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Press Release

2020 Press Release   

Event has been postponed until Fall 2020.
Mr Stewart Kwoh, Esq.


Villanova University Presents 2020 Praxis Award in Professional Ethics to Social Justice Champion and Human Rights Activist Stewart Kwoh, Esq.

Villanova, PA – The Villanova University Ethics Program in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has named Stewart Kwoh, Esq., founder of the nation’s largest Asian-American Civil Rights organization, the recipient of the 2020 Praxis Award in Professional Ethics. This year’s award will be presented April 1, 2020 at 7 p.m. in the Villanova Room, Connelly Center, followed by a lecture by Kwoh. The event is free and open to the public.

Since its inaugural year in 2007, the Praxis Award is given to a professional or academic who exemplifies the highest ideals of their profession or who has contributed to professional ethics scholarship. A nationally recognized leader and expert in race relations, Kwoh is the founder, past president and executive director of Asian American Advancing Justice-Los Angeles, which provides services for more than 15,000 individuals and organizations each year, including individuals seeking US citizenship and victims of domestic violence, hate violence and exploitation.

Advancing Justice-LA’s mission is to advocate for civil rights, provide legal services and education, and build coalitions to positively impact Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. Under Kwoh’s leadership the organization has successfully challenged garment sweatshops, English-only workplace policies, racially discriminatory employment practices and unfair immigration laws, as well as advocated for stronger protections for low-wage workers, limited English speaking immigrants and hate crime victims. Kwoh and Advancing Justice-LA have also worked to build bridges with African American, Latino, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.

Kwoh was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow in 1998, becoming the first Asian American attorney and human rights activist to receive the recognition. He is a co-author of Uncommon Ground: Race and America’s Future (2010) and Untold Civil Rights Stories (2009). The latter was described by former Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa as “a social milestone that recognizes the unsung contribution of Asian Americans to America’s Civil Rights Movement.”

Kwoh holds a JD from the University of California-Los Angeles School of Law. He serves as an adjunct faculty member at UCLA, where he teaches in the Department of Asian American Studies.

About Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Since its founding in 1842, Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has cultivated knowledge, understanding and intellectual courage for a purposeful life in a challenging and changing world. With more than 40 majors across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, it is the oldest and largest of Villanova’s colleges, serving more than 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students each year. The College is committed to a teacher-scholar model, offering outstanding undergraduate and graduate research opportunities and a rigorous core curriculum that prepares students to become critical thinkers, strong communicators and ethical leaders with a truly global perspective.


Recipients of the award have accomplished one or more of the following achievements:

  • excellence in fulfilling and embodying the ethical ideals of a profession;
  • excellence in conecting professional work to a broader understanding of the common good;
  • excellence in promoting and embodying ethical integrity in a professional field;
  • excellence with respect to research in the field of professional ethics;
  • excellence in terms of influence on the field of professional ethics through writing, teaching, consulting and/or professional leadership.