More than 300 people gathered in Chicago’s James R. Thompson Center May 15, to celebrate the 18th annual Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, hosted this year by the Illinois Secretary of State Asian American Advisory Council. Asian Pacific
American Heritage Month, celebrated through May, pays tribute to the contributions generations of Asian Pacific Americans have made to American history, society and culture.
Joanie Lum, reporter, Fox 32 News Chicago and Ravi Baichwal from ABC7 moderated the event.
The opening remarks were presented by Jesse White, secretary of state.
“It is a privilege to welcome and celebrate the legacies of these prestigious individuals. I look forward to the continued success of Illinois’ outstanding Asian Pacific American community,” White is quoted saying in the press release from Syed Ullah.
Dr. John A Kalapurakal, professor of Radiation Oncology and Neurological Surgery at Northwestern University, received the Special Humanitarian Service Award. He also served as the keynote speaker for the event.
Commissioner Josina Morita with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, was honored with the Judge Laura C. Liu Trailblazer Award. Bala Ghimire was honored with the Appreciation Award. Austin Prabhu received the Humanitarian Excellence Award. Stephanie Chan Vo was honored with the Volunteer Achievement Award. Rebecca Yemin Shi received the Community Leadership Award.
Arshia Hasnain, executive director of Suzy’s Place was honored with the Community Service Award for her humanitarianism and activism. Her fight for domestic violence victims, provides emergency and transitional housing, and services, to women survivors of domestic violence through Suzy’s Place. Several other individuals were also honored with the Community Service Award including Neelofar Kanji, Yolanda Tubalina, Murad Husain, Kakrasana Nugroho, fujima Shunojo, Bok Hyung An, Azelena Ali Vandre, Satya Chaudhary, Mimi Moore, James Eursiriwan, and Jennifer Pham.