On Thursday August 2nd, President Obama nominated Pamela Chen, a prosecutor from Brooklyn, NY, to serve on the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York. While much of the focus on Chen has been to celebrate her as the first openly gay, Asian-American woman to be nominated, we were especially thrilled to hear this news at the Freedom Network, since Pam Chen has been a champion of civil and human rights in her career, especially during her time as an Assistant US Attorney, where she handled cases of human trafficking.
In 2010, the Freedom Network honored Chen with the Paul and Sheila Wellstone Human Rights Award, given every year at our annual conference. Her work on human trafficking is extensive and effective- not only has she prosecuted cases with a victim-centered approach, she has also strived to collaborate with NGO service providers, and and we are so proud that she has been nominated.
The next step is for the Senate to confirm her, which most reports say will likely be after the elections. Senator Chuck Schumer has already spoken out in support of Chen, calling her a “fantastic” nominee.
Update: Click here to check out the full text of Pamela Chen’s acceptance speech for the Wellstone Award in 2010.