OCA Asian Pacific Islander American Advocates, Utah Chapter, held their 25th Anniversary Utah Asian Pacific Islander Community Awards Dinner in September 2023.
The Asian American and Pacific Islander communities have been an important part of Utah for decades.
Awards were presented to:
Youth Moving Mountains Award to the Utah Pasifika Intercollegiate Association
Living Treasures Award to the Divya School of Dance Tausala
Organization of the Year Award to Samoana Integrated Language Initiative and the Utah Asian Festival
Judge Michael Wei Kwan, Pillar of the Community Award to Senator Karen Kwan
Lifetime Achievement Award to Charlene Lui and Jani Iwamoto
Judge Michael Kwan was a Chinese American Utah Municipal Judge in the Taylorsville Justice Court. He was a leader in the Asian American community after moving to Utah from California. He was credited with starting the Utah chapter of what is now OCA Asian Pacific Islander American Advocates, and he had served as a National President of the organization. He sadly passed away in 2020 at the age of 58.
The award Pillar of the Community Award named in his honor was presented to his sister, Utah State Senator Karen Kwan. She has worked hand in hand with her brother in defending civil rights and fighting for the Asian American community.
There are many people working hard to make their communities better. Some are honored and rewarded, but most are not doing it for awards. They are doing it to help their fellowmen.