FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 1, 2017
Communications Coordinator, APANO
APANO Honors Immigration Lawyer as 2017 Minoru Yasui Voices of Change Award Recipient
Portland, Ore. – On the evening of May 4, 2017, the APANO and APANO Communities United Fund will present the Minoru Yasui Voices of Change Award to local immigration lawyer, community leader, and advocate, Chanpone Sinlapasai. She was chosen by the APANO Awards Committee from a strong pool of nominations submitted by the APANO community for the 2016 to 2017 program year. This marks the third year of this award, last year having honored local lawyer and activist Peggy Nagae.
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 Hood River, 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 Sinlapasai exceptionally embodies the spirit of Minoru Yasui, continuing his legacy of law and justice. Sinlapasai focuses her practice on children, families, and other individuals who are survivors of domestic violence, serious crime, and human trafficking., and advocates to assist those survivors to protect their victims’ rights through the criminal, civil, and immigration systems. Sinlapasai is also the incoming chair for the Oregon Commission on Asian Pacific Islander Affair (OCAPIA). Having Sinlapasai as this year’s award recipient is quite timely, as she has first-hand knowledge of the challenges an individual and family face when coming to a new country, as her family came to the United States as refugees from Laos in 1980.