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Davis, California

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Davis City Council announces nominations for the Thong Hy Huynh Awards

The student-run organization Aggie House is among the select recipients of this award


By MATTHEW MCELDOWNEY — city@theaggie.org


On April 9, nominees for the Thong Hy Huynh Awards were ratified by members of the Davis City Council. With categories for award recipients 18 and over, under 18 and Community Organizations, Aggie House was selected for the impact they have made in empowering the lives of students facing housing insecurity. 

This award, presented in light of the 1983 racially motivated murder of Davis High School student Thong Hy Huynh, seeks to recognize the people of the Davis community whose actions reflect the values of social justice, equality and diversity that the city upholds. 

City Councilmember Gloria Partida reiterated the council’s commitment against intolerance where it may arise.

“It’s important to remember that I don’t think we ever get to the end of wiping out intolerance, and so the actual work that we do along the way is in and of itself the ends,” Partida said.

This year, Aggie House is nominated, among great company, for this award. 

The Human Relations Commission proudly recommends the following to receive the Thong Hy Huynh award for the May 7 ceremony, according to a staff report from Community Relations Program Manager Carrie Dryer.  

Pattie Fong was nominated for the 18 and over category for helping to rescind an anti-Japanese American resolution affecting citizens all over Yolo County and co-leading a Day of Remembrance to educate the public about Japanese Internment Camps.

Annie Louise Temple was also nominated for the 18 and over category for her advocacy against anti-semitism and islamophobia amid the ongoing violence in Gaza, organizing an interfaith vigil to express grief for the victims caught up in this conflict. 

Chaves “CJ” Millican was nominated for the under-18 category as the communications manager for the Black Student Union and for his advocacy for marginalized communities and the unhoused.  

Aggie House was nominated for the community group category for its dedicated efforts to help combat housing insecurity and cultivate a sense of community for its residents and volunteers alike. 

Aggie House, founded in 2021 by Allie O’Brien, Ashley Lo and Katie Shen, is the third university campus shelter in California after UCLA Bruin and USC Trojan shelters. However, Aggie House is the first of its kind to have a residence where students can stay 24/7. Through the dedicated efforts of its volunteers, they are able to accomplish their mission of providing this safe space for students, by students, to get one another back on their feet. 

Virginia Moore, a third-year human development and psychology double major, was recently promoted to resident co-president for the organization. As resident co-president, Moore is responsible for cooperating with Aggie Compass and ASUCD to be able to further help vulnerable students find the appropriate resources. 

“I’ve continued to grow more in my interests to help others,” Moore said. “Before my role as a case manager, I was already interested in social work and counseling, but ever since I’ve taken this greater role in Aggie House, […] my passion for this kind of work [has] been solidified.” 

Moore is honored on behalf of Aggie House to be receiving such recognition by the city for the work that they have been doing for Davis’ student community.

“We are excited,” Moore said. “We can’t wait to go to their ceremony and meet all the folks that voted on our behalf. I feel this could only open up more opportunities for us.” 

As an organization, Aggie House hopes that this work continues to get noticed. They currently receive grants on an inconsistent basis, so the hope is that they are able to expand in the future to receive consistent funding, establish a permanent shelter and continue to provide its residents with this sense of belonging during these uncertain times when they need it most. 

Moore is excited for what the future might hold for the organization.

“We hope the recognition from Davis allows us to be recognized as an impactful resource that deserves to be permanent,” Moore said. 


Written by: Matthew Mceldowney — city@theaggie.org



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