The APANO Awards are established to promote and uplift the mission, vision and values of APANO through the applied, lived contributions of people and partners engaged with the organization. Through public recognition of individuals and groups, we seek to acknowledge those who have contributed significantly to the fulfillment of APANO’s mission. The awards program also gives APANO the opportunity to illustrate how work for social change requires collective effort, perseverance, and understanding how our past influences our present and the future.

History
The first awards, the Dr. Phyllis S Lee for Outstanding Advocacy and Empowered for Equity Award were established in 2012. In 2015, the Board added the Minoru Yasui Voices of Change Award and and the Youth Voices of Change Award. The awards recognize individuals contributing to the expanding breadth and depth of APANO’S mission, increasing the organization’s effectiveness in influencing policies and practices affection Asian Pacific communities and other underrepresented peoples.

About the Committee
The APANO Awards Committee of five members is appointed by the APANO Board, at the recommendation of the Board Development and Nominating Committee for either two or three terms to ensure the continuity of the committee’s work. Terms of service begin on July 1 to June 30 of the following year that a term is fulfilled. The committee oversees the awards process, selection and presentation in coordination with APANO Board and Staff. The exception is the Youth Voices of Change Award which is selected and presented by ALLY.

Current Committee Roster (2016):

  • Dr. Phyllis Lee, Co-Chair
  • June Schumann, Co-Chair
  • Polo Catalani, past award recipient
  • Thach Nguyen, Board Liaison
  • Melissa Magana, staff liaison
Minoru Yasui Voices of Change Award (est. 2015)
The Minoru Yasui Voices of Change Award recognizes an individual who has roots in Oregon, who has promoted civil liberties for all Americans through courageous leadership, activism and advocacy in their lifetime. Mr. Yasui, honored posthumously by President Barack Obama with the 2015 Presidential Medal of Freedom, demonstrated courage, tenacity, perseverance and optimism that justice would prevail as he fought against discrimination against citizens and non citizens alike, based solely on ancestry. He continued to fight for civil rights for all throughout his lifetime. This award is presented annually at the Voices of Change Celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in May.

Background: The Minoru Yasui Voices of Change Award was established by the Board in 2015 to honor an Oregonian who was fearless in challenging discrimination against citizens and noncitizens alike, based solely on ancestry. He continued to fight for civil rights for all throughout his lifetime. His courage, tenacity, perseverance and optimism that justice would prevail are recognized by this award.

About Minoru Yasui

Award Criteria and Past Recipients


Youth Voices of Change Award (est. 2015)
Selected and presented by ALLY, the Youth Voices of Change Award recognizes an APANO youth between ages of 12-21 in Oregon who has demonstrated leadership in their community by organizing, advocating, or educating their peers around the fight for liberation. This youth leader has worked for and with our communities to figure out solutions to issues that directly impacts us and all oppressed peoples.

Award Criteria and Past Recipients

Dr. Phyllis Lee Award for Outstanding Advocacy (est. 2012)
The Dr. Phyllis Lee Award is given to an individual from our community who has demonstrated a significant commitment to social justice, empowerment, and the advancement of equity and access for Asian and Pacific Islander communities and all Oregonians. Throughout her career as an educator, organizational and management consultant, and as a community volunteer, she has influenced policies and practices in government agencies, public schools, institutions of higher education, non-profit organizations, and businesses.  She has mentored innumerable Asian Pacific students and emerging leaders.  The award was created to honor Dr. Lee, her  life’s work, her courage, and her commitment to future generations. Effective 2016, this award is presented every other year at the Rolling Tides Biennial Statewide Convention.

Background: Dr. Phyllis Lee Award for Outstanding Advocacy was established by the Board in 2012 in recognition of Dr. Lee’s work with a group of parents and community members concerned with the education and quality of life of API communities. The meeting led to a comprehensive planning retreat in 1998 of API community members and their allies in the larger community that led to the formation of APANO.

About Dr. Phyllis Lee

Award Criteria and Past Recipients


Empowered for Equity Award (est. 2012)
The Empowered for Equity Award recognizes outstanding organizing and advocacy on the part of a community based organization that promotes APANO’s vision of a just and equitable world where Asians and Pacific Islanders are fully engaged in the social, economic and political issues that affect us. Effective 2016, this award is presented every other year at the Rolling Tides Biennial Statewide Convention.

Award Criteria and Past Recipients

The Awards Committee accepts nomination forms year round for the following year’s awards cycle. Please note that certain awards are only bestowed every other year and may not be considered until the following year. Please be sure to complete the entire nomination form for your selected award, and submit no later than 5PM on the deadline date listed below. Please contact the APANO office info[at]apano.org for assistance.

To submit a nomination online, click here

  • Dr. Phyllis Lee Award for Outstanding Advocacy – DEADLINE AUGUST 5, 2016 (Click here for Award Nomination Form)
  • Empowered for Equity Award – DEADLINE AUGUST 5, 2016 (Click here for Award Nomination Form)
  • Minoru Yasui Voices of Change Award – NEXT DEADLINE MARCH 3, 2017
  • Youth Voices of Change Award – NEXT DEADLINE MARCH 3, 2017