In their ongoing commitment to reflect the diversity of the communities they serve, KCET and Union Bank honor local heroes of the Asian Pacific American community for their dedication and commitment to enrich the lives of others. This year’s honorees are:
Fulbeck has been featured on CNN, MTV, PBS and “The Today Show,” and has performed and exhibited throughout the U.S. and in over 20 other countries. He is the author of several books, including “Mixed: Portraits of Multiracial Kids”; “Part Asian, 100% Hapa”; and “Permanence: Tattoo Portraits,” and the director of a dozen short films, including “Banana Split” and “Lilo & Me.”
His exhibition “Perseverance: Japanese Tattoo Tradition in a Modern World” is currently on display at the Japanese American National Museum through Sept. 14. For more information, go to www.janm.org/exhibits/perseverance/.
Fulbeck is creator of The Hapa Project, a multiracial identity project that embodies a range of mediums, including a published book, traveling photographic exhibition, satellite community presentations, and online communities. He created the project to promote awareness and give voice to multiracial people and previously ignored ethnic groups. In recognition for his work in promoting multiracial awareness, he was awarded the inaugural Loving Prize at the Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival and also named a Cultural Pioneer by the Harvard Half Asian People’s Association (HAPA).
A professor of art at UC Santa Barbara, Fulbeck received the university’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2009, and has been named an Outstanding Faculty Member five times by the UCSB Office of Residential Life.
He is also an avid surfer, guitar player, ocean lifeguard, pug enthusiast, and multiple-time national champion in U.S. Masters Swimming.
Currently, Nishio is president of the Board of Directors for the Little Tokyo Service Center, the leading Asian Pacific American community development corporation in the region. He is also a past president and board member of The California Conference for Equality and Justice, a human relations organization based in Long Beach. He is a founding member and chair of the California Japanese American Community Leadership Council, a statewide coalition that seeks to preserve and protect California’s remaining Japantowns.
Nishio’s work for the past five decades addresses Asian American rights and cultural issues that have defined the history and shape the future of the community. He is founder and co-chair of the National Coalition for Redress/Reparations. Born in the Manzanar internment camp, Nishio was actively involved in the successful campaign to gain redress for Japanese Americans who were unjustly incarcerated during World War II.
His other community leadership roles include serving as a board member for the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center as well as an Advisory Council member for Kizuna, whose mission is to build a vibrant Nikkei community.
Nishio formerly served as the associate vice president for student services at CSU Long Beach. In this capacity, he was responsible for a variety of student service programs at CSULB, including student retention and diversity and educational equity. He also taught in the Department of Asian and Asian American Studies. In recognition of his service, CSULB established the Alan T. Nishio Educational Equity Excellence and Leadership Award.
Past honors for his work include the 2005 National Conference for Community Justice’s Humanitarian Award and the 2007 Cherry Blossom Festival of Southern California’s George Kiriyama Educational Excellence Award.
To learn more about the Little Tokyo Service Center, visit www.ltsc.org.
Each year, KCET broadcasts profiles of local heroes in celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Black History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, Jewish American Heritage Month, LGBT Pride Month, and Women’s History Month.
KCET (www.kcet.org) is the nation’s largest independent public television station. On air, online and in the community, KCET plays a vital role in the cultural and educational enrichment of Southern and Central California. It offers a wide range of award-winning local programming as well as the finest public television programs from around the world.