Asian American / Asian Research Institute
16th Annual Gala

Date: Thursday, November 30, 2017

Time: 6:30PM to 9:30PM
Program will begin promptly at 7PM!

Place: Jing Fong Restaurant
20 Elizabeth Street, New York, NY 10013


Letitia James is the Public Advocate for the City of New York, serving as a direct link between New Yorkers and their government, acts as a watchdog over City agencies, and investigates complaints about City services. Public Advocate James is a graduate of CUNY's Lehman College and Howard University School of Law. She previously served as an Assistant Attorney General, and a public defender.

Public Advocate James made history in 2014 by becoming the first woman of color to hold citywide office in New York City. She is a strong advocate for criminal justice reform, and led the push for police body-worn cameras in the NYPD. She has revamped the Worst Landlords Watchlist, and has introduced legislation into the City Council to protect tenants. She fought for universal free lunch for public school students and for comprehensive reform of the system to track education plans for students with disabilities. She is also an advocate for paid family leave, raising the wage, and introduced legislation to ban questions about salary history from the employment process to end gender wage discrimination.

When she served as a City Council Member, she fought for Paid Sick Leave, and passed the Safe Housing Act. She passed legislation addressing oversight of high-cost service contracts with the City of New York. As Chair to the Council’s Sanitation Committee, she pushed-through a revolutionary recycling package that improves recycling.

Kwai Kin (David) Ho is the first Chinese American elected to the position of Home Care Division Vice President, 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East. Before becoming Vice President, David worked as an organizer for nine years at the Home Care Division. Under this Union, David leads the Chinese Home Care Workers.

At thirteen years of age David emigrated with his family from Hong Kong to the U.S. and grew up in Brooklyn. He graduated from Hunter College with a Bachelor degree in psychology. Four years later, he graduated with a Master degree in Social Work at Hunter College. He also received his Licensed Certification in Social Work from the University of the State of New York Education Department.

David is a Trustee of the 1199 Bill Michelson Home Care Industry Education Fund, as well as the Home Care Benefit Fund and Pension Fund. He also serves on the Advisory Board of Health and Safety at the 1199 SEIU Union. He was formerly appointed by the Mayor of Plainsboro Township, NJ, to be a member of the Human Relations Council, and was elected Treasurer in 2013 and 2015, and Vice President in 2014. In 2015, he was appointed by the National Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance known as APALA President to be the New Jersey Chapter President to start a new chapter in New Jersey. In 2016, he was elected to be the SEIU API Caucus Regional Vice President for the East coast at the SEIU API Caucus.

David’s work was recognized in 2006 when he received the Outstanding Union Leader Award by the Asian American Democratic Association of Queens, Inc.

Peter Lee is
an undergraduate student majoring in Anthropology at Brooklyn College/CUNY. As part of a year-long anthropological research project starting in Fall 2017, Mr. Lee will curate and complete an ethnographic photo collection that documents the practice of Chinese seniors who travel to long distances to casinos to redeem vouchers as a way of living. The project will critically examine the larger issues of poverty, aging, and the well-being within the Chinese community.

Ernabel Demillo is a veteran New York City broadcaster and journalism educator. Ernabel received her B.A. in Journalism and International Relations from the University of Southern California and her M.S. in Broadcast Journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. For 10 years, she worked as a reporter and anchor on the Emmy-award winning FOX morning news show, “Good Day New York.” Before coming to New York, she was a reporter for the Orange County Newschannel and the CBS-affiliate in Sacramento.

Ernabel currently hosts and reports for CUNY-TV’s three time Emmy-nominated program “Asian American Life”, a magazine-style show focusing on the tri-state’s Asian American community. Her stories have focused on hard-hitting AAPI issues from the growing political influence of AAPIs to Asian American parents and their LGBTQ children. Her stories have also focused on diversity in theater, Hollywood and children’s/YA literature. And she has interviewed and profiled innovators, leaders and rising stars in business, technology, entertainment and the arts.

An award-winning journalist, cited by the Governor of New York for her service and contributions to the Asian American Community, Ernabel was honored with a Folio Award for Best Environmental Reporting. She also recently made Buzzfeed’s list of 34 Epic Filipinos in the United States for her work as a journalist and educator and was featured in the recent book: Filipinos in New York. Ernabel was also featured in The Limited’s New Look of Leadership Campaign.

Along, with her work as a journalist, Ernabel is also a tenured Journalism Lecturer at St. Peter’s University in Jersey City, N.J. She started the Journalism program in 2008 and served as the faculty adviser to the school newspaper, the Pauw Wow, which was named one of the Top 10 college newspapers in the country. She stepped down in 2016 to head the college’s new Digital Media Lab.







2017 Annual Banquet

Banquet Program


Silent Auction / Raffle

Table Sponsor

Wen-Parker Logistics

Carol Huang
Betty Lee Sung
Pearl Tam

Special Thanks
John Eddler

Con Edison

The Ong Family Foundation

American Symphony Orchestra
Antony Wong
Asia Society
Broadway Comedy Club
Fraunces Tavern Museum
Guggenheim Museum
Jacques Marchais Museum
of Tibetan Art

Kathy's Design Ltd
Keming Liu
Koru Wellness Aesthetics
Kramer Portraits

NY Giants
NY Jets
NY Red Bulls
Pan Asian Repertory Theatre
Staten Island Museum
The New Victory Theater
The Orchestra Now
William Tam

Banquet Archive

2015 | 2014 | 2013 |
2012 | 2011 | 2010 |
2009 | 2008 | 2007 |
2006 |
2005 | 2004 |
2003 | 2002


Asian American / Asian Research Institute 2017

25 West 43rd Street, Room 1000, New York, NY 10036   
Phone: 212-869-0182 / 0187   
Fax: 212-869-0181 | E-mail: