The Coalition for Asian American Children and Families (CACF) hosted its 3rd Annual Catalyst for Change Awards Gala at the Edison Ballroom in New York on November 4 to celebrate CACF’s empowerment of Asian Pacific American (APA) children and families and to honor those who are a force for positive change in the APA community.
The emcees for the evening were Ernabel Demillo, Reporter/Host of 7-time Emmy nominated show “Asian American Life” and Contributing Reporter for “Arts in the City” and “Science and U” on CUNY-TV; and Alan Muraoka, Actor/Director of “Sesame Street”. Alexander Tsui, DMD served as gala chair.
Honorees included two-time Tony nominated actress Eva Noblezada, who can be seen on Broadway as Eurydice in Hadestown and in Diane Paragas’ feature film, Yellow Rose, a coming of age story about an undocumented Filipina; Jason DaSilva, Film Director, Producer, Writer, and President of AXS Lab and founder of AXS Map, a website and accessibility database to find disability friendly places around the world; Dr. Ram Raju MD, MBA, FACHE, Senior Vice President and Community Health Investment Officer of Northwell Health who evaluates the needs of Northwell Hospital’s most-vulnerable communities and helps the health system eliminate health disparities; and Project by Project, which is an innovative philanthropic nonprofit that empowers the Asian American community, accepted by Liliana Chen, Cofounder.
The Gala united more than 350 community advocates and professionals across industries and raised funds to benefit CACF’s leadership training programs and policy advocacy campaigns.
CACF is the nation’s only pan-Asian children and families’ advocacy organization bringing together community-based organizations, as well as youth and parents, to fight for equity and to fight against racism and discrimination towards APA communities. CACF listens, trains, unites and fights to build an APA community too powerful to ignore.
Jenny Low, Director, Community Engagement Division, New York City Council, Office of Speaker Corey Johnson presented CACF with a citation commending CACF’s work and dedication to New York’s APA community.
“CACF is incredibly thankful to our generous event sponsors and donors whose support allows us to be an independent and strong voice for those most marginalized in the Asian Pacific American (APA) community. We are honored to share tonight with Jason DaSilva, Eva Noblezada, Dr. Ram Raju and Project by Project and are truly moved by their persistent and incredible contributions towards furthering social justice and equity for APA communities.” said Anita Gundanna, Co-Executive Director, Coalition for Asian American Children and Families.
“I am deeply honored to be awarded as a Catalyst for Change by CACF, said Eva Noblezada. “In my career I’ve been lucky enough to portray such strong women whose stories revolve around humanity and truth. Little Eva never saw herself represented by roles that dealt with survivorship, identity and a struggle for rights. And these are present challenges that immigrant communities face today. So I am humbled to be recognized by CACF- an organization that for over three decades has helped build a voice to advocate for the largely immigrant Asian American community in NYC. It means the world to me. And I can stand here in confidence knowing that powerful organizations like this are here to lift up such incredibly diverse communities that I am so lucky to be a part of. Thank you.”
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Diane Paragas’ Multiple Award-Winning Film YELLOW ROSE, Starring Eva Noblezada, Dale Watson, Princess Punzalan and Lea Salonga, to Screen in Boston, Austin, Philadelphia, San Diego, Vancouver, Toronto, Oahu and Kauai
“I am truly honored to be recognized by CACF. My most important mission in life has been to give voice to the unheard. CACF and I have been working closely to gather meaningful data about Asian Americans with disabilities, which could help improve their stations in life. I am grateful to CACF for their continued efforts to serve the Asian American community.” said Jason DaSilva, founder and CEO of AXS Lab.
“Over 70% of Asian Pacific American (APA) New Yorkers are foreign-born, and over one in four APAs struggle in poverty. Our communities face multiple challenges accessing services to support their health, education, and well-being. CACF advocates for equity and opportunity for marginalized APAs and we are grateful to share tonight with our allies, partners, and friends who graciously and generously support our work.” said Vanessa Leung, Co-Executive Director, Coalition for Asian American Children and Families.
Ram Raju MD, MBA, FACHE, Senior Vice President and Community Health Investment Officer of Northwell Health, said “I am proud to receive CACF’s Catalyst for Change Awards. For over 30 years, CACF has advocated for the most marginalized of our Asian American community. They understand the importance of working with government and other systems to ensure that children and families receive the services they need in a language they understand. As a medical professional and administrator, I believe everyone should have access to quality healthcare regardless of their language, their socioeconomic status and their history. It is important for health care systems to partner with groups like CACF to ensure we build strong connections to communities and work together to address health disparities.”
“Project by Project has built a network of community-minded professionals who care about social issues and building an empowered Asian America. It is an honor to be recognized by CACF — an organization relentlessly fighting for the Asian American community for over 30 years! This award will energize our passion to make a positive difference” said Liliana Chen, Co-Founder of Project by Project.
A live auction and a pledge auction was led by auctioneer Charles Antin, which took place after the awards ceremony.
Event sponsors of CACF’s 2019 Catalyst for Change Awards Gala included Northwell Health, Edward Pauly and Barbara Turvett, Blossom, Frensco Building Products, Main Street Radiology, Muskasey Frenchman & Sklaroff LLP, and The Poses Family Foundation.
Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.
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