“A champion fighter for social justice and equity, Alan Sugiyama helped define the Asian American civil rights movement in Seattle in the late 1960s and 1970s. From education, to the media, and government, he fought to ensure Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders were included in all aspects of our community. As a student leader, the first Asian American elected to the Seattle School Board, and chair and a member of the Asian Pacific Directors Coalition, he held administrators, police chiefs, and mayors accountable to serving the unique needs of our communities.
“Al was a visionary in tackling systemic disparities, particularly in the lack of representation and upward mobility for AAPIs in the public and private sectors. Al’s formation of the Center for Career Alternatives and leadership at the Executive Development Institute helped thousands of people pursue their goals through training, education, and mentorship. He later utilized his vast networks to bring people together from all walks of life to foster conversation and opportunity. Al’s endearing passion for social justice and helping others succeed will live on in all who knew him.”