WASHINGTON, DC – On Monday, March 31, 2014, Herb Lee Jr. was honored by the White House among 10 community leaders who embody the spirit of Cesar E. Chavez’ legacy.  Each of the Cesar Chavez Champions of Change have committed themselves to improving the lives of others in their communities and across the country. At the core, all of our honorees represent the values and steadfast determination of Cesar Chavez to organize ourselves for a more just tomorrow.


Herb Lee, Jr. is the Executive Director of the Pacific American Foundation (PAF), in Kane‘ohe, where he has led multiplewhitehousechampion and highly successful youth leadership programs, career planning and development, environmental education and culture-based curriculum projects including the award winning “ Kāhea Loko,” fishpond curriculum, and the “Aloha ‘Aina”, curriculum for students in K-13 grades.  Under Lee’s leadership Pacific American Foundation has trained over 3,500 teachers and benefited over 70,000 students throughout the State of Hawai‘i.  PAF has been recognized as one of the leading non-profits in the development and training of rigorous culture-based education programs for both Native Hawaiians and non-Hawaiian students.

Lee is one of the founders of the Waikalua Loko Fishpond Preservation Society in Kane‘ohe, O‘ahu, a non-profit organization whose mission is education through the protection, preservation, restoration and perpetual stewardship of an ancient (400 year old) cultural resource. He serves on numerous Boards and community groups and in 2011 was selected to the National Environmental Justice Advisory Committee (NEJAC) Indigenous People Working Group and received the Historic Hawaii Foundation’s highest Preservation Award for the work at the Waikalua Loko Fishpond.

Herb attended a Champions of Change White House event where officials recognized the Champions’ hard work and lead a discussion about how to advance, expand and develop resources and partnerships that will continue to improve the lives of all Americas, including Latinos.

The Champions of Change program was created as an opportunity for the White House to feature individuals doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities.  As part of the Administration-wide effort to celebrate Cesar Chavez Day, President Obama signed a presidential proclamation calling on all Americans to recognize the birth of one of America’s greatest champions of social justice by engaging in service. The event was moderated by Lisa Garcia Quiroz, Chief Diversity Officer and Senior Vice President of Corporate Responsibility at Time Warner Inc., and Marco Davis, Deputy Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.  Learn more about the White House Champions of Change program and how to nominate a Champion.