News & Blog: Community


Minnie Morey is the recipient of this year's Champion of Literacy Award [sponsored by Comerica Bank]. Minnie will receive the award at this year's Spellebration event on March 23, 2022. 

Minnie Morey is the kind of person who sees a need, steps up, and leads the way toward addressing it. For decades now, Minnie has championed the rich gifts brought to West Michigan by the immigrants and refugees from Asian countries. As a volunteer, an activist, and Executive Director of the West Michigan Asian American Association (WMAAA), Minnie has made it her mission to help remove the barriers that New Americans face in this country. George Aquino, Vice President/Managing Director of AHC+ Hospitality, writes of Minnie, “this petite woman is a GIANT in the Asian American community in the state.”

Anyone who knows Minnie describes her unrelenting drive to solve problems large or small. From contacting CEOs to securing transportation for refugees to get to work, Minnie does not let any obstacles stand in her way of supporting her community. As George says, “Minnie wholeheartedly pours herself into any challenge that is in front of her.”2_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy.png

A natural relationship builder, Minnie creates important connections between multiple communities. Stella V. Michael, Chair of the Board of WMAA, recognizes this strength of Minnie’s. “She has strong relationships with community leaders, resources on the ground and those in between. She actively partners with and supports other organizations who share the same goals and vision to serve the underserved.”

Minnie, a native of the Philippines, is a fierce advocate for literacy because she understands the role it plays in assuring newcomers are able to fully engage in our community. In fact, it was her advocacy that led the Literacy Center to create a citizenship-specific ESL class with an Asian American instructor. This program has since grown, now serving 50+ learners annually.

Literacy Center Executive Director, Wendy V. Falb, says of selecting Minnie for the Champion of Literacy Award, “Minnie has a long history of service and accomplishment in our community that has often gone unrecognized. What a positive force she has been in West Michigan. I deeply respect her, am grateful for her, and am so pleased we can bring some visibility to her leadership.” 

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