On September 22, 2016, OAPABA held its fourth annual Gala Dinner, Recognizing Our Heroes: Voices of Change, at the Sentinel Hotel in Portland, Oregon. Over 170 attorneys, judges, community leaders, and law students attended. Halau Hula o Na Pua o Hawaii nei from Eugene, Oregon, led by Lane County Circuit Court Judge Valeri Love, gave a pre-dinner performance and hula lessons with live music by Kaleo. David Lat was the keynote speaker and held an entertaining Q&A session for the audience. David Lat is the founder and managing editor of the award winning blog, “Above the Law” and the author of “Supreme Ambitions.”
At the dinner, OAPABA posthumously awarded Minoru Yasui with the Justice Lynn R. Nakamoto Award. Mr. Yasui is a native of Hood River, Oregon, the first Japanese- American graduate of the University of Oregon School of Law, and the first Japanese-American member of the Oregon State Bar. Peggy Nagae, past president of NAPABA, accepted the award on Mr. Yasui’s behalf. The Judge Lynn R. Nakamoto Award honors leaders who have demonstrated leadership, professionalism, mentorship and commitment to the promotion of APAs in the Oregon legal community. Although Mr. Yasui passed away in 1986, he paved the way for APA lawyers in Oregon. Mr. Yasui was awarded the 2015 Presidential Medal of Freedom for his commitment to justice, and in 2016 the Oregon Legislature unanimously passed legislation declaring March 28 of each year as Min Yasui Day. Mr. Yasui’s receipt of the 2016 Nakamoto Award also honors the team of APA lawyers, educators, and civic leaders who worked on these endeavors and continue to do so today.
The OAPABA Foundation, the charitable and educational partner of OAPABA, also presented its inaugural Foundation’s Presidential Scholarship to Becky Deng, a third year law student at the Willamette University College of Law.
OAPABA thanks its many sponsors and all attendees for making the dinner a great success!
[More pictures forthcoming]