AAFE’s 49th Annual Lunar New Year Banquet holds special meaning because it is our first in-person gala in three years, reviving a cherished Chinatown tradition celebrating all we have accomplished together. As we celebrate the Year of the Rabbit, we feel compelled to acknowledge the many challenges our community has faced during the pandemic and continue to grapple with today. So many of the people we serve are confronting housing instability, food insecurity and small business decline This is why our collective work to support and uplift marginalized communities is more important than ever. 

This past year AAFE fully reopened our offices, resuming comprehensive in-person community services. But it was also a year in which we opened doors to an expanding array of programs and services in new communities. We began resident move-ins at East Village Homes, our 100% affordable rental project in Lower Manhattan; neared completion on a three building affordable co-op conversion program in the East Village; broke ground on our new affordable cooperative project in the Chelsea neighborhood; and moved forward with transitional housing for families with children in Flushing.  Our Community Services Department doubled the number of community members benefiting from direct aid to 14,000 annually, including record numbers of low-income tenants receiving anti-displacement assistance and access to essential government entitlement programs. And our affiliate,  Renaissance Economic Development Corporation, provided 75 low-interest loans to help struggling small businesses survive the pandemic for a total of more than  $3.5 million in loan capital, and helped 22 businesses receive $220,000 in total grant capital.

We are presenting our Dream of Equality Awards to the following changemakers: Adolfo Carrión, commissioner of the NYC Dept. of Housing Preservation and Development; the Asian American Bar Association of New York, the 34th Avenue Open Streets Coalition and Jackie Huey, who retired last year from the AAFE Board after more than 30 years of dedicated service. This evening we’re honoring her contributions but also the impact of many women – AAFE founders and leaders – who have built our organization into what it is today. 

Click here to see photos from AAFE’s 2023 Banquet.

More supportersA Place for Kids, Asian American Federation, The Beacon Group, First Republic Bank, Charles Fournier & Bonnie Litt, Jackie Huey, HZ Computers. 

About Our Honorees

Adolfo Carrión Jr. – Mr. Carrión has spent his professional career working to build and improve historically marginalized communities. He is currently Commissioner of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development. He previously served as Bronx Borough President and as a member of the New York City Council. Mr. Carrión was a regional administrator for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, deputy assistant to President Barack Obama and director of the White House Office of Urban Affairs. He also served as president of the National Association of Latino Elected Officials. He has a long and distinguished record of creating affordable housing in New York City and beyond both in the private and public sectors. 

Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) – Through its Pro Bono and Community Services Committee, AABANY offers free legal clinics to community members throughout New York City. During the pandemic, AAFE partnered with AABANY for bi-monthly clinics in Flushing. More than 250 people received 30 minute consultations from volunteer attorneys last year to help resolve housing and immigration cases, and to address other issues, as well. Through AAFE as well as several other nonprofit organizations, AABANY provides invaluable assistance to our community citywide, making culturally and linguistically appropriate legal services available to one of New York’s most underserved and vulnerable populations. 

34th Avenue Open Streets Coalition – During the pandemic, the Jackson Heights community benefited greatly from a new grassroots organization, the 34th Avenue Open Streets Coalition, which not only helped build neighborhood cohesion but also made essential resources accessible to everyone who needed them. AAFE has partnered with the coalition to expand access to our housing and social services across Jackson Heights and neighboring communities. The group has created a new, dynamic public space which has not only made our streets safer but provided the community with new cultural programming, opportunities for collaboration and access to culturally relevant services. 

Jacqueline Huey – For 34 years, Jacqueline Huey served as a member of the AAFE Board of Directors, providing invaluable insight and leadership as well as continuity as AAFE grew and evolved into a comprehensive community development organization. Starting in her college years and extending to the present day, Huey was (and is) deeply involved in the Chinatown community, supporting many different organizations and causes. She has always been a passionate women’s right activist and exemplifies the many dedicated women who co-founded and have led AAFE over the years. We are grateful to Jackie Huey for her dedication and commitment not only to AAFE but to the Asian American community. 


Elected Officials’ Lunar New Year Greetings

Messages from Elected Officials

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