The California Endowment’s Sons & Brothers Campaign has released 10 works of art that portray prominent Asian Americans in honor of AAPI Heritage Month.
Visual artist Jessica Singh pays tribute to 10 individuals who have broken barriers, brought attention to the injustices faced by AAPI communities, showcased the richness of their cultural heritage, and expanded a shared vision of health and justice for all.
The 10 individuals are:
- Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye is the 28th chief justice of California. She was sworn into office on January 3, 2011, and is the first Asian-Filipina American and the second woman to serve as the state’s chief justice. At the time she was nominated as Chief Justice, she had served more than 20 years on California trial and appellate courts, including six years on the Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District, in Sacramento. The Chief Justice has received numerous awards including the Public Interest Excellence Award, from the Public Interest Law Foundation, and the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award, from the American Bar Association.
- George Takei is known for his role as Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the USS Enterprise in the television series Star Trek. He is an advocate for LGBTQ rights and active in state and local politics.
- Jeremy Lin is a professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He unexpectedly led a winning turnaround with the New York Knicks in 2012, which generated a global following known as “Linsanity.” He is the first American of Chinese or Taiwanese descent to play in the league.
- Jirayut Latthivongskorn is the first undocumented student accepted as a UC San Francisco (UCSF) medical student.
- Lian Cheun is the executive director of Khmer Girls in Action, an advocacy group for youth, women, and others in the local Southeast Asian community. She is among the new commissioners, who serve as the Obama administration’s eyes and ears of the AAPI community.
- Mindy Kaling is a comedian widely known for creating and starring as Mindy Lahiri in the Fox sitcom The Mindy Project.
- Philip Vera Cruz was a Filipino American labor leader, farmworker, and leader in the Asian American civil rights movement. He was a co-founder of the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee, which later merged with the National Farm Workers Association to become the United Farm Workers. He was the longest-serving Filipino officer in the United Farm Workers (UFW), acting as vice-president under Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta from 1966 to 1977.
- Godwin Higa is the principal of Cherokee Point Elementary School in San Diego. He is known for his compassion-based philosophy and elevating awareness around the effects of childhood trauma on students.
- Rob Bonta is a politician serving in the California State Assembly representing the 18th District in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is the first Filipino American elected to the California State Legislature. Assemblymember Bonta serves as the Co-Chair for the Assembly Select Committee on Boys & Men of Color.
- Roy Choi is a Korean American chef who gained prominence as the creator of the gourmet Korean taco truck, Kogi. He was born in Seoul, Korea and ended up emigrating from South Korea permanently in 1972.
You can see the artistic renderings of all ten people featured here.