ST. PAUL, Minn. (May 3, 2016) — The state Council on Asian-Pacific Minnesotans, with the support of community, business and government partners, will hold its the annual Asian Pacific Minnesotans Leadership Awards Dinner from 5 to 8 p.m.,
Friday, May 20, 2016 at the Maplewood Community Center located at 2100 White Bear Ave., Maplewood.
The Dinner program features keynote speaker, the Honorable Mayor Kautz of the city of Burnsville. The 2016 Asian Pacific Minnesotans Leadership Award recipients are:
Humanitarian Award — Esera Tavai Tuaolo
Born on Oahu Island in Hawaii, Esera Tuaolo now lives in Minnesota. He played in the NFL for 10 consecutive seasons and was one of the first professional athletes to come out gay. Tuaolo played with the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Jacksonville Jaguars, Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers. Since coming out in 2003, he has become a face for the LGBT and speaks against homophobia in sports and creating a safe environment against all forms of discrimination through his Hate is Wrong organization.
Lifetime Service Award — Officer Vang YeeLeng Lee
The first Hmong and one of the first Asian Americans to become a conservation officer with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Officer Lee served as a bridge for the new American communities who adapted to Minnesota easier through the great out doors but learning the complicated rules and regulations of hunting and fishing in the state to be a challenge along with racist encounters with others in remote areas. Today, the Southeast Asian communities are among the organized and responsible outdoorsmen and women thanks in large part to Lee.
Outstanding Contribution Award — Terry Yang
Terry Yang was part of an internal migration of Hmong community in St. Paul that moved to Southwest Minnesota. Yang moved to Walnut Grove in 2001 and established Bubai Foods in 2003 to serve the nearly 900 Hmong and Lao residents of Marshall, Wabasso and Worthington. He became a community leader and supported many social and art projects in the area.
The CAPM Awards Banquet is an annual tradition that takes place each year in May, the month designated by Congress since 1993 as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. The Dinner brings together hundreds of community members and leaders from the non-profit, faith, government, and business communities to honor, celebrate, and recommit to a stronger Minnesota for all.
Leadership Awards are given to recognize, honor, and celebrate the work of individuals and/or organizations that have demonstrated commitment to and leadership in the Asian Pacific Minnesotan community. The Council is pleased to announce the 2016 recipients:
The Dinner is made possible with financial contributions from individuals, businesses, and government and nonprofit organizations.