Pictured from left to right: Charles E. Schumer, Doris Ling-Cohan, Javier Valdés, Yvonne Stennett.

On Thursday, March 16, 2017, Asian Americans for Equality will be celebrating its 43rd Annual Lunar New Year Banquet with our friends and supporters in Manhattan’s Chinatown. Today we are pleased to announce our banquet honorees. They are the recipients of this year’s Dream of Equality Awards.

For their steadfast commitment and dedication to our community, AAFE is pleased to recognize U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer; Javier Valdés, co-executive director of Make the Road New York; Yvonne Stennett, executive director of Community League of the Heights; and New York State Supreme Court Judge Doris Ling-Cohan.

This year’s banquet will be held at Jing Fong Restaurant, 20 Elizabeth St. The event is sold out, but if you would still like to support our mission, please consider a donation to AAFE. You can make a contribution online here.

Here is more about our honorees:

CHARLES E. SCHUMER has been a United States senator from New York since 1988. In 2016, he was unanimously selected by his Democratic colleagues to serve as Senate Minority Leader. Senator Schumer has dedicated his career to working to protect the middle class. He’s legendary for visiting all 62 counties in New York each year, staying connected to his constituents and their concerns.

JAVIER H. VALDES leads Make the Road New York’s work in the areas of civil rights, education, housing, environmental justice and immigration. He has fought for policies to limit federal immigration enforcement in local communities, to improve the quality of affordable housing, expand translation services in government offices, to decrease biased policing and to provide paid sick days for low-income workers.

YVONNE STENNETT has dedicated her life to community development in the New York City neighborhoods of Hamilton Heights, Washington Heights and Inwood. As executive director of Community League of Heights since 1994, she has led the rehabilitation and development of more than 1200 units of low-income housing.

DORIS-LING COHAN was elected to the state supreme court in 2002, making her the first Asian-American woman to serve on the bench in that court. She has dedicated her career to helping immigrants and the disadvantaged negotiate the intricacies of the legal system. Ling-Cohan is the daughter of hardworking Chinese immigrants in Manhattan’s Chinatown. She famously decided in favor of same-sex marriage in 2005, six years before New York State approved the Marriage Equality Act.