Social justice champion Stewart Kwoh to receive honorary doctorate at Cal State LA Commencement 2018

Stewart Kwoh

By Cal State LA News Service

Stewart Kwoh, a champion for educational equity, social justice and civic engagement, will receive an honorary doctorate during the 2018 Commencement at California State University, Los Angeles.

Kwoh helped found Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles (Advancing Justice-LA), the nation’s largest Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander legal and civil rights organization. He has led Advancing Justice-LA in successful challenges to racially discriminatory employment practices and unfair immigration laws. The organization has also advocated for stronger protections for low-wage workers, immigrants and victims of hate crimes.

Cal State LA and the California State University Board of Trustees will confer an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws to Kwoh during the Commencement ceremony for the College of Natural and Social Sciences, which is scheduled for 1 p.m. on May 24. He will also deliver the keynote address.

“We are proud to confer upon Stewart Kwoh an honorary Doctor of Laws,” Cal State LA President William A. Covino said. “His distinguished career as an advocate for social justice and his contributions to fostering community collaboration embody Cal State LA’s mission of engagement, service, and the public good.” 

Kwoh founded Advancing Justice-LA’s Leadership Development in Interethnic Relations program, which has trained more than 1,000 community leaders in collaboration with African American, Latino, Asian Pacific Islander and LGBTQ communities. His community coalition efforts have also focused on improving higher education opportunities. In 2015, Advancing Justice-LA launched College for All, a multiracial, cross-sector coalition that has championed reinvestment in public higher education to promote greater access, affordability and equity.

Raised in Los Angeles, Kwoh earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Juris Doctor from the UCLA School of Law. He serves as an adjunct faculty member at UCLA, where he teaches an “Asian Americans and the Law” course in the Department of Asian American Studies.  

Kwoh has been honored with numerous awards in recognition of his public service, including a prestigious MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, a Liberty Hill Foundation Changemaker Award and a Civic Medal of Honor from the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. He was named Lawyer of the Year by California Lawyer magazine and received an Alumni of the Year for Public and Community Service Award from the UCLA School of Law.

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