Celebrating Asian Women American Pioneers: The 3rd Annual Outstanding Women Who Dared Gala Honors Trailblazers

Celebrating Asian Women American Pioneers: The 3rd Annual Outstanding Women Who Dared Gala Honors Trailblazers
Photo Credit: China Institute & Yue-Sai Kan One World Foundation
Left to Right: Honoree Actress Lisa Lu; Dominic Ng (CEO of East West Bank) (Top left); Honoree Janet Yang (President of the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences); Philanthropist Extraordinaire Gorretti Lui (Top right) & Event Chairwoman Yue-Sai Kan (Yue-Sai Kan One World Foundation).

On February 27, 2024, the Taglyan Complex in Los Angeles was aglow with inspiration and empowerment as the China Institute in America and Yue-Sai Kan One World Foundation hosted the third annual Outstanding Asian American Women Who Dared Charity Event. The gala spotlighted a group of extraordinary women whose courage, innovation, and leadership have significantly contributed to various sectors in America and globally.

Event Chair Yue-Sai Kan, a luminary in her own right, expressed her excitement and pride in recognizing this year’s honorees when presenting their awards. “These remarkable women have not only achieved personal success but have also paved the way for future generations, challenging stereotypes and breaking barriers in the process,” Kan’s work as a television producer, author, and entrepreneur continues to bridge cultural gaps between East and West, inspiring countless Asian American women to pursue their dreams and aspirations fearlessly.

The gala was brilliantly Co-Emceed by Chairwoman Yue-Sai Kan and Actor and Film Producer Archie Kao, who added a touch of Hollywood glamour and insight to the evening.

The gala was not only a testament to the extraordinary achievements of Asian American women but also a celebration of culture and creativity, marked by an incredible fashion show. The runway lit up with an array of designs that beautifully melded traditional Asian aesthetics with contemporary fashion trends, displaying the work of emerging and established designers alike. This fashion show was a vibrant tribute to the rich cultural heritage of Asia, brought to life through innovative designs that captivated all in attendance.

Adding to the evening’s enchantment was a mesmerizing performance by the talented singer Phoebe Chen. With her voice, Chen transported the audience with a beautiful rendition of a traditional Chinese song, infusing the gala with a sense of grace and cultural depth.

The gala, which saw over 260 esteemed guests from diverse sectors, highlighted the critical role of honoring Asian American women’s contributions, particularly amidst rising anti-Asian sentiment. The event was a vibrant testament to the power of community support in fostering an environment where women can aspire and achieve without limits. The stories of perseverance, creativity, and leadership shared left an indelible mark of hope and inspiration on all attendees.

Evening Honorees:

• Anne Shih has been pivotal in transforming the Bowers Museum as its Board Chairwoman, emphasizing the importance of cultural exchange and education on a global scale.

• Chanel Miller stands out as an artist and author, whose courage in sharing her personal story has sparked important discussions on women’s rights and resilience.

• Dr. J. Jean Cui, the co-founder, President, and CEO of Blossom Hill Therapeutics, Inc., celebrated for her revolutionary contributions to the pharmaceutical industry through innovation and perseverance.

 Janet Yang, as President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, lauded for her achievements in film and steadfast commitment to diversity and inclusion.

• Congresswoman Judy Chu recognized for her advocacy and leadership in promoting Asian American rights and visibility nationwide.

• Lisa Lu, an esteemed actress, has played a crucial role in challenging Hollywood stereotypes and enhancing representation for Asian American artists.

• Lu Zhang, a pioneering venture capitalist, has driven technological innovations and startups to international acclaim with her forward-thinking approach.

• Maya Rogers, leading Tetris and Blue Startups, demonstrates her exceptional leadership in technology and entrepreneurship, encouraging women to venture into new domains.

• Shirley Wang, through her philanthropy and role as CEO of Plastpro Inc., underscores the significance of community building and giving back.

• Sue Wong‘s remarkable journey in fashion design embodies beauty, magic, resilience, and transformation. Her mantra of beauty, magic, and transformation serves as a source of creative inspiration, honoring and empowering the goddess of energy in all women.

Digital Icon Award Winners:

This year’s event also introduced the “Digital Icon Award,” dedicated to women in the Asian American community who have excelled as influencers in social media across various fields. This recognition highlights the evolving landscape of influence and success in the digital age, celebrating those at the forefront of innovation and creativity. Winners included Ellen Min, Emily Mei, JEENIE, Kylie, LEENDA, Lucia, Nava Rose, Shuang Hu, and Wengie, recognized for their talents in dance, choreography, character comedy, nutrition, observational comedy, visual effects, fashion design, comedy skits, and music, respectively​​.

Distinguished Guests:

Mr. Michael Chow of Mr. Chows Restaurant in Beverly Hills; Maki Hsieh of Asian Hall of Fame; Elizabeth Segerstrom of South Coast Plaza; Zehra Sun of MDSUN Skin Care; Jimmy Wu of the Millennium Biltmore Hotel; Master Chef Hannah An of Crustacean Restaurant; Henk Rogers, the Creator of the famous game Tetris; Dominic Ng, the CEO of East West Bank; George S. Geh, the CEO of China Institute of America; Music Producer Quincy Jones III; Philanthropist Extraordinaire Gorretti Lui; Kevin Chen, the President of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce; Wang Wei, Senior Diplomat of the Los Angeles Chinese Consulate and wife of the Chinese Consul General; Maryam Morrison of The Eden Magazine; Influencer Gabrielle Williams Choo, Amelia Tu – Miss Universe Canada 2022; and Jin Ye – Miss Universe China 2013.

The evening concluded with an uplifting performance by singer Josh Moreland, leaving attendees inspired and energized.


Photo Credit: Sheri Determan
Left to Right: Emcee Actor & Producer Archie Kao; Guest George S. Geh (CEO of China Institute of America);  Honoree Lu Zhang (Founder of Fusion Fund), Honoree Congresswoman Judy Chu; Event Chairwoman Yue-Sai Kan (Yue-Sai Kan One World Foundation); Honoree Fashion Designer Sue Wong; Honoree Actress Lisa Lu; Actress & Composer Lucia Hwong (daughter of Lisa Lu), and Auctioneer Neal Krone.

About the China Institute in America

Founded in New York City in 1926 by American educators John Dewey, Paul Monroe, and Chinese scholars Hu Shi and Kuo Ping-Wen, China Institute is an internationally – renowned U.S. nonprofit organization dedicated to deepening the world’s understanding of China through programs in art, business, cuisine, culture, and education.

For more information, please visit Chinainstitute.org

About the Yue-Sai Kan One World Foundation

Ms. Yue-Sai Kan’s personal charity and reflects her profound and longstanding passion for connecting people and bettering the planet. Her former charity, China Beauty Charity Fund, has for many years carried out many successful projects and events, including the China Fashion Galas and sustainable fashion master classes, in addition to awarding scholarships to foster budding creative minds. But today, it has evolved into a new mission: to use social media’s visual storytelling power to bridge cultures and promote a richer understanding between peoples. The multi-year video series, entitled ONE WORLD, starting in 2024, endeavors to span at least three cities each year. 

The series will utilize numerous media platforms, primarily YouTube, to reach an international audience. It will center on short video content filmed in various countries, showcasing and celebrating the human experience – particularly in Asian nations, China, the Pacific Islands, and the Middle East. ONE WORLD will bring fascinating events and individuals to the screen, taking viewers on a journey into their unique lives and opening our eyes to their traditions, food, history, music, dance, technology, business, and beyond. ONE WORLD’s goal is to communicate and interact on a deeply personal level, dispel misunderstandings, and promote respect and cultural inclusivity among individuals, societies, and cultures.

For more information, please visit YueSaiKanOneWorldFoundation.org

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