The 2013 recipients of the Immigrant Heritage Awards were announced by the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation (AIISF) recently. Launched in 2010, the Immigrant Heritage Awards celebrate individuals and institutions whose work exemplifies the valuable contributions made by immigrants today.
“These awards shine the spotlight on the significant role West Coast Immigrants play today. Each of our recipients is making a remarkable contribution to our society with far-reaching impact. The stories of West Coast immigration are not as well known as those of the East Coast. AIISF’s goal is to have those stories told so that the entire American story can be known, ”said AIISF executive director, Michael McKechnie.
Immigrant Heritage Awards are given in four categories of leadership: Youth, Education, Philanthropy, and Community. Past recipients include: Yuan Yuan Tan, SF Ballet Principal Dancer, Linda Frank, Author and Noel Lee, CEO of Monster Cable.
Catherine was recently honored by the White House as one of 15 women who were selected as “Champions of Change” as part of its celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. She is a Social Justice Fellow at Asian American/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy and has spoken on Angel Island about her experiences as an undocumented college student, drawing parallels between the past and present. A Fremont resident, Catherine holds a BA in Political Science from UC Berkeley where as an undergraduate she served on the Chancellor’s Task Force, which contributed to a legacy of lasting policy changes in the campus’ accessibility and support for undocumented students. Catherine also serves on the Board of Directors of United We Dream, the largest network of immigrant youth led organizations. She has also written articles for publications such as the Huffington Post andHarvard Education Review and spoken at several national conferences to share her story of being “undocumented and unafraid.”
Long before Costco or Wal-Mart, Lit Ng and his family developed new concepts in large discount stores in the Monterey area in the 1960s, the Monte Marts. Born in Guangdong Province in 1932, Lit and his father were detained on Angel Island in 1939. From there, he went to school in San Francisco, where he attended Washington Elementary School, then moved to Tulare when he was still a boy. Later, he got involved in the family businesses, which grew and became institutions in Monterey County. They pioneered the concept of large stores that sold not only groceries, but many other items. In the 1960s, he sold his stores to Albertson’s. In retirement, he and his wife Sintao have traveled a great deal between Monterey, Montana, where they own a ranch, and China, where they have helped build seven hospitals and 45 schools and been involved in a great deal of philanthropy. They have been very active in the world of wildlife conservation, especially in China.
Born in Mysore, Karnataka, India, Kumar Malavalli attended Mysore’s National Institute of Engineering and gained two degrees, one in physics another in engineering. He worked for two decades for large companies including Hewlett-Packard. Malavalli developed and standardized Fibre Channel, an evolutionary technology that enabled the development of storage area networks. In 1995, he co-founded Brocade Communications System and was its chief technical officer, and is currently chief executive officer, co-founder and chair of InMage Systems, a firm that has pioneered the development of event-based disaster recovery and affordable data protection software. He has been an investor and mentor in many Silicon Valley startups, and started his own venture capital firm in 2007. Malavalli is the first person from India to be inducted into the Silicon Valley Engineering Council Hall of Fame, and received an honorary doctor of science degree from CSU East Bay this year. His philanthropic endeavors in education began with digital learning centers in rural parts of his native India and have extended to universities in the United States and Canada. He established an endowed chair at UC Santa Cruz to support a professorship for storage systems research in 2005 and co-founded Indus Scholastic Management Services, serving as a trustee of the Indus International Schools in Bangalore, India.
The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life
The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life is now housed as part of the collection of the Bancroft Museum of the University of California at Berkeley. Its remarkably diverse archive, library and museum holdings include art, objects, texts, music, and historical documents about Jews in the Global Diaspora and the American West. The Magnes has focused on preserving the legacy of vanishing communities around the world. Its founding paralleled the establishment of Jewish studies as an academic field, and the museum continued to involve leading scholars, including UC Berkeley faculty and students, in the development and interpretation of its holdings. Responding to the ethos of pluralism of the 1960’s, the Magnes expanded the canon of Jewish cultural history, integrating visual, musical and material cultures with traditional text-focused approaches. Its resources have proven invaluable as AIISF seeks to learn more about Jewish refugees and immigrants who immigrated through Angel Island and the Bay Area.
The presentation of the Immigrant Heritage Awards headline Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation’s 30th Anniversary Celebration and Benefit, Immigrant Dreams. Hero Voices, Friday, September 27, 6:00 pm, at the Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco with Joan Chen, honorary co-chair and Jan Yanehiro as emcee.