Houston Public Media and Houston First are paying tribute to the diversity in our region by spotlighting Houstonians from various communities in conjunction with national awareness months.

Melanie Pang

Government Relations Officer | Houston Food Bank

Melanie advocates for equitable policies that drive efficiencies in service to those experiencing poverty. Melanie grew up in Missouri City as the youngest of four children to a Chinese father and Filipino mother. Pang earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2010 from the University of Houston. She was one of the first students to minor in GLBT studies and served as president of GLOBAL, the school’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning, inter-sex and asexual alliance. She went on to a master’s degree in social work, and was named social worker of the year in 2015 by the local chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. She has been featured in OutSmart magazine’s list of emerging LGBTQ women leaders.

Kirby Liu

Director of Development | Lovett Commercial

Kirby is a design and real estate developer that aims to reinvigorate Houston’s downtown neighborhoods and celebrate Houston’s diversity by creating arts, entertainment, dining and retail hubs that bridge the gap between culture and innovation. The impactful developer is devoted to building vibrant communities and enriching neighborhoods, and is currently involved in a project called POST Houston that is reimagining the former Barbara Jordan Post Office in Downtown. Liu graduated with distinction from Darmouth College and studied architecture at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.

Wendy N. Duong, Notable Asian Pacific American

Notable Asian Pacific American

Wendy N. Duong

As a teenager in 1975, Wendy Duong fled South Vietnam with her family during the Fall of Saigon. Eventually she came to Houston to make history of her own. Duong received a JD degree from the University of Houston Law Center, and an LLM degree from Harvard Law School. Then in June of 1992 at the Municipal Court in downtown Houston, Wendy Duong became the first Vietnamese American Judge in the United States.