Collecting Eyeglasses for EYEsee

AABANY and the Prosecutors’ Committee is lending a hand to both Asian Women In Business (AWIB) and EYEsee to collect old eyeglasses for distribution to visually impaired persons in the Third World.

EYEsee describes what donations are being sought –  any pair of old eyeglasses, prescription or non-prescription, sunglasses or not, even clip-ons!  There is a special need for children’s eyeglasses.

There will be a box the Annual Dinner registration table where eyeglasses can be simply dropped off, so if you are attending, please bring your donation to the Dinner or give your donation to a colleague or friend who is attending so that he/she can drop it off on your behalf.  Here’s hoping that we can help out this worthy cause!

Bolstering Immigrant and Minority Entrepreneurs in Queens

Bolstering Immigrant and Minority Entrepreneurs in Queens

2012 KALCA Summer Public Interest College Internship Program

The Korean American League for Civic Action is accepting applications for the 2012 Summer Public Interest College Internship ProgramThe deadline is March 5, 2012. The Internship is a nine-week program that provides college students and recent graduates an opportunity to learn about our civic and democratic processes from the inside of leading government offices, political campaigns, nonprofits and community based organizations in New York City. There is a scholarship stipend of $2,000 upon completion of the program.

Press Release: AABANY 23rd Annual Dinner

On Wednesday, February 29, 2012, the Asian American Bar Association of New York (“AABANY”) will have its Annual Dinner at Cipriani Wall Street.  The Annual Dinner has consistently attracted more than 500 attendees from the New York legal community and guests have included prominent federal and state judges, elected officials and dignitaries, and attorneys from large and small law firms, corporate law departments, prosecutors’ offices and government agencies. Read more here.


By now if you haven’t heard about a certain point guard for the Knicks by the name of Jeremy Lin, you should probably stay hidden under that rock you’ve been hiding under.  For the rest of you, AABANY is thinking about organizing a group outing to see Jeremy take the Knicks to the playoffs.  We’re looking at April 17, the game against the Celtics.  Seats will be in the West Balcony, cost is $130 per person.

If you’ve liked AABANY on Facebook or are a member of the AABANY LinkedIn group, please take the poll we’ve set up on those pages to gauge the interest in this excursion.

Here’s the link to AABANY’s Facebook page:

Here’s the link to AABANY’s LinkedIn group:

Let us know what you think! (You can also reply to this blog post by hitting the Comments link below).

Jeremy Lin Sports Illustrated

Bingham McCutchen Children’s Education Fellowship

New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI) is seeking applications for the Bingham McCutchen Children’s Education Fellowship in its Disability Justice (DJ) Program. This one-year fellowship with the possibility of renewal is generously funded and sponsored by Bingham McCutchen LLP. The fellow’s caseload would focus on systemic advocacy and individual representation to advance the civil rights of children with disabilities in the New York City school system.

Read more here for information on the NYLPI Fellowship.

Reproductive Rights’ Asia Legal Program Needs Pro Bono Attorneys

The Center for Reproductive Rights’ Asia Legal Program is currently seeking pro bono assistance for a range of projects.  The Center is an international non-governmental organization that uses constitutional, comparative and international human rights law to advance women’s reproductive rights. As part of its initiative to litigate cases on behalf of women who have experienced violations of their reproductive rights, the Center will organize the first ever South Asia Reproductive Rights Case Development Workshop in Kathmandu, Nepal.
The Center is currently seeking pro bono partners to collaborate with in developing these country-specific litigation tools for this training. Please feel free to email [email protected] directly with any questions, or if you might be interested in taking on a project. This sheet provides relevant information about projects currently available.

Drum Major for Justice Advocacy Competition

MetLife and the National Bar Association (NBA), announces the launch of the NBA 2012 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drum Major for Justice Advocacy Competition–an event designed to introduce high school junior and senior students of color to oral and written advocacy.  The participants of the competition have the opportunity to win over $25,000 in scholarships and prizes.

Find more details about the competition here or follow on Facebook.

AALDEF: Report from 2012 Gala

February 10, 2012 – CNN Host Fareed Zakaria, Yale Law School Professor Jean Koh Peters, and Parkin Lee of The Rockefeller Group were honored with the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund’s (AALDEF) 2012 Justice in Action Awards on February 8, 2012.

Juju Chang, Emmy Award-winning correspondent for ABC News Nightline, and Sree Sreenivasan, Dean of Student Affairs and digital media professor at Columbia Journalism School, were the co-emcees for the banquet, with Daily Show correspondent, actor, and master of satire Aasif Mandvi as the special guest. Chang and Sreenivasan, both long time supporters of AALDEF, began by sharing their highlights of the past year, from Chang’s interviews with celebrities like Celine Dion to Sreenivasan’s ambush by right-wing activist James O’Keefe.

Over 800 leaders in civil rights, law, business, and the arts attended the ceremony at Pier Sixty in New York City. Among the guests were past Justice in Action Award recipients including actor BD Wong, AB Cruz III, Harold Koh, Sandra Leung, and Don Liu. Elected officials and judges were also part of the crowd, including New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, U.S. Circuit Judge Denny Chin, and Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, who currently graces the cover of TIME magazine (leading emcee Sreenivasan to joke that his celebrity factor was compensation for New York Knicks player Jeremy Lin’s absence.)

AALDEF Executive Director Margaret Fung wished the audience a happy lunar new year and reminded them of the necessity of their support. “There are reports of the NYPD’s targeting of Muslims and South Asians under the guise of national security,” said Fung. “Just this week, the Superbowl featured a racist political ad by Republican candidate Pete Hoekstra mocking Chinese people. So in the Year of the Dragon, we have our work cut out for us.”

The power of the immigrant experience in the United States was a theme throughout all three acceptance speeches. “We are creating the first universal nation,” said honoree Fareed Zakaria. “Ten years before I became a citizen, I began using the word ‘we’ to describe the United States. There isn’t a country like this where people from all over the world come and are entirely included in the process.” (View clip on YouTube)

Parkin Lee, former president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) Law Foundation and Vice President of The Rockefeller Group, spoke about his childhood growing up in a Chinese hand laundry after World War II. “This country was built on the strength and creativity of immigrants who came here and made lives for themselves,” said Lee.

Honoree Jean Koh Peters, the renowned children’s rights and immigrants’ rights scholar, reminded the audience of the value of public service. “Never let your skill exceed your virtue,” Peters said.

The night ended with Aasif Mandvi’s hilarious and deeply politically incorrect stand-up. “I thought they were filming this portion of the show for Comedy Central, but really it’s for the NYPD,” he began. Mandvi added, “AALDEF is at the forefront of fighting for the rights of Muslim Americans. If you believe that all Americans should live in a free and equal society – and I can’t imagine why you would – then please support the organization.”

Since 1987, AALDEF has awarded the Justice in Action Award to exceptional individuals for their efforts in advancing social justice and human rights for Asian Americans. Past Justice in Action Award recipients include the late civil rights icons Fred Korematsu and Gordon Hirabayashi, David Henry Hwang, Mira Nair, Deval Patrick, Salman Rushdie, Seymour Hersh, Charles Ogletree, Jr., Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, Harry Belafonte, Juan Gonzalez, Margaret Cho, and Yoko Ono.

The Rockefeller Group was a 2012 Justice Circle sponsor.

All proceeds from the Lunar New Year Gala will go directly towards supporting AALDEF’s legal and educational programs in immigrant rights, economic justice for workers, voting rights and civic participation, affirmative action, language access to services, youth rights and educational equity, housing and environmental justice, Census policy, and the elimination of hate violence, police misconduct, and human trafficking.

View video clips from the awards at the Justice in Action webpage >

Please credit the following images to Lia Chang.

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Ujala Sehgal
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