Unity Dinner


AAC_10thAnniversaryDinner (61 of 132) 

Eleventh Annual Unity Dinner

Friday, May 26, 2017

6:00 PM – 9:30 PM

Boston University Metcalf Hall at George Sherman Union

775 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA  02215

The Unity Dinner serves to celebrate the achievements of Asian Americans around the commonwealth and to raise the funds to carry out the Commission’s advocacy work. Each year’s theme explores a trend that heavily influences our economical, political, and social standings.

Join us for an evening of networking and entertainment as we honor and recognize individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions by working tirelessly to promote positive change and to ensure a greater livelihood for the communities they serve.

“Honoring Change Agents: Celebrating AAPI History, Progress & Achievement”  this year’s dinner theme, will highlight the extraordinary work of individuals and organizations in our Commonwealth through three award categories: Leadership for Inclusion & Diversity, Lifetime Achievement, and Community Hero.

We will honor and recognize the award recipients in the following three award categories:

Community Hero AwardAn individual or organization who/which has displayed selfless commitment to the issues and events affecting AAPIs, and who/which has contributed efforts towards the betterment of AAPIs without self-promotion or fanfare. Boa Newgate and The Southeast Asian Coalition 

Mr. Newgate is the Lead Manager for the Mental Health Cultural Case Management program at the Southeast Asian Coalition, where he has worked since 2008. He also oversees SEAC’s Youth Effect program that serves more than 100 youth annually. Mr. Newgate initiated the Vietnamese Language program at SEAC and co-founded SEAC’s Lion Dance program, which has been instrumental in helping keep kids off the street while encouraging them to embrace their cultural heritage.  Mr. Newgate is a much-loved mentor and friend for many at-risk youth in Worcester.  He is also well respected by older members of the Asian community in Worcester for his dedication to helping refugees, immigrants and low-income residents to successfully integrate and thrive, and to providing a safe place for youth to grow holistically.

Leadership for Inclusion & Diversity Award
An individual or organization who/which has displayed pioneering efforts in promoting and celebrating Asian American & Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) through workforce development, mentoring, and collaborations. Eastern Bank

Eastern Bank was Founded in 1818 and based in Boston, Eastern Bank is America’s oldest and largest mutual bank, with $10 billion in assets and over 120 locations serving communities in eastern Massachusetts, southern and coastal New Hampshire and Rhode Island. Eastern Bank, which includes Eastern Wealth Management and Eastern Insurance, is known for its outspoken advocacy and community support that has topped more than $100 million in charitable giving over the past 20 years.
Embracing diversity and inclusion makes Eastern a better employer and a better provider of service to its customers, including those in the Asian American & Pacific Islanders community. A dedicated team of Eastern employees annually organize the company’s participation in the Lunar New Year Celebration, the Hong Kong Boston Dragon Boat Festival, and the Southeast Asian Water Festival. Last year, Eastern hosted hundreds of people at a small business event and workshop produced in partnership with the Asian American Commission and the U.S. Small Business Administration.   

Lifetime Achievement Award – Presented to an individual or organization who/which has displayed longstanding and exemplary dedication to supporting the AAPI community. Mary Chin, Asian American Civic Association

Ms. Mary Chin has been the Director of Social work at the Boston Medical Center for over 20 years. She is currently the Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Asian American Civic Association (AACA), an organization that focuses on workforce development to help immigrants achieve self-sufficiency. Mary has volunteered for AACA for nearly 30 years. Mary is also a member of the Board of Directors of Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD). She is also a member of ABCD’s Health Services Committee and the Employment and Training Committee. Mary has been Vice-Chair of the Massachusetts Board of Registration for Social Work for over 4 years. She is also a member of the Advisory Board of the South End Neighborhood Action Program. In the past, Mary served as member of the Board of Directors for the American Cancer Society, for the Literacy Volunteers of America, and for the National Association of Social Work. Mary has helped many organizations in accomplishing their missions through her leadership and dedication.

Awards will be given on Friday, May 26, 2017 at our 11th Annual Unity Dinner at Boston University GSU Metcalf Hall

 Program Schedule

 6:00 pm            Reception – Hors d’oeuvre and Cash Bar
6:45 pm            Opening Remarks and Acknowledgements
Dr. Elisa Choi, AAC Chairperson
6:55 pm            Greetings
State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg
State Auditor Suzanne Bump
Assistant Attorney General April English
7:05 pm            Performance by Verge Dance Company
7:15 pm            Dinner starts
7:30 pm            Special guest speaker

Professor Franklin Odo, speak on 75th Anniversary of Executive Order 9066
7:55pm             Keynote speaker
Justice Fernande “Nan” Duffly, MA Supreme Justice Court
8:15 pm            Award Ceremony
Ms. Vira Douangmany Cage, Unity Dinner Chairperson
8:45 pm            Year in Review
Mr. Nick Chau, AAC Vice-Chairperson
8:55 pm            Closing Remarks
Ms. Bora Chiemruom, AAC Executive Director
9:00 pm            Socializing and Photo Booth
9:30 pm            End of Evening

The Asian American Commission of Massachusetts appreciates your time and hopes that you can join us for what promises to be an uplifting, informational, and entertaining evening!

Reception starts at 6pm – Hors d’oeuvres
Smoked Salmon Crostini
Vietnamese Spring Roll with Cilantro Dip
Chilled Shrimp with Citrus Cocktail Sauce
Chicken Samosa with Tamarind Dip
Peking Duck Spring Roll with Spicy Hoisin Dip
Crisp Thai Curry Shrimp

Dinner starts at 7:15 pm

Chopped Belgian Endive and Watercress Salad
Red Wine Vinaigrette Dressing
Fresh Rolls with Butter
Entrée of Choices
Grilled Fresh Herb-Marinated Statler Breast of Chicken w/Mushroom Ragout
Vegetarian – Butternut Squash Raviolis
Apple Frangipane Tart
Fresh Brewed Coffee, Decaf, and Tea


Keynote Speaker: Justice Fernande “Nan” Duffly, the first Asian American judge to serve on the Massachusetts Supreme Justice Court.


Special Guest Speaker: Professor Franklin Odo, on the 75th Anniversary of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s signing of Executive Order 9066, which authorized the internment of American citizens of Japanese ancestry and resident aliens from Japan.

Event Emcee: Liz Cheng, WGBH’s General Manager for Television, overseeing local channels WGBH 2, WGBX 44, ‘GBH Kids, Create, Boston Kids & Family TV as well as the national public television multicast channel WORLD.

Other Programs

  • AAPI Change Agent Highlights
  • Awards ceremony
  • Cultural Performances

PARKING INFORMATION: Guests can use any of the pay on entry lots throughout campus. There is a Red Sox Game next Friday, please plan accordingly!  You can check this website http://www.bu.edu/parking/lots-locations/red-sox-parking/  to show exact addresses and prices for each lot.

Parking Lots near GSU Metcalf Hall

To sponsor this event and purchase group tickets please go to:

Online Sponsorship!

The sponsorship package is also available on pdf.  Sponsorshippackage.pdf

Please submit your sponsorship advertisement by Friday, May 19, 2017.  Late submission will only be accepted if you’ve made special accommodations with the Executive Director, Bora Chiemruom, Bora.Chiemruom@aacommisison.org.

Special thanks to our early sponsors:

Asian American Civic Association

East Boston Savings Bank

Eastern Bank

Element Care

Enterprise Bank


Chinatown Main Street

South Cove Community Health Center

Tai Tung Pharmacy & Realty Company

Thanh V. Tran

Vietnamese American Community of MA

2017 Unity Dinner Press Release

Tenth Annual Unity Dinner

“Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Pioneers”