Congressman John Lewis, Jose Antonio Vargas, and Simone Wu to Receive 2013 Justice in Action Awards

New York, NY: On Tuesday, February 19, 2013, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) will present its 2013 Justice in Action Awards to Congressman John Lewis, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives (Georgia), Jose Antonio Vargas of Define American, and Simone Wu of Choice Hotels International, Inc. at PIER SIXTY, Chelsea Piers, in New York City.

The awards will be presented by Rep. Grace Meng, the first Asian American to represent New York in Congress, Tony Award-winning playwright of M. Butterfly David Henry Hwang, and Gordon Smith, CEO of Consumer and Community Banking, JPMorgan Chase.

The co-emcees for the evening are Juju Chang, Emmy Award-winning correspondent for ABC News Nightline, and Sree Sreenivasan, Chief Digital Officer at Columbia University.

A press conference and photo opportunity with the honorees, presenters, and AALDEF staff will take place prior to the evening’s festivities.  

WHAT:               AALDEF Justice in Action Awards Pre-Ceremony Press Conference

WHO:                Congressman John Lewis, honoree
                          Jose Antonio Vargas, honoree
                          Simone Wu, honoree
                          Rep. Grace Meng, presenter
                          David Henry Hwang, presenter
                          Gordon Smith, presenter
                          Juju Chang, emcee
                          Sree Sreenivasan, emcee
                          Tommy Shi, AALDEF president
                          Margaret Fung, AALDEF executive director

DATE/TIME:     Tuesday, February 19, 2013, from 5:30pm – 6:00pm  

WHERE:           PIER SIXTY, Chelsea Piers (23rd St and Hudson River), New York City  

RSVP:              Please RSVP to Ujala Sehgal at 212.966.5932 x217 or

Since 1987, AALDEF has presented the Justice in Action Award to individuals for their exceptional achievements and their efforts in advancing social justice and human rights for all. AALDEF presents the Justice in Action Awards at its annual Lunar New Year Gala, a celebration of Asian Americans in civil rights, law, business, and the arts.

All proceeds from the Lunar New Year Gala will go directly towards supporting AALDEF's legal and educational programs in immigrant rights, economic justice for workers, voting rights and civic participation, language access to services, educational equity, housing and environmental justice, and the elimination of hate violence, police misconduct, and human trafficking.