Asian American Journalists Association proudly celebrated their 25th Annual Scholarship and Gala with keynote speakers Pulitzer Prize award winning journalist José Antonio Vargas and Presidential Advisory Council Commissioner and actor Maulik Pancholy.
José Antonio Vargas spoke of his dilemma of his recent detainment at the Texas border as an undocumented immigrant and coming out of the closet as a gay man to his grandmother. He is a highly acclaimed and controversial journalist and documentary film writer, producing visual and editorial commentary impacting AIDS and immigration policies in the U.S. Vargas’ national and international appearances include Nightline, The O’Reilly Factor and The Colbert Report.
Maulik Pancholy’s accolades include the popular roles he portrayed as Jonathan in the award winning comedy tv show 30 Rock and Showtime’s award winning Weeds as Sanjay. His recent appointment as Commissioner on the President’s Advisory Council of the White House Initiative on Asian American Pacific Islanders brings to focus the social disparities and stereotypes AAPI still encounter and address the issue of bullying in new social media.
AAJA also launched their inaugural Media Institute Fellows Program led by renowned media experts Pamela Wu, Emmy nominated former news anchor & television host; and Ellen Lee, freelance journalist and former staff writer at the San Francisco Chronicle. Distinguished speakers included Jan Yanehiro, Emmy award winning national broadcast journalist and author; Sharon Pian Chan, associate opinions and digital editor of the Seattle Times; Cefann Kim, general assignment, live newscast reporter, broadcast journalism NYC; and Chris Nguyen, anchor and breaking news reporter, Sacramento CA. The Media Institute Fellows Program was sponsored by Gannett, General Motors, and funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.