Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Mar. 25: Mari Matsuda, Aasif Mandvi, and John G. Chou to Receive 2014 Justice in Action Awards

The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) will honor Mari Matsuda, civil rights leader and Professor of Law at University of Hawai’i at Manoa, Aasif Mandvi, actor, comedian, and The Daily Show correspondent, and John G. Chou, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of AmerisourceBergen Corporation, with the 2014 Justice in Action Awards at its 40th anniversary celebration on Tuesday, March 25, 2014 at PIER SIXTY, Chelsea Piers, in New York City.

The co-emcees for the evening are Juju Chang, Emmy Award-winning correspondent for ABC News, and WCBS-TV’s Cindy Hsu. Charles Ogletree, Jr., Harvard Law School professor and former Justice in Action Award honoree, will be a presenter.

Over 800 leaders of the civil rights, legal, business, and arts communities are expected to attend AALDEF’s 2014 anniversary celebration. The Gala begins with a 6 p.m. cocktail reception and silent auction, followed by the Justice in Action Awards ceremony and a banquet dinner. Sponsorship tables of ten, available at $20,000, $15,000, and $10,000, include a VIP reception.

Individual Tickets:
Friend ticket: $1000
Advocate ticket: $500

1. Click here to purchase tickets online >
2. Select “Other” and enter in ticket price.
3. Under “Program” drop down menu, select ticket type.
4. Checkout.

For ticket or sponsorship information, email or call 212.966.5932.

The 2014 Honorees

John Chou

John Chou

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.

 Mari J. Matsuda

Mari J. Matsuda

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

Aasif Mandvi

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.

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.

Other articles by Lia Chang:
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 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. Photo by Charles Richard Barboza

Lia Chang. Photo by Charles Richard Barboza

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

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