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Annual Asian American Commission To Honor Saheli

Press Release

On Thursday, October 15, 2015, the Asian American Commission (AAC) of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will highlight the extraordinary work of individuals and organizations within the Asian American community of the state at their Ninth Annual Unity Dinner: Honoring Our Heritage, Celebrating Our Diversity.” The evening will feature two keynote speakers: Dr. Howard Kyongju Koh, Harvey V. Fineberg Professor of the Practice of Public Health Leadership at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and The Harvard Kennedy School, and former United States Assistant Secretary for Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Mr. Daniel Arrigg Koh, Chief of Staff to the City of Boston, advising Mayor Martin J. Walsh on key issues and helping Mayor Walsh execute his vision for the city and its 18,000 employees.
“The Unity Dinner represents a wonderful tradition of commitment and community. I look forward to honoring so many who care passionately about the future of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in our Commonwealth. “ - Dr. Howard Koh
"I am honored to be selected as the keynote for the Asian-American Commission's Unity Dinner. The Asian-American community is integral to the incredible progress we've made as a society and I feel so fortunate to be a part of such a special group." Daniel Koh
In addition to the keynotes, the Unity Dinner will feature local performing artists, The Genki Spark, Flying Orb, and the Nam Pai Academy.
We will honor and recognize the award recipients in the following three award categories: Leadership for Inclusion & Diversity Award - An individual or organization who/which has displayed pioneering efforts in promoting and celebrating Asian American & Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) through workforce development, mentoring, and collaborations. - MassMutual Financial Group
MassMutual was founded on May 15, 1851. We have a comprehensive diversity recruitment strategy that reaches out to Asian, Hispanic/Latino, African American, women, LGBT, veteran and disability-focused strategic partners to help support recruitment. We also: 1) Partner with diverse, external organizations that hold seminars and educational sessions for specific market segments, 2) Create targeted financial information for specific cultural groups, including "The Basics" videos in Spanish, Korean, Mandarin Chinese and Asian-Indian versions. Nearly 50 percent of our Board of Directors is comprised of women and people of color, making it one of the most diverse groups in the industry and among FORTUNE® 500 companies. We currently have nine national ERGs (Employee Resource Groups) representing African Americans, Asians, Latinos, members of the LGBT community, individuals with disabilities and their caregivers, armed forces members, veterans and military family members, young professionals and women leaders. DiversityInc. has named us to their 25 Noteworthy Companies list every year since 2011. Now, MassMutual is one of DiversityInc.’s Top 50 Companies for DiDiversity for the first time after five years of working its way up on the 25 Noteworthy List.

Lifetime Achievement Award – Presented to an individual or organization who/which has displayed longstanding and exemplary dedication to supporting the AAPI community. - Saheli
A community-based women’s organization in New England, it was founded in 1996. Our mission is to empower South Asian women and their families to live safe and healthy lives. 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 has 19 years of experiencing providing direct services to survivors of domestic violence, physical and mental health and safety needs of women, legal and immigration referrals, career and economic empowerment resources, and social and cultural volunteer opportunities. Community Hero Award - An individual or organization who/which has displayed selfless commitment to the issues and events affecting AAPIs, and who/which has contributed efforts towards the betterment of AAPIs without self-promotion or fanfare. - Dr. Ed Wang Ed K.S. Wang is the Director of Policy and Planning, Division of Global Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital and Assistant Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School. He focuses on improving the well-being of children and families and community wellness through social justice, evidence-based and community-driven evidence, informatics, networks and sustainable resources. Dr. Wang is the former Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Massachusetts Department of Mental Health. He was the first Asian American psychologist appointed to the National Advisory Council, Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration, an invitee to the White House National Conference on Mental Health and the White House AAPI Commission on Depression and Suicide Prevention. Born in Hong Kong, Dr. Wang is currently the President of the National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association that developed the blue print for integrated care for AAPI Communities.
These activists and leaders have made significant contributions by working tirelessly to promote positive change and to ensure a greater livelihood for the communities they serve.
The AAC is currently seeking sponsors and donations for the Unity Dinner. If you would like to support the AAC, please contact Executive Director, Bora Chiemruom, bora.chiemruom@aacommission.org These contributions will ensure the AAC continue to ensure the Commission can continue its advadvocacy work on behalf of the Asian American community in the Commonwealth.
Event Details:
Thursday, October 15, 2015
6:00 – 9:00 PM
University of Massachusetts Boston, Campus Ballroom

Tickets to the Unity Dinner can be purchased at http://www.aacommission.org/

About the Asian American Commission of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
The Asian American Commission of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts was created by legislation on October 29, 2006. This Commission recognizes that the Asian American community is the fastest growing minority group in Massachusetts. The goal of the AAC is to recognize, as well as highlight, the vital contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to the social, cultural, economic, and political life of the Commonwealth. Additionally, the AAC is involved in identifying and addressing the various needs and challenges that currently face the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. The Commission provides a permanent, effective voice for Asian Americans, and is comprised of 21 diverse members who are appointed by the Governor, Attorney General, Auditor, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Secretary of State, and the Treasurer.

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