a thursday in may...
2nd Annual Community Awards and Silent Auction
Joey Flora, Media Coordinator
"Communities are built through hard work.
However, it is the spirit of the individuals and institutions
that give them life."
On May 20, 1999, more than 250 community wellwishers and
avid bidders gathered at The Asian Art Museum for "a
thursday in may," Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness
Center's Second Annual Community Awards and Silent Auction.
They came as partners in our work to cele-brate the accomplishments
of the agency and to honor the achievements and contributions
of three distinguished AIDS activists and a neighborhood hospital.
As the Event Chair, James Williamson said, "Communities
are built through hard work. However, it is the sprit of the
individuals and institutions that give them life."
Johnnie Norway, co-founder of Bay Area Young Positives and
former board member of Asian AIDS Project/A&PI Wellness
Center, received the "Grassroots Award" for his
community activism as a young queer A&PI living with HIV.
Johnnie, a former member of the San Francisco HIV Health Services
Planning Council, has nurtured many young leaders who now
take on important responsibilities in the HIV/AIDS community
in San Francisco. Katie Tom, a retired nurse and statewide
trainer who served as Board Chair of Asian AIDS Project, presented
the award. "When Johnnie saw a need he filled it, not
waiting to be asked or acknowledged."
Tenderloin-based Saint Francis Memorial Hospital was presented
with the agency's "Ally Award," by Dr. Gifford Leoung,
a founding board member of Asian AIDS Project. This award
is given to people, groups or institutions whose work and
values support our communities and the priorities put forth
in A&PI Wellness Center's mission. Saint Francis stands
out as an ally because of their commitment to addressing the
needs of people living with or at risk for HIV and for providing
accessible healthcare for persons marginalized by socio-economic,
ethnic, or linguistic factors, regardless of immigration status
or ability to pay. We depend upon partnerships with ally organizations
to ensure that A&PIs in San Francisco have access to the
highest quality medical care.
Finally, the agency's "National Award" went to
Al and Jane Nakatani. The award was presented by Paul Shimazaki,
an original staff member of GAPA Community HIV Project/A&PI
Wellness Center. Following the death of the Nakatani's three
sons, Greg from violence in 1986, Glen in 1990 and Guy in
1994 from AIDS, they have embarked on a 'mission' to share
their story of tolerance, acceptance, and healing. The Nakatani's
story is chronicled in the best-selling book, Honor Thy Children,
and in an upcoming documentary.
Al Nakatani summed up the event for many of us in saying,
"know that there are those of us, who cherish and love
"diversity", in its total and complete sense.....and
that there always will be voices that will speak for dignity,
honor, acceptance and unconditional love for all children.
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