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In celebration of the AAPI Heritage Month, Queens District Attorney, Melinda Katz honored five community leaders for their contributions in a virtual ceremony. The event spotlighted the works of Councilman Peter Koo, community activist Jeany Persaud, the Korean American Family Services Center, Assistant District Attorney Kiran Cheema, and Queens District Attorney Paralegal Christopher Sui, for standing together in the fight against anti-Asian hate and reporting crimes in real-time.
Community activist Jeany Persaud
Born in Georgetown, Guyana, and raised in Chateau Margot, East Coast Demerara, Persaud arrived in New York City in 1978 seeking educational and adventurous opportunities. In 1981, Persaud joined the U.S. Army and served eight years in the Army Reserve. During this time, she traveled to Egypt and throughout the U.S. In 1991, she began volunteering at St. Alban’s Head and was appointed as a member of the board of directors in 2003, which she still serves.
Persaud currently handles public relations and marketing for the NY Corrections Department Desi Society (NYCD), the nation’s first fraternal organization to represent South Asian correction officers. Persaud has also served as the first vice president of the New American Voters Association and the former chair of the Chancellor Parent Advisory Council (CPAC).
Assistant District Attorney Kiran Cheema
Born and raised in Flushing, Cheema is an active member of the Asian American Bar Association. She began her service at the Queens district attorney’s office in 2014 as an intern in the Domestic Violence Bureau. She has worked primarily on human trafficking investigations and prosecutions. In 2019, Cheema obtained a jury trial conviction against a defendant for sex trafficking a teenager, after which the defendant was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Last year, Cheema was appointed by Katz as an assistant district attorney in the newly created Human Trafficking Bureau — the first bureau of its kind in New York City.
The online event also included classic performances such as the Gotham Dance Theater, The Rangla Punjab Dance Academy, Herricks Chinese Association’s Children’s Sing-Along Class, and The Physical Plant. Furthermore, a speech was also conducted by Katz in which she seriously condemned anti-Asian hate and recognized the efforts of five people including Persaud and Cheema.
We would like to congratulate Jeany Persaud and Kiran Cheema for their efforts to provide justice to the people of the Borough and hope that they continue to pave their way towards excellence.
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