“An individual or organization who/which has displayed longstanding and exemplary dedication to supporting the AAPI community”

2022 – Michael Liu

Michael Liu is a native of Boston Chinatown. He has been active on social justice and community issues throughout his adult life in the Boston area, especially concerning Chinatown. He was a founding member of numerous community social justice groups including the Chinese Progressive Association Boston, API Movement, and the Boston Rainbow Coalition. In the 1990’s, he was executive director of the Asian American Resource Workshop. He is currently active with the Activist Training Institute, working with young organizers.

He received his Ph.D. in Public Policy at University of Massachusetts Boston and worked as a researcher for two decades at the Institute for Asian American Studies at UMB, authoring and co-authoring many studies on local Asian American communities until his retirement. He co-authored an interpretive history of Asian American organizing, The Snake Dance of Asian American Activism, and recently authored the first book-length history of Boston Chinatown, Forever Struggle.

2019 – Dr. Jean Wu

Born in China and educated in Hong Kong, Jean Wu moved to the US in 1967. Working as an office assistant and attending school part-time, she completed her masters and doctorate at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She worked as a developmental counselor at the Harvard University Bureau of Study Counsel for more than a decade before moving into university teaching and mentoring in Providence (Brown) and Philadelphia (Bryn Mawr and UPenn). She returned to Boston in 1994 and teaches at Tufts. She is involved in Asian American community-based activist education projects.

Her research examines how racialization and anti-Asian racism shape Asian American identities, ethics and life choices. Her teaching focuses on explaining structural inequities of race and class and the development of curriculum and pedagogy that best help learners to understand and practice community-based race and class justice work. In teaching Asian American Studies, she believes that a solid knowledge of Asian American history is crucial to the development of an Asian American identity that embraces and commits to justice work for those with least access to voice and resources, both within and outside Asian America. She believes that there is constant distortion and omission of Asian American realities in mainstream discourse and the first step to countering this erasure is by telling our own stories of Asian American lived experiences. In mentoring numerous generations of Asian Americans, she sees the continuing power of our own stories to move hearts and minds across generations and boundaries to build communities that center compassion and actively work for liberation from injustice.

This coming January, 2020, she will have taught and mentored in the field of higher education for 50 years.

2018 – Ranjani Saigal 

Ms. Ranjani Saigal is the Executive Director of Ekal Vidyalaya foundation of USA, an organization that runs over 65,000 schols in rural and tribal areas in India. It provides education to nerly 1.7 million children and each school helps bring digital literacy to these remote areas with the use of mobile computer labs.

Ranjani Saigal is the founder of one of the oldest schools of Indian classical dancing in Boston and was honored by Governor Deval Patrick in 2012 for her contributions to Indian Heritage and Fine Arts in Massachusetts. She is the co-founder of a bi-weekly South Asian e-magazine, with over 40,000 subscribers and an active community leader in her hometown Burlington, MA where she organizes several events that brings the community together, and serves on the board of People Helping People.

Saigal is passionate about promoting STEM success to encourage girls and women to excel in science and technology. She serves on the board of Saheli, a domestic violence prevention agency serving South Asians, and has organized many social enterprise conferences in the US and in India.

2017 – Mary Chin

Ms. Mary Chin has been the Director of Social work at the Boston Medical Center for over 20 years. She is currently the Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Asian American Civic Association (AACA), an organization that focuses on workforce development to help immigrants achieve self-sufficiency. Mary has volunteered for AACA for nearly 30 years. Mary is also a member of the Board of Directors of Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD). She is also a member of ABCD’s Health Services Committee and the Employment and Training Committee.

Mary has been Vice-Chair of the Massachusetts Board of Registration for Social Work for over 4 years. She is also a member of the Advisory Board of the South End Neighborhood Action Program. In the past, Mary served as member of the Board of Directors for the American Cancer Society, for the Literacy Volunteers of America, and for the National Association of Social Work. Mary has helped many organizations in accomplishing their missions through her leadership and dedication.

2016 – Selina Chow

Recognized leader in the civic, philanthropic and business communities in Boston.  She is board president of Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center (BCNC), the largest social service agency in New England committed to providing family-centered services to Asian and Asian American populations.  In her nine-year tenure, she has championed BCNC’s growth and its expansion from Boston to an additional facility in Quincy.  Selina is also an advisory board member of Tufts University’s Jonathan Tisch College of Civic Life and an Overseer of Brookline Education Foundation. Her professional career encompasses strategy and financial management in technology and financial services industries, at Liberty Mutual, Prime Computers and Bank of Boston.  Selina was born in Rhode Island to Chinese immigrant parents and raised in Brookline, MA as one of six daughters. She and her husband, Joe Chow, continue to live in Brookline, where they raised three children. Selina holds a B.A. from Tufts University and an M.S. from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

2015 – Saheli

Founded in 1996 in collaboration with the India Association of Greater Boston (IAGB) with the mission of providing services to the South Asian community. The organization was created by South Asian immigrant women who witnessed the unacceptable rates of domestic violence in the community. They realized that there were no services available that catered specifically to the needs of South Asian women and were determined to fill the gap. What began as a small, volunteer-run operation is now a respected and effective organization.

In its 19 year history, Saheli has helped thousands of women to reclaim their lives, protect their families, and secure brighter futures. Led by a small staff and a cadre of dedicated volunteers headquartered in Burlington, MA and Shrewsbury, NH, Saheli is uniquely focused on the needs of  South Asians (from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka). Saheli staff and volunteers speak most South Asian languages, not limited to Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Gujarati, Punjabi and others.

2014 – Helen Chin Schlichte

Entered public service in 1949, and she retired 54 years later in 2003 from her position as Assistant Secretary for Administration and Finance in Massachusetts and continues to serve her community after retirement. During her service she served 13 Secretaries and 12 Governors.

Throughout her long career, Helen has served in leadership positions in a wide variety and large number of nonprofit organizations. She is the founder and past President of the South Cove Manor Nursing Home and Chair Emeritus of the Kwong Kow Chinese School.

As one of the first Asian women to achieve prominence as a public administrator, Helen has been an effective mentor and strong support of women aspiring in government. As a life long resident of Charlestown and the oldest of nine children, Helen gives credit to her parents for instilling her with a commitment for service in the community.

2013 – Thomas H. Lee

Network President for Partners Healthcare SystemThomas H. Lee, MD, is an internist and cardiologist, and is Network President for Partners Healthcare System, the integrated delivery system founded by Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, and Chief Executive Officer for Partners Community HealthCare. He is a child of Chinese immigrants who came in 1948 for a two year stay while they pursued further education, and then were stranded by the 1949 Revolution. He and his two brothers went to public school in Philadelphia, and then he went to Harvard College, Cornell University Medical College, and Harvard School of Public Health. He lives in Milton, and is married to Soheyla Gharib, MD; they are the parents of three daughters.

2012 – Nitin Nohria

Dean of Harvard Business SchoolNitin Nohria became the tenth dean of Harvard Business School on 1 July 2010. He previously served as co-chair of the Leadership Initiative, Senior Associate Dean of Faculty Development, and Head of the Organizational Behavior unit.Prior to joining the Harvard Business School faculty in July 1988, Dean Nohria received his Ph.D. in Management from the Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a B. Tech. in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (which honored him as a Distinguished Alumnus in 2007). He was as a visiting faculty member at the London Business School in 1996.He and his wife live in the Boston area with their two daughters.

2011 – Laura J. Sen

President and Chief Executive Officer of BJ’s Wholesale Club, Inc.Laura J. Sen has been a director of BJ’s since January 2008 and served as BJ’s President and Chief Operating Officer from January 2008 to February 2009, and President and Chief Executive Officer since February 2009.Ms. Sen is an active member in the community, serving on the Board of Directors of the Pine Street Inn – the largest homeless shelter in New England — and on the Board of Directors of Dana Farber Cancer Institute.  She is involved with the 21st Century Fund, Brookline High School’s venture capital for education initiative, ATASK (Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence), Massachusetts Competitive Partnership (MACP), The American Heart Association and the Boston Ballet.  She also works with St. Coletta & Cardinal Cushing Schools of Massachusetts in Hanover.

2010 – Joseph W. Chow

Executive Vice President of State Street CorporationJoe Chowis the Executive Vice President of State Street Corporation (NYSE: STT), he is responsible for developing business strategies for emerging economies and as EVP and chief risk and corporate administration officer. He is a board director of Hercules Technology Growth Capital, Inc. (NASDAQ: HTGC), a specialty investment company providing debt and equity financing to technology and bi-sciences companies, and the Hong Kong Association of Massachusetts.  He also serves a trustee of the Boston Children’s Museum. Joe immigrated to the U.S. from Hong Kong in 1967, graduated high school in Mississippi, and completed a college preparatory program for minority students at Yale. He received a B.A. from Brandeis, a Master in City Planning from MIT, and a M.S. in Management from the MIT-Sloan School. He is a resident of Brookline where he lives with his wife, Selina, and their three children, Joanna, Jason, and Kathryn.

2009 – Jim Yong Kim

President of Dartmouth CollegeJim Yong Kim, M.D., Ph.D., took office as the 17th president of Dartmouth College on July 1, 2009. The first physician to serve as Dartmouth’s president, he also is an anthropologist who brings a passion for learning, innovation, and service to Dartmouth.Born in 1959 in Seoul, South Korea, President Kim moved with his family to the United States at the age of five and grew up in Muscatine, Iowa. His father, a dentist, taught at the University of Iowa, where his mother received her Ph.D. in philosophy. He attended Muscatine High School, where he was valedictorian and president of his class and played quarterback for the football team. President Kim graduated with an A.B. magna cum laude from Brown University in 1982. He earned an M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1991 and a Ph.D. in anthropology from Harvard University in 1993. He is married to Dr. Younsook Lim, a pediatrician. The couple has two young sons.