Stewart Kwoh, Esq. - Board Chair

Kwoh was also founding President and Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles (Advancing Justice-LA), the nation’s largest Asian American legal and civil rights organization, which serves more than 15,000 individuals and organizations every year by advocating for civil rights, providing legal services and education, and by building coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (NHPI) and to create a more equitable and harmonious society.   Under Kwoh’s leadership, Advancing Justice-LA has become a leading advocate for Asian American and NHPI communities while working to build bridges with African American, Latino, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.  

Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles received its very first grant of $10,000 from the Urban Foundation in 1984, and Kwoh has served and supported the Urban Foundation ever since.  

Kwoh is a nationally recognized leader and expert in race relations, Asian American studies, nonprofit organizations and philanthropies, civil rights, and legal services.  He was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow in 1998, becoming the first Asian American attorney and human rights activist to receive this highly prestigious recognition, often referred to as the “genius grant.”

Kwoh earned his bachelor’s degree from University of California, Los Angeles and his J.D. from the UCLA School of Law. He teaches at the University’s Asian American Studies Department, and has been an instructor at UCLA School of Law.  He is a past expert-in-residence at UC Berkeley School of Law, and has two honorary doctorates from Williams College and Suffolk School of Law.

Kwoh has received numerous awards recognizing his efforts to build coalitions across communities of color, including recognition from: the L.A. City and County Human Relations Commissions, California Association of Human Relations Organizations, ACLU, Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Coalition for Humane Immigrants Rights of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Urban League, the Martin Luther King Legacy Association and many other Asian American, civil rights, academic, and legal organization.