These individuals and organizations are being honored for championing diversity and unity in los angeles
Now serving as Co-Director of the Institute for Nonviolence in Los Angeles (INVLA), Avis Ridley-Thomas retired as Founding Director of the LA City Attorney’s Dispute Resolution Program in 2011. Over 2,000 volunteer community mediators were trained under her leadership with the mission of “… a mediator on every block.”
Days of Dialogue, established in 1995, an important project of INVLA, conducts dialogue on issues of critical importance to members of the Los Angeles community. Days of Dialogue on the Future of Policing and Days of Dialogue on Bringing US Together (post 2016 presidential election) are the current topics.
Duke Flynn, the first grandchild of Avis and LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas is celebrated by sons Sinclair and Sebastian and daughter-in-law Shaunicie Fielder. Elected in 2013 CA State Assemblyman Sebastian Ridley-Thomas serves Baldwin Hills, Century City, Crenshaw, Culver City, Ladera Heights, Leimert Park, Mar Vista, Mid-City, Palms, View Park, West Los Angeles, Westwood and Windsor Hills.
Charlie Woo is the co-founder and CEO of Megatoys, an international toy manufacturer company headquartered in Los Angeles, California. The company also has an office in Hong Kong as well as manufacturing facilities in Shenzhen, China, and in Commerce, California.
Founded in 1989 by Charlie and his brother Peter, Megatoys has grown into a major manufacturer of toys, children’s seasonal gift baskets, and Halloween costumes, with 700 employees just in the Los Angeles facility alone. Charlie is known as the founder of the Los Angeles Toy District. He is credited with turning the once blighted industrial area of Downtown Los Angeles into a thriving international trade business district. In doing so, he helped hundreds of immigrant entrepreneurs start their businesses and created thousands of jobs. He is also a prominent real estate investor and developer for the Toy, Fashion, and Arts Districts in Downtown Los Angeles.
Charlie is a former Chairman of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and has been the only Asian American to head the 128-year old business organization. Under his leadership, a reorganization effort was initiated that resulted in the Chamber restoring its reputation as the premier civic and business organization in the region. He currently chairs the Workforce Development Board for the City of Los Angeles, a commission that oversees the nation’s second largest workforce development system. He was first appointed by Mayor Bradley twenty four years ago to this body and has been reappointed by Mayors Riordan, Hahn, Villaraigosa, and Garcetti as its Chair. Under his leadership, the City’s workforce development system has been recognized as model for the country. He is nationally recognized for his leadership in bringing business, labor, the diverse community, and economic development groups together to create innovative job training programs targeting growth industries. He previously served on the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) Affairs and the State Commission for Economic Development.
Charlie has also found time to serve on the boards of many civic organizations. He is the Chair of Center for Asian Americans United for Self-Empowerment (CAUSE), a non-partisan community organization that provides leadership development as well as voter education and registration programs for the APIA community. He serves on the boards of Committee of 100, an international membership organization of world-renowned Chinese Americans; the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs at California State University, Los Angeles; and Southern California Public Radio.
Charlie’s business accomplishments and his impact on the local community were featured by various news organizations including: Fortune, The Economist, Far East Economic Review, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, CNN, CNBC. His contributions are also highlighted in several books.
Charlie also received numerous awards and recognitions from many prestigious organizations. Recently, he received the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce’s 2015 “Distinguished Business Leader” Award, the organization’s highest honor. Other organizations that have recognized him include: Pat Brown Institute, the League of Women Voters, the Anti-Defamation League, the California Chamber of Commerce, and the Asian Business Association. He has been honored by the City of Los Angeles with the “Dream of Los Angeles Award” and the “Volunteer Citizen of the Year Award.” He also received the World Trade Center Association’s “World Trade Hall of Fame Award;” the Chinese American Museum’s “Historymakers Award;” and the “Life Time Achievement Award” from both the Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association and Chinese-American Elected Officials.
Charlie immigrated to Los Angeles from Hong Kong at the age of 17 to attend UCLA. He and his wife, Ying, reside in Rancho Palos Verdes. His older son, Geoffrey, a Stanford graduate, is a successful entrepreneur in Silicon Valley and his younger son, Justin, a UC Berkeley graduate, works at Megatoys.
Nathan Redfern is a widower, with three children. He resides in Phoenix, AZ, where he works to support his family. In his early years, Nathan, known by his friends as ‘Bolo’, rose to leadership within the African-American gang called the CRIPS that dominates Long Beach and Compton, CA.
When Nathan and his brothers - Monk and Thomas - decided to follow Jesus, they organized their friends into a brotherhood, which succeeded at brokering peace among warring gangs throughout the region. Through the influence of a Quaker Pastor named Fred Newkirk, Nathan and his comrades sought to be trained and equipped by people involved in a far reaching 'fellowship movement', which can be traced to the leadership of President Dwight D. Eisenhower and members of Congress, who met regularly in those days for off-the-record times of breaking bread, prayer and personal sharing.
Inspired by a personal encounter with God on D-Day and supported by a core of members in the House and Senate, Eisenhower initiated a Presidential Prayer Breakfast event in February of 1953. The idea of this breakfast was to gather people from all political backgrounds, social standings and religious persuasions in the Spirit of Jesus. Since that event the President and his wife, the Vice President and his wife, members of the Administration, the Congress, the Supreme Court, the Military, the Diplomatic Core and people from all walks of life assemble annually for several days of prayer and fellowship which transcends all differences.
Through their association with this work of reconciliation, Nathan and his brotherhood reached out to foster peace and reconciliation throughout the neighborhood and community. Notable among their accomplishments was the reconciliation that took place between African-American and Korean-Americans. After a period of intense spiritual training and interaction with leadership in the House and Senate and volunteers in the prayer breakfast fellowship movement, Nathan and his brothers returned with a fresh resolve to bring reconciliation to their community. It is a providential miracle that they were scheduled to land in Los Angeles on the eve of the LA riots. Upon reaching home, Nathan and his brothers ordered fellow gang members to return their stolen goods to Korean shop owners. This remarkable move on the part of the Long Beach CRIPS led to numerous acts of charity that caught the attention of city officials, members of Congress, the British Pro Consulate, Merrick Baker-Bates, and the US Ambassador to South Korea, Don Gray.
Today, in partnership with the energy, creativity and leadership of the Korean-American community, a renewed effort for bringing the community together under one banner is underway. The past is prologue. Together, we have great days before us.
Radio Korea Media Group is the leading Korean multimedia company in the United States. Radio Korea Media Group faithfully serves as a bridge that connects the Korean American community to mainstream America in political, economical, and cultural aspects of daily life. They put their best efforts in sharing information, helping the Korean American community establish a successful life.
During the LA Riots, Radio Korea became a makeshift command center for the Korean American community, in providing a lifeline of information and updates. Their broadcasts helped Korean Americans to understand the historic perspective and circumstances that led to the civil unrest.
Los Angeles Fire Department
The mission of the Los Angeles County Fire Department is to protect lives, the environment, and property by providing prompt, skillful, and cost-effective fire protection and life safety services.
The County of Los Angeles Fire Department has a very rich and unique history, which is full of innovation, and daring accomplishments. From designing the 911 system and initiating a paramedic program in the 1970s to the current day USAR and Homeland Security sections, the Los Angeles County Fire Department is a leader and a model to fire departments around the world. The Department’s ability to develop new techniques and equipment to fight fires of all kinds has benefited not only the residents they serve, but the fire service in general, both nationally and internationally.
On Feb. 17, 2011, Daryl L. Osby was sworn in by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors as the ninth Fire Chief of the Los Angeles County Fire Department. He has served as a member of the Los Angeles County Fire Department for 31 years.
He heads one of the largest emergency services agencies in the world, providing traditional fire and life safety services to more than 4.1 million residents and commercial business customers in 58 cities served by the Department, and all the unincorporated areas of the County within its 2,300-square-mile service delivery area. The Department operates out of 172 fire stations, including 4,800 emergency responders and business professionals operating on an annual budget of just over $1 billion. In addition, the Department provides lifeguard, health hazardous materials, and forestry services throughout the County.
He is affiliated with many fire service organizations, and previously served on the California State Board of Fire Services, and is a former member and chair of the Los Angeles County Emergency Preparedness Commission. Additionally, he is affiliated with several community organizations and has received numerous awards for his service.
He is an advocate for continuing education, and currently holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Organizational Leadership from Azusa Pacific University. He is also a graduate of Harvard University’s Senior Executives in State and Local Government and National Preparedness Leadership Programs, completed Clark Atlanta University’s Executive Development Program and the Martin Gang Institute for Intergroup Relations at Loyola Marymount University. He is a California State Certified Incident Commander and Chief Officer.