Past Change Maker Reception 2018



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The Change Maker Awards recognize and award outstanding individuals for their vision and leadership in the Asian Pacific American (APA) community. Each year, CACF honors individuals who are often not recognized for their commitment and dedication to the APA community. The Change Maker Awards Reception brings together community advocates, youth leaders, and supporters. The evening includes a reception and program to present these awards.





Adhikaar for Human Rights and Social Justice

Narbada Chhetri, Director of Organizing and Programs, leads the workers’ rights program at Adhikaar, advocating for the rights of the community’s sisters and brothers and assisting with access to services. She led Adhikaar in successfully campaigning for the New York State Domestic Workers Bill of Rights in 2010, and in 2015 was at the helm of the New York State Nail Salon Workers Bill of Rights. She currently represents Adhikaar on the National Domestic Workers Alliance board of directors. She has completed the 2012-13 Union Leadership Institute at Cornell University and the 2014 Coro Immigrant Leadership Program. Her campaign focus also includes organizing beauty technicians (nail salon) workers for their health and safety at the workplace. She oversees a range of programs, campaigns and services that support members to develop the skills & knowledge needed to secure better jobs and to live with dignity and respect in the U.S.  In her current role Narbada empowers Nepali-speaking immigrants to speak up about the injustices they face, and to learn about and assert their legal rights. With her close guidance trafficking survivors have secured victories and over $500,000 in lost or stolen wages have been recovered. Prior to coming to the U.S. in 2006, Narbada worked as a human rights activist in Nepal for 15 years, working in many issue areas including anti-trafficking. Her own experience of struggle and story is a tool to educate and empower others. She currently lives in Jackson Heights, Queens, with her daughter.



Mekong NYC

Khemara S. Nhann is a co-founder and the Arts and Cultural Director of Mekong NYC. He is responsible for overseeing all arts and cultural programming at Mekong NYC, including cultural special events like Tet, Khmer New Year, and Tet Trung Thu; music classes; the Summer Intergenerational Program; and the Women Circle. In partnership with Cambodia Living Arts, an international Cambodian arts organization, Mekong NYC served as the New York City host of a week-long event, Bangsokol: A Requiem for Cambodia, and Khemara led the coordination, working with both Cambodian temples in New York City, Cambodia Living Arts, the Brooklyn Art Museum and participated in the European launch in Paris France. In 2016 he travel to Cambodia as part of the US delegation for the #righttoreturn campaign, working with Southeast Asian organizations throughout the nation to fight the unjust detention and deportation of formerly incarcerated refugees. Previous to Mekong, he joined CAAAV’s Youth Leadership Project (YLP) in 2005 as a Youth Trainee and eventually became staff and coordinated YLP’s year round Youth Program, training other young people to become community organizers. Khemara coordinated YLP’s community events as well other fundraising activities for CAAAV. 


Grand Street Settlement

Since 2013, Joanna Huang has been the Family Services/Disabilities/Mental Health Coordinator at Grand Street Settlement’s Early Learn Program – four early childhood sites serving 270 children and families throughout the Lower East Side and Bushwick. Joanna graduated from CUNY- Hunter College with a B.A in Psychology and a B.A in Sociology. Most recently, Joanna graduated with her MSW from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College under the Clinical Practice with Individuals, Families, and Groups methodology specializing in Health and Mental Health. As a passionate supporter of children with special needs and mentoring programs, Joanna also volunteers for two nonprofits that supports these causes close to her heart – Maya’s Hope and Apex for Youth.  Joanna hopes to continue advocating for culturally competent mental health services, high quality early childhood education, women’s rights and Asian Pacific American empowerment. .



Turning Point for Women and Families

Tazmin H. Uddin is the Youth Coordinator at Turning Point for Women and Families and was Turning Point’s very first Youth Intern in 2008. Since 2008, she has volunteered and interned with multiple Muslim nonprofit organizations and was an instructor for NYU’s Science and Technology Entry Program from 2014 to 2016. She joined Turning Point as a full-time Education and Outreach Coordinator in February 2016 and became the Youth Coordinator in July 2016. She also conducts the weekly ESL class (geared towards the citizenship test) for senior Muslim women, in partnership with the Queens Central Library in Jamaica, Queens. Tazmin completed her Master’s in Public Administration (2015) from The College of New Rochelle (CNR), where she also completed her undergraduate studies. While interning with Turning Point, Tazmin received the Ursuline Student Service Recognition Award in 2015. She is passionate about social justice, community service, and poetry. Tazmin is an empath and dreamer committed to changing the world one smile at a time. 



Office of Assessment, New York City Department of Education

Jian Liu is the Special Projects Assessment Manager at the Assessment Design & Evaluation (ADE) team within the Office of Assessment at NYC Department of Education, leading different projects that relate to the assessments for NYC public schools. Jian is also an adjunct math faculty at New York University-School of Professional  Studies. Before that, Jian was a high school Math teacher in Brooklyn. Jian, a Chinese immigrant, arrived from Beijing, China to New York in April 2005 with only basic knowledge of English.  Within six months of entering the United States, Jian became a student leader in the Asian American Student Advocacy Project (ASAP), CACF’s youth leadership program. In 2007, Jian graduated as valedictorian and served as President of the Student Government at Lower East Side Preparatory High School (LESP) and was awarded the 2007 Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Leadership Award from NYC Comptroller John C. Liu. In spring of 2008, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer recognized him for his volunteer and leadership work in under-served areas of the city by awarding him a Civic Leaders of Tomorrow Public Policy Fellowship for his demonstrated commitment to public policy and advocacy. Jian earned his B.A. from City College of New York in Pure Mathematics, an M.A. from NYU-Steinhardt as a Teacher of Mathematics 7-12, and was a Math for America 2011 Fellow. Most recently, he earned his M.S. Ed in Bilingual Childhood Education from City College in 2015. Currently, Jian is working on getting his SBL/SDL certifications at The College of Saint Rose/CITE program.


View Invitation
2018 Change Maker Award Invitation

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