On Thursday, June 17, Chinese for Affirmative Action will host our virtual 52nd Anniversary Celebration of Justice event: to recognize the bridges we’ve built, the challenges we’ve overcome, and the impact we’ve made in the communities we serve.

It is also our chance to uplift individuals and organizations who are making lasting contributions to our communities. This year, we are proud to recognize three distinguished honorees: APIENC, Fred Blackwell, and Henry Der. 

Honoree: APIENC

For their groundbreaking work to build transgender, non-binary, and queer Asian and Pacific Islander power in the Bay Area and beyond.

What began as a coalition of LGBTQ APIs to fight for marriage equality has since transformed into a thriving collective that provides transgender, non-binary, and queer voices with the knowledge and expertise to effect change through abundance and interdependence.

  • Led the Dragon Fruit Oral History Project, which has engaged hundreds of volunteers in the recording and retelling of the lived experiences of 90+ LGBTQ API leaders.
  • Established “Up to Us”, the first needs assessment led by-and-for transgender and gender non-conforming APIs in the San Francisco Bay Area.
  • Established the annual Summer Organizer Program, an annual organizing apprenticeship devoted to empowering the next generation of LGBTQ API leaders.

Honoree: Fred Blackwell

For his steadfast commitment to making the Bay Area a more equitable place where everyone thrives. 

From the Mayor’s Office of Community Development to the San Francisco Foundation, Fred Blackwell has continued to advocate for social justice across an intersection of affordable housing, public education, criminal justice, and civic participation issues.

Fred Blackwell Photo
  • Established the Partnership for HOPE SF with the City of San Francisco to support the nation’s first large-scale community development and reparations initiative.
  • Led the foundation’s Keep Oakland Housed initiative, which has helped 5,000 families avoid homelessness.
  • Managed the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency and the Mayor’s Office of Community Development under Gavin Newsom.

Honoree: Henry Der 

For his half-century of leadership in protecting the civil rights of Chinese Americans and other communities of color, and for his career of service in education, philanthropy, and community-based advocacy.

In fighting for equal opportunities for San Francisco Chinatown residents, in advancing education equity throughout the State of California, and in investing in immigrant advocacy in the American South and Southwest, Henry Der — who led CAA for over two decades — is a pioneer whose activism has transformed our communities for the better.

  • Led Chinese for Affirmative Action as Executive Director for 20+ years, securing numerous civil rights victories for the Chinese American community.
  • In his role as State Administrator, he lifted the racially-diverse Emery School District out of fiscal bankruptcy.
  • Served as a philanthropic leader for the immigrant rights movement, offering on the ground support for civic participation initiatives in the American South and Southwest.

Please join us in recognizing all three incredible honorees at our Celebration of Justice. You can register to attend here.