The Filipino American Post: SFFACC’s Golden Anniversary Honors Loida Nicolas Lewis with Lifetime Achievement Award
San Francisco — The San Francisco Filipino American Chamber of Commerce (SFFACC) celebrated its 50th anniversary during Filipino American History Month with a gala event last October 7.
SFFACC also honored some outstanding Filipino community empowerment advocates.
Among the honorees was Loida Nicolas Lewis, who rescheduled a book tour of her memoir, “Why Should Guys Have All The Fun?”, with a brief visit to San Francisco to receive a Business & Philanthropy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Liza Gino, tasked with writing Loida Nicolas Lewis’s profile, commented: “Loida Nicolas Lewis strikes me as an intriguing woman. She lives her life by following simple rules. Her devotion to family is evident in her filial piety, especially to her husband, Reginald Lewis, who passed away three decades ago. Lewis wanted to finish Mr. Lewis’ work, and she did. In the process, Working Woman magazine’s annual list of the top 50 female-owned businesses placed Lewis second, with TLC Beatrice earning $2.1 billion.”
Lewis was the first Filipina to pass the New York Bar without attending law school in the US. While practicing as an immigration lawyer, she managed to sue the Immigration and Naturalization Service for employment discrimination. She won, including three years of back pay to boot.
Loida Nicolas Lewis is a co-founder of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations, where she served as NaFFAA National Chair. She is also one of the founders of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) and the US Filipinos for Good Governance. The AALDEF is a national organization founded in 1974 that protects and promotes the civil rights of Asian Americans. A few of its projects are Stopping Asian Hate, Anti-trafficking, and Economic Justice for Workers. Lewis worked with others to enable former Filipinos to regain their Philippine citizenship and participate in its elections.