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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

As the Thong Hy Huynh awards deadline is extended, past recipients reflect

Davis Human Relations Commission extends Thong Hy Huynh nomination deadline to early April


By ALMA CULVERWELL city@theaggie.org 


The Davis Human Relations Commission decided to extend the nomination deadline for the Thong Hy Huynh awards to Monday, April 3. The Thong Hy Huynh awards were created in 1986 to honor the late Thong Hy Huynh, who was stabbed to death in a racially motivated attack at Davis High School in May 1983. 

The awards were created to honor community members that left lasting effects on the community, as well as emphasize the importance of diversity, social justice and equal rights. Anne Kjemtrup, co-leader of the Davis chapter of the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom and recipient of the 2022 lifetime achievement Thong Hy Huynh award discussed the importance of the awards and honoring Thong Hy Huynh. 

“He was a young man and he didn’t have time in his life to create a legacy and that’s the tragedy,” Kjemtrup said. “Because he was murdered for simply being different, I think it’s important that we continue to raise his name and raise his story and honor him in this way where you honor people who honor others, who help others, who make the community a better place.” 

The Thong Hy Huynh awards have several different categories that different businesses, non-profits and organizations can be nominated in, including civil rights advocacy, excellence of community involvement, young humanitarian, public servant of the year and lifetime achievement. Last year’s excellence of community involvement award recipient and the marketing manager of the Davis Food Co-op, Vince Marchese, reflected on winning the award. 

“The Co-op encourages members of historically underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, women, LGBTQ community members, individuals with disabilities, veterans and others committed to this same vision to seek employment with the Co-op,” Marchese said. “The Co-op has taken steps to make the store more inclusive by adding staff pronouns to name tags, acknowledging the native land the Co-op occupies, adding accessibility adjustments to their website and publishing the Inclusive Trade Business List so shoppers and owners can see which brands are BIPOC-, woman-, veteran-, and LGBTQ-owned. […] As a community-owned grocery store, it is an honor to be included among those who work to strengthen the bonds of our community by making it more equitable, compassionate and just.” 

The nominations for the Thong Hy Huynh awards opened in February and were expected to close on March 16. The Community Relations Program Manager, Carrie Dyer, explained the decision to extend the deadline.

 “The nomination deadline was extended this year to allow for extra time to help spread the word about the awards and provide people time to submit nominations,” Dyer said.

The winners of this year’s Thong Hy Huynh awards will be announced in May. 

Written by: Alma Culverwell city@theaggie.org