Unity Dinner

Thursday, May 3, 2018



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.

#RepresentASIAN is this year’s dinner theme and 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.

Join us for an evening of networking and entertainment featuring keynote speaker Dr. Pam Eddinger, President of Bunker Hill Community College, 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.

Registration for our 2018 Twelfth Annual Unity Dinner is now open


AAC programming is fully funded by our donors. Please consider sponsoring our Unity Dinner so that the AAC may continue providing opportunities to AAPI communities across the Commonwealth.

Sponsorship Opportunities


Asian American Commission’s 11th Annual Unity Dinner 

Message from Vira Douangmany Cage, Unity Dinner Chair:

A Red Sox game and a long weekend did not stop the nearly 300 attendees who made the trek to support our 11th Annual Unity Dinner Fundraiser on Friday, May 26th.  Supporters came from all over the Commonwealth including as far west as Northfield to celebrate AAPI history, leadership and achievement interspersed with art and dance.  Through table sponsors, individual ticket sales, and funds raised during the evening, we are well-positioned to continue AAC’s year-long programming and outreach.  We hope to see you again or please consider joining us for the first time in 2018!

The Commonwealth of MA Asian American Commission (AAC) celebrated Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and our 11th anniversary as the only permanent state government organization advocating exclusively for and on behalf of the MA Asian American & Pacific Islander communities, at our annual Unity Dinner event, on Friday May 26, 2017, with the theme of “Honoring Change Agents: Celebrating AAPI History, Progress, & Achievement”.

There are so many “Thank You” messages to give, but the AAC particularly is appreciative of everyone who attended the event, in support of the work of the AAC.

As the sole fundraising event the AAC holds, to support all the free community programming for the rest of the year, the AAC is grateful to the generous sponsors of the Eleventh Annual Unity Dinner: Eastern BankSouth Cove Community Health CenterTai Tung PharmacyTai Tung RealtyEast Boston Savings BankEast West BankAsian American Civic Association – AACAAsian American Lawyers Association of MassachusettsBunker Hill Community CollegeChinatown Main Street (Boston)Element CareKorean American Citizens League of New EnglandSantander Bank USSoutheast Asian Coalition, Vietnamese American Community of MA, Commissioner Mabel Lam, Thanh V. Tran, Boston College Connell School of NursingTufts Medical Center.

Congratulations and “Thank you” to Special Guest Speaker Professor Franklin Odo, and Keynote Speaker, Justice Fernande R.V. Duffly. A special acknowledgement of appreciation goes to event Emcee Liz Cheng (of WGBH and WORLD Channel).

The AAC thanks Deborah B. Goldberg, Massachusetts State TreasuryMassachusetts State Auditor, Suzanne M. Bump, and Assistant Attorney General April English, for welcoming remarks.

Thank you to the MA AAPI Legislative Caucus (Rep. Tackey Chan, Rep. Keiko Orrall, and Rep. Donald Wong) for your support and attendance. We appreciate the letter of support for our Unity Dinner event from Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz.

The AAC appreciates the participation at the Unity Dinner of numerous government officials and international diplomats: Consul General of South Korea Songjun Ohm, Consul General of Japan Rokuichiro Michii, Assistant Secretary for Business Development & International Trade Nam Pham, Executive Director of the Office of Refugees and Immigrants Mary Truong, City Councilor of Lynn Hong Net, City of Newton Alderwoman Amy Mah Sangiolo, City Councilor of Lowell Rodney Elliott.

The Commonwealth of MA Asian American Commission is grateful for the wonderful community of supporters, and we look forward to continuing and advancing our work, with more partnerships and collaborations, in forthcoming months, to advocate for the state’s AAPI communities and individuals.

The Unity Dinner was featured in a lovely article in Sampan news: http://sampan.org/2017/05/asian-american-commission-celebrates-unity-dinner/

Please see below for more captures from this year’s Unity Dinner.


Thank you Governor Baker for your proclamation of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month! Presented to the Commission by Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary for Business Development & International Trade and May Truong, Executive Director of the Office of Refugees and Immigrants.

Boa Newgate and The Southeast Asian Coalition received the Community Hero Award: 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. 


Eastern Bank is honored to receive this year’s ‘Leadership for Inclusion & Diversity Award’ from the Asian American Commission.  We are proud to celebrate our unwavering commitment to the Asian American and Pacific Islanders community.”-Dan Sullivan, Executive Vice President and Chief Credit Officer, 2017



Mary Chin received the Lifetime Achievement Award – 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. 






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




FranklinOdo.jpgSpecial 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.





Eleventh Annual Unity Dinner

“Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Pioneers”