The City of Los Angeles will honor three individuals who have greatly contributed to Asian and Pacific Islander culture and traditions in the U.S. during the opening ceremonies for Asian and Pacific Islander American Heritage Month.

This year’s honorees are:

• Spirit of Los Angeles awardee KW Lee, an award-winning journalist and founder of the first national English-language Korean American newspaper, Koreatown Weekly;

• Dream of Los Angeles awardee Jyoti Nanda, a faculty member in the David J. Epstein Public Interest Law Program and the Critical Race Studies Program at UCLA School of Law;

• Hope of Los Angeles awardee Michelle Kwan, the most decorated figure skater in U.S. history.

Michelle Kwan

City residents, including celebrities, business and community leaders will join Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for the opening ceremonies at City Hall on Friday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.  The event, themed “Breaking the Mold” and sponsored by Time Warner, will begin with a ceremony inside the Council Chambers, where, in addition to honoring the award recipients, Villaraigosa will unveil the 2012 Asian and Pacific Islander American Heritage Month Calendar and Cultural Guide, produced by the Department of Cultural Affairs.

The ceremony will be followed by food and live entertainment at City Hall South Plaza, located at 200 N. Main St. in downtown Los Angeles.  The event is free and open to the public.

“I am proud to be paying tribute to the generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders who have enriched Los Angeles’ history and are instrumental in its future success,” Villaraigosa said. “Today and throughout the month of May, we celebrate the immeasurable contribution you have made to our city and our nation.”

Asian and Pacific Islander American Heritage Month launches a month-long calendar of cultural events; and a poster contest open to all Los Angeles County students, grades K-12, that encourages the creation of original artwork based on their interpretation of the 2012 Asian and Pacific Islander American Heritage Month’s theme of “Breaking the Mold.”  Poster competition deadline is May 4. Winners will be notified after May 14.

A list of all activities and events is available at  For more information, call (213) 922-9762.

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