APAC Gala & Award Dinner 2020 Honorees:

Excellence in Civic Leadership Award – Presented to Kirin Amiling Macapugay

Kirin Amiling Macapugay, MSW, has worked in education, health and human services, and various not for profit organizations in San Diego since 1998, primarily in organizations serving API and other under-represented communities. In those 20 years, she helped spearhead efforts to improve our community’s well-being, ranging from increasing life-saving prenatal care in National City to arts-based preventive program for at-risk youth in southeast San Diego, to support programs for military families. In 2015, she founded Asian Pacific Islander Community Actions (APICA), a volunteer effort bridging grassroots community projects and educating on issues and resources including mental health, domestic violence, and how to engage in leadership roles. APICA helped springboard key community efforts, including Viet Vote, the Kuya Ate Mentorship Program, FilAmFest, Made in Paradise Hills, and Project Reo.

Kirin earned a Master of Social Work and Nonprofit Administration degree from San Diego State University, where she lectured part time, and was awarded, “Professor of the Year” in 2016 by students. She is currently a professor of Human Services and Social Work at San Diego City College, with expected tenure this year.

Macapugay served on the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture and was former Commissioner for the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs as an appointee of Governor Brown. She was past Chairwoman of the Cultural Arts Commission for the City of Chula Vista and has held advisory and board roles for Breaking the Silence Against Domestic Violence, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the National Asian Pacific Women’s Forum San Diego, the San Diego Leadership Alliance, and San Diego Gas and Electric.  In January of 2017, Kirin was honored as a “Present Day Civil Rights Woman Leader” by RISE San Diego, the first event of its kind in the county.


Outstanding Organization Award – Presented to Lao Advocacy Organization of San Diego (LAOSD)

Lao Advocacy Organization of San Diego (LAOSD) was formed in September 2018. It is grassroots, community based, all volunteer organization with a mission to inspire and empower Laotian Americans through education and active engagement in civic and public affairs. The organization is lead by passionate Laotian American leaders and community members in San Diego dedicated to making positive, impactful and lasting changes in our community.

After only one year of organization, LAOSD was able to make historic and impactful contributions that educated, inspired, and united the Laotian American community in civic and legislative engagement in San Diego, the state of California and across the nation. The most impactful project thus far was the successful campaigning of legislators in California to introduce the first bill from the Laotian American community. Bill AB1393 to include Laotian American history in K-12 curriculum was to address the oversight of SB895 that only included Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Hmong history as it relates to the history of the Vietnam war and refugee experiences to America. The Bill received unanimous support and approval through California legislation in 2019.

Other contributions include uniting the Laotian American leaders and building the first California Laotian Coalition; Strengthening the Laotian American community by effective social media campaigns, rallies and hosting the biggest Laotian American Fundraiser in the community history; Engaging and educating the community on the importance of civic engagement, Census 2020, and voting registration; and Partnering with the Center of Lao Studies on the first “2 Worlds Refugee Exhibit” at the New Americans Museum in San Diego.


Rising Star Award – Presented to Alicia Ricafrente

Alicia is a co-founder and past president for UniPro San Diego (Pilipino American Unity for Progress, San Diego Chapter) where they facilitate workshops, attend conferences, and collaborate with groups to work on events related to the Filipino Culture and other issues that may impact the Filipino American Community. When she’s not doing anything with UniPro San Diego, Alicia assists wherever she is needed in Silk Road Productions. Be it as part of the planning, organizing, or day of execution in the many events they produce or support in, such as the D6 Night Market, Padres Filipino Heritage Night, Fangaea, the Ramen Festival and more.

She is a board member for PiNuPsi, a Filipino Community Sorority that educates and finds ways to help young woman be more engaged within the community. As part of their FilAmVote program, Alicia is also the secretary for NaFFAA 10 (National Federations of Filipino American Associations Region 10) and is a Member of Silayan Filipina. Recently, she is involved as a board member with the Pag-Asa Law Clinic, as they help those who are Undocumented and affected by Domestic Violence.

After moving to San Diego from Honolulu Hawaii, and settling in Paradise Hills, Alicia has come to understand, that passion is what motives and drives people to make a change where change is needed. She has seen how issues affect not just her as an individual, but what it does to the community, and the city she loves a whole. Alicia volunteers and works the way she does, because she wants to remind everyone, that the word UNITY, is part of the word commUNITY. Progress means something different for everyone, and we shouldn’t have work alone to make it happen. We all need to push and pull each other to get to that final goal in all that we do.


Tom Hom Civic Engagement Scholarship – Presented to Jason Nan

Jason is a UCSD student majoring in Bioengineering: Biosystems, with a specialty in Artificial intelligence and machine learning. Jason plans to further his education and obtain a Master’s degree and PhD in the same field after gaining some industry experience.

After many years as a Boy’s Scout, and earning his Eagle Scout, Jason epitomizes “giving back” to his community, and has made it a forefront in his life. Jason’s experience exemplifies the Scouting mission through responsible citizenship, character development, and self-reliance by participating in a wide range of activities, programs, and partnership with community advancement as his undertaking.


Lifetime Achievement Award – Presented to Dr. Allen Chan

Dr. Allen W. Chan is a family man, a well-respected Doctor of Chiropractic, successful entrepreneur, and community leader. His achievements demonstrate his passion to improve the community and help those who are less fortunate, locally and around the globe.

Despite a respectful and well-paying career as a pharmacist in Los Angeles, Dr. Chan went back to school and received his doctorate degree in chiropractic after he discovered this holistic approach to relieving patients’ pain without medications or surgeries. He received his doctorate degree in chiropractic in 1985 from the Los Angeles College of Chiropractic. In 1988, he settled in San Diego and founded Chan Chiropractic Center and later the multi-disciplinary Jasmine Health Center. Successful years of practice led to other opportunities including establishing the largest and most popular local Asian restaurant.

Dr. Chan’s community work serves to empower the various Asian ethnic communities in San Diego. In 2010, he was recruited as the Partnership Specialist for the US Census Bureau. He helped organize the Complete Count Committees for the various Asian communities to ensure an accurate count of this “Hard to Count” Asian population. He was the co-founder and co-chair of The Alliance for Asian and Pacific Islander Americans in 2001 and Asian Pacific American Coalition (APAC) in 2011. Thorough these organizations he played a leading role in San Diego’s 2001 and 2011 City Council redistricting processes for fair representation of San Diego’s Asian American community. His relentless effort successfully leads to the first ever Asian City Council District in 2012 and has successfully helped to elect the first Asian American City Councilman representing the first Asian City Council District in San Diego in 2014.

Dr. Allen Chan is the recipient of the “San Diego Asian Business Association Community Service Award”, the “Special Congressional Recognition for Outstanding and Invaluable Community Services” award and the “Community Service Award” of the Citizens Oversight Committee, San Diego Community College District, among others. He is also the recipient of the 2014 KPBS’s “Local Heroes” program for his achievements and contributions in the community. On May 9, 2015, Dr. Chan received the prestigious “Ellis Island Medal of Honor” from National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO). as an outstanding immigrant who has fulfilled his American Dream