Press Release

Margaret Cho and Bhairavi Desi Receive 2003 Justice in Action Awards

New York, NY—Comedian Margaret Cho and Bhairavi Desai of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance were honored at the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund’s Annual Lunar New Year Celebration on Thursday, February 13, 2003, at PIER SIXTY, Chelsea Piers, in New York City. Ms. Cho and Ms. Desai received the Justice in Action award for their work to advance the cause of racial and economic justice. The program included a lion dance and celebration of the Lunar New Year 4701, Year of the Ram. There was also a silent auction and raffle.

AALDEF, founded in 1974, protects and promotes the civil rights of Asian Americans, and has played a pivotal role in shaping the legal rights of Asian Americans across the country. AALDEF is a founding member of the Public Interest Law Center in Lower Manhattan, which includes the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund.

More than 700 individuals attended AALDEF’s Lunar New Year Celebration and Justice in Action Awards Ceremony. All proceeds from the Celebration benefit the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund’s programs. AALDEF provides free legal advice clinics to Asian immigrants and the poor, litigates cases that will have broad impact on Asian Americans nationwide, conducts community education reaching tens of thousands, trains students for careers in public interest law, and shapes public policies to ensure the equal participation of Asian Americans. To ensure that the legal needs of Asian American communities are not overlooked in the aftermath of the September 11 tragedy, AALDEF launched the 9.11 Emergency Legal Response Project to combat hate violence and racial/ethnic profiling, and to help low-income Asian immigrants and families affected by the long-term impacts of the WTC disaster.