Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Lia Chang Photos: AALDEF Honors Mari Matsuda, Aasif Mandvi, and John Chou in 2014 at 40th Anniversary Celebration

2014 Justice in Action Award recipients John G. Chou, Mari Matsuda, Aasif Mandvi with AALDEF Executive Director Margaret Fung. Photo by Lia Chang

2014 Justice in Action Award recipients John G. Chou, Mari Matsuda, Aasif Mandvi with AALDEF Executive Director Margaret Fung. Photo by Lia Chang

Mari Matsuda, Professor of Law at University of Hawai’i at Manoa, Aasif Mandvi of “The Daily Show,” and John G. Chou of AmerisourceBergen Corporation were honored with the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) 2014 Justice in Action Awards on March 25, 2014, at AALDEF’s 40th Anniversary Celebration held at Pier 60, Chelsea Piers in New York.

(L-R) Co-emcee Juju Chang, ABC News Nightline co-anchor, presenter Charles Ogletree, Jr., 2014 Justice in Action honorees Mari Matsuda, John G. Chou, Aasif Mandvi, AALDEF executive director Margaret Fung, AALDEF board president Tommy Shi and co-emcee Cindy Hsu. CBS 2 anchor. Photo by Lia Chang

(L-R) Co-emcee Juju Chang, ABC News Nightline co-anchor, presenter Charles Ogletree, Jr., 2014 Justice in Action honorees Mari Matsuda, John G. Chou, Aasif Mandvi, AALDEF executive director Margaret Fung, AALDEF board president Tommy Shi and co-emcee Cindy Hsu, CBS 2 anchor. Photo by Lia Chang

Since 1987, AALDEF has presented the Justice in Action Awards to exceptional individuals for their outstanding achievements and efforts in advancing social justice.

Cindy Hsu, Emmy Award-winning anchor for CBS 2 and Juju Chang, Emmy Award-winning co-anchor for ABC News Nightline, were the co-emcees for AALDEF's 40th Anniversary Gala banquet at Pier 60, Chelsea Piers in New York on March 25, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

Cindy Hsu, Emmy Award-winning anchor for CBS 2 and Juju Chang, Emmy Award-winning co-anchor for ABC News Nightline, were the co-emcees for AALDEF’s 40th Anniversary Gala banquet at Pier 60, Chelsea Piers in New York on March 25, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

The awards were presented by Charles Ogletree, Jr., Harvard Law School professor and former Justice in Action Award honoree and Judge Ida Chen, the first Asian American female to serve as a judge in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Juju Chang, Emmy Award-winning co-anchor for ABC News Nightline, and Cindy Hsu, Emmy Award-winning anchor for CBS 2, were the co-emcees for the banquet of over 800 to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of AALDEF.


Among the guests at Pier Sixty in New York City were U.S. Circuit Judge Denny Chin, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Karen Korematsu, the daughter of the late civil rights icon Fred Korematsu, and three of the AALDEF founders Loida Lewis, Arthur Soong, and Ira Glasser. Past Justice in Action Award recipients in attendance included Art Chong, Sandra Leung, Don Liu, Parkin Lee, and Alice Young.

(L-R) AALDEF board members Phil Tajitsu Nash, Mari Matsuda, Lauren Lee, Ayaz Shaikh, Sandra Leung, Tommy Shi, AALDEF Executive Director Margaret Fung, Nicholas V. Chen. Photo by Lia Chang

(L-R) AALDEF board members Phil Tajitsu Nash, Mari Matsuda, Lauren Lee, Ayaz Shaikh, Sandra Leung, Tommy Shi, AALDEF Executive Director Margaret Fung, Nicholas V. Chen. Photo by Lia Chang

For the 40th Anniversary, AALDEF Executive Director Margaret Fung and Board president Tommy Shi shared the story of the creation of AALDEF 40 years ago. “Our first office was on the second floor of a tenement building in New York’s Chinatown,” said Fung. “We were passionate about our work and believed we could change the world one case at a time.”

Margaret Fung and Tommy Shi. Photo by Lia Chang

Margaret Fung and Tommy Shi. Photo by Lia Chang

Among the challenges ahead for the Asian American community, Fung pointed to the glass ceiling faced by many Asian Americans, the attack on affirmative action programs, the standstill of immigration reform in Congress, and the continuing struggles of human trafficking survivors and immigrant workers seeking to earn a living wage.

AALDEF client Hong-Mei Pang, now organizer of AALDEF's undocumented youth group RAISE. Photo by Lia Chang

AALDEF client Hong-Mei Pang, now organizer of AALDEF’s undocumented youth group RAISE. Photo by Lia Chang

AALDEF client Hong-Mei Pang, now organizer of AALDEF’s undocumented youth group RAISE, spoke about the lack of options she had faced prior to garnering AALDEF’s legal representation and joining the movement for immigration reform. “My call to AALDEF became a turning point in my life,” said Pang.

2014 Justice in Action honoree John G. Chou. Photo by Lia Chang

2014 Justice in Action honoree John G. Chou. Photo by Lia Chang

Judge Ida Chen introduced honoree John Chou by thanking AALDEF “for recognizing John Chou for advancing the status of Asian Americans all over the country.” Chou said that by receiving the Justice in Action Award, he was “following in some really big footsteps.” He described AALDEF as representing “lawyers at their best.”

Charles Ogletree, Jr. Photo by Lia Chang

Charles Ogletree, Jr. Photo by Lia Chang

Former honoree Charles Ogletree Jr. introduced honoree Mari Matsuda as a “living legend.” Matsuda shared her advice for young people seeking to stand up for their beliefs. “If you were sitting still and doing nothing, you would get no pushback,” she said. “We need to do the work to make this a better, stronger country for everyone.”

2014 Justice in Action Award recipient Mari Matsuda. Photo by Lia Chang

2014 Justice in Action Award recipient Mari Matsuda. Photo by Lia Chang

The evening came to a close with honoree Aasif Mandvi taking a rare break from satire to describe the impact of his hit political comedy show “The Daily Show” on addressing racism and bias. “What AALDEF does in a real way, I do in a very small way, by pointing out the absurdity,” he said.

Aasif Mandvi. Photo by Lia Chang

2014 Justice in Action Award recipient Aasif Mandvi. Photo by Lia Chang

Past Justice in Action Award recipients include Rep. John Lewis, David Henry Hwang, Fareed Zakaria, BD Wong, Sandra Leung, Mira Nair, Deval Patrick, George Takei, Salman Rushdie, Seymour Hersh, Harry Belafonte, Margaret Cho, Yoko Ono, and the late civil rights icons Fred Korematsu and Gordon Hirabayashi.

Juju Chang, Aasif Mandvi, Charles Ogletree, Jr., Mari Matsuda, John G. Chou and Cindy Hsu. Photo by Lia Chang

Juju Chang, Aasif Mandvi, Charles Ogletree, Jr., Mari Matsuda, John G. Chou and Cindy Hsu. Photo by Lia Chang

The 2014 Honorees

John G. Chou. Photo by Lia Chang

John G. Chou. Photo by Lia Chang

John G. Chou is Executive Vice President, General Counsel of AmerisourceBergen Corporation, and two-time past president of the Asian American Bar Association of the Delaware Valley, now the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania (APABA-PA). Chou actively supports community organizations in Philadelphia including Asian Americans United. He serves on the Boards of Directors of the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey and Episcopal Community Services in Philadelphia. He has participated in numerous conferences with the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). “Chou’s principles that professional success must come hand-in-hand with community responsibility make him a role model for Asian American lawyers,” said Margaret Fung, Executive Director at AALDEF.

2014 Justice in Action honoree John G. Chou with his daughter Carolyn Chou and his wife Teresa Wallace. Photo by Lia Chang

2014 Justice in Action honoree John G. Chou with his daughter Carolyn Chou and his wife Teresa Wallace. Photo by Lia Chang

Mari Matsuda. Photo by Lia Chang

Mari Matsuda. Photo by Lia Chang

Mari J. Matsuda is a founding critical race theorist, “activist scholar,” and Professor of Law at University of Hawai’i at Manoa. Matsuda is one of the founders of critical race theory and remains among its most significant voices. In 1998, Matsuda became the first tenured female Asian American law professor in the United States at the University of California at Los Angeles. Through her prolific writing in both law journals and books, Matsuda has had a lasting influence regarding how Asian Americans have fared within the legal system. She continues to work as a volunteer attorney in civil rights cases and serves as a board member in public interest organizations. “Professor Matsuda exemplifies the power of legal scholarship and activist energy that is at the heart of AALDEF’s mission,” said Fung.

Aasif Mandvi. Photo by Lia Chang

Aasif Mandvi. Photo by Lia Chang

Aasif Mandvi is an Indian American actor, comedian, and regular correspondent on the groundbreaking political satirical television show “The Daily Show”. Mandvi is among the most significant Asian American comedians today. In 2008, he won an Obie Award for his critically acclaimed one-man show Sakina’s Restaurant. More recently, he co-wrote and starred in the movie Today’s Special and the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Disgraced. Through his hugely influential platform as a political comedian on The Daily Show, Mandvi has highlighted racial injustice and intolerance in post-9/11 America and has been outspoken about the stereotypes facing actors of color. “We honor Aasif Manvi’s ingenious ability to share hard truths on racial intolerance with a mainstream audience,” said Fung.


The Justice in Action Awards
Since 1974, AALDEF has been protecting and promoting the civil rights of Asian Americans across the nation through litigation, advocacy, organizing, and community education. All proceeds from the 40th anniversary celebration will go directly towards supporting AALDEF’s legal and educational programs in immigrant rights, economic justice for workers, voting rights and civic participation, language access to services, educational equity, housing and environmental justice, and the elimination of hate violence, police misconduct, and human trafficking.

(L to R): Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Charles Ogletree, Jr., Professor, Harvard Law School and Director, Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, Margaret Fung, Executive Director, AALDEF, Patricia Williams, Professor, Columbia Law School and columnist, The Nation and Barry Scheck, Co-Director, The Innocence Project, Cardozo Law School. Photo by Lia Chang

(L to R): Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Charles Ogletree, Jr., Professor, Harvard Law School and Director, Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, Margaret Fung, Executive Director, AALDEF, Patricia Williams, Professor, Columbia Law School and columnist, The Nation, and Barry Scheck, Co-Director, The Innocence Project, Cardozo Law School. Photo by Lia Chang

The AALDEF Justice in Action Awards recognize exceptional individuals for their outstanding achievements and contributions in advancing justice and equality. Past recipients include the late civil rights icon Fred Korematsu, Congressman John Lewis, David Henry Hwang, Fareed Zakaria, Jose Antonio Vargas, Harold Koh, BD Wong, Mira Nair, Deval Patrick, George Takei, Salman Rushdie, Seymour Hersh, Nicholas Kristof, Sheryl Wu Dunn, Harry Belafonte, Margaret Cho, and Yoko Ono.

Soh Daiko performed at AALDEF's 40th Anniversary Gala at Pier Sixty, Chelsea Piers in New York on March 25, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

Soh Daiko performed at AALDEF’s 40th Anniversary Gala at Pier Sixty, Chelsea Piers in New York on March 25, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

Social Media Raffle
Enter AALDEF’s Fourth Annual Justice in Action Social Media Raffle! The rules: If AALDEF reaches 2400 Facebook Likes and 3000 @aaldef Twitter followers by 11:59pm, March 31st, every one (new and old fans and followers both) is automatically entered to win the prize!

PRIZE: Specially donated by Melissa Harris-Perry, we have a “Nerdland” goodies gift basket with an autographed book, towel, hoodie, mugs, and other goodies!

TO ENTER YOUR NAME: Follow @aaldef on Twitter or LIKE AALDEF’s Facebook Page, (do both and double your chances!) If there are up to 3000 followers and 2400 FB fans by 11:59pm on March 31st, everyone is entered.

Share the message with hashtag: #jia2014 and #aaldef40
A winner will be chosen and informed immediately.

2014 Justice in Action Awards. Photo by Lia Chang

2014 Justice in Action Awards. Photo by Lia Chang

Other articles by Lia Chang:
Juju Chang Named Co-Anchor of Nightline
Photos: AALDEF Honors Congressman John Lewis, Jose Antonio Vargas, and Simone Wu with 2013 Justice in Action Awards
Congressman John Lewis, Jose Antonio Vargas and Simone Wu to Receive 2013 Justice in Action Awards on February 19, 2013
AALDEF Honors Parkin Lee, Jean Koh Peters, and CNN’s Fareed Zakaria with 2012 Justice in Action Awards in New York on February 8, 2012
André De Shields, Kevin Carolan, Usman Ally, Mary Zimmerman, Doug Peck Among 10 IRNE Nominations for Huntington’s World Premiere of The Jungle Book, a co-production with The Goodman
Photos: Backstage and Opening Night of Signature’s World Premiere of David Henry Hwang’s Kung Fu
Rome Neal’s Banana Puddin’ Jazz Presents “LADY” Featuring Lia Chang, Monica Garrido, Carolyn Holmes, Noel Simon’ Wippler, Linda Hudson, Adi Meyerson and Kathleen Doran 
Photos: Harriet Harris, John Tartaglia, Christine Toy Johnson, Alan Muraoka, James Saito and More celebrate Ann Harada’s Debut at Lincoln Center in the American Songbook Series 
Photos: Steve Rosen, David Rossmer, Hannah Elless, Vadim Feichtner, Cathryn Salamone, Ken Triwush and Kate Wetherhead Celebrate The Other Josh Cohen Opening Night 
Photos: David Henry Hwang, Annie Baker and Rajiv Joseph honored at Sixth Annual Steinberg Playwright “Mimi” Awards
Q & A with Meet Me in St. Louis: A Live Radio Play’s Garth Kravits
Photos: André De Shields, Michael Shannon, Rajiv Joseph, Christine Sherrill, Doug Peck, Alexis J. Rogers, Karen Ziemba and More Celebrate 2013 Jeff Equity Awards
Photos: Backstage with Michi Barall and the cast of Regina Taylor’s stop.reset. at Signature Theatre
Febone1960.net Review: Power Play Powerful & Suspenseful Signature Theatre’s 2013-14 Season Features New Works by Albee, Hwang, Enos, Taylor, Wilson, Clarke and Jacobs-Jenkins
Photos: The 58th Annual Drama Desk Awards and After Party
Celebrating my mom – AN ACTIVE VISION: BEVERLY UMEHARA…LABOR ACTIVIST…1945-1999 Crafting a Career
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang

Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist.Lia recently make her jazz vocalist debut in Rome Neal’s Banana Puddin’ Jazz “LADY” at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2014 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

About these ads

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,420 other followers