NAPABA Stands in Solidarity with the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (FACL) Ontario After Recent Attack

WASHINGTON – NAPABA grieves with Canada’s Muslim Community and shares the heartbreak over the loss of four lives in what Canadian authorities believe was a premeditated, planned, Islamophobic attack. “We mourn this tragedy, which serves as yet another reminder that hatred sadly has no boundaries,” said A.B. Cruz III, President of NAPABA. “We know all too well the grief confronting Asian communities impacted by racial and religious intolerance, and extend our heartfelt condolences to the friends and family members of those who were lost or injured in this senseless act of hate-driven violence.”

NAPABA stands with our affiliate, the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (FACL) Ontario, which has released a statement against Islamophobia in the wake of this horrific attack. https://on.facl.ca/2021/06/08/statement-against-islamophobia/

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the largest Asian Pacific American membership organization representing the interests of approximately 60,000 legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of color in the legal profession.

AABANY Co-Sponsors New York County Lawyers Association’s AAPI Heritage Month Celebration on June 2

On June 2, 2021, AABANY co-sponsored New York County Lawyers Association’s (NYCLA’s) AAPI Heritage Month Celebration. The event was hosted by NYCLA’s Asian Practice Committee which AABANY Board Member Margaret Ling co-chairs. Congresswoman Grace Meng was awarded the 2021 NYCLA AAPI Trailblazer Award for all of her civic duty to the AAPI Community. In her keynote speech, she stressed how important it was for all of us to continue to work together and educate others about anti-Asian hate and racism. Attendees applauded the Congresswoman for her dedication and hard work in co-authoring the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act and securing its passage. Those in attendance also applauded the installation of Vincent Chang, the first AAPI President of NYCLA. He vowed to continue to uphold NYCLA’s focus on sustaining the rule of law including the importance of practicing diversity, equity and inclusion in furtherance of fairness and justice for all.

Congratulations to Congresswoman Meng on her award, and we wish Vince much success during his tenure as NYCLA President.

In the News: LGBT Committee Co-Chair Glenn Magpantay Featured in Crain’s NY Business as a Notable LGBTQ Executive

AABANY LGBT Committee Co-Chair Glenn Magpantay was listed on June 7, 2021 as a Notable LGBTQ Executive in Crain’s NY Business. For 30 years Glenn has supported the LGBT community and fought for the recognition of LGBTQ Asians. He says, “I am a survivor of a hate crime for being gay 20 years ago. I was a victim of a hate crime for being Asian 20 WEEKS ago! The intersectionality of our movements requires us all to stand up in solidarity, show up in allyship, and support racial justice, and LGBT equality.”

To read the full article, click here (subscription required).

AABANY Hosts Weekly Membership Mixer on June 4th

On June 4, 2021, the Membership Committee hosted their weekly virtual Membership Mixer, with 13 participants in attendance.

The mixer covered various topics on the minds of the attendees: recent movies they watched, cats, transitioning to in-person events, New York, and Asian hate crimes.

Participants also expressed their excitement about the transition to in-person events and meeting new AABANY members.

We are winding down our weekly mixers, and our last online mixer will be June 25, 2021. Please be sure to help us say goodbye to online events and soon to re-open in person!

Mixers start at 6:30pm on Friday and the main event ends at 7:30pm but many often stay on after 7:30pm for smaller breakout groups.

Join us for this week’s mixer on June 11, 2021 by registering at https://www.aabany.org/events/event_details.asp?legacy=1&id=1420367 by Thursday, June 10. In addition, please join us on June 25, 2021 for AALFNY’s 2021 Public Interest Scholarship Summer Reception and our final online mixer. Register by Thursday, June 24, at https://www.aabany.org/events/event_details.asp?legacy=1&id=1420369.

NAPABA Virtual In-House Counsel Summit

July 29-30, 2021

Registration for the NAPABA Virtual In-House Counsel Summit is now open! Designed to help public company senior and experienced attorneys make the jump into the C-Suite, participants will receive tailored guidance and training based on where they are in their career.

Registration for this event is complimentary and space is limited so register now! Registration will close at 5 p.m. EDT on Friday, June 25.

REGISTER NOW

Here are the Top Five Reasons to Attend the #NAPABAIHCSUMMIT21

REASON 1: Understand how various public company GCs in different sectors obtained their roles and the challenges they faced along the way.

REASON 2: Hear from recruiters on the current hiring trends, the challenges to the AAPI in-house community, and ways you can stand out.

REASON 3: Develop key strategies to increase your interview opportunities and ability to shine.

REASON 4: Add new knowledge about yourself, the interview process, and what company leadership really want from their GC.

REASON 5: Learn practical and effective ways to ace your interviews and advance in the search process.

LEARN MORE

More information is available at https://www.napaba.org/page/ihcsummit. We hope to see you at the 2021 IHC Summit!

T3 Project: Stand Together with AABANY and AALFNY in Turning the Tide Against Anti-Asian Hate and Violence

AABANY, in partnership with the Asian American Law Fund of New York (AALFNY), is pleased to announce the Turning the Tide (T3) Project. Following the February 10, 2021 publication of AABANY and Paul, Weiss’ report A Rising Tide of Hate and Violence against Asian Americans in New York During COVID-19: Impact, Causes, Solutions, AABANY established an Anti-Asian Violence Task Force to advance the proposals outlined in the report and consider other solutions to address the surge of anti-Asian hate and violence in the community. The Task Force advances the T3 project, which aims to incorporate a three-pronged approach encompassing education and communication, advocacy, and research, to address anti-Asian hate and violence. 

Please stand together with AABANY and AALFNY in turning the tide against anti-Asian hate and violence. We are now accepting donations to support the T3 Project. Donations can be made to AALFNY and will be tax deductible to the extent permitted by applicable law.

For more details about the T3 Project, please click here

In the News: AABANY Student Leader Jenny Park Featured in Columbia Law School’s Student Spotlight

AABANY Student Leader Jenny Park was recently featured in Columbia Law School’s May 27 article titled “Student Spotlight: Jenny Park ’21 on Community Advocacy, Corporate Law, and What’s Next.” In the article, Jenny shared her journey to law school, her extracurriculars as a law student, and her post-graduation plans.

Among the many extracurricular activities she participated in, Jenny partnered with AABANY twice to assist members of the Asian American community. First, she was a COVID-19 task force leader in the summer of 2020, where she helped provide pro bono resources to the community along with other task force members. As a 2020-2021 Davis Polk Leadership fellow, she partnered with AABANY again in 2021 through a spring break caravan. Jenny and other Columbia Law students updated and translated AABANY’s COVID-19 webpages; participated in client consultations with volunteer attorneys; and researched New York laws. Speaking about her post-graduation plans, Jenny said: “After graduation, I will (hopefully!) pass the bar and begin working at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in New York. Recently, I was also offered a vice chair position with AABANY’s Young Lawyers Committee. I hope to continue serving as a mentor and assisting young professionals as I grow in my career. As a 1L and throughout law school, I also worked with the Esports Bar Association, assisting to host an annual conference, drafting and distributing a diversity and inclusion toolkit, and more. I am currently serving on the diversity committee and plan to remain involved as esports continue to grow.”

To read the full article, click here. To read AABANY’s blog post on the CLS-AABANY Pro-Bono Caravan, click here.

Please join AABANY in congratulating Jenny on her graduation from Columbia Law School and thanking her for all the hard work she has done for AABANY! 

The Asian Columbia Alumni Association Honors Hyung Bak at the Third Annual Hong Yen Chang Award Ceremony

On May 20, the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY), along with the Asian Columbia Alumni Association (ACAA), Columbia Law School Association, and the Korean American Lawyers of Greater New York (KALAGNY), co-sponsored the Third Annual Hong Yen Chang Award Ceremony to honor Hyung Bak, Columbia Law School alumnus and General Counsel at Warby Parker.

The Annual Hong Yen Chang Award Ceremony is held in honor of the first known Chinese-American lawyer, Hong Yen Chang (1860-1926). Chang was, himself, a graduate of Columbia Law School and graduated with honors. He was recommended to bar admission, but was prevented from practicing in New York state because he was not a citizen. He brought suit and the New York Supreme Court ruled in his favor, licensing him to practice in New York in 1888. Chang then moved to California, hoping to be admitted to practice in the state but was rejected in 1890 due to the Chinese Exclusion Act. In 2015, more than a century later, the California Supreme Court admitted Chang to the California Bar. In May 2014, AABANY awarded Chang posthumous membership in the association, in celebration of AAPI Heritage Month. Chang was a trailblazer in the legal profession for all Asian Americans who came after him. The Hong Yen Chang Award is thus presented to Columbia alumni who embody Chang’s pioneering spirit and serve as role models and leaders in both their workplace and their communities.

This year’s award recipient, Hyung Bak, is the first lawyer in his immigrant family. As he was growing up, Hyung was all too aware of being “other” at school and at his workplace. He recounted how he was forced to develop a thick skin and persevere despite the comments and discrimination he faced. Hyung also described how he was often overlooked for networking functions, because of his race and the passive stereotypes associated with it. He also emphasized the importance of “claim[ing] your space at the table” as an Asian American to counteract these stereotypes and be heard. Now, Hyung works as General Counsel at Warby Parker, and is a leader in raising awareness surrounding the discrimination Asian Americans face daily. Hyung has led and participated in a number of different forums at Warby Parker about race and diversity, anti-Asian violence, bystander intervention, and many other topics in order to open up the conversation and create a safe space for individuals to discuss these issues. Hyung, through Warby Parker, has also been involved in initiatives to give back to businesses owned by people of color and to increase diverse representation in a number of different fields.

AABANY congratulates Hyung for this well-deserved honor and acknowledges his role as a leader in the Asian American community.

AAPI Judges from the Eastern District of New York Celebrate AAPI Heritage Month

On May 25, the Asian American Judges of the Eastern District of New York celebrated Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with a presentation titled “Photographic Justice: The Retelling of Asian American History in the United States.” Through the photography of Corky Lee, the presentation chronicled Asian Americans’ involvement in U.S. history, which has mostly been omitted from American history books.

The presentation began with a retelling of the Golden Spike ceremony in 1869 that celebrated the completion of the transcontinental railroad. While the majority of the railroad construction workforce was comprised of Chinese immigrants, the photograph taken to commemorate the railroad completion did not include any of the Chinese workers. At the 100-year anniversary of the ceremony in 1969, speakers still ignored the contribution of the Chinese workers. Corky Lee, a renowned photographer, believed in photographic justice and in 2014, he gathered the descendants of the Chinese workers to reenact the Golden Spike ceremony photograph. He said, “Some people would say we are reclaiming Chinese American history. In actuality, we’re reclaiming American history and the Chinese contribution is part and parcel of that.”

The presentation continued by recognizing the contributions of Asian Americans to the American war effort during World War 2, many of whom fought on battlefields overseas. These individuals include the decorated 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the Philippine Scouts, and WASP aviators Maggie Gee and Hazel Ying Lee. The third part of the presentation focused on the numerous laws passed in U.S. history that prohibited Asians from immigrating to America such as the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act and the 1907 Gentlemen’s Agreement. For years, immigration and access to citizenship was based on race. That situation remained unchanged until 1965 when the Immigration and Nationality Act finally abolished national origin, race, and ancestry as basis for immigration to the U.S. This resulted in increased immigration from China, India, Japan, and the Philippines.

The final segments of the presentation focused on the Asian American Movement and how Asian Americans have come together to address racism and inequality. Addressing the anti-Asian hate and violence occurring today, the presentation concluded that “the current climate of violence against Asian Americans must not stand in the way of Asian Americans being seen, being heard, and being respected in America.”

Thank you to Magistrate Judge Sanket J. Bulsara, District Judge Pam Chen, Magistrate Judge James Cho, District Judge Diane Gujarati, Magistrate Judge Peggy Kuo, and District Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto for the important presentation on Asian American history and for celebrating AAPI Heritage Month. To view the full presentation, click here.

FACT SHEET: President Biden Establishes the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders

On May 28, 2021, President Biden signed an Executive Order establishing the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders, and delivering on the President’s commitment to reinstate and reinvigorate this historic Initiative.

The new Initiative is charged with driving an ambitious, whole-of-government agenda to advance equity, justice, and opportunity for AA and NHPI communities by:

  • Helping to coordinate a comprehensive Federal response to the rise in acts of anti-Asian bias and violence
  • Addressing the systemic lack of disaggregated data on AA and NHPI communities in Federal statistical systems
  • Expanding language access and language assistance programs for AA and NHPI individuals across Federal programs
  • Strengthening economic security and opportunity for AA and NHPI communities by empowering AA and NHPI entrepreneurs, building new workforce training opportunities, and promoting workplaces that are free from harassment against AA and NHPI workers
  • Addressing the concentration of poverty experienced in many AA and NHPI communities
  • Addressing disparities in educational outcomes for AA and NHPI students of all ages, and addressing bullying, harassment, and discrimination in our Nation’s schools
  • Advancing climate and environmental justice for AA and NHPI communities who are particularly impacted by the climate crisis and are overburdened by environmental degradation
  • Promoting inclusion and belonging for all AA and NHPI communities by strengthening public awareness and education about AA and NHPI communities, cultures, and traditions
  • Empowering AA and NHPI communities to be civically engaged, including through electoral participation
  • Building a Federal workforce where AA and NHPI public servants are leaders at the most senior levels of our government
  • Ensuring that AA and NHPI communities are empowered and equitably served by Federal funding, grants, and contracts

To read The White House’s full fact sheet, click here.