LOS ANGELES (April 23, 2013) — On Monday, April 22, 2013, the Asian American Cultural Center (AACC) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign honored Karin Wang with its 2013 Outstanding Asian American Alumni Award.
This award recognizes individuals who have had outstanding contributions to the Asian American community, exceptional success in their professional careers, and meritorious service supporting the mission of the university. Wang is the Asian Pacific American Legal Center’s vice president of programs and communications.
“Karin Wang has become one of our nation’s leading legal advocates for the Asian American community. For more than two decades, since her days as an undergraduate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Karin has been a passionate voice for Asian Americans and the challenges that they face,” said David Chih, AACC director and assistant dean of students.
The university’s AACC was established in 2005 and is now one of the largest of its kind. The AACC’s mission is to promote cross-cultural understanding of Asian American and Asian international experiences, and provides educational and cultural support for Asians and Asian Americans on campus. Previous University of Illinois Asian American Alumni Award recipients include Academy Award-winning director Ang Lee, bestselling author Iris Chang, nationally renowned spoken word artist Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai, legendary gymnastics coach Yoshi Hayasaki, and interfaith leader Eboo Patel.
A second-generation Taiwanese American, Wang graduated in 1992 from the University of Illinois, where she was active in many campus organizations and a leader in the Asian American student community. As an undergraduate student, she helped launch the Midwest Asian American Students conference, helped found the Midwest Asian American Student Union, and served as president of the Asian American Association.
“I’m deeply honored to receive this award from the University of Illinois and the Asian American Cultural Center,” said Wang. “My years on campus shaped who I am today, developing not only my political consciousness but also my confidence and skills as a student leader. The university offered me so many opportunities to learn and grow, lessons I’ve carried into my professional career as a lawyer and civil rights activist.”
In addition to her current role at APALC, Wang previously directed APALC’s immigrant rights project and has worked in federal civil rights enforcement. She is also active in the struggle for marriage equality in California, as a founding and current steering committee member of API Equality-LA, and is a past president of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Los Angeles County. A fuller biography for Wang can be viewed on APALC’s website at: www.apalc.org/who-we-are/vice-president-programs-communications.
The Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC), a member of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice, is the nation’s largest Asian American legal and civil rights organization and serves more than 15,000 individuals and organizations every year. Founded in 1983, APALC advocates for civil rights, provide legal services and education, and build coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders and to create a more equitable and harmonious society. Through direct legal services, impact litigation, policy analysis and advocacy, leadership development and capacity building, APALC seeks to serve the most vulnerable members of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (NHPI) communities while also building a strong Asian American and NHPI voice for civil rights and social justice.
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