MARY GRACE COSTA WRITES – Asia Media International staff joined the Pacific Century Institute Feb 23 at the InterContinental Hotel in Los Angeles to honor global citizens Dr. Charles Morrison and former Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki Moon.

The theme of the evening was “Building Bridges Between Countries and People” and appropriately assembled a diverse community of dignitaries, ambassadors, experts and students from PCI, Loyola Marymount University and other affiliations, all of whom are passionate about making meaningful and lasting connections.

After a few opening remarks by Asia Media founder and PCI vice president, Tom Plate, PCI directors Raymond F. Burghart and Kenneth J. Tuggle introduced the evening’s honorees.

First to address the attendees was Dr. Charles Morrison of the East-West Center and the recipient of PCI’s Institutional Building Bridges Award.  As president of the the East-West Center, Dr. Morrison has encouraged peaceful and productive relations between Asia and America through education, research, dialogue and partnership with the Pacific Century Institute. Morrison’s address spoke of the Asia-Pacific region’s increasing importance in a rapidly globalizing world.

The PCI presented its Individual Building Bridges Award to Ban Ki Moon, who expressed how especially esteemed he felt to be receiving the award only 43 days after the end of tenure as UN Secretary-General. Ban is a long-time supporter of both PCI and Asia Media and also received an honorary doctorate degree from Loyola Marymount University last year.

In his address, the former Secretary-General focused on the evening’s central theme, praising those who would “build bridges rather than walls.” He also spoke of the importance of energizing the world’s youth and inspiring them to action for others.

In addition to honoring the recipients of these awards, the evening also honored the new partnership between Asia Media and the Pacific Century Institute. An introductory video created by Asia Media’s own Ryan Dao and Peyton Cross played throughout the evening, showcasing the relationship between the two California-based, Asia-focused organizations.

On a night dedicated to those who would build bridges instead of walls, Asia Media and the Pacific Century Institute remind people that they need not build bridges alone.

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