On Friday, April 28, AABANY was privileged to be part of the first ever Diversity Forum organized by the Federal Bar Association-EDNY Chapter. AABANY joined several groups in presenting a series of CLE panels to “address key issues impacting traditionally unrepresented and marginalized groups ….” In addition to AABANY the participating groups were:

  • Federal Bar Association LGBT Section
  • Muslim Bar Association of New York
  • Hispanic National Bar Association, Region II (NY)
  • Puerto Rican Bar Association
  • FBA EDNY Chapter
  • Dominican Bar Association
  • Long Island Hispanic Bar Association
  • Latino Lawyers of Queens County
  • Latino Judges Association  
  • International Cultic Studies Association 
  • South Asian Bar Association of New York

Opening remarks were presented by Chief Judge Dora Irizzary, EDNY, followed by three CLE sessions in the morning, a lunch break at which several EDNY judges were in attendance, and closing out with two CLE sessions in the afternoon.

AABANY presented the final session of the day, entitled “Legacy of Exclusion: Learning the Lessons of History, from the Chinese Exclusion Act to the Current Immigration Executive Orders,” in conjunction with SABANY. Issues Committee Co-Chair Chris Kwok moderated a panel comprised of Prof. Rose Cuison Villazor, UC Davis School of Law; Amol Sinha, President-Elect, SABANY; and Annie J. Wang, AALDEF Staff Attorney.

The panel covered the history of Chinese and Asian exclusion through immigration laws, the concept of colorism as a pervading theme in America’s discourse on race, nationality and citizenship, and the lasting legacy of this history to present day.

Thanks to the FBA-EDNY chapter for including us in this inaugural Diversity Forum. It was a day well spent, learning many different perspectives about diversity and the needs of under-represented and marginalized groups in society. We hope to be able to participate in future Diversity Forums.