has recently passed legislation to allow driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants, the TRUST Act to protect due process rights for immigrants, and multiple efforts to strengthen the safety net for all residents regardless of immigration status.
Jack Lee, a partner at the law firm of Minami Tamaki LLP, has been a steady and omnipresent champion for the civil rights of all under-represented communities, including Asian Americans. Whether as a public defender in San Francisco, a civil rights attorney in the U.S. Department of Education, or an advocate for victims of gender discrimination or consumer fraud, Jack has been a force for making the world more inclusive and fair. Many in the legal profession know of Jack’s tireless efforts to bring more diversity to the federal judiciary while others can attest to his numerous efforts to support organizations like CAA who are committed to growing the progressive Asian American movement.
Dae Joong Yoon has been serving the Korean American and broader immigrant community for over 20 years. Under his leadership as Executive Director, the National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC) continues to be a strong and unique network of service providers, organizers, and civic engagement advocates who are increasing Asian immigrant participation in grassroots campaigns and movement building across the country. At the end of last year, DJ helped lead the Fast for Families campaign calling for immigration reform. By forgoing food for 23 days outside the National Capitol, DJ and other fasters helped revive the public dialogue on immigration reform. Earlier this year, DJ traveled the length of the country by bus, helping to organize community, faith, business, and labor groups in support of immigration reform.
Isabel Huie (1929 – 2013) was a longtime champion of CAA whose lifetime commitment to civil rights and community service represents the best of CAA’s values. Isabel was the first employment coordinator at CAA in the 1970s, advocating for job opportunities and access for San Francisco’s most marginalized job-seekers. For decades she served as a board member, staff person, and volunteer for a host of organizations, including the Chinatown/North Beach English Language Center, the San Francisco Public Defender’s office, the Northeast Community Federal Credit Union, and many other groups. Isabel was also a key leader and selfless volunteer in the fight for a permanent Chinatown-North Beach campus of City College of San Francisco. She never stopped organizing and advocating for the community and was always a welcoming presence in Chinatown and the Chinese American community in San Francisco.
I very much hope you will join CAA in celebrating CIPC, Jack Lee, DJ Yoon, and Isabel Huie by registering for our event, sponsoring a table, or purchasing an ad for the honorees here.