MILPITAS – Three local community leaders from Alameda and Santa Clara counties who are active in education, social justice, arts, culture and the nonprofit sectors were honored by State Sen. Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) at his seventh annual Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage Leadership Awards ceremony on May 12 at the Milpitas Unified School District Boardroom.
“Each of these individuals illustrates in their own way the broad contributions made by the Asian Pacific Islander community in the region,” Wieckowski said. “Year after year, their level of civic engagement is constant and impactful. I am honored to take a moment to recognize their accomplishments and service.”
The honorees were:
Andrew Kong Knight of Hayward, an award-winning artist and educator who has taught drawing, painting and mural painting classes throughout the Bay Area for over 20 years. He has worked on a variety of national and international art commissions and his artwork has been featured in dozens of publications, including The San Francisco Chronicle and American Illustration. Kong Knight was commissioned to design many public murals in the East Bay, including the “Hayward Gateway Mural,” “Fields of Dreams,” “Faces of Hayward,” and “Hollywood Meets Hayward.”
Richard Konda of San Jose, the executive director of the Asian Law Alliance, an organization aimed at helping individuals obtain decent housing, justice in the immigration process, and access to basic human and legal rights. During his career, Konda has also helped to facilitate the formation of the Coalition for Justice and Accountability to advocate for humane police practices, and has been an active participant in the movement to obtain redress for Japanese Americans incarcerated by the U.S. government during World War II.
Asian Pacific Environmental Network, based in the East Bay, which focuses on working with Asian and Pacific Islander communities to promote environmental, social and economic justice reform. Since 1993, APEN has organized a membership base of largely API immigrant and refugee communities to take part in public policy advocacy on issues such as affordable housing, renewable energy, and climate change. APEN also helps to advance civic engagement in the community through its voter education and registration drives.
Wieckowski’s 10th Senate District includes southern Alameda County and northeast Santa Clara County.