Humanitarian Outreach Chanchanit (Chancee) Martorell was born in Bangkok, Thailand, and raised in Los Angeles,
California, home to the largest population of Thais abroad. Growing up in a working class, Thai immigrant household, she experienced first-hand the struggles of Thai immigrants. For the past twenty five years, she has been dedicated to the advancement of Thais in Los Angeles, beginning initially as a youth council member in Los Angeles City Hall, then as a leader of the Thai student organization at UCLA. After attending Chiang Mai University in Thailand, she returned to UCLA, where she earned an M.A. in urban planning, and created and taught the first Thai American Experience course. Now, as the executive director of the non-profit Thai Community Development Center (Thai CDC), which she founded in 1994, she is engaged in an effort to improve the lives of Thai immigrants in Los Angeles through services and programs that promote cultural adjustment and economic self-sufficiency. One of the most notable achievements of Thai CDC has been the designation of the first and only Thai Town in the world, located in the East Hollywood neighborhood of Los Angeles. She has also written on the topics of Asian poverty, community economic development, urban revitalization strategies, human trafficking and global capitalism. She is known most notably for her work as an immigrant workers’ rights advocate and for her economic development work in low-income, minority urban communi- ties.
The Chinese Community Church is affiliated with the United Church of Christ (UCC) but is autonomous and self-supporting. The church had its beginnings in 1885 when the Chinese Mission School of San Diego was created to meet the needs of Chinese immigrants. In 1948, the Mission became an independent church. As more and more people immi- grated to San Diego, the need for bigger and better facilities to serve a new generation became apparent. In 1960, the Church relocated from downtown San Diego to a seven-acre site on 47th Street that included a large sanctu- ary, community hall, kitchen, and classrooms. In 1985, the Chinese Community Church celebrated its centennial, having been a mission for 63 years and an independent church for thirty-seven years. In 2006, the church moved to its new campus in Tierrasanta. The Chinese Community Church continues to provide a warm setting for worship and fellowship not only for the historic Chinese community in San Diego, but also for its current congregation, a diverse gathering of people from many nations.
Le Ly Hayslip is Vietnamese and a survivor of the Viet Nam War. She has been the victim of all the horrors of that war, both reported and unreported, for most of her life. Hayslip has every right to be bitter, but she has forgiven her enemies and moved forward to help others rebuild their shattered lives. In 1988, she founded the "East Meets West Foundation," a humanitarian relief organization, which physically and emotionally helps to rebuild lives on both sides of the world. Her book "When Heaven and Earth Changed Places" moved award winning filmmaker, Oliver Stone, a Vietnam veteran himself, to fund the building of Mother's Love Clinic for homeless children in Le Ly's vil- lage in Da Nang. With the further help from actor-comedian Robert Kline and
Sen. John Kerry, money has been raised to build Peace Village, a medical center for children. Oliver Stone will soon be producing a film about the humanity of Le Ly Hayslip. In her genuine concern to help heal the emotional wounds of many Americans who fought that bloody war in Vietnam, Hayslip acts as confes- sor to those who left Vietnam with overwhelming guilt. She strives to bring peace of mind to many brave warriors, who have grieved for too long, many at the expense of their jobs, homes and families. Hayslip encourages many of these former fighters to return to Vietnam to build schools and medical facilities for chil- dren, women and the disabled. She knows that positive action heals old wounds. Her Living Legacy is a blessing on two continents.
Tzu Chi Foundation was established in 1966 by Venerable Dharma Master Cheng Yen. For over 44 years, the foundation has been contribut- ing to better social and community services, medical care, education and humanism in Hualien and around the world. From the first 30 members, housewives who saved two cents from their grocery money each day to help the poor, the foundation has grown to over five million members in 47 coun- tries. Tzu Chi’s missions focus on giving material aid to the needy and
inspiring love and humanity to both givers and receivers. In addition to charity, the foundation dedicates itself in the fields of medicine, education, environmental protection, international relief work and the establishment of the world’s third largest marrow donor registry. It also promotes humanistic values and community volun- teerism.
The American Chinese Culture and Education Foundation (ACCEF) is a leading non-profit, non- political, non-religious, and public charity organization dedicated to promoting
Chinese culture and education in the United States and helping less-privileged children in rural areas of China to finish their education. ACCEF's members are hundreds of Chinese-American professionals from various fields such as science, technology and commerce. Many of them are corporate executives, principal investigators, project leaders, and business owners. Since 2004, the American Chinese Culture and Education Foundation (ACCEF) has provided financial support to more than 50 children in poor, moun- tainous regions in Guangxi Autonomous Region in China for them to continue their education. ACCEF has also teamed with another volunteer organization in China and rebuilt two elementary schools that were closed down due to lack of funding. The reception of Chinese Artist Yong, Xian Rang was held in San Diego Museum of Man on April 30. ACCEF co-organized this up-scale event with more than 200 people participating – another accomplishment in promoting Chinese culture to the American mainstream.
Government Mitz Lee, in her 28 years, has amassed a long and distinguished record of
service to Greater San Diego. As a Trustee and Vice- President for the San Diego Unified School District, she oversaw more than 221 schools, 132,000 students, over 15,800 employees, and an annual budget of $2.2 billion. Before serving on the Board of Education, Lee demonstrated her commitment to academic excellence by co-founding the Alliance for Quality Education, a non-profit education reform organization dedicated to strengthening the capacity of communities to act as cat- alyst to transform and revitalized public education, so that every child receives a quality education. She cofounded the Filipino American Community Empowerment (FACE), a nonpartisan, non-profit political action committee to empower the Filipino American Community and create positive change though the political process by creating a strong and effective voice for Filipino Americans and, more recently, helped found the Asian and Pacific American Coalition (APAC) of San Diego.
Mark Pulido is a member of the Cerritos City Council, elected by more than 5,000 votes, the largest plurality by a single candidate in the city’s history. Before being elected to the City Council, he was on the ABC Unified School District and directed State Senator Alan Lowenthal’s’s district office. Son of immigrants, Pulido hails from humble origins. He worked his way though college by bagging groceries and collecting shopping carts at the old FEDCO, and as a movie theater usher. “This is the culmination of my families’ American Dream,” he said on election night. Now that he is elected, he said that he hopes other Filipino Americans will follow in his path.
Julio DeGuzman is the director of Community
and Government Relations in the San Diego City Attorney’s office. For the past two years he has been working with community and planning groups and oversees special projects. Before that he was an investi- gator for the City Attorney, earning a reputation for getting to the truth of the matter, skills he honed as a Special Agent with the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Services. He was only the second Filipino hired by that agency. He also worked for the
Department of Justice and the Defense Office of Inspector General, Office of Criminal Investigations. Born in Malasiqui, Pangasinan, DeGuzman came to the United States when he was three years old. His father enlisted in the United States Navy and was stationed in San Diego. DeGuzman attended San Diego State University and began his career in law enforcement as a Deputy Probation Officer.
Lilbert “Gil” Ontai is an architect and part-time lecturer at Springfield College. For eight years he served on the San Diego Redevelopment Board of Directors for the Downtown District and the San Diego Planning Commission. More recently, he was appointed to the California Citizens Redistricting Commission. This unique honor caps a 30 year com- mitment to the community. Over that time Ontai has been active in a wide-range of professional, education- al, health, civic and multicultural organizations. He serves as a volunteer board member of the Pacific American Academy and the Neighborhood House Association.
Warren Furutani represents the 55th Assembly District, which includes Carson, Long Beach, Harbor City and Wilmington. He is chair of the Select Committee on Career Technical Education and Workforce Development, a member of the Higher Education Master Plan Review Committee, and the Community College Caucus, which he founded. Among his major legislative accomplishments are bills that sought to right the wrong of the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. One granted honorary college degrees to Japanese Americans whose education was dis- rupted by their incarceration. The other established January 30 as Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution. Korematsu challenged the law that authorized the relocation centers. In honoring him, Furutani hopes that California schools will take the opportunity to teach the importance of civil liber- ties and the protection of citizens’ constitutional rights.
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