Fearless and Funny Women Reign Supreme at AALDEF's Year of the Ram Celebration in NY

Posted by Lia Chang

The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund celebrates the Year of the Ram

The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund honored comedienne Margaret Cho and Bhairavi Desai of the New Yorker Taxi Workers Alliance in NY.

Comedienne Margaret Cho and Bhairavi Desai of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance were honored with 2003 "Justice in Action" awards at the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund's annual Lunar New Year celebration on February 13th at PIER SIXTY, on the Hudson River in New York City.

AsianConnections arts and entertainment editor Lia Chang celebrated with over 650 guests at AALDEF's Year of the Ram festivities where girl power reigned supreme and WNBC-TV reporter Ti-Hua Chang served as the evening's emcee.The evening ended with Flower Drum Song playwright David Henry Hwang's somber reminder of the need for groups like AALDEF to defend civil rights and civil liberties of all Americans, especially in these troubled times.

Cho looking divine in an antique kimono, brocade corset and opera length gloves accepted her award from People Magazine's executive editor Jeannie Park. True to form, the comedienne who begins touring her latest show, The Revolution Tour in March, regaled the audience with an R-rated comic riff on Asian American stereotypes and had us between laughter and tears.

NY Daily News columnist Juan Gonzalez presented Bhairavi Desai, a founding member and organizer of the NY Taxi Workers Alliance with her award. In the wake of the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center, Desai and her staff at the NYTWA documented hundreds of incidents of hate violence against South Asian, Sikh and Muslim taxi drivers. The NYTWA organized legal clinics with AALDEF to assist drivers with discrimination, hate violence, and immigration problems, and securing disaster relief for their 9-11 related economic losses.

Margaret Cho kicks off the AALDEF's Year of the Ram festivities by raising the lion head to a loud drum roll
Photo Credit: Lia Chang

Guests at the 2003 AALDEF dinner (l-r): David Henry Hwang, June Jee of Verizon, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, AALDEF executive director Margaret Fung, AALDEF assistant director Lillian Ling, and Paul Bader.
Photo Credit: Lia Chang

Comedienne Margaret Cho shares a laugh with People Magazine's executive editor Jeannie Park.
Photo Credit: Lia Chang

AALDEF 2003 "Justice in Action" award honorees Margaret Cho and Bhairavi Desai of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance.
Photo Credit: Lia Chang