Constance L. “Connie” Rice is a prominent American civil rights activist and lawyer. She is also the co-founder and co-director of the Advancement Project in Los Angeles. She has received more than 50 major awards for her work in expanding opportunity and advancing multi-racial democracy.
Stewart Kwoh is the founding President and Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Los Angeles (formerly known as the Asian Pacific American Legal Center).
Kwoh is a nationally recognized leader and expert in race relations, Asian American studies, nonprofit organizations and philanthropies, civil rights, and legal services. He was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow in 1998, becoming the first Asian American attorney and human rights activist to receive this highly prestigious recognition, often referred to as the “genius grant.”
In 1983, Kwoh co-founded Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Los Angeles, the nation’s largest Asian American legal and civil rights organization that serves more than 15,000 individuals and organizations every year. Advancing Justice | Los Angeles’s mission is to advocate for civil rights, provide legal services and education, and build coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (NHPI) and to create a more equitable and harmonious society. The organization provides direct services to individual clients; engages in policy advocacy, research and analysis; litigates impact lawsuits; and provides social change-based leadership training. Advancing Justice | Los Angeles has successfully challenged garment sweatshops, English-only workplace policies, racially discriminatory employment practices and unfair immigration laws as well as advocated for stronger protections for low-wage workers, limited-English-speaking immigrants, and hate crime victims.
Under Kwoh’s leadership, Advancing Justice | Los Angeles has become a leading advocate for Asian American and NHPI communities while working to build bridges with African American, Latino, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.
Kwoh earned his bachelor’s degree from University of California, Los Angeles and his J.D. from the UCLA School of Law.
John Lim is the co-founder and Managing Partner of Lim, LimNexus LLP, a leading minority-owned corporate boutique firm with offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco. As a corporate lawyer since 1982, John has represented clients including Fortune 500 and Global 1000 companies, financial institutions, governmental entities, private equity funds, commercial developers and institutional investors in all facets of corporate, real estate and financing transactions. John has handled a broad range of sophisticated transactions encompassing major commercial projects, complex real estate loans, asset-based loans, syndicated loans, securitized debts, EB-5 equity and debt transactions and other creative financing deals involving cutting-edge technology. In addition, he regularly advises emerging high tech ventures as outside general counsel.
John, a 1982 graduate of University of California, Hastings College of the Law, has been selected as a “Southern California Super Lawyer” numerous times. He has received the Wiley W. Manuel Award for Pro Bono Legal Services from the State Bar of California and the Community Leadership Award from Korean American Bar Association of Southern California. John serves on the boards of several nonprofit organizations including the Council of Korean Americans, the California Bar Foundation, the Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles and the UC Hastings Foundation.
Grounded in his firm conviction to further equal opportunity and equal access to justice, John actively supports various public interest law groups that serve the disadvantaged and marginalized. In addition, John and his partners provide scholarships to diverse law students through the LimNexus Foundation.
JOHNG HO SONG
Johng Ho Song is the Executive Director of Koreatown Youth and Community Center, a nonprofit organization that serves the recently immigrated and economically disadvantaged children and families of the multiethnic Koreatown community in Los Angeles. KYCC is the leading multiservice provider in Koreatown, offering services that include affordable housing, Pre-K-12 education, community economic development and mental health counseling. Under Mr. Song’s leadership, KYCC’s programs have expanded to six different sites across central Los Angeles, and its annual operating budget has grown to more than $7.5 million.
Mr. Song was born in Seoul, Korea, and immigrated to the United States when he was 11. He attended the University of California, Los Angeles, where he graduated with a degree in psychology. He began his career at KYCC as a counselor in 1989, and he has been the organization’s Executive Director since 1998.
Among numerous community-supporting roles, Mr. Song is a Fellow at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Senior Fellow at the UCLA School of Public Policy and Social Research, California Commissioner on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs, Los Angeles County Commissioner on Alcohol and Other Drugs, and Board President of A3PCON (Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council) from 2013-2015.
Most recently, Mr. Song received the Durfee Foundation Sabbatical Award in 2009 and the Durfee Foundation’s Stanton Fellowship in 2016, for which he is conceiving and developing a community plan for Koreatown.