Opening Artistic Presentation and Remarks
Hawaiian Chant: Kamana’opono Crabbe
Cultural Drumming: Nen Daiko
Master of Ceremonies: Parag Mehta, Chief of Staff, Office of the Surgeon General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Kiran Ahuja, Executive Director, White House Initiative on AAPIs
Plenary – #APAEverywhere: A Look Back
Opening Remarks: Congresswoman Judy Chu, Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus
Michelle Kauhane, President & CEO, Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement
Karen Narasaki, Civil and Human Rights Consultant
Ai-jen Poo, Director, National Domestic Workers Alliance
Mini Timmaraju, National Director, National Council of Asian Pacific Americans
Moderator: Joie Chen, Anchor & News Correspondent, Al Jazeera America
Sylvia Burwell, Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Julián Castro, Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Gina McCarthy, Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Jenny Yang, Chair, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Moderator: Gautam Raghavan, Vice President of Policy, Gill Foundation
Social Entrepreneurship: Strong Communities Make for Good Business
Opening Remarks: Michelle K. Lee, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office
Don Chen, Director, Metropolitan Opportunity, Ford Foundation
Robin Danner, Executive Director, Homestead Community Development Corporation
Albert Shen, National Deputy Director, Minority Business Development Agency
Kabzuag Vaj, Co-Founder, RedGreenRivers, LLC
Moderator: Shamina Singh, Executive Director, MasterCard Center for Inclusive Growth
Closing Remarks: Congressman Ami Bera, Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus
When Storytelling Makes a Difference: The Power of Immigrant and Refugee Voices
Opening Remarks: León Rodríguez, Director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Inhe Choi, Executive Director, Korean American Resource and Cultural Center
Mee Moua, President & Executive Director, Advancing Justice | AAJC
Saba Nafees, DACA Recipient and E3! Ambassador, Texas Tech University
Moderator: Manar Waheed, Deputy Policy Director for Immigration, White House Domestic Policy Council
Closing Remarks: Congressman Mike Honda, Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus
Every Student Counts: Forging an Equity Agenda for AAPIs
Opening Remarks: Ted Mitchell, Under Secretary, U.S. Department of Education
Quyen Dinh, Executive Director, Southeast Asia Resource Action Center
Maria Hinojosa, Anchor/Executive Producer, PBS/NPR, America by the Numbers
Julee Sum, Student, Khmer Girls in Action
Moderator: Robert Teranishi, Professor, University of California, Los Angeles
Closing Remarks: Congressman Mark Takano, Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus
50 Years Later: New Voices for Civil and Human Rights
Opening Remarks: Vanita Gupta, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice
Sapreet Kaur, Executive Director, Sikh Coalition
Tana Lepule, Executive Director, Empowering Pacific Islander Communities
Tiloma Jayasinghe, Activist Fellow, Barnard Center for Research on Women
Helen Zia, Award-Winning Author, Journalist, and Activist
Moderator: Phil Yu, Founder, Angry Asian Man Blog
New Frontiers in Health Equity
Rajiv Bhatia, Clinical Advisor, Applied Research Works
Tessie Guillermo, President and CEO, ZeroDivide
Yin Ling Leung, Co-Founder, Applied Research Works
Thu Quach, Research Director, Asian Health Services
Moderator: Dr. Tung Nguyen, Chair, President’s Advisory Commission on AAPIs
Closing Remarks: Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus
Arne Duncan, Secretary, U.S. Department of Education
Sally Jewell, Secretary, U.S. Department of the Interior
Jeh Johnson, Secretary, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Tom Perez, Secretary, U.S. Department of Labor
Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration
Moderator: Juju Chang, Co-Anchor & News Correspondent, ABC
Plenary – #APAEverywhere: A Look Forward
Sakina Jaffrey, Actor, House of Cards
Maulik Pancholy, Actor, 30 Rock / Member, President’s Advisory Commission on AAPIs
Harry Shum Jr., Actor, Glee / Judge, Fake Off
B.D. Wong, Actor, Writer, and Director
Hudson Yang, Actor, Fresh Off the Boat
Moderator: Richard Lui, Journalist & News Anchor, MSNBC & NBC
Les Talusan (The Pinstriped Rebel), Artistic Presenter
Uplifting the ‘mana’, and ‘mauli ola’ of the Hawaiian community through transformation and research excellence has been the mission of Dr. Kamana‘opono Crabbe since his appointment as Ka Pouhana, Chief Executive Officer, of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) in January 2012. Before his appointment as Ka Pouhana Dr. Crabbe joined OHA as the Research Director in 2010 where he lead the division in gathering data that would highlight the gaps, disparities, and causal factors creating disadvantages and lack of opportunity for Native Hawaiians to access good health care, governance, housing, education and employment. He used his research expertise and ability to identify the needs of the lāhui (Hawaiian community). Prior to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Dr. Crabbe worked at the Wai‘anae Coast Comprehensive Health Center where he served as a licensed Clinical Psychologist and Director of training.
Nen Daiko performs the traditional Japanese art of “kumi-daiko” (Japanese taiko ensemble drumming). Nen Daiko was founded in 1994 and is based at Ekoji Buddhist Temple in Fairfax Station, Virginia. Nen Daiko emphasizes the basic philosophies of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism and its connection to taiko and kumi-daiko. While affiliated with Ekoji Buddhist Temple, members are diverse and of different faiths, brought together by a common respect for the art of taiko, the teachings of Buddhist taiko, and a joy and exuberance for expression through the beat of the drum. Nen Daiko has performed at many venues in the metropolitan area, such as the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the National Theatre, the Smithsonian museums, the National Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism in World War II, the National Cherry Blossom Festival and the summer Obon Festival at Ekoji Buddhist Temple. For more information, please visit the website at http://nendaiko.org.
Parag Mehta is a strategist who has worked in government, politics and community advocacy. He currently serves as Chief of Staff to the United States Surgeon General Dr. Vivek H. Murthy. Prior to that, he spent four years directing communications for the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, a civil rights agency in the U.S. Department of Labor. In 2008, Mehta served on President Obama’s Transition Team as a liaison to both the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities and to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Americans. He later managed former Governor Gary Locke’s confirmation to become U.S. Secretary of Commerce. From 2005-2008, Mehta worked for the Democratic National Committee during the four most successful election cycles in the modern history of the Party. He served as the DNC’s Training Director, conducting workshops for organizers in all 50 states and then headed the Party’s external communications during the 2008 general election.
Kiran Ahuja was appointed on December 14, 2009 to the position of Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs), housed in the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C. In this capacity, she is responsible for directing the efforts of the White House Initiative and the Presidential Advisory Commission on AAPIs to advise federal agency leadership on the implementation and coordination of federal programs as they relate to AAPIs across executive departments and agencies. The White House Initiative on AAPIs works with these entities to improve the quality of life and opportunities for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders through increased access to, and participation in, federal programs in which they may be underserved.
Plenary #APAEverywhere: A Look Back
Judy Chu was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in July 2009. She represents the 27th Congressional District, which includes Pasadena and the west San Gabriel Valley of southern California. Rep. Chu currently serves on the House Judiciary Committee, where she is a member of the Subcommittees on Intellectual Property and the Internet as well as Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations. She also serves on the House Small Business Committee, which has oversight of the Small Business Administration. Rep. Chu is the Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access. She is also a member of the Subcommittees on Contracting and Workforce as well as Investigations, Oversight and Regulations. In 2011, Chu was elected Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, which advocates for the needs and concerns of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community across the nation.
Michelle Kauhane is the President and CEO of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA). Formed in 2001, CNHA works to enhance the cultural, economic, political and community development of Native Hawaiians. With a membership of more than 150 organizations, CNHA operates the Native Hawaiian Policy Center to unify Hawaiian leaders around sound public policy, administers the Hawaiian Way Fund to build capacity and facilitate resources among cultural and community practitioners, and engages in Lending & Investment Services to deploy capital and tax credits to Hawaiian projects and trust land areas. Most comparable to the National Congress of American Indians and the Alaska Federation of Natives, CNHA is governed by a 21-member elected board of directors and hosts the Annual Native Hawaiian Convention each year in Honolulu. As a national policy advocate on Native Hawaiian issues, Kauhane has extensive knowledge in affordable housing, lending, financial education and community development.
Karen K. Narasaki is an independent civil and human rights consultant. President Barack Obama appointed Ms. Narasaki to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in July of 2014. She is the immediate past president and executive director of the Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, one of the nation’s premier civil rights organizations. Prior to that she was the Washington Representative for the Japanese American Citizens League. And before JACL, she was an attorney with Perkins Coie. Ms. Narasaki began her career as a law clerk for Judge Harry Pregerson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit from 1985 to 1986. Ms. Narasaki is currently Chair of the Asian American Diversity Advisory Council for Comcast/NBCU and Co-Chair of the Asian American Advisory Council for Nielsen. She also manages the Shelby Response Fund for NEO Philanthropy.
Ai-jen Poo, a 2014 MacArthur “Genius” award winner and one of TIME’s Most Influential People in 2012, is the Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and Co-Director of the Caring Across Generations campaign. She has been organizing immigrant women workers since 1996. In 2011, in response to the growing call for domestic workers who were hired as nannies and housekeepers to provide home care for their employer’s aging relatives, Poo launched Caring Across Generations in partnership with Jobs with Justice to address two of the major social issues of our time: widespread unemployment and the coming need for care for the nation’s expanding aging population. She is a 2013 World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, and was named on Fortune.com’s World’s 50 Greatest Leaders list for 2015. Her book, The Age of Dignity, was released earlier this year.
As the National Director for the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans, a coalition of thirty-four national Asian Pacific American organizations, Mini Timmaraju represents the interests of the greater Asian American (AA) and Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander (NHPI) communities in Washington, D.C. and strives to provide a national voice for AA and NHPI issues. NCAPA envisions a world where Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders work together to shape their future as part of the broader racial justice movement and advance their communities and country towards a common purpose of progress, prosperity, and well-being for all. She most recently served as Chief of Staff for Congressman Ami Bera, M.D.,the only Indian American serving in the U.S. House of Representatives. As Chief of Staff, Timmaraju was the primary staff member focused on the U.S.-India relationship and the larger Indian American community.
Joie Chen is the anchor of America Tonight, Al Jazeera America’s flagship current affairs show and contributes field reports for this unique long-form program as well. In the first year of the program, Chen reported from more than a dozen states and covered the aftermath of Supertyphoon Haiyan in the Philippines. She also led the network’s live coverage from Ferguson, Missouri. Previously, Chen served as a Washington, DC-based correspondent for CBS News and a frequent contributor to CBS Sunday Morning. During her time at CBS, she covered the White House, Capitol Hill and a wide variety of news stories across the United States, including the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. She was the network’s lead correspondent for the DC Sniper attacks, and was honored with an Emmy for her work. Prior to joining CBS, she was a primary anchor for CNN and CNN International.
Sylvia Mathews Burwell was sworn in as the 22nd Secretary of Health & Human Services (HHS) on June 9, 2014. A results-driven manager, Secretary Burwell has led large and complex organizations across the public and private sectors. As the Secretary of HHS, Burwell oversees more than 77,000 employees in work that touches the lives of Americans at every age, from every background, in every part of our country. She is committed to the mission of ensuring that every American has access to the building blocks of healthy and productive lives. Secretary Burwell has called for the Department to operate under three guiding tenets: to deliver results on a wide range of complex issues; to strengthen the relationships that drive progress; and to build strong teams with the talent and focus needed to deliver impact for the American people.
Julián Castro was sworn in as the 16th Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on July 28, 2014. In this role, Castro oversees 8,000 employees and a budget of $46 billion, using a performance-driven approach to achieve the Department’s mission of expanding opportunity for all Americans. “Julián is a proven leader, a champion for safe, affordable housing and strong, sustainable neighborhoods,” said President Barack Obama after Castro’s confirmation. “I know that together with the dedicated professionals at HUD, Julián will help build on the progress we’ve made battling back from the Great Recession – rebuilding our housing market, reducing homelessness among veterans, and connecting neighborhoods with good schools and good jobs that help our citizens succeed.”
Gina McCarthy is the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Appointed by President Obama in 2009 as Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, Gina McCarthy has been a leading advocate for common-sense strategies to protect public health and the environment. Previously, McCarthy served as the Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. During her career, which spans over 30 years, she has worked at both the state and local levels on critical environmental issues and helped coordinate policies on economic growth, energy, transportation and the environment. McCarthy received a Bachelor of Arts in Social Anthropology from the University of Massachusetts at Boston and a joint Master of Science in Environmental Health Engineering and Planning and Policy from Tufts University.
Jenny Yang was named Chair by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission by President Barack Obama on September 1, 2014. She was first nominated to serve on the Commission by President Obama on August 2, 2012, and was unanimously confirmed by the Senate on April 25, 2013, to serve a term expiring July 1, 2017. Ms. Yang had served as Vice Chair of the EEOC since April 28, 2014. As a member of the Commission and Vice Chair, Yang has led a comprehensive review of the agency’s systemic program, which addresses issues of alleged discrimination that have broad impact on an industry, profession, company or geographic area. She also represents the agency on the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and on the White House Equal Pay Enforcement Task Force. Throughout her career in the private, government, and nonprofit sectors, Ms. Yang has worked to ensure fairness and equal opportunity in the workplace.
As Vice President of Policy, Gautam Raghavan drives the Gill Foundation’s executive branch and agency efforts at both the federal and state level. He is responsible for crafting and monitoring new policy avenues to ensure a level playing field for all LGBT Americans. From 2011 to 2014, Gautam served as President Barack Obama’s liaison to the LGBT community as well as the Asian American & Pacific Islander community. In this role, Gautam directed the White House’s outreach around major policy developments advancing LGBT equality, including President Obama’s support for marriage equality and the implementation of the Supreme Court’s decision in Windsor, the signing of an Executive Order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT workers, the roll out and implementation of a Presidential Memorandum on international LGBT human rights, and administrative actions prohibiting LGBT discrimination in housing, health care, and other areas.
Praised for her spellbinding vocals and ability to stir the deepest emotions with her soulful melodies, Paula Fuga has established herself as one of Hawai’i’s most sought-after live performers. At an early age, she faced the vulnerabilities of living homeless on the beaches of Hawaii, seeing the destruction of drugs and violence. Fuga began with poetry as a platform to express her experiences. She bloomed into a songwriter when she began playing the ukulele in High School. In 2007, Fuga received the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award for Most Promising Artist. She has toured extensively with Jack Johnson, recorded with reggae royalty, Ziggy Marley and headlined the Alma Surf Festival in Sao Paolo, Brazil. Today, Fuga dedicates much of herself inspiring the youth across the world, sharing her story of perseverance and hope. She is an artist on a mission and music is her vehicle.
A remarkable and riveting performer, Kaumakaiwa Kanaka‘ole has been on the stage since she could walk. She now has five Nā Hōkū Hanohano (Hawaiian “Grammy”) awards to her name, and a growing reputation as “the voice of Hawai‘i’s new generation.” Her roots are the esteemed Kanaka‘ole Family of Hawai‘i Island, whose hula and Hawaiian cultural practices have been passed down through eight generations. Raised with strong Hawaiian traditions, Kaumakaiwa brings to the stage an immense talent as a singer, chanter, and dancer as well as a deep understanding of her culture and her place as a modern transgender Hawaiian. Her music draws from ancient ‘oli (chant) traditions, modern melodies, and original mele (songs), in a powerful mix of music that speaks to the heart and to the soul.
Social Entrepreneurship: Strong Communities Make for Good Business
As Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Michelle K. Lee provides leadership and oversight to one of the largest intellectual property offices in the world. Ms. Lee serves as a principal advisor to the President, through the Secretary of Commerce, on both domestic and international intellectual property matters, and provides leadership and oversight of the day-to-day management of the policy, budget, and operations for an agency of over 12,000 employees. She also promotes innovation domestically and drives international harmonization efforts, in support of the administration’s top economic priorities to increase economic growth. Ms. Lee is the first woman to serve as Director of the USPTO.
Don Chen directs the Ford Foundation’s Metropolitan Opportunity work. His team supports urban development strategies to reduce poverty, expand economic opportunities and advance sustainability in cities and regions in the U.S. and developing countries—with a focus on shaping the delivery systems for affordable housing, community improvement, infrastructure and city and regional planning.Don joined the foundation in 2008 as a program officer in Metropolitan Opportunity. Earlier, he was the founder and CEO of Smart Growth America, where he led efforts to create the National Vacant Properties Campaign and Transportation for America, and managed a merger with the Growth Management Leadership Alliance. He has authored many pieces on land use, transportation, social equity and environmental policy, including “Growing Cooler: The Academic Evidence on Urban Development and Climate Change” (2008, co-author) and “The Science of Smart Growth,” which appeared in the December 2000 issue of Scientific American.
Ms. Danner is from Hawaii where she is the executive director of the Homestead Community Development Corporation, dedicated to social enterprise and community facilities controlled by native Hawaiians on trust lands established by the U.S. Congress in 1920. HCDC operates a café, thrift shop, beauty salon, a marketplace for retail based entrepreneurs, as well as a youth and cultural campground and an enterprise training facility. One of its partnerships is a 60-acre solar facility set for completion in 2015. An advocate of Native rights, Danner spent 2 decades among American Indian and Alaska Native communities in her capacity as a bank executive, housing director for a large county, and executive director of a tribal housing authority. She retired as the founder of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement in 2013 to return to her home island for family and to focus on the economic self-reliance of Hawaiians residing on trust lands similar to Indian reservations.
Albert K. Shen has recently been appointed to serve as National Deputy Director of the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). In this role, Shen serves as the principal advisor to the MBDA National Director and will assist in managing the day-to-day activities of the Agency. Prior to his appointment with MBDA, Shen was a small business owner and respected community advocate whose leadership has made a big impact on some of the Northwest’s largest and most critical infrastructure and environmental clean-up projects. In 2009, Shen received the Seattle Mayor’s Small Business of the Year award, and in 2011 he was awarded the International Examiner’s Community Voice Outstanding Individual Award and also an Honoree for the 2011 Northwest Asian Weekly Asian American Pioneers in Social Entrepreneur.
Kabzuag Vaj was born in Laos and came to this country as a refugee child with her mother and siblings. She is a cofounder of RedGreen Rivers, LLC along with Bo Thao-Urabe, and KaYing Yang. RedGreen Rivers works with artisan makers, most of whom are women and girls, from the Mekong Region in Southeast Asia. RedGreen Rivers gets to know these artisan makers’ stories, learns about their gifts and talents then designs, produces, and purchases directly from them. Kabzuag is also co-founder and co-executive director of Freedom, Inc., which engages low- to no-income communities of color in Dane County, WI, to end violence against women and youth and to promote healthier living. Kabzuag was named a White House Champion of Change for her work to eradicate domestic violence in the community in 2011.
Shamina Singh is the Executive Director of the MasterCard Center for Inclusive Growth. She joined MasterCard in 2013 as the Global Director for Government Services and Solutions where she expanded MasterCard’s business capabilities to digitize social subsidy programs in over 40 countries. Prior to joining MasterCard, Shamina led Government and Public Affairs for Nike and spent five years with Citigroup’s Global Community Development Group. Over the course of 15 years in the public sector, she held senior positions within the Clinton Presidential Administration and the U.S. House of Representatives. She is a Young Global Leader and Member of the Global Agenda Council on India with the World Economic Forum, a Henry Crown Fellow with the Aspen Institute and served on the Presidential Advisory Commission on Military Leadership Diversity.
Congressman Ami Bera represents California’s 7th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. A first-generation American born and raised in California, Bera is guided by a desire to serve his community. It’s that commitment to service that led him to become a doctor and later run for Congress. During Congressman Bera’s twenty-year medical career, he worked to improve the availability, quality, and affordability of healthcare. After graduating from medical school in 1991, he did his residency in internal medicine at California Pacific Medical Center, eventually becoming chief resident. In Congress, Bera uses the skills he learned as a doctor to listen to the people of Sacramento County and to put their interests first. Congressman Bera is focused on creating jobs in Sacramento County by diversifying the region’s economy. Congressman Bera is the only Indian American currently serving in Congress.
When Storytelling Makes a Difference: The Power of Immigrant and Refugee Voices
León Rodríguez was confirmed by the Senate in June 2014 and sworn in on July 9, 2014, as the director of USCIS. He previously served as the director of the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services, a position he held from 2011 to 2014. From 2010 to 2011, he served as chief of staff and deputy assistant attorney general for civil rights at the Department of Justice (DOJ). Previously, Rodríguez was county attorney for Montgomery County, Maryland from 2007 to 2010. He was a principal at Ober, Kaler, Grimes & Shriver in Washington, D.C. from 2001 to 2007. He served in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania from 1997 to 2001, first as chief of the White Collar Crimes Section from 1998 to 1999 and then as first assistant U.S. Attorney until his departure. Before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Rodríguez was a trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division at DOJ from 1994 to 1997 and a senior assistant district attorney at the Kings County District Attorney’s Office in New York from 1988 to 1994.
Inhe Choi is a seasoned organizer in the areas of housing, women’s rights, and immigration reform. Since April 2014, she has been Executive Director of Korean American Resource and Cultural Center (KRCC) in Chicago. She previously worked as an independent consultant assisting community-based organizations and progressive foundations with strategic planning, organizational development, and fundraising. From 1996 to 2005, Inhe was Program Director at the Crossroads Fund, a public foundation that funds organizations working on social justice issues in the Chicago area. Before that, she worked in the Harold Washington administration in Chicago as the Community Resource Specialist for the Commission on Asian American Affairs. Inhe is a co-founder of KAN-WIN, an organization that supports Asian American survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. She immigrated to the U.S. from Seoul, Korea at the age of 12 and grew up in Chicago where she lives with her partner and two teenage children.
Mee Moua is the president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC). Founded in 1991, the AAJC is one of the nation’s premier civil rights advocacy organizations and works to advance the human and civil rights of Asian Americans, as well as to build and promote a fair and equitable society for all. Most recently, Ms. Moua was a three-term Minnesota State Senator, where she chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee, and had oversight responsibility for all state agencies in matter related to criminal, civil, and administrative law and procedures. Moua started her legal career in private practice in Minnesota. Born in Laos, she immigrated to the U.S. in 1978. She attended Brown University as an undergraduate, earned a master’s degree in public affairs from the University of Texas-Austin, and a law degree from the University of Minnesota.
Saba Nafees is currently pursuing a PhD with research focused in mathematical biology at Texas Tech University after graduating in May of 2014 with a Bachelor’s in Mathematics with Highest Honors. To graduate with this distinction, she wrote an original Honors Thesis on her research. As an undergraduate, she conducted research with Dr. Sean Rice, a theoretical evolutionary biologist, through the TTU Howard Hughes Medical Institute Program. In her undergrad, she had the pleasure of founding multiple student groups such as the Mathematics Ambassadors and the first ever Define American chapter inspired by Jose Antonio Vargas to encourage DACAmented youth in West Texas. She is also at the forefronts of the student entrepreneurship efforts at Tech, helping lead the Texas Tech Innovation Mentorship & Entrepreneurship program and involved in spearheading the social entrepreneurship sector of 3 Day Startup. In the upcoming school year, she will be serving as the Student Government Vice President for Graduate Affairs at Texas Tech along with continuing to serve as a One Young World Ambassador.
Manar Waheed is the Deputy Policy Director for Immigration at the White House Domestic Policy Council, where she assists with the development of the President’s strategy for building a 21st century immigration system. Prior to joining the White House, Manar engaged in policy work around immigration, profiling, hate violence, and gender equity as the Policy Director at South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT). Earlier in her career, she also assisted domestic violence survivors during her time at Legal Services of New York City, where she provided legal representation to survivors, and the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women, where she provided technical assistance on cases where survivors were charged with crimes.
Mike Honda proudly represents California’s 17th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. His district includes Silicon Valley, the birthplace of innovation and the national leader in high-tech development. Mike has dedicated his life to public service and is lauded for his focus on innovation and developing the jobs for the future, and his work on education, civil rights, immigration, transportation, and the environment in particular. During his time in Congress as an Appropriator, he has also secured over a half-billion dollars for projects benefiting the region, including the BART expansion to San Jose and funding for a variety of local law enforcement, healthcare, education and public works initiatives.
Every Student Counts: Forging an Equity Agenda for AAPIs
Ted Mitchell is the under secretary of education. He has served in this post since his confirmation by the U.S. Senate on May 8, 2014, following his nomination by President Barack Obama on Oct. 31, 2013. Mitchell reports to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and oversees policies, programs, and activities related to postsecondary education, adult, career and technical education, federal student aid, five White House Initiatives—Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Educational Excellence for Hispanics, Educational Excellence for African Americans, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and American Indian and Alaska Native Education—and the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. To spur education, economic growth, and social prosperity, Mitchell is charged with planning and policy responsibilities to implement President Obama’s goal for the U.S. to have “the best educated, most competitive workforce in the world” as measured by the proportion of college graduates by the year 2020.
Quyen Dinh is the Executive Director of the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC) where she brings over ten years of experience as a respected social change advocate, thoughtful nonprofit leader, strategic thinker, and effective communicator. Prior to assuming this role, Quyen joined SEARAC as Education Policy Advocate in 2011 and within two years, spearheaded national grassroots campaigns that led to the introduction of national legislation to disaggregate data for Asian American students. Prior to SEARAC, Quyen spent five years transforming early childhood education programs for Vietnamese families with the International Children Assistance Network (ICAN) in San Jose, CA by integrating participatory education, community mobilizing, and organizational development. Quyen holds a Master of Public Policy from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley. Quyen grew up in Orange County, CA and San Jose, CA.
For 25 years, Maria Hinojosa has helped tell America’s untold stories and brought to light unsung heroes in America and abroad. In April 2010, Hinojosa launched The Futuro Media Group with the mission to produce multi-platform, community-based journalism that gives critical voice to the voiceless by harnessing the power of independent media to tell stories that are overlooked or under reported by traditional media. As the anchor and executive producer of the long-running weekly NPR show Latino USA, and as anchor of the Emmy Award-winning talk show Maria Hinojosa: One-on-One from WGBH/ La Plaza, Hinojosa has informed millions of Americans about the fastest growing group in our country. Previously, a Senior Correspondent for NOW on PBS, and currently, a rotating anchor for Need to Know, Hinojosa has reported hundreds of important stories—from the immigrant work camps in NOLA after Katrina, to teen girl victims of sexual harassment on the job, to Emmy Award-winning stories of the poor in Alabama.
Julee Sum is a 19 year old child of Cambodian refugees born and raised in Long Beach, CA. After living for several years in a Thailand refugee camp, her family resettled in the United States in 1983. Julee became a member of Khmer Girls in Action in high school and helped launch the Youth at the CORE campaign to advocate for the wellness center in Long Beach high schools. Julee’s advocacy help to secure social, emotional, and mental health support for students. Julee is a recent graduate of Poly PAAL and is currently working two jobs to help support her family while applying to Long Beach City College.
Robert Teranishi is Professor of Social Science and Comparative Education, the Morgan and Helen Chu Endowed Chair in Asian American Studies, and co-director for the Institute for Immigration, Globalization, and Education at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is also a senior fellow with the Steinhardt Institute for Higher Education Policy at New York University and principal investigator for the National Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islander Research in Education. In 2015, he was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as a member of the Board for the Institute for Education Sciences. Teranishi was formerly a National Institute for Mental Health postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s W.E.B. Du Bois Research Institute. He received his B.A. from the University of California Santa Cruz in Sociology and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California Los Angeles in Higher Education and Organizational Change.
For more than twenty years, Mark Takano has worked to improve the lives of Riverside County residents, both as an elected official and as a teacher at Rialto High School. Born and raised in Riverside, Mark’s commitment to public service began at an early age. His family roots in Riverside go back to his grandparents who, along with his parents, were removed from their respective homes and sent to Japanese American Internment camps during World War II. After the war, these two families settled in Riverside County to rebuild their lives. Upon graduation, Mark returned home to Riverside and began teaching in the Rialto Unified School District in 1988. As a classroom teacher, Mark confronted the challenges in our public education system daily.Today, Mark Takano represents the people of Riverside, Moreno Valley, Jurupa Valley and Perris in the United States Congress. He serves on the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee and the House Education and Workforce Committee.
50 Years Later: New Voices for Civil and Human Rights
Vanita Gupta is serving as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General and Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. Prior to joining the department, Gupta served as Deputy Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union and Director of its Center for Justice. Previously, she was an attorney for its Racial Justice Program. Over her career, Gupta has earned a reputation for working closely and collaboratively with law enforcement, departments of corrections and across the political spectrum to advance smart policing and criminal justice reforms. Through her work with the ACLU, she has been involved in reform initiatives around the country pertaining to federal and state policing, sentencing, drug policy.
Sapreet Kaur is the Executive Director of the Sikh Coalition, and has been in this role since September 2009. She was a member of the Coalition’s Board of Directors for two years prior to joining the organization as staff. Sapreet previously served as the Managing Director of Strategy within the Human Assets team at Teach for America (www.teachforamerica.org), a national non-profit whose mission is to build the movement to eliminate educational inequity by enlisting our nation’s most promising future leaders in the effort. At Teach for America, Sapreet was responsible for facilitating the formulation and evolution of human capital priorities and strategies covering areas such as compensation, staff retention, organizational strength, and employee satisfaction.
As Executive Director of Empowering Pacific Islander Communities, Tana Lepule brings over a decade of experience working with communities to address health disparities, particularly among PI communities in San Diego. He is the Community Liaison/Representative for two nationally funded cancer disparities networks and has served as a national co-trainer and facilitator on community capacity building, tobacco education, and coalition development. Tana previously worked with the Union of Pan-Asian Communities as the Health Division Supervisor. Amidst those roles, Tana also served as a member of the California Governor’s Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs, was President of the Pacific Islander Festival Association. He is a graduate of San Diego State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies. Tana is happily married to Elena and the proud father of Leiana and Ionatana.
Tiloma Jayasinghe is an Activist Fellow at the Barnard Center for Research on Women and a gender justice consultant. She was most recently Executive Director of Sakhi for South Asian Women, a nonprofit working to end gender-based violence. Prior to that she was a Social Affairs Officer at the United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women where she was responsible for analyzing and identifying policies and practices eliminating violence against women from an international perspective. She was also the first National Advocates for Pregnant Women’s first Baron Edmond de Rothschild Staff Attorney Fellow where she focused her legal, educational, and organizational skills on the intersection of the war on reproductive rights and the war on drugs. She is a graduate of New York University and the George Washington University School of Law. As an associate at the international law firm Mayer, Brown, Rowe and Maw, LLP, she spearheaded a pro bono project supporting the development and creation of the Asian University for Women. She is also a birth doula and a founding member of With Woman Doula Cooperativa. Ms. Jayasinghe has served as the New York Chapter Representative to the Board of Directors of NAPAWF (National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum) and the Board of Directors of SisterSong, a women of color reproductive justice collective.
Helen Zia is an award-winning author, journalist, activist and Fulbright Scholar. She is the author of Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People, about the contemporary struggles of Asian American communities to be full participants in this American democracy. She is the former Executive Editor of Ms. Magazine and board chair of the Women’s Media Center. The daughter of Chinese immigrants, Helen has been outspoken on social justice issues ranging from human rights and peace to women’s rights and countering hate violence and homophobia. In 2008, she was one of 79 people in North America who carried the Olympic Torch in San Francisco. Her work on the landmark 1980s civil rights campaign against anti-Asian violence is documented in the Academy Award nominated film, “Who Killed Vincent Chin?” She was profiled in Bill Moyers’ PBS documentary, “Becoming American: The Chinese Experience.”
Phil Yu is the founder and editor of the popular Asian American news/culture blog Angry Asian Man. He is also co-host of the web talk show Angry Asian America on ISAtv, and host of Sound and Fury: The Angry Asian Podcast. Building a steady, loyal readership since 2001, Angry Asian Man has been called “a daily must-read for the media-savvy, socially conscious, pop-cultured Asian American.” Mixing humor with criticism, Phil’s commentary has been featured and quoted in the Washington Post, New York Times, National Public Radio, CNN, Wall Street Journal and more. Phil worked previously at the Center for Asian American Media in San Francisco, as a Content Producer for Yahoo! Movies, and currently serves on the Board of Visual Communications. He also appears in the Sundance documentary Linsanity, about the rise of NBA superstar Jeremy Lin, and is executive producer of the action/comedy web series Awesome Asian Bad Guys.
New Frontiers in Health Equity
Rajiv is a physician scientist who has pioneered public health practice innovations, including health impact assessments of public policies, neighborhood health indicators for monitoring urban growth and development, and open data for environmental regulation. His work has demonstrated new roles for the health sector in solving complex social problems and has brought health information and arguments to successful legislative campaigns for higher minimum wages, universal paid sick days, pedestrian safety, and environmental protections. Rajiv created and led the Program on Health Equity and Sustainability at the San Francisco Health Department, which became a invaluable resource for community health advocates and a national model for Health in All Policies. He is currently engaging health systems to collect and use a holistic measures of health and human needs to improve population health outcomes.
Tessie Guillermo has been the President & CEO of ZeroDivide, formerly known as the Community Technology Foundation of California, since 2002. ZeroDivide is a consultancy focusing on technology adoption and innovation to improve health, economic opportunity and civic engagement outcomes for disadvantaged communities. Prior to ZeroDivide Tessie served for 15 years as CEO of the Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum. She was appointed by President Clinton in 1999 as an inaugural member of the President’s Commission on AAPIs. Tessie recently completed a 10 year tenure as a member of the Board of Directors of The California Endowment, serving for 3 years as Chairwoman. She serves as an executive member of the Board of Directors for Dignity Health, the fifth largest health system in the U.S., is a board member of the Nonprofit Finance Fund, and the California State University East Bay Education Foundation, where she graduated with a BA in Economics.
Yin Ling Leung is the co-founder of Applied Research Works, an innovative technology company that accelerates new value-based payment models for a more equitable and sustainable health care system. She and her co-founder, Shaibal Roy, a data geek, are partners in business and life. While most modern health information technology aims to solve medical cost and quality issues, Leung wants to address the last-mile issues of health care data by sharing actionable real-time social risk data with doctors to prevent poor health outcomes. Leung began her early career as a teacher at Kulani Prison and in public schools in Hawaii and the SF Bay Area. She then became a social entrepreneur and held key leadership roles at Asian Immigrant Women Advocates, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Asians and Pacific Islanders for Reproductive Health and the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum.
Thu Quach, Ph.D. is the director of Community Health and Research at Asian Health Services, a federally qualified health center in Oakland, California, providing culturally competent health care to over 24,000 patients in English and 12 Asian languages. In this role, she oversees community outreach, patient engagement, and health policy advocacy efforts. In addition, she leads multiple clinic-based interventions and health care research projects. As an epidemiologist, she has focused much of her work on examining the influence of environmental and socio-cultural factors on the health of the Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders population. In addition to AHS, she also works at the Cancer Prevention Institute of California, where she leads research studies on environmental health issues affecting disadvantaged populations, including occupational chemical exposures for Vietnamese nails salon workers.
Dr. Tung Thanh Nguyen is Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where he provides medical care to a diverse patient population and teaches clinicians. He also serves as Director of the Asian American Research Center on Health, Director of the Vietnamese Community Health Promotion Project, and a Co-Principal Investigator of the Asian American Network for Cancer Awareness, Research and Training. In these roles, he has conducted research in health care prevention for Asian Americans, including studies to increase breast, cervical cancer, and colorectal cancer screening among Asian Americans as well as on tobacco use among Asian Americans. Dr. Nguyen holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Harvard University and an M.D. from the Stanford School of Medicine. Dr. Nguyen was appointed to the President’s Advisory Commission on AAPIs in 2011.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee is a forceful and progressive voice in Congress, dedicated to social and economic justice, international peace, and civil and human rights. First elected in 1998 to represent California’s then-9th Congressional District (now the 13th), the Democratic lawmaker has established a reputation for principled and independent stands, unafraid to take on the tough issues and speak her mind for her constituents, for a more just America, and for a safer world. She has aggressively represented the needs of the underserved and vulnerable people in her district and throughout the U.S., vigorously advocating for a wide range of social and economic concerns. In 2007, Congresswoman Lee (D-CA) joined with members of the Congressional Black Caucus, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA) of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and Rep. Joe Baca of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to form the Congressional Out of Poverty Caucus (COPC).
“We feel comfortable not knowing exactly where we’re headed,” says Red Baraat’s founder and bandleader Sunny Jain. Born and raised in Rochester, NY as a first generation Indian American, Jain drew upon his early musical education for the concept of Red Baraat. “I grew up hearing Indian classical music and devotional songs at home,” he recalls, “and my dad was always listening to 1960s Bollywood music on reel to reel. For Red Baraat, I really wanted a large band with a massive sound, but just drums and horns. The horns were really looking back at the brass band tradition of India, which was something I’d grown up with and seen since I was five years old. I wanted to put the dhol drum in front — the dhol is the dance drum of northern India, which you also hear in the film music of Bollywood — and fuse it with the Punjabi rhythms and the Indian brass band tradition.”
Arne Duncan is the ninth U.S. Secretary of Education. He has served in this post since his confirmation by the U.S. Senate on Jan. 20, 2009, following his nomination by President Barack Obama. Duncan’s tenure as secretary has been marked by a number of significant accomplishments on behalf of American students and teachers. He helped to secure congressional support for President Obama’s investments in education, including the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s $100 billion to fund 325,000 teaching jobs, increases in Pell grants, reform efforts such as Race to the Top and Investing in Innovation, and interventions in low-performing schools. Additionally, he has helped secure an additional $10 billion to avoid teacher layoffs; the elimination of student loan subsidies to banks; and a $500 million national competition for early learning programs. Under Duncan’s leadership at the Department, the Race to the Top program has the incentives, guidance, and flexibility it needs to support reforms in states.
Sally Jewell was sworn in as the 51st Secretary of the Interior on April 12, 2013. As Secretary of the Interior, Jewell leads an agency with more than 70,000 employees. Interior serves as steward for approximately 20 percent of the nation’s lands, including national parks, national wildlife refuges, and other public lands; oversees the responsible development of conventional and renewable energy supplies on public lands and waters; is the largest supplier and manager of water in the 17 Western states; and upholds trust responsibilities to the 566 federally recognized American Indian tribes and Alaska Natives. Prior to her confirmation, Jewell served in the private sector, most recently as President and Chief Executive Officer of Recreation Equipment, Inc. (REI). Jewell joined REI as Chief Operating Officer in 2000 and was named CEO in 2005.
Jeh Charles Johnson was sworn in on December 23, 2013 as the fourth Secretary of Homeland Security. Prior to joining DHS, Secretary Johnson served as General Counsel for the Department of Defense, where he was part of the senior management team and led the more than 10,000 military and civilian lawyers across the Department. As General Counsel of the Defense Department, Secretary Johnson oversaw the development of the legal aspects of many of our nation’s counterterrorism policies, spearheaded reforms to the military commissions system at Guantanamo Bay in 2009, and co-authored the 250-page report that paved the way for the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in 2010. Secretary Johnson’s career has included extensive service in national security, law enforcement, and as an attorney in private corporate law practice. Secretary Johnson was General Counsel of the Department of the Air Force from 1998 to 2001, and he served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York from 1989 to 1991.
Nominated by President Barack Obama and sworn in on July 23, 2013, Thomas E. Perez is the nation’s 26th secretary of labor. He has committed to making good on the promise of opportunity for all, giving every working family a chance to get ahead, and putting a middle-class life within reach of everyone willing to work for it. To accomplish this, Perez’s priorities for the department include ensuring a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work; connecting ready-to-work Americans with ready-to-be-filled jobs, through skills programs like Registered Apprenticeship and on-the-job training; promoting gender equality in the workplace; ensuring that people with disabilities and veterans have access to equal employment opportunity; and insisting on a safe and level playing field for all American workers.
Maria Contreras-Sweet became the 24th Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration and a member of President Obama’s Cabinet on April 7, 2014. Contreras-Sweet is a successful entrepreneur, business executive, and state cabinet official. Throughout her career in the public and private sector, she has been a champion of diversity, access to capital and equal opportunity for all Americans. Prior to her arrival in Washington, Contreras-Sweet founded the first Latino-formed commercial bank in California in more than 35 years. As the bank’s executive chairwoman, she focused on providing access to capital and counseling to small- and mid-size businesses in Los Angeles. She previously started a venture capital firm that invested in small businesses. Contreras-Sweet was the first Latina to hold a state cabinet post in California. As Secretary of Business, Transportation and Housing, she managed 13 departments, including Caltrans, the California Highway Patrol, the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Department of Financial Institutions.
Juju Chang is an Emmy Award-winning co-anchor of ABC News’ “Nightline.” She also reports regularly for “Good Morning America” and “20/20.” Chang covered breaking news of the devastating effects of Superstorm Sandy from lower Manhattan to Breezy Point to the Rockaways. She reported on the mass shootings in Newtown, Conn., interviewing a mother of one of the young victims. For a special “Nightline” series following the shooting at Sandy Hook, she profiled a young family of gun enthusiasts in Utah. Chang has covered global events and issues like the earthquake in Haiti and maternal and infant mortality in Mozambique. Her “Nightline” segments on parenting and lifestyle issues include a report on the shocking epidemic of newborns detoxing from painkillers. Her “On the Town” profiles with celebrities include Rod Stewart, Celine Dion and Carrie Underwood.
The Jabbawockeez became an international sensation after being crowned Season One Winners of MTV’s “Randy Jackson Presents America’s Best Dance Crew” in 2008. Since then they have amassed a worldwide following, mesmerizing millions with their unrivaled dance style wearing expressionless white masks and gloves during their performances. They create a canvas for their audience to visualize the music by painting imagery through their intricate and synchronized dance routines. The Jabbawockeez members each collectively contribute to all aspects of their performances through unique choreography, stylization and musicality. The Jabbawockeez became the first dance crew to headline a show in Las Vegas in 2010 at MGM Grand with their wildly popular show ”M.U.S.I.C.” Currently they perform their new show, “PRiSM”, in a custom-built, state-of-the art theater at Luxor Las Vegas, where they have a multi-year contract.
Plenary – #APAEverywhere: A Look Forward
Sakina Jaffrey can be seen as Sheriff Leena Reyes on FOX’s Sleepy Hollow and as White House Chief of Staff Linda Vasquez in the Netflix original series House of Cards. Previous television credits include recurring roles as Dr. Hickman, chief emergency room doctor on NBC’s Third Watch, and Mrs. Chandra Suresh on NBC’s Heroes. Guest star appearances have included Girls, Sex and the City, Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU, Blue Bloods, and Madame Secretary. In film, Sakina has appeared in Garry Marshall’s Raising Helen, Jonathan Demme’s The Truth About Charlie and The Manchurian Candidate, Sidney Lumet’s Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead; Shari Berman’s The Nanny Diaries; Frank Oz’s The Indian in the Cupboard; Merchant-Ivory’s Cotton Mary and The Mystic Masseur and dozens of independent films. She is a veteran theatre actress who has acted in New York and regionally. Sakna just finished performing in Bess Wohl’s Off Broadway hit play, Small Mouth Sounds, directed by Rachel Chavkin at Ars Nova.
Maulik Pancholy recently starred on Broadway in the hit production of “It’s Only A Play.” He played Jonathan on the Emmy®, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild award-winning NBC comedy 30 Rock, and Sanjay on Showtime’s dramatic comedy Weeds. He also starred on NBC’s Whitney, and recurred on Showtime’s Web Therapy. Other television includes The Good Wife, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, The Comeback, and The Sopranos. He voices the title character of Sanjay on Nickelodeon’s animated series Sanjay & Craig, and Baljeet on the Disney Channel’s Emmy® award-winning Phineas & Ferb. Pancholy shared the Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for “Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series” three times with the cast of 30 Rock (winning in 2009) and once with the cast of Weeds. Pancholy currently serves as a Commissioner on the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. He is active with a number of non-profit and social policy organizations and frequently addresses students at universities around the country about diversity in the media.
Harry Shum Jr. is best known for his role on Glee as Mike Chang. As a judge on truTV’s Fake Off, Harry returns this May for Season 2 of the competition series. In August, Harry will star in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon II – The Green Destiny. Harry is founder and executive producer of REMIXED, a weekly YouTube show bringing together dancers and musicians for unique collaborations. He also starred in, produced, and co-choreographed The LXD (Legion of Extraordinary Dancers). Harry is founder of Tenth + Fourth, a website exploring the intersection of creativity and commerce. Harry has toured with Kaci, Destiny’s Child, Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, Ashanti, Chris Brown, Jennifer Lopez, and Raven. In 2004, Harry landed his first acting job on the Fox series Boston Public, followed with guest-starring roles on Zoey 101, ABC Family’s Greek, and the hit TV movie iCarly: iGo to Japan. Harry landed a featured dancer role in the movie You Got Served. He followed with dance roles in Fast & Furious 3: Tokyo Drift, Stomp The Yard, Center Stage 2, and Bewitched. He also starred in Step up 2: the Streets, Step Up 3D and recently the independent feature White Frog.
B.D. Wong is currently Artist-In-Residence at La Jolla Playhouse, where he also acted in the LJP productions of Herringbone and The Orphan of Zhao. He directed The Yellow Wood at the New York Musical Theater Festival, Speak Up Connie at Stage Left Studio, and is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Following Foo: The Electronic Adventures of the Chestnut Man (Harper Entertainment). He made his Broadway acting debut (and received the Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Theater World, Clarence Derwent, and Tony Award) for M. Butterfly. He also appeared in the Broadway revivals of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown and Pacific Overtures, eleven seasons as George Huang on Law & Order: SVU and was a series regular on All-American Girl, OZ, and Awake. He has worked in over 20 films, including Jurassic Park, The Freshman, Father of the Bride, Seven Years in Tibet, Executive Decision, The Salton Sea, Stay, and Mulan and Focus. He can be seen in the upcoming film, Jurassic World (June).
Hudson Yang, 11, is a newcomer to the world of television, having begun his performing career less than 18 months before being cast as Fresh Off the Boat’s (FOTB) irrepressible protagonist Eddie. After a classmate told him about her experiences acting in a TV commercial, he begged his parents for the chance to try it for himself, finally convincing them to bring him to an open call for the movie The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete (2013). Despite his lack of experience, he was one of two finalists for the co-lead role of Pete, and impressed the casting director enough that she urged him to pursue acting seriously — even referring him to his current agents, Ellen Gilbert and Rachel Altman at Paradigm. Shortly thereafter, Yang was cast as Henry in the independent feature The Sisterhood of Night (2014), and then tried out for FOTB, where his audition caught the eye of Eddie Huang, series producer and author of the bestselling book that inspired the show. Born and bred in Brooklyn, Yang attends school in New York City. When not acting alongside the best and funniest ensemble cast in the business, Yang enjoys playing Minecraft, singing karaoke and eating shockingly large breakfasts.
Richard Lui has spent 25+ years in business and communications. Currently, he is a journalist and news anchor for MSNBC and NBC programs, and before that, CNN Worldwide, where he became the first Asian American male to anchor a daily, national cable news show in the U.S. His reporting has focused on politics, covering U.S. elections since 2004. He was also once a campaign manager. Lui’s community work spans three decades and six continents. He is a UN Spokesperson, U.S. State Department Traveling Speaker, and ambassador for several NGOs, focusing on gender equality and human trafficking. He’s received civil rights awards from NEA, AAAJ, AAJA, and others. Richard started in business, spending 15 years at technology enterprises, including patenting a payments backbone at Citibank, management consultant for the Mercer-IBM JV, and launching Lazarus Data Recovery and then CEE, a pneumatic technology brand. Business Insider recognized Richard as one of 21 careers to watch.
The Pinstriped Rebel spins an eclectic and fun mix of music, maintaining the highest quality control across a freeform blend of soul, funk, deep house & old school hip-hop, even throwing in some 80s freestyle & the occasionally obscure pop gem. Born and raised in Manila, Les fell in love with music at a young age, DJing at local clubs and playing in bands. Since moving to DC from the Philippines at age 20, she has continued to develop her talents, performing behind the decks throughout the U.S. and abroad.