Two Napervillians Recognized at Community Oscars Gala

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Community Oscars Gala

The American Multi Ethnic Coalition hosted their 10th annual Global Community Oscars Gala last night. “This event is to bring all minorities and multiethnic [people] to come together, to enjoy, and to network, and to share good value about our community,” said Martino Tangkar, chairman of the multi ethnic advisory task force.

The event, held at Yellow Box in Naperville, also recognized national and international people who made a difference and impact in empowering ethnic communities. Out of 30 awardees, two Napervillians were recognized.

Kamala Martinez

Kamala Martinez served on multiple non-profit boards, was CEO and executive director of KidsMatter, and is now president and CEO of United Way of Will County. She was awarded the Mahatma Gandhi sesquicentennial prize.

“This award means so much to me because I think in a time where we’re such a divided nation by race,” said Martinez. “He stood for the human race, one race and we need to stop and pause and remember that.”

Paul Leong

Paul Leong received the civic leadership award. His first elected office was on the Naperville School District 203 board, and he currently sits on the dais for Naperville City Council. He was the first Chinese American to be elected to any office in Naperville.

“I’m hoping that my success and these achievements inspire other Chinese Americans and Asian Americans to step up and lead,” said Leong.

Mayor Steve Chirico believes this event can do just that. “Not only [does it] encourage people, thanks them for what they’ve done. But it also inspires people to do more,” said Chirico.

The Community Oscars Gala, started by Congressman Danny K. Davis, also had multiple ethnic performances.

Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.