Feb. 6, 2020: William F. Lee and Viet Thanh Nguyen to receive AALDEF 2020 Justice in Action Awards

Image for Feb. 6, 2020: William F. Lee and Viet Thanh Nguyen to receive AALDEF 2020 Justice in Action Awards

The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) will hold its Lunar New Year Gala and Justice in Action Awards Ceremony on Thursday, February 6, 2020 at Pier Sixty, Chelsea Piers in New York City. The recipients of the 2020 Justice in Action Awards are William F. Lee, partner at WilmerHale, and Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist. Actor BD Wong will deliver a special message for the new year. The event emcees are Cindy Hsu, anchor and reporter for CBS2 New York, and Sree Sreenivasan, Inaugural Marshall R. Loeb Visiting Professor for Digital Innovation at Stony Brook University School of Journalism.

The AALDEF Justice in Action Awards recognize exceptional individuals for their outstanding achievements and efforts to advance social justice. Past award recipients include Congressman John Lewis, Yoko Ono, Preet Bharara, George Takei, David Henry Hwang, Neal Katyal, Aasif Mandvi, Mari Matsuda, Jessica Hagedorn, Mira Nair, BD Wong, and Fareed Zakaria, to name just a few.

Over 500 leaders of the civil rights, legal, business, and arts communities across the country are expected to attend AALDEF’s lunar new year gala. The evening begins with a 6 p.m. cocktail reception and silent auction, followed by the Justice in Action Awards ceremony and a banquet dinner. Tables of ten, available at $25,000, $20,000, and $15,000, include a VIP reception. Individual tickets start at $1,500. To reserve tickets, please contact Shirley Ng at 212.966.5932 ext. 208 or

Since 1974, AALDEF has protected and promoted the civil rights of Asian Americans across the nation through litigation, advocacy, community education, and organizing. All proceeds from the gala support AALDEF’s programs in immigrant rights, economic justice, educational equity, housing and environmental justice, and voting rights and democracy.

For further information, contact:
Jennifer Weng
Assistant Director
212.966.5932 ext. 212


Special thanks to our 2020 Benefit Committee Co-Chairs:

Baker Botts L.L.P.

Jasmine Ball
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Preet Bharara
NYU School of Law

Richard Burns
Lambda Legal

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

Juan Cartagena
LatinoJustice PRLDEF

Javade Chaudhri
Jones Day

Kathy Hirata Chin
Crowell & Moring LLP

Ken Chin
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP

John G. Chou
AmerisourceBergen Corporation

Connie Chung
Television Journalist

A.B. Cruz III

Lucy Fato

Ivan K. Fong
3M Company

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer US LLP

Mia Friedman
Fish & Richardson P.C.

Jessica Hagedorn

Suhana S. Han
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

Alice Hsu
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Marie Oh Huber
eBay Inc.

David Henry Hwang

Sherrilyn Ifill
NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc.

Richard K. Kim
Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Harold Hongju Koh
Yale Law School

John Kuo
Varian Medical Systems

Mei Lin Kwan-Gett

Brett Lauring & Heidi Chen

Elizabeth Leckie
Allen & Overy LLP

Bill Lann Lee
Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center

Chan Lee

Jeong M. Lee
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

Sandra Leung
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company

Congressman John Lewis

Loida Nicolas Lewis
Reginald F. Lewis Foundation

Don H. Liu

Deborah P. Majoras
The Procter & Gamble Company

Aasif Mandvi

Sharon Rivenson Mark
Law Office of Sharon Rivenson Mark, P.C.

Mari J. Matsuda
University of Hawaii School of Law

Dale Minami
Minami Tamaki LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP and
The Morrison & Foerster Foundation

Minh Van Ngo
Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

Yoko Ono

Deval L. Patrick
Former Governor of Massachusetts

Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP

Gimbels Pon & Sandra Leung

Ravi Ramanathan
Jenner & Block LLP

Tawfiq S. Rangwala
Milbank LLP

Harry T. Robins
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Ayaz R. Shaikh
Sidley Austin LLP

Shearman & Sterling LLP

Paul J. Shim
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Brian W. Song

Minji Suh
Edward and Amy Suh Foundation

Renee Tajima-Peña

George Takei

Urvashi Vaid

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated


BD Wong

Dino Wu

Jennifer H. Wu
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

Simone Wu
Choice Hotels International, Inc.

Dwight S. Yoo
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Andrew J. Yoon
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

Ji Hye You
Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP

Phil Yu
Angry Asian Man

Fareed Zakaria