United Chinese Americans (UCA) has announced the winners of the 2022 Chinese American Convention Awards. There were two categories of the awards, national and community. The national awards winners were nominated, verified and selected by a nomination committee consisting of 19 community leaders, journalists and UCA Board members. The community award winners were selected by the UCA Board.
The National Awards winners are:
- Chinese American Lifetime Achievement Award: Mae Yih叶梅
- Advancing Justice Award: Anming Hu胡安明, A Philip Lomonaco and Jamie Satterfield
- Civic Leadership Award: Li Lu 李录
- Iris Shun-Ru Chang Award for Humanity: R Gregory Nokes
- Champion of Chinese Cultural Heritage Award: Ellen Qiongzhao Schicktanz 赵琼 and Vincent Zhou 周知方
- Youth Leadership Award: Christina Lu
- Chinese American Corporate Citizen Award: Eddie Ni 倪举凌
- Chinese American Charitable Giving Award: Agnes Hsu-Tang 徐心梅 and Oscar L Tang 唐骝千
- Congressional Champion Award: Jamie Ben Raskin
The Community Awards winners are:
1. UCA Outstanding Volunteer Award:
- Dr. Bing Zhang/Linda Li/Ching Juhl
- Shirley Xiaohong Ma 马晓红
- Ren Li 栋梁妈妈
- Jian (Lily) Chen 陈健
- Gary Guoliang Yu 俞国梁
- Vicky Cheng 程以克
- Hong Liu
2. Outstanding Chinese American Organization Award
WeChat User Alliance/Keliang(Clay) ZHU
- Chinese American Association of Lexington (CAAL)
- New Egnland Chinese American Alliance (NECAA)
- Los Angeles Chinese Musicians Ensemble Chorus
- Civic Leadership USA
- United Chinese Americans of Washington
- Austin Chinese-American Network
- UCA WAVES
3. Outstanding Community and Public Service Award:
- Tony XiaoJun Hu 胡晓军
- Dong Xiao Yue 岳东晓
- Melanie Lin 林小梅
- Qian Ge 葛倩
- Mealey Tom
- Joel Wong
The President’s office of UCA has also named four distinctive recipients of the President’s Special Awards for their outstanding service and contribution to the Chinese American community. They are:
1. President’s Award for Civil Rights and Social Justice
- Michael Makoto “Mike” Honda
- Steven Pei 白先慎
2. President’s Award for Community Contribution
- Elaine Peng
- Karina Hou
The 2022 Chinese American Convention & UCA National Youth Convention will be held in Washington DC from July 14 to July 16 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, 2500 Calvert St. NW, Washington, DC 20008. The awards will be presented to the winners during the Convention Gala and Award Ceremony on July 16.
The 2022 UCA Awards Committee members include Gene Chang* (chair), Jing Bi (secretary), Jinliang Cai*, Lily Jan Chen, Diana Ding, Xiaomin Dong*, Shuiwen Song James*, Mintao Jiang, Tao Jiang, Steven Lin*, Steven Pei*, Haipei Shue*, Wai-Yin Tsang, Sophia Wen, Jan Xie*, Mingdi Yang, Gary Yu*, Bing Zhang and Xiao Yan Zhang* (names with “*” are UCA board members).
Congratulations to all award winners! Many thanks to Awards Committee members and volunteers for your great work and valuable time!
Bios of the 2022 UCA National Award Winners
1. Chinese American Lifetime Achievement Award
Mae Yih 叶梅
Bio: Yih was born Chih Feng Dunn on May 24, 1928 in Shanghai, China. She went to St. John’s University in Shanghai. In September 1948, she transferred to Barnard College in New York City, graduating in 1951 with a bachelor’s degree in economics. She went to Columbia University for a master’s degree in accounting but did not complete. In 1953 she married Stephen Yih and later moved to Albany, Oregon with Stephen.
In Albany, Yih volunteered at her children’s school, eventually running for the local school board. She started service on the Clover Ridge Elementary School board in 1969, moving to the Albany Union High School board in 1975. In 1976, the local Democratic Party chairperson asked Yih to run for the Oregon State House. Yih won the election, defeating a Republican opponent who had 14 years of incumbency. Yih took office in 1977. She went on to serve three two-year terms in the House. In 1982, Yih decided to run for a seat in the Oregon State Senate. She won this election, and was re-elected in 1986, 1990, 1994, and 1998. Yih was elected Senate President Pro Tempore for the 1993–1995 session. Yih decided not to seek re-election in 2002 and retired at the end of her term in January 2003.
Known as a conservative Democrat, Yih’s many accomplishments included passage of laws establishing Enterprise Zones to promote job creations; Office of Oregon Trade Representative in Shanghai to enhance trade between Oregon and China; child support legislation to expedite child support and reduce public assistance; equal property tax relief for Linn County residents by correcting a legislative drafting error permanently; appropriation for regional Adolescent Drug & Alcohol Treatment Center; school curriculum to encourage sexual abstinence to reduce teen pregnancy; lottery funds for the rehabilitation and preventive maintenance of covered bridges and a study for assessing the health of the Willamette River. Yih was also known as a strong supporter of field burning because it is a more effective control of disease and insects than the use of chemicals. Yih introduced and passed legislation to establish sister state relationship with Fujian province, China in 1983. She accompanied Oregon governor Atiyeh to sign the agreement with Governor of Fujian province in 1984. Yih organized legislative leadership trade delegation to visit Fujian province and other cities in China in 1992, 1997, 2000, and 2002. Yih was awarded Honorary Citizen of Fujian Province in 1994.
Following her retirement in 2003, Yih received the Distinguished Service Award from the Albany Chamber of Commerce. This is the same award that her husband received in 1968. The Albany street Yih Lane, where her district office was, is named for her family.
2. Advancing Justice Award
Bio: Dr. Anming Hu is a Chinese-Canadian who had worked as an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville since 2013 and was promoted to tenured associate professor at July, 2019. On February 27, 2020, after 18 months of surveillance, he was arrested for not disclosing his association with a Chinese university and was terminated by the University of Tennessee. However, Professor Hu refused to plead guilty and decided to fight his case at the court. His case was the first academic tried under the “China Initiative.” With his determination and courage and support of his family and friends, one and half years later, on September 9, 2021, the trial resulted in acquittal and Hu was cleared of all charges. So far this is the only academic case that the court dismissed all charges. However, he could not win the case without the strong support of his defense attorney A Philip Lomonaco and former Knox News reporter Jamie Satterfield.
A Philip Lomonaco
Bio: Phil Lomonaco attended the University of Tennessee College of Law and was admitted to the United States District Court for the Eastern District in 1985 and the Tennessee Supreme Court in 1986. He is the founding and managing partner of the Law Offices of A. Philip Lomonaco, starting the firm in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1987. He was selected as one of the Best Lawyers in Knoxville for many years, and selected as one of the Best Lawyers in America in 2009 – 2010, 2013 – 2015, 2017 – 2020. Phil is more than Professor Hu’s defense attorney. He and his wife Yanli Du provided support to Hu’s family as personal friends through these two difficult years.
Bio: Jamie Satterfield is an award-winning journalist with more than 30 years of experience. Honors include a Scripps Howard Award for uncovering the poisoning of the workforce of the nation’s largest coal ash spill and induction into the East Tennessee Writer’s Hall of Fame. She built a reputation as a prolific and hard-nosed crime and courts reporter, but in recent years added environmental reporting to her beat following the 2008 disaster at the Kingston coal-fired power plant.
When University of Tennessee professor Anming Hu became the first academic to go to trial under the “China Initiative” in Knoxville, TN, most media coverage simply repeated the accusations made by the prosecutors. However, a week before the trial started on June 7, 2021, the clerk of U.S. District Court Judge Thomas A. Varlan called and suggested Jamie Satterfield to KnoxNews to cover Dr. Hu’s trial.
Satterfield’s coverage of the trial brought Dr. Hu’s case under national spotlight. In particular, her five reports starting on June 7 revealed the false accusations made by federal agents in their zeal to find a spy for China and the mishandling of the case by the University of Tennessee. After the judge declared a mistrial on June 16, Satterfield published four additional reports analyzing Dr. Hu’s case between June 23 and August 2 when the government requested the second trial, which was dismissed by Judge Varlan on September 9, 2021.
Satterfield’s reports also played a pivotal role in changing the public opinion about how the University Tennessee mishandled Dr. Hu’s employment and the reinstallation of his tenured position after Dr. Hu was acquitted of all charges.
Three of the awardees together won a big case for the Asian American and scientific community, which might have also contributed to the end of the “China Initiative” in Feb. 2022.
3. Chinese American Civic Leadership Award
Bio: Li Lu, is the founder and Chairman of Himalaya Capital, a multi-billion-dollar investment firm that primarily focuses on long-term investment opportunities in Asia and the U.S. He founded the firm in late 1997 and has been running its principal fund ever since.
Li Lu was born and raised in China. Li Lu attended Columbia University where he received three degrees simultaneously: B.A., J.D., and M.B.A. from Columbia College, Law School, and Business School.
Li Lu is the co-founder and board Chair of The Asian American Foundation (TAAF). He co-founded the Guardians of the Angeles Charitable Foundation to combat the global COVID-19 crisis and now serves as its board Chair. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of Columbia University and a member of the Board of Trustees of California Institute of Technology (Caltech).
Li Lu is a member of the Committee of 100, the Council on Foreign Relations, and an Aspen Institute Henry Crown Fellow. He is featured in the Smithsonian Institute’s Family of Voices, part of the ongoing Many Voices, One Nation exhibition at the National Museum of American History. He is the author of Moving The Mountain: My Life in China (1990 in English) and Civilization, Modernization, Value Investing—and China (2020 in Chinese). Li Lu was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2020.
4. Iris Shun-Ru Chang Award for Humanity
R. Gregory Nokes
Bio: R. GREGORY NOKES is the author of Breaking Chains: Slavery on Trial in the Oregon Territory and Massacred for Gold: The Chinese in Hells Canyon. He traveled the world as a reporter and editor for The Associated Press and the Oregonian. A graduate of Willamette University, he attended Harvard University as a Nieman Fellow. His reporting on the 1887 murders of more than thirty Chinese gold miners in Hells Canyon resulted in a formal designation of the site as Chinese Massacre Cove and was the basis for an Oregon Public Broadcasting documentary. Greg and his wife, Candise, live in West Linn, Oregon.
“Massacred for Gold: The Chinese in Hells Canyon” traces the Nokes’ long, personal journey to expose details of the massacre and its aftermath to understand how the crime was kept in the dark for so long. In the book, he tells of the experience of the tens of thousands of Chinese who journeyed across the Pacific to mine gold and build railroads throughout the American West and how hostility toward the Chinese resulted in Congress enacting the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882. The book is the first authoritative account of the long-forgotten 1887 massacre of as many as 34 Chinese gold miners in Oregon’s Hells Canyon.
5. Champion of Chinese Cultural Heritage Award
Ellen Qiongzhao. Schicktanz
Bio: Ellen Qiongzhao is a professional artist (oil painting and sculpture) and a senior curator of international art events, a doctor of literature and art history. President of the American Goddess Art Museum and Deputy Secretary of the Rodin International Artists Foundation. She graduated from Kyoto University of Art and design in Japan, Northwest University Writer Class in China and Tokyo Waseda University in Japan. She has participated in many international art exhibitions and her work has been collected or used as urban art landscape by many institutions, such as Fuji Art Museum of Japan, the Museum of the American Revolution, The National Constitution Center ，The American Chinese Museum and World Foundation of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and other institutions. She immigrated to the United States in 1997 as a distinguished artist and later became a U.S. citizen. In 2018 Ellen Qiongzhao received the “Ellis Island Medal of Honor” at the American Multicultural Supreme Immigration Awards.
In 2019, as the first Asian artist, she successfully held a personal oil painting and sculpture art exhibition at the National Memorial of the Federal Hall in New York ( where the first US President George Washington was inaugurated ). The Chinese Cultural Foundation of the United States and the Rodin International Artists Foundation co-sponsored, supported by the National Memorial of the Federal Hall in New York and provided exhibition venues. She has earned the highest honor and excellence award at the 43rd New York Art expo 2021. At the same time, the New York Times Square NASDAQ big screen broadcast Ellen’s award-winning information and her oil painting sculpture series.
Bio: Vincent Zhou is an American figure skater. He is a 2022 Olympic Games team event silver medalist, a two-time World bronze medalist (2019, 2022), the 2021 Skate America champion, and a three-time U.S. national silver medalist (2017, 2019, 2021).
Vincent, US National Olympic Team Skater, proudly demonstrated his Chinse Heritage in the Olympics as well as other worldwide competitions. Recognized that “this Olympics is going to be the most significant competition of my career” as a US athlete, he selected the traditional Chinese style garments, used Chinese music from Hidden Dragon Crouching Tiger in his programs, and greeted the audience with a traditional Chinese greeting of clenching his hands (抱拳）. He presents his Chinese heritage and culture in the broadest world theater with pride.
6. Youth Leadership Award
Bio: Christina Lu is an 18-year-old senior at Central High School in Philadelphia. On Wednesday, Nov. 17 2021, Christina was riding home from school when she noticed a group of Black girls “tormenting” another group of Asian-American students who attend Central. When she tried to intervene, the group of harassers turned on her, injuring her to the extent that she required hospitalization. The attack has reignited fears in Philly’s Asian communities about racially motivated violence. Two days after the attack, YLin Chen and Michael Chen, the mother and brother of Christina, set up a GoFundMe for her, entitled “Support Christina in Advocating for Public Safety”, to campaign against Asian hate crimes and advocate for the safety of students when taking public transportation. The campaign raised more than $700,000 with more than 13,000 donors.
7. Chinese American Corporate Citizen Award
Finalist: Eddie Ni
Bio: Own importing & exporting businesses for building materials; President & Chairman of Real Estate Development Companies, develop high rise & sky scraper buildings, commercial & residential buildings in United States & China; shopping center development in U.S
Eddie Ni is a Chinese-American business leader and entrepreneur, social activist and philanthropist. As CEO of Windfall Group, where his global empire was based, his financial and political influence as derived from his diverse holdings which included the catering industry, building material, real estate, and biotechnology led Crain’s Business Magazine, Plain Dealer, and many Chinese Newspaper and Magazines to call him ‘one of the most excellent Chinese-American business models.
8. Chinese American Charitable Giving Award
Finalist: Agnes Hsu-Tang and Oscar L. Tang
Bio: Oscar Liu-Chien Tang (唐騮千) is a Shanghai-born American financier who co-founded Reich & Tang, an asset management firm. He graduated from Yale and received an M.B.A. from Harvard. Tang was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2005. Prior to this, he was appointed to the New York State Council on the Arts from 2000 to 2004 and the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities from 1990 to 1993. He also co-founded the Committee of 100 with Yo-yo Ma, I.M. Pei and others in 1989.
Dr. Hsin-Mei Agnes Hsu-Tang (徐心眉) is a Taipei-born archaeologist and art historian. She received her Ph.D. in Chinese art and archaeology from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Hsu-Tang was a Mellon fellow at Cambridge and an assistant professor of Chinese archaeology at Brown. She is Chairwoman of the New-York Historical Society board of trustees and a Distinguished Consulting Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Dr. Hsu-Tang works in cultural heritage protection and rescue and has advised UNESCO and the U.S. Cultural Property Advisory Committee.
Just over the past ten years, they have co-founded the Hsu-Tang Library for Classical Chinese Literature at Oxford University, the Tang Center for Silk Road Studies at Berkeley, and the Tang Center for Early China at Columbia University. In addition, they have also donated to the New-York Historical Society, New York Philharmonic and many other institutions to support Chinese arts and East Asian cultures including the $125 million – the largest ever capital gift to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in November 2021 – to fund the renovation of the Modern and Contemporary Wing at The Met. In honor of their generosity, The Met has renamed the modern and contemporary galleries to the Oscar L. Tang and H.M. Agnes Hsu-Tang Wing.
During the COVID pandemic, they co-founded The Yellow Whistle campaign to combat anti-Asian violence and historical discrimination against Americans of Asian descent. The campaign distributed 500,000 free customized yellow whistles emblazoned with the slogan “WE BELONG” at rallies and through a national alliance of activist organizations and has received extensive national press coverage to raise awareness.
9. Congressional Champion Award
Bio: Jamin Ben Raskin is an American attorney and politician serving as the U.S. representative for Maryland’s 8th congressional district since 2017. The district is located in Montgomery County, an affluent suburban county northwest of Washington, D.C., and extends through rural Frederick County to the Pennsylvania border. A member of the Democratic Party, he served in the Maryland State Senate from 2007 to 2016.
In Congress, Raskin is the chair of the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties and the co-chair of the Congressional Freethought Caucus. He was also the lead impeachment manager for the second impeachment of President Donald Trump in response to the attack on the U.S. Capitol.Prior to his election to Congress, he was a constitutional law professor at American University Washington College of Law, where he co-founded and directed the LL.M. program on law and government and co-founded the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project.
Representative Raskin openly denounced ethnic profiling in DOJ’s investigations of scientists of Chinese descent under China Initiatives, saying: “That is not acceptable in the United States of America, which was founded on principles of equality and justice. We reject guilt by association, we reject notions of collective guilt or ethnic or racial guilt. The United States is a welcoming place, it is open to people of all backgrounds and to creative ideas, and to scientific research and inquiry. That is how we established ourselves as a world leader in innovation and technology, by allowing for free-flowing thoughts and theories. By targeting people who are ethnically Chinese, without evidence, we are hampering our ability to be that world leader and we are harming an entire community.”
Bios of 2022 UCA Community Awards Winners
UCA Outstanding Volunteer Award
Dr. Bing Zhang/Linda Li/Ching Juhl
Bio: Dr. Bing Zhang is a professor of Biological Sciences at University of Missouri. Ching Juhl is a producer, director, DP, editor as well as a music professor and concert violist. Juhl has been creating documentary shorts, videos of live performance, audition, interview and web-videos for more than 20 years.
After UCA 2018 convention, Dr. Bing Zhang and Linda Li launched Yang Gang support groups in with over 800 members, which became the leading force for many Chinese Americans to participate in a Presidential primary and made our presence felt in grass root engagements such as Iowa and New Hampshire. Ching Juhl, a media producer from NY, spent one year documenting the Yang Gang movement from New York to Iowa and New Hampshire, which won 5 awards in film festivals and put Andrew Yang and his Humanity First movement in public focus.
Shirley Xiaohong Ma
Bio: Shirley Ma is a founding member, board director and long-term volunteer of UCA. She is a senior scientist working in the area of drug development for cancer immune-therapy in the SF Bay Area after her Master’s degree study in SFSU in 2000. Shirley received her medical education in China Medical University in 1991.
Shirley joined the UCA national board in 2017 and has been an active and dedicated founding member of this organization. She has been serving as the Secretary of the Board and leading the committee of UCA Donors and Members Services. She has been the key member supporting UCA national operations and programs, UCA conventions and local outreaching activities, UCA donor database management and donor following up services.
Lily Jian Chen
Bio: Jian (Lily) Chen is a registered nurse and Certified Nurse Educator by the National League of Nursing. She currently teaches community health nursing and elder care nursing at North Carolina Central University (NCCU). Lily is a long-time volunteer in her local communities and was part of the core team instrumental in helping to elect the first Chinese American State Representative in Illinois. She was one of the founders of UCA and a key organizer for two Chinese American conventions. She has also successfully coordinated multiple national and local programs, including the UCA Youth Mental Health Collaborative WAVES (Wellness, Advocacy, Voices, Education, Support) since 2016. Lily was previously the Executive Director of UCA, as well as founding President and Board Chair of UCA Illinois Chapter. She serves as the project director for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Clinical Scholar leadership development program and the Nursing Student Peer Mentoring Program at NCCU. She is a certified Mental Health First Aid MHFA instructor.
Lily has played critical roles in organizing three Chinese American conventions and coordinating multiple UCA programs, such as WAVES.
Bio: Gary Yu is the founder and chairman of Boston International Media Consulting Inc and Boston Asian Radio & TV Station, president of North America Hangzhou Association. president of North America Nanning Association. president of APAPA Boston chapter. Has worked as a reporter for Sing Tao Daily, World Journal and other media. Gary is an at large UCA board member and also serves as a team member of UCA Executive Team. Gary has worked tirelessly to deliver the UCA news.
Ren Li Dongliang Mama
Bio: Ren is the founding member of UCA IL, and instrumental in implementing EVERY UCA IL as key organizers.
She was indispensable in organizing the first event Jiaozhi festival in 2017, and two more thereafter – the most labor intensive events with hundreds participating and tens of thousand dollars raised for UCA IL . Jiaozi festival helped UCA IL in a unique position in connecting with local organizations and community members. Ren also is passionate about sharing Chinese culture through food, music, and arts with local communities. She was often found in festivals and school events.
As a former teacher in China, her heart has always been on developing our next generation. She not only has the most effective way of connecting with our youth and being trusted and well respected by every youth intern working with her, she also knows how to work with all agencies, organizations, and state legislators such as Rep Theresa Mah creating a positive environment for our youth. Under her leadership, UCA IL youth summer internship program was offered three full time positions (college students) by the State of Illinois Central Management System this summer, and UCA IL was recognized by the mayor of City of Aurora (the second largest city in Illinois) with outstanding community service award (we had intern there). Overwhelming positive feedback from interns, their parents and government agencies including Illinois State.
Ren participated in both UCA convention mental health sessions, and helped organize the 2017 Asian Parents, American Children youth mental health conference in Chicago and it drew 250 participants nationwide. She continues to help organize many webinars, and became a Mental Health First Aid – youth trainer in Jan, 2021 so she can better serve youth. She has been a strong advocate and frequent speaker to decrease stigma and increase mental health knowledge in our community. She is parent ambassador leaders at WAVES-UCA Youth Mental Health Collaborative.
Ren singly handly organized her students and parents and raised $241, 599 to buy PPES, arranged logistics, contacted five Chicago hospitals and clinics, and transported them. She helped organize a UCA IL team and participated in UCA’s Food of Love.
Ren is the outreach sponsor for 2018 UCA convention, bringing over 12 participants (brought multiple participants as well), and currently organizing UCA IL youth and showcase teams to the convention (team of 7-10 people) . She donated to UCA thousands of dollars, and continued to help fundraise for UCA IL for convention.
Vicky Cheng 程以克
Bio: Vicky Cheng is a senior IT professional with over 30 years’ experience, an author of 20+ Children books for pre-teen published in China and USA, the chief editor of “It’s My Book, which is the first Chinese Guided Reading series” published Level 1-8 in the USA. She is also a host of Dr. Zhang DaoLong’s talk show series on Popular Psychology/Personality Disorders. Vicky has engaged local Chinese community activities as one of key persons to help the management of several large-scale concerts/performances in Chicagoland. Vicky Cheng is a member of UCA Executive Team.
Vicky has been supporting many UCA events and projects. Since she joined UCA a few years ago, she has been helping managing data and collecting important informations for different events and have been delivering high quality results. She exemplified what an unsung hero is.
Bio: Ms. Liu is one of the founding members of UCA -MA. She has been a generous donor to many important causes taken up by United Chinese Americans and other non-profit organizations. She has supported the campaign for Lindy Li, and was the biggest donor for Sherry Chen in MA. She has given a lot to the local communities and has led several organizations herself. Recent few years she has donated $5000+ to UCA. She and her husband will come to this convention and donate $4000. She has also done a lot community volunteer work and helped Chinese people with employment and internship at the hotels she owns.
Outstanding Chinese American Organization Award
WeChat User Alliance/Keliang (Clay)
Bio: Mr. Keliang “Clay” Zhu’s practice specialties include cross-border merger & acquisition, export control and corporate compliance, commercial litigation, and international tax planning in the U.S. He earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) degree and has practiced law in the U.S. since 2000. He is licensed in both California and Oregon. He used to serve as a senior legal counsel to the World Bank and the U.N. Food & Agriculture Organization on their projects in China. He currently is the Managing Partner of the Silicon Valley Office.
As the Founder of WeChat User Alliance, Clay and fellow lawyers quickly formed the US WeChat User Alliance shortly after the Trump administration issues order to ban WeChat in the United States.
USWUA successfully defended the rights and defeated the US to ban WeChat in the United States for millions of its users.
Chinese American Association of Lexington (CAAL)
Bio: Chinese American Association of Lexington (CAAL) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and has been proudly serving Lexington and its Chinese-American community for the past 39 years since 1983.
With the rapid influx of Chinese families, CAAL has doubled its efforts to work with the town, the school system and a host of community organizations. Most recently CAAL has undertaken an epic $280,000 Covid relief campaign for the Lexington community and beyond. CAAL has been recognized as the most impactful town level community organization in the US.
Among the many events CAAL organized, Lunar New Year celebration is CAAL’s tradition of decades. Known as the best party in town, it draws hundreds of in-person participants, to tens of thousands of online audiences.
CAAL’s other tradition of decades is Candidate Forum where they invite town wide candidates to meet with the community. CAAL continues to encourage Chinese Americans to participate town activities and increase civic participation. There are more Chinese Americans decided to run town meeting and participated various town committees. As of 2021, there are 16 Chinese American town meeting members, and 30 people joined various town committees
CAAL has worked with the town and AAPI Youth Team on a series o celebration events for the May AAPI Heritage Month to promote AAPI culture, unity, solidarity and belonging. In each week of May, they feature a different aspect of AAPI including history, art, food and a cumulative festival celebration and 5K Run on Memorial Day May 30th. Please reference the link below:
New England Chinese America Alliance(NECAA)
Bio: NECAA journey started with fighting with the pandemic. Established at the beginning of 2020, NECAA is dedicated to fairness, justice, peace, and humanity. More than 50 Chinese American associations in New England united to support China in fighting COVID-19. The Alliance was rapidly formed to collect donations and send the urgently needed medical supplies to the hospitals in China. Most medical supplies were sent to the temporary hospitals, known as FangCang, and permanent hospitals in Wuhan, the city that suffered most in China.
As the pandemic has spread to the U.S., NECAA is now focusing on supporting the U.S. by collecting donations, procuring medical supplies from China, and distributing them to hospitals, police stations, senior homes, and other places with urgent needs. The initiative also includes but not limited to watching the discriminatory situation for and offering support to the Chinese Americans and help the Chinese American businesses survive during the pandemic. It also shares verified pandemic-related information with the community.
After the pandemic tapers off, many members of the NECAA started a new chapter. NECAA, New England American Alliance is dedicated to promoting civic engagement and social welfare of New England Chinese Americans.
As one of the few 501C4 organizations in the New England area, NECAA has done a lot of outstanding work in encouraging Chinese people to participate in politics, such as pushing for legislation to include Asian history in U.S. elementary and middle school textbooks, organizing over 80 rallies of various ethnic organizations, calling for an end to racial discrimination and hate crimes, participating in UCA food drives, etc.
Los Angeles Chinese Musicians Ensemble Chorus
Bio: LACMEC was founded 25 years ago. Since its inception, LACMEC has been promoting Chinese American cultural heritage and serving the multi-ethic community in Southern California uninterruptedly, performed more than 150 concerts.
Civic Leadership USA
Bio: The Civic Leadership USA is a 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2013. It was the vision of Mr. Sandy Chau, chairman of the board. The Foundation is headquartered in San Mateo California.
Civic Leadership USA has been doing all the years to create a pipeline for Civic Leaders for a fair and harmonious society, to strengthen the status, image, participation, influence, and collaboration in the civic engagement of Asian Americans.
United Chinese Americans of Washington
Bio: UCAWA is a local chapter of United Chinese Americans in Washington State founded in 2018. UCAWA has been actively taking the leadership to serve the local Chinese American community. Since its inception, it has organized and led the local Chinese American community to donate money and medical equipment to local hospitals during the pandemic, raise relief fund for people in-need, rally for Stop Asian Hate and Chinese Expulsion Remembrance, and celebrate Chinese cultural heritage, etc. UCAWA was one of two winners of the UCA membership development pilot program.
Austin Chinese-American Network
Bio: Austin Chinese-American Network (ACAN) is a leading Chinese community organization in Austin TX. ACAN devotes itself to serving the Great Austin community and to promoting Chinese-American solidarity. It organizes active community services, raises awareness of Chinese culture, encourages civic engagement and incubates young leaders.
Over the years, ACAN has been doing amazing amount of volunteering work. It has a great youth program. Few Chinese American community organization has as much as ACAN has and won so much acclaim from local community and media.
Outstanding Community and Public Service Award
Tony XiaoJun Hu
Bio: Tony (Xiao Jun) Hu is a celebrity chef, restaurateur, culinary teacher and mentor, and community leader. Hailing from China’s Sichuan province, Chef Tony graduated from The Culinary Institute of Sichuan, China’s premier culinary institute, in 1989. In 1993, he immigrated to the U.S. as a special technician chef, establishing himself in Chicago as a trailblazer for introducing authentic Sichuan cuisine to a Chinese culinary scene largely dominated by Canton cuisine.
Chef Tony’s unwavering passion for promoting and elevating Chinese culinary culture in the United States and China-US Relationship. Nicknamed Chicago’s “Mayor of Chinatown,” Chef Tony shaped Lao Sze Chuan into one of America’s most beloved Chinese restaurants with a nationally-acclaimed reputation for providing traditional Sichuan cuisine with high-quality ingredients.
Dong Xiao Yue
Bio: Dongxiao was a physicist by training and software engineer in 1990s. In 1997 Ana Mae He was given to temporary custody to a TN Baker’s family due to extradentary hardships what ensured was a custody battle that lasted 8 years and all the way to the Supreme Courts of Tennessee and The US. Anna was eventually reunited with her family in 2007. Through it all, Dong Xiao was the De facto legal counsel and instrumental in the custody battle with strong logic and understanding of the law that eventually helped the Hes reunited. Dongxiao’s personal conviction and courage despite all odds deserve recognition from our community. Dongxiao has been actively providing legal advice to the Chinese American community through writings and seminars. He took an active role in U.S. WeChat Users Alliance’s campaign against Trump Administration’s executive order on use of WeChat.
Bio: Melanie has been tirelessly serving the town and Chinese community over the past decade. She is currently the co-president of CAAL, Chair of CAAL Civic Engagement Committee, and Board Member of the Cary Library Foundation. Melanie is one of the most recognizable faces representing the Chinese community in Lexington, MA.
Melanie has been an active member of the Chinese American Association of Lexington (CAAL) for the past decade. She has served CAAL in different capacity including Chair of Civic Engagement Committee, Secretary, Vice president of Communications and Operations. She currently serves as Co-president of CAAL. She has also served in numerous town committees including Town Celebrations Committee, 300th Anniversary Celebrations Committee, Town Manager Search Committee, and most recently the Cary Library Foundation Board.
Melanie has been a key leader for Chinese American Association of Lexington over the past decade. With the rapid influx of Chinese families, CAAL has doubled its efforts to work with the town, the school system and a host of community organizations. Most recently CAAL has undertaken an epic $280,000 Covid relief campaign for the Lexington community and beyond. CAAL has been recognized as the most impactful town level community organization in the US! CAAL was also known for its massive CAAL for Cary fundraising of $75,000. Lunar New Year Celebration and Candidate forum each year are CAAL traditions of decades.
Melanie co-founded Community Task Force in 2011 with a mission to promote Chinese American civic engagement. In 2011, Melanie wrote a touching letter to the Chinese community after attending a town wide community conversation where she saw very few Chinese faces in the event and asking the community to engage more with the broader community. The letter drew very positive responses from the community. A group of people decided to work together to make a change, which is the start of the Community Task Force (CTF) which draw many new blood and later become leaders for CAAL
Under Melanie’s leadership, the civic engagement committee (former CTF) and the town joined effort on “push and pull”, successfully engaged more Chinese Americans for civic participation. As of 2021, there are 16 Chinese American town meeting members, and over 30 people joined town committees. Melanie also organized many CAAL candidate forums.
Bio: Qian Ge is the Co-president of NECAA, president of WeStar, a Chinese association in Westom, Massachusetts, entrepreneur. Qian Ge has been enthusiastic about public welfare and has been serving the community for a long time. She has spared no effort in donating money and led the community to do many meaningful things, such as donating money to buy PPE and donate to China and the United States, and participating in promoting the writing of Asian history into the textbooks of primary and secondary schools in Massachusetts.
Bio: Maeley Tom Trailblazer in Asian American politics. Maeley Tom’s 20-year career in the State Legislature of California (1974-1994) was during an era when Asian Americans were struggling to find a voice in politics and public policy. During this period she was able to break the glass ceiling twice in the State Capitol by becoming the first woman and ethnic minority to serve as the Chief Administrative Officer of the State Assembly and subsequently serve as the Chief of Staff to the President of the State Senate.From 1994 – 2000, she became one of the first Asian American woman to serve as a Senior Vice President of a prominent Washington D.C. lobbying firm, Cassidy and Associates. Subsequently, she and her husband formed their own California public affairs firm, Tom & Associates in 2001 until her retirement in 2014. Mealey Tom is recognized for her contributions to the empowerment of the Asian American voice in politics and government at the state and national level for more than 4 decades. She has set a great example to Asian women and our next generations on What does American Dream mean to us and how to serve the community as a contributor and an outstanding leader.
Bio: Joel Wong retired as a scientist/engineer from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 2000 where he was the Division Leader of the Environmental Safety and Health Division. He was the founder and CEO of the Environmental Safety Services, a private consultation firm.
Currently, Joel is the President of the NAAPAC (formerly 80-20 PAC) and NAAUnited organizations. He served on the National Governing Board and the Public Policy and Issues Committee of APAPA and chaired the CLUSA (Civic Leadership USA) Editorial Committee. He is an Advisor on APIA issues for DingDingTV .Asian Pacific Affairs Council; the President of the CAPA (Chinese American Political Association); and the CAPA Public Affairs Education Fund.
Joel has been a volunteer in many organizations: Asian Pacific Affairs Council; Chinese American Political Association; CAPA Public Affairs Education Fund; NAAPAC (formerly 80-20 PAC); APAPA; Civic Leadership USA; Silicon Valley Community Media and more. He full time devoted himself serving the community for over 20 years. He wrote articles weekly, Empowering Asian Americans & Promoting Better Relations with China and Asian Pacific countries. Not like other well recognized Asian Americans, he is Unsung Hero that need to be known by our community.
Bio: UCA WAVES is a youth mental health collaborative that seeks to provide support particularly among Asian American families. Chinese/Asian American youth often suffer “silently” with stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues. Stigma against mental illness, social isolation, cultural expectations, identity issues, low mental health literacy, and lack of available Chinese-speaking or culturally sensitive mental health professionals – these are only some of the barriers that stand in the way of getting help. In response, we as a collaborative community are here to stand together and work towards Wellness, Advocacy, Voices, Education, and Support (WAVES).
Since 2016, WAVES has served thousands of community members in the U.S. and abroad through “Asian Parents American Children,” a free, open series of mental health educational seminars. In 2020 and 2021, WAVES webinars drew over 5,000 participants from all 50 states. Amidst a rise of anti-Asian hate during the pandemic, WAVES organized educational webinars, including a Self-Defense and Empowerment training and an Op-Ed writing workshop titled “Silent No More: We Rise Up and Write Up.” In 2021, the UCA WAVES Program (WAVES) sponsored the training of five Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) instructors. In 2022, WAVES released documentary film “Silent War: Asian American Reckoning with Mental Health,” which features four Asian American families and their grappling with mental health issues. WAVES is currently creating an educational toolkit for Asian American parents, which will focus on youth voices, general mental health knowledge, communication skills, and self-compassion.
UCA President’s Special Awards
Special Award for Civil Rights and Social Justice
Michael Makoto "Mike" Honda
Bio: Michael Makoto “Mike” Honda was a member of the Democratic Party, he served in Congress from 2001 to 2017. Over the course of his 16-year career in Congress, the affable Mike Honda quietly attained positions of authority in the House Democratic Caucus, serving on the party’s Steering and Policy Committee and rising to a seat on the House Appropriations Committee. An advocate of tolerant and inclusive policies, Honda led the Congressional Progressive Caucus and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and helped found the LGBT Equality Caucus. According to a political scientist based in Honda’s hometown of San Jose, Honda “really puts the K in ‘Kumbaya.’”
For more than four decades, Congressman Honda has been a stalwart champion of civil rights for the AAPI. In 2016, at a hearing of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations, U.S. Rep. Mike Honda, the lead Democrat on the subcommittee, questioned Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey. He specifically asked about the shameful treatment of Sherry Chen, a NOAA employee, and Dr. Xiaoxing Xi, Chairman of the Physics Department at Temple University, and called on Comey to apologize for the treatment of Xi and Chen.
Steven Pei 白先慎
Bio: Steven Pei is an Electrical Engineering Professor, the Executive Director of the Southwest Public Safety Technology Center founded by the Congress and a member of the faculty senate at the University of Houston. He was born in Guilin and grew up in Taiwan. Prior to joining academia, he was a department head at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, NJ. In Houston, he co-founded the first Asian American PAC in Texas in 2000 and served as its president. He was also a member of the founding boards of several APA and environmental organizations including the founding chair of United Chinese Americans. Steven Pei is an at large UCA board member, the Chair of UCA Governance Committee.
Steven Pei has made great contribution to UCA’s effort to fight against anti-Asian hate crimes, civil right violations of Asian Americans, and racial profiling and surveillance of Asian American scientists, particularly of Chinese descent, by DOJ under its China Initiatives program.
Special Award for Community Contribution
Bio: Elaine, Founder & President, National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) Chinese Chapter /Mental Health Association of Chinese Americans. Elaine is an incredible advocate on all fronts of civic engagement: community service (mental health services, housing, food of love), voter registration, Chinese American rights (plaintiff for Trump’s WeChat ban that successfully won), anti-Asian hates (organizing hundreds of volunteers for transportation needs of seniors, and patrolling China town 350 days of a year), advocating rights of the most vulnerable such as people with mental illness and language barrier. She is recognized nationally by NAMI national with “culture award”, and her organization was recognized the “Best Non-profit of the Year” in 2019 by California Governor. She is a UCA founder, and faithfully supported UCA.
Bio: Karina Hou is a renowned artist, musician, and educator. She studied piano and founded Fantasia Music Studio. Also, she has studied Chinese paintings and has hosted several art exhibitions. She is familiar with Eastern and Western culture, as she was born in China, grew up in Hong Kong, settled in Montgomery County, Maryland for many years, and has traveled to over 60 countries.
Karina is a keen social activist and currently is Montgomery International Film Festival Chairman and Co-Founder, Montgomery County Executive Business Advisory office Advisor, Chinese American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Washington President, Organization of Chinese American Women President (Maryland Chapter) and U.S. Congressman David Trone’s Office of Asian American Pacific Islander Business Advisory Committee Member. Karina is a senior advisor of UCA and a key organizer of the 2022 UCA Chinese American Convention and National Youth Convention.