Historic gathering marks celebration of Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month at Executive Mansion
May, marked as the Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month, culminated with an exceptional reception at the Executive Mansion, hosted by Governor Kathy Hochul, celebrating the rich culture and contribution of the AAPI community to New York. The event also highlighted the critical need for ongoing efforts to fight against hate and violence targeted at the AAPI community.
“New York State is proud to join in the national celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month,” Governor Hochul said in a statement. “New York has long served as a beacon of hope for immigrants and marginalized communities who are looking for a safe haven and a land of new opportunities. Our AAPI communities make us stronger, more resilient and more innovative and I hope that this month brings great joy as many across the state celebrate their rich heritage.”
The occasion was graced by some of the state’s prominent AAPI judges, who are pioneers in their own right, thus serving as an inspiring embodiment of the event’s significance. The event’s co-chair praised these trailblazing jurists for their invaluable contributions to New York’s judiciary and for their role in promoting diversity and eliminating bias.
Among the honorable attendees were Judge Biju Koshy, the first South Asian male Judge appointed in Richmond County; Judge Shahabuddeen (Shah) Ally, the first Muslim male Judge in New York State; and Judge Lillian Wan, the first Asian American female Judge appointed to the Appellate Division in New York State, also the first Asian American female Judge elected to judicial office in Kings County.
The event also saw the presence of Judge Zainab Chaudhury, the first Muslim female Judge and one of the first three South Asian Judges appointed to the Court of Claims in New York State, as well as Judge Judy Kim, the first Korean American female Judge elected to judicial office in New York County. Each one of these extraordinary individuals has carved out a path for all Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in New York.
Deputy Director of Asian American Affairs, Sibu Nair, and his team, were applauded for their efforts in organizing the significant reception. The celebration not only recognized the historical accomplishments of these trailblazers but also reiterated the essential role that AAPI representation plays in the state’s judicial system.
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