April 22, 2016

APANO Honors Peggy Nagae As 2016 Minoru Yasui Voices of Change Award Recipient

April 22, 2016

Contact: Luann Algoso
Community Engagement Manager, APANO
luann@apano.org, 971-340-4861

APANO to Honor Local Civil Rights Activist Peggy Nagae
As 2016 Minoru Yasui Voices of Change Award Recipient

Portland, Ore. - On the evening of May 6, 2016, the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO) will present the Minoru Yasui Voices of Change Award to local lawyer, national civil rights activist, lecturer, and writer, Peggy Nagae. Nagae was chosen by the APANO Awards Committee from a strong pool of nominations submitted for this year’s award selection. This marks the second year of this award, last year having been bestowed posthumously upon the award’s namesake, Minoru Yasui.

The Minori Yasui Voices of Change Award is presented to one individual each year, recognizing someone who has promoted civil liberties for all Americans through courageous leadership, activism and advocacy. Minoru Yasui, had roots in Oregon, and was most well-known for his courageous stand against military orders that resulted in the forced removal and imprisonment of over 110,000 persons of Japanese ancestry during World War II. Notably, his entire life was committed to the defense of human and civil rights, and justice for all. The APANO Awards Committee feels that Nagae exceptionally embodies the spirit of Minoru Yasui’s legacy. From an Awards Committee member, June Schumann says, “Peggy leads with her heart. She consistently and selflessly deflected credit to everyone else on every team. But these honors for Mr. Yasui would have NEVER happened without Peggy’s vision, determination, and leadership.”

Born and raised in Boring, Oregon, Peggy Nagae was the lead attorney in the coram nobis effort to overturn Mr. Yasui’s 1942 criminal conviction. She led the national efforts which ultimately led to Mr. Yasui’s recognition with the Presidential Medal of Freedom award and to the State of Oregon declaring March 28 will be Minoru Yasui Day, in perpetuity. During the 1980s, Nagae was appointed University of Oregon Law School Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs where she continued to work for education and civil rights throughout her career.

Peggy Nagae will be recognized for her work and accomplishments at APANO’s Voices of Change Celebration on Friday, May 6th. The annual Voices of Change Celebration gathers over 200 community leaders, supporters, and allies to celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May and to support APANO’s organizing programs in education improvement, health equity, anti-displacement, and economic justice.


For more information about the Minoru Yasui Voices of Change Award please visit our awards page.