2016 Justice in Action Awards and Lunar New Year Gala


On Tuesday, February 16, 2016, more than 700 people attended the AALDEF lunar new year gala at PIER SIXTY, Chelsea Piers, in New York City. AALDEF presented its 2016 Justice in Action Awards to Eric H. Holder, Jr., former Attorney General of the United States and partner at Covington & Burling LLP; Heidi C. Chen, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Zoetis; and Phil Yu, founder and editor of Angry Asian Man

The emcees were Cindy Hsu, anchor and reporter at CBS2 News, and Sree Sreenivasan, chief digital officer at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Actor and activist George Takei, a 1992 Justice in Action Award recipient, will delivered a special message at the awards ceremony. He just completed a four-month run on Broadway in Allegiance, a musical inspired by his experiences in a Japanese American internment camp during World War II.


The AALDEF Justice in Action Awards recognize exceptional individuals for their outstanding achievements and efforts in advancing social justice. Past recipients include Congressman John Lewis, David Henry Hwang, Jose Antonio Vargas, BD Wong, Don H. Liu, Mira Nair, Deval Patrick, George Takei, Lani Guinier, Seymour Hersh, Sandra Leung, Larry Tu, Ivan Fong, John G. Chou, Margaret Cho, Harry Belafonte, Neal Katyal, Yoko Ono, and the late civil rights icons Fred Korematsu and Gordon Hirabayashi.

Highlights at the silent auction included two house seats for the Broadway musical, Hamilton, drinks with playwright David Henry Hwang, afternoon tea with BD Wong, a private tour for 11 of the Metropolitan Museum of Art led by Sree Sreenivasan, an autographed cast poster of the TV hit, Fresh Off The Boat, autographed casebooks from the civil rights icons Fred Korematsu and Gordon Hirabayashi, autographed sneakers from Jeremy Lin, autographed basketball from LeBron James, VIP tickets to The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, New York Yankees Legends Suite tickets, and the AMG Driving Academy Program at the Legendary Lime Rock Park Racetrack in Lakeville, CT.

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 Lunar New Year Gala will go directly towards supporting AALDEF's legal and educational programs in immigrant rights, economic justice for workers, voting rights and civic participation, educational equity, and the elimination of hate violence, police misconduct, and human trafficking.

Special thanks to our Benefit Committee Co-Chairs for their support of our 2016 gala:

American Express * BakerHostetler * Jasmine Ball, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP * Juan Cartagena, LatinoJustice PRLDEF * Javade Chaudhri, Jones Day * Douglas K. Chia, Johnson & Johnson * Kathy Hirata Chin, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP * Ken Chin, Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP * Kirby Chin, Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP * Sylvia Fung Chin, White & Case LLP * Margaret Cho * Art Chong, Broadcom Corporation * John G. Chou, AmerisourceBergen Corporation * Connie Chung, Television Journalist * Covington & Burling LLP * A.B. Cruz III, Emergent BioSolutions Inc. * Kunal Dogra, Proskauer Rose LLP * Ernst & Young LLP * Ivan K. Fong, 3M Company * Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer US LLP * GE Capital Aviation Services * David Henry Hwang * Sherrilyn Ifill, NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. * Jasmine Jin, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP * Jinsoo H. Kim, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP *Richard K. Kim, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz * Harold Hongju Koh, Yale Law School * John W. Kuo, Varian Medical Systems * Mei Lin Kwan-Gett, Citigroup * Kevin G. Lauri, Jackson Lewis P.C. * Brett P. Lauring * Elizabeth Leckie, Allen & Overy LLP * Christine I. Lee, Jenner & Block LLP * Parkin Lee, The Rockefeller Group * Sandra Leung, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company * Loida Nicolas Lewis * Don H. Liu, Xerox Corporation * Aasif Mandvi * Madeleine M. McDonough, Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P. * Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP * Mira Nair * Charles J. Ogletree, Jr., Harvard Law School *Yoko Ono * Park Jensen Bennett LLP * Pfizer Inc * Gimbels Pon & Sandra Leung * Teena-Ann V. Sankoorikal, Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP * Tommy Shi, Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC * Susan L. Shin, Arnold & Porter LLP * Sidley Austin LLP * Moses Silverman, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP * Amy Suh, Edward and Amy Suh Foundation * George Takei * Larry Tu, CBS Corporation * Urvashi Vaid * Noel B. Vales, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP * Katrina vanden Heuvel, The Nation * Anne C. Vladeck, Vladeck, Raskin & Clark, P.C. * BD Wong * Dino Wu, WilmerHale * Simone Wu, Choice Hotels International, Inc. * Joyce Y. Xu, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP * Dwight S. Yoo, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP * Andrew J. Yoon, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP * Fareed Zakaria, CNN * Zoetis Inc.

Highlights of the 2015 lunar new year gala can be viewed 
here. A list of past Justice in Action Award recipients can be found here.

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