Name: Betty Yee
Occupation: Vice-Chair Democratic Party, State of California; Comptroller of California January 2015-January 2023
Award: Equality Diaspora Ambassador Award 2023
Betty Yee is the chief financial officer of California, the 5th largest economy in the world.
She is a tough, innovative, and fiercely independent fiscal watchdog who is on our side, delivering results. Leading independent audits of state and local governments, Betty has shined a light on $4 billion in misuse of taxpayer funds. Taking on big life insurers, Betty compelled them to pay death benefits to surviving loved ones and held them accountable.
Name: Kamal Al-Solaylee
Occupation: Director and Professor School of Journalism, Writing, and Media, University of British Columbia
Award: Seanchaí Ambassador Award
Kamal Al-Solaylee is the author of the bestseller Intolerable: A Memoir of Extremes, winner of the 2013 Toronto Book Award and a finalist for the CBC’s Canada Reads and the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction. His second book, Brown: What Being Brown in the World Today Means (to Everyone) won the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing and was finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Awards for Nonfiction. He’s a two-time nominee for the National Magazine Awards, winning a Gold Medal in 2019 for columns. His third book of nonfiction, Return: Why We go Back to Where We Come From, was published in 2021 and was named Book of the Year by the Globe and Mail and CBC Radio. He holds a PhD in English and is the director of the School of Journalism, Writing, and Media at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.