10 Years of Hamkae Center

Join Hamkae Center for a celebration of Asian American community power-building and our 10th anniversary! We’ll have a buffet dinner of Asian cuisines, an exciting silent auction, a DJ and dancing, and presentation of awards to honorees.

DRESS CODE: Wear what makes you feel powerful! We invite our community to show out in a look that screams, “this is me, unapologetically.” For some, that may be clothing from their culture; for others, it’s a three piece suit. It could even be the superhero cosplay that you’ve been dying to strut. We welcome it all!

Funds raised through this event will support Hamkae Center’s ongoing efforts to achieve social, racial, and economic justice in Virginia.

Dr. Sujatha Hampton

MC: Dr. Sujatha Hampton

Sujatha Hampton has a Masters and Ph.D in Special Education with a focus on Learning Disabilities and Serious Emotional Disturbance. She has worked as a teacher in Washington, DC, Austin, TX, and Montgomery County Public Schools; as a special education professor at The University of Virginia, focusing her work on pre-service training for teachers of students with emotional and behavioral problems; and as the Title I Coordinator for Albemarle County Public Schools, where she focused on literacy and closing the opportunity and achievement gap. Upon moving back home to Northern Virginia, Sujatha wrote a novel which was published in 2010.

Sujatha currently serves on the Fairfax County Library Board of Trustees, the Advisory Council for the Political Leadership Academy at George Mason University’s Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution, and as the 2nd Vice President and Education Chair of the Fairfax County NAACP. The larger goal of all this work is the justice and joy that might be had if every child could access  an excellent education offered in respect, rooted in truth, and suffused with love.

Crescendo Studios

8101A Lee Hwy. Falls Church, VA 22042

The entrance is on Porter Rd. Look for satellite dishes and a big antenna.

Free parking is available in the Crescendo Studios lot, on Porter Road, and nearby parking lots. There are some accessible parking spots at the front of the building; if you would like to reserve one, contact Patrick at pcanteros@hamkaecenter.org. There is a ramp from the parking lot to the building’s main entrance.

Dunn Loring-Merrifield (orange line) is the closest Metro station it is 0.8 miles away (a ~17 min walk). You can also take a free shuttle to Mosaic District, and then walk for 0.3 miles (a ~6 min walk) to Crescendo Studios.

Doors and check-in open at 6pm. At check-in, we will provide you a table card. We will also hand out drink tickets to those who are 21+ years old, so don’t forget to bring your ID. Venue security will check ID at the door.

We ask that all guests please take a COVID-19 rapid test the day of the event and stay home if the results are positive and/or you aren’t feeling well.

Masking is highly encouraged when not eating or drinking. We have masks available for all attendees.

We will collect your contact info at check-in for contact tracing purposes.

The venue is wheelchair-accessible. This event will include a buffet, with tables for dining and to watch the presentation of awards and program.

The glow-in-the-dark dance party will have glowing lights as part of decoration, but no flashing lights.

The DJ will play loud music during the party. We will have a low-sensory room nearby, with toys, games, etc.

We have a childcare room available for parents, as well as a separate room for breastfeeding.

If you have specific questions, contact Patrick at pcanteros@hamkaecenter.org.

  • 6pm – Doors and registration open
  • 6:15pm – Buffet, bar, silent auction, and photo booth open
  • 7:15pm – Program starts
  • 8:40pm – Dance party starts!

The awards presentation will be on a raised stage, with an accompanying slideshow. Please get food and drinks before our program begins, and try to keep movement and chatter at a minimum when the program starts, out of respect for our awardees.

Onion Ha

Onion Ha

Onion Ha came to the United States when he was 6 years old. Growing up, he dove deep into lifestyle of hiphop by becoming a breakdancer. He learned to appreciate the other elements of hiphop and uses poetry as an emotional outlet for himself. He hopes his art will help people feel like they aren’t alone in the struggle, hopes it will inspire people to continue fighting for what’s right, and heal inward traumas residing inside.
Kashvi Ramani

Kashvi Ramani

Kashvi Ramani, a 17-year-old from Northern Virginia and a high school junior at a private school in Massachusetts, was named the Inaugural 2023-24 Virginia Youth Poet Laureate on 29 Apr 2023. She is the co-Head of the poetry club as well as the Head of the literary magazine at her school.

In 2022, Kashvi was the Youth Poet Laureate of Arlington County Virginia, and named a YoungArts Finalist in Theater and Merit winner in Writing for Spoken Word Poetry. She has been working with the Arlington, Virginia poet laureate and a few poets as co-editor of a poetry anthology to be published in May 2023. She has been a member of the 2021-22 Virginia Young Poets in Community and the 2020-21 Split This Rock’s DC Slam Youth Poetry Team.

Since 2019, she has won several Scholastic Writing Awards for her Poetry and in other categories like Personal Essay/Memoir, Dramatic Script, Novel, and Short Story. Her poetry has been published in Rattle, the YoungArts Anthology, Brown Girl Magazine, Beat Burg, Loudoun Community Magazine, Collaborative Solutions for Communities, Poetry Society of Virginia, SEEMA, American Kahani, and AsAm News.

Kashvi draws inspiration for her poetry from topics important to her and passionate about. Poetry provides her the opportunity to express a unique perspective on the world through her diverse experiences. She hopes to continue her journey as a young female Indian-American and make a difference in her own small way.

people in line for buffet-style food

buffet dinner of Asian cuisines

people taking a selfie while dancing in a dark room with purple-blue-pink glow lighting

glow-in-the-dark dance party + a DJ


Edgar Aranda-Yanoc

Edgar Aranda-Yanoc

Edgar Aranda-Yanoc currently works with Meyer Foundation as the Virginia Partnerships and Strategy Director. He is the former Senior Lead Organizer with Legal Aid Justice Center and the former Executive Director of the Virginia Coalition of Latino Organizations (VACOLAO). He is the founding member of the Virginia Coalition for Immigrant Rights (VACIR) and Drive Virginia Forward Coalition.

Edgar has more than a decade of experience working in the field of immigrant rights in the Commonwealth. He has engaged in multiple campaigns for the rights of immigrants at the local, state and federal levels. Edgar also has fought for several state-wide immigrant rights causes such as the expansion of in-state tuition to include immigrant youth as well as the recently passed legislation that will expand access to driver’s licenses to all Virginia residents regardless of their immigration status. Edgar has served on different boards including the Executive Committee of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), the Arlington Free Clinic and the Complete Count Committees in both Arlington and Fairfax Counties.

In 2019, Edgar was named one of the 100 most influential people for the Nation’s Capital Metro-Area Latinos by Tiempo Latino, a regional Spanish language publication. In 2016, he was the recipient of Fairfax County Board of Supervisors’ proclamation acknowledging Hispanic Heritage Month for his contribution to the Hispanic community in Fairfax County. In 2014, Edgar was awarded the Jane Bagely Lehman Award for Excellence in Public Advocacy for his work in helping to remove barriers to educational equity for undocumented immigrant students in Virginia. In 2012, he was recognized by the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy as an outstanding social justice maker for his dedication to advancing opportunities for Virginia’s Latino and immigrant communities. In 2011, he received a Practitioner Fellowship from the Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor of Georgetown University where Edgar enjoyed the opportunity to study issues impacting immigrant workers in a more in-depth manner. In 2010, Edgar received the Linowes Leadership Award of the Community Foundation of the Greater Capital Region.

Edgar received an LL.M. for foreign lawyers from the Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law where he received the Professor Samuel Gyandoh Award for his outstanding professional and personal service to the law school community. Prior to coming to the United States, Edgar was a practicing attorney in his native country Peru. He received his undergraduate degree in Political Science and Law from the University of Ancash in Peru “Santiago Antunez de Mayolo.”

Ghazala Hashmi

Senator Ghazala Hashmi

Senator Ghazala Hashmi, PhD, serves in the Virginia General Assembly, representing the 10th Senatorial District which includes parts of Richmond City, Chesterfield County, and all of Powhatan County. She sits on the following Senate committees: Education and Health; Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources; General Laws and Technology; and Local Government. Senator Hashmi also chairs the Senate Subcommittee on Public Education. Prior to her election in November 2019, Senator Hashmi had a long career in higher education in Virginia.
The Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis

The Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis

TCI advances racial and economic justice in Virginia by advocating for public policies that are designed in partnership with people most impacted, and shaped by credible, accessible fiscal and policy research.

TCI is a critical player in an ecosystem of policy advocates that have a shared broad vision for building power with communities of color and people with low incomes. We contribute a unique expertise with our fiscal and policy research capabilities, in order to dismantle systems of racism and replace them with new, inclusive systems of justice and opportunity.

Mark Keam

Mark Keam

Mark Lee Keam is a long time public servant and community activist. Most recently, he served a political appointment in the Biden Administration, and was elected seven times to the Virginia House of Delegates where he chaired the Higher Education Subcommittee.  As a naturalized American, he has long advocated for immigrant and minority rights, and introduced bills to support DACA, Office of New Americans, funding for ESL, and environmental justice.  As chief counsel to U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, he helped draft the DREAM Act.

Mark grew up in four countries and attended schools in five.

Sara Touraif

Sara Touraif

Sara is a second-generation Moroccan American who was born and raised, along with her 3 siblings, in the Fairfax area. In high school, Sara canvassed in the 2016 Presidential election and this sparked an interested in politics and government, which she studied at George Mason University. Combined with a passion for travel and learning about the traditions and lifestyles of other people, Sara has remained very involved with community-grounded civic engagement, including at Hamkae Center and the affiliated c4, NAKASEC Action Fund.

Founding Members of NAKASEC VA


Are you interested in becoming a sponsor and supporting Hamkae Center to organize Asian Americans in Virginia for social, racial, and economic justice? Each of our sponsorship tiers (starting at $250) comes with commensurate benefits! Download the form (PDF) or visit our sponsorship page to learn more.

Together, we can build a more just and equitable Virginia for all.

Media Sponsor





Host Committee

Jenn Chu, Akshay Deverakonda, Mary Kwak, Susie Lee (Chair), Phil Tajitsu Nash, Elaine Poon, The Honorable Atif Qarni, Neel Saxena, Niyati Shah, Kylie Stamm, Katherine Zhang


Got extra time on your hands? Interested in fundraising and development? Help make our event happen! Contact our Growth & Operations Team Lead, Patrick Canteros, at pcanteros@hamkaecenter.org to learn more.