On Saturday, September 22, Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx) welcomed recently released Nobel Peace Prize recipient and leader of Burma's democracy movement Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to Queens at an event hosted by Queens College. Crowley, a leader in Congress on Burma and a Queens College alum, was the master of ceremonies during the event and had the distinct honor of introducing Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
"Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has inspired the people of Burma -- and people around the world -- to stand up for human rights, democracy and freedom," said Rep. Crowley. "Welcoming her to Queens was one of the proudest moments of my life and I am so glad she took the time to participate in this wonderful event at Queens College and with its hard-working students."
Joining Crowley in the event honoring Daw Aung San Suu Kyi were Queens College President James Muyskens; Academy Award-winning actress Anjelica Huston, who read from Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's essay "Freedom From Fear"; New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, who presented a letter on behalf of the City Council to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi; and acclaimed singer-songwriter Carole King, also a Queens College alum, who performed her hit song "You've Got a Friend."
Last week, Crowley had the honor of helping to welcome Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to the U.S. Capitol and presenting her with the Congressional Gold Medal. In 2008, Crowley spearheaded the legislation to award Daw Aung San Suu Kyi with the medal -- the highest civilian award bestowed by the U.S. Congress.
In January, Crowley became the first member of the U.S. House of Representatives to officially travel to Burma in over 12 years. During this trip he met with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, families of political prisoners, and several members of the government. In addition to leading the successful effort to award Daw Aung San Suu Kyi the Congressional Gold Medal, Crowley also spearheaded the effort to strengthen sanctions on Burma's military leaders through the Block Burmese JADE Act and authored legislation to renew the ban on all imports from Burma contained in the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act.