2012 Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Heroes - KCET
Congratulations to our 2012 Local Heroes of the Year:
President and Executive Director
Asian Pacific American Legal Center
Stewart Kwoh has been Co-Founder, President and Executive Director of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC) since its inception in 1983. APALC offers an array of services, including legal services via a telephone hotline in Khmer, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean and Vietnamese, litigation that protects the exploited, the promotion of immigrants’ rights, protection of voting rights and leadership development.
Mr. Kwoh is currently an undergraduate lecturer at UCLA’s Asian American Studies Department and editor and co-author of “Untold Civil Rights Stories: Asian Americans Speak Out for Justice,” the first textbook that focuses on Asian American civil rights heroes.
He is also co-author of “Uncommon Common Ground: Race and America’s Future” and “Searching for the Uncommon Common Ground: New Dimensions on Race in America.”
Mr. Kwoh is chair of the board of the Los Angeles Methodist Urban Foundation and vice-chairman of the national civil rights organization, Asian American Justice Center, which was co-founded by APALC in 1991. He is also board member of Pat Brown Institute of Public Affairs of California State University, Los Angeles, United Way of Greater Los Angeles, and Southern California Public Radio.
The MacArthur Foundation named Mr. Kwoh a MacArthur Fellow in 1998. He has received several awards, including the Civic Medal of Honor from the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce and the Impact Award from the Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association (SCCLA).
Bill Yoshiyuki Watanabe
Executive Director Little Tokyo Service Center
Bill Watanabe has served as Executive Director of Little Tokyo Service Center, a Community Development Corporation (LTSC CDC), since 1979. Under his leadership, LTSC CDC has grown from a one-person office to a center with a staff of more than 150 and a legion of volunteers. LTSC CDC provides a comprehensive program of social services. In June 2012, Mr. Watanabe is retiring from his position as executive director of LTSC CDC.
Mr. Watanabe has served as President of the Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council (A3PCON), the largest social service network in the Asian community and the Asian Pacific Health Care Venture. He was also founder of the Asian Pacific Community Fund, which has awarded more than $2 million in grants.
He has served as chairman of the statewide Nonprofit Policy Council of California and board member of several organizations, including National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, UCLA Center for Civil Society, Amnesty International USA and National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development, which he was also co-founder.