Event Recap: Asia Game Changer West Awards Gala 2022
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, April 14, 2022 — Asia Society Northern California hosts its fourth annual Asia Game Changer West Awards Gala at the Four Seasons San Francisco. Asia Game Changer West Awards are bestowed to individuals, organizations, and movements that have inspired, enlightened, and shown true leadership in areas that reflect Asia Society’s core pillars of policy and business, technology and innovation, arts and culture, and education.
2022 Asia Game Changer West Honorees:
- Russell Jeung, Co-Founder of Stop AAPI Hate and Professor of Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University
- Xiaoze Xie, Visual Artist and Professor of Art at Stanford University
- Gitanjali Rao, Inventor, Aspiring Scientist, Author, and First-Ever TIME Magazine Kid of the Year in 2020
Our Gala Program paid tribute to the legacy of long-time and beloved Advisory Board Member, Naren Gupta (1948-2021) and also highlighted the work being done by Asia Society in combatting anti-Asian hate through its Asian Americans Building America Task Force.
This year's Asia Game Changer West Awards Gala was emceed by Margaret Conley, Executive Director of Asia Society Northern California. Gala speakers included Daniel Dae Kim, Actor, Director and Producer and Member of President Biden’s AAPI Advisory Group; Dave Min, California State Senator for Orange County’s 37th State Senate District; Jay Xu, Director and CEO, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco; Kanwal Rekhi, Co-Founder of Inventus; Jishnu Bhattacharjee, Managing Director, Nexus Venture Partners; AGK Karunakaran, President, TiE Silicon Valley; Kelly Knox, West Coast Outreach Lead, Southwest Airlines; Rachel Cooper, Director, Global Cultural Diplomacy, Asia Society; Jack Wadsworth, Honorary Chair, Asia Society Northern California; and Gary Rieschel, Chair, Asia Society Northern California.
Homayoun Sakhi, composer, vocalist, musician, and the most innovative Afghan Rhubâb player of his generation, performed a new piece called "Hope" specially composed for our fourth annual Asia Game Changer West Awards Gala. He was accompanied on stage by tabla player Zmari Aref.
Entertainment during the VIP Reception was provided by Parangal Dance Company and classical pianist, Cam Lincoln.
View and download our Asia Game Changer West Awards 2022 PDF Program here.
Asia Game Changer West Awards Gala Videos
Watch highlights from the previous three years of our Asia Game Changer West Awards Gala. (1 min., 13 sec.)
California State Senator Dave Min addresses the importance of combatting anti-Asian hate and recognized the work being done by Asia Society's Asian Americans Building America task force. (10 min., 12 sec.)
Actor, producer, director, and member of President Joe Biden's AAPI Advisory Group Daniel Dae Kim presents the Asia Game Changer West Award to co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate Russell Jeung. In his acceptance speech, Jeung stressed the importance of combating anti-Asian hate and the role of policy in bringing about social change. (14 min., 52 sec.)
Jay Xu presents the Asia Game Changer West Award to visual artist Xiaoze Xie. In his acceptance speech, Xie spoke about art as a unifier in tumultuous times. (16 min., 46 sec.)
Inventus co-founder Kanwal Rekhi presents the Asia Game Changer West Award to inventor, aspiring scientist, author, and first-ever TIME Kid of the Year Gitanjali Rao. Rao encouraged the audience to support the younger generation and to "say yes" to providing sponsorships, internships, mentorships, and friendships to future leaders. (12 min., 40 sec.)
Asia Society Northern California paid tribute to the life and legacy of its long-time and beloved Advisory Board Member, Naren Gupta (1948-2021). Gupta co-founded Nexus Venture Partners in 2006 to fund early and early-growth stage companies in India and the U.S. In the words of his fellow Advisory Board Member, Bakul Joshi, Gupta was "a gentleman, scholar, and entrepreneurial genius." Speakers for Gupta's tribute during the gala program included Honorary Chair Jack Wadsworth, Nexus Venture Partners Managing Director Jishnu Bhattacharjee, TiE Silicon Valley President AGK Karunakaran, and Gupta's wife Vinita Gupta. As part of the tribute, Asia Society Northern California announced its Naren Gupta Legacy Series, a two-year series of programs focused on the topics closest to Gupta's heart: business, entrepreneurship, and cultivating the next generation of innovative leaders, especially those hailing from India. (26 min., 51 sec.)
Homayoun Sakhi, the most innovative Afghan Rhubâb player of his generation, performed a new piece called "Hope" specially composed for our fourth annual Asia Game Changer West Awards Gala. Sakhi was accompanied by Tabla player Zmari Aref and was introduced by Asia Society Director of Global Cultural Diplomacy Rachel Cooper. (10 min., 35 sec.)
Watch highlights from the last two years of virtual and in-person programs from the Northern California Center. (2 min., 12 sec.)