NAPABA Partners with New Initiative to Combat Anti-Asian Violence

For Immediate Release: Date: April 15, 2021

Contact: Priya Purandare, Executive Director

NAPABA is proud to join the newly established Alliance for Asian American Justice (“The Alliance”) as part of a coalition of leading AAPI advocacy organizations, Fortune 1000 General Counsel, and over 40 law firms in a national initiative designed to ensure that victims of anti-Asian crime, hatred, and bigotry are able to access pro bono legal services. The work of The Alliance leverages NAPABA’s existing intake efforts on hate crimes and hate incident reporting, and bolsters NAPABA’s leadership in providing victims, community based organizations, and community leaders with the information they need, in the language they understand, through its groundbreaking collection of hate crimes reporting toolkits, which were developed in partnership with the APIA Health Forum and translated into 24 different AAPI languages, the largest collection of its kind. For more on The Alliance, please click here.

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The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) represents the interests of approximately 50,000 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.

Federal Judicial Clerkship Opportunity with Hon. Dora L. Irizarry

The Honorable Dora L. Irizarry, U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of New York, is currently accepting applications for a Clerkship, starting in October 2021.

Qualifications:

  • At least two years of practice as an attorney prior to start date of clerkship.
  • Excellent grades.
  • Excellent research, writing, and analytical skills, although participation in Law Review or a Journal is not a prerequisite.
  • Military and/or other life/career experience is a plus.
  • Excellent organizational, administrative, and time management skills.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the delay in delivery and processing of U.S. mail, interested applicants must forward their application package in PDF format via email to irizarry_chambers@nyed.uscourts.gov.

Application package must include:

  • Cover letter explaining your interest in a clerkship with Judge Irizarry and career goals.
  • Resume.
  • Official law school transcript.
  • One writing sample of recent vintage, no longer than 15 pages. Journal or research articles will NOT be accepted.
  • Three letters of recommendation, including at least one from a recent employer.

The deadline for receipt of materials is May 17, 2021.

If you have further questions, please contact chambers at: 718-613-2150.

In the News: Board Director Chris Kwok Quoted in the Gothamist on the NYPD’s Misclassification of Anti-Asian Hate Crimes in 2020

AABANY Board Director Chris Kwok was quoted in an April 12th article in the Gothamist titled “The NYPD’s Method of Counting Anti-Asian Attacks Underestimates Severity of Crisis, Critics Say.” The article summarizes the findings of a Gothamist/WNYC investigation on the New York Police Department’s response to the rise of incidents against Asian Americans in 2020. Back in March 2020, the NYPD classified incidents against Asian American New Yorkers as “anti-COVID” due to the victim’s disability status instead of labeling it as “anti-Asian hate crime” when there was clear racial invective present. The article states that in 2020, the NYPD recorded four anti-Asian hate crimes while they recorded 25 anti-COVID crimes during the same period. Out of the 25 anti-COVID crimes, 24 consisted of Asian victims. In the article, Chris stated: “That’s a poor choice — especially in light of what’s happened afterwards. If it was an African American [victim] and COVID-19, I don’t think people would readily say ‘Oh, it’s about the disability’… They’re kind of erasing that [Asian] part.” Chris also mentioned that had the NYPD seen the early 2020 crimes for their underlying racial animus, the NYPD could have addressed the rising attacks sooner.

Here are other recent news stories that have quoted Chris Kwok or mentioned AABANY’s report on anti-Asian violence:

“Brutal Attack on Filipino Woman Sparks Outrage: ‘Everybody Is on Edge’” By Nicole Hong, Juliana Kim, Ali Watkins and Ashley Southall, March 30, 2021, The New York Times, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/30/nyregion/asian-attack-nyc.html

“Asian hate: Couple threatened by suspected Black man at Home Depot — ‘I’ll cut you, you f****ng Asian’” By Srivats Lakshman, March 30, 2021, MEAWW, https://meaww.com/hate-crime-new-york-city-home-depot-30-march-2021-couple-attacked 

“We need to recognize and fight against anti-Asian hatred” By Yeji Chung, April 5, 2021, The GW Hatchet, https://www.gwhatchet.com/2021/04/05/we-need-to-recognize-and-fight-against-anti-asian-hatred/ 

Please also take a look at previous blog posts from February 19March 1March 8March 15, and March 29 highlighting news stories about our report. If you have come across a news report or article about our report that is not listed above, please let us know at main@aabany.org.

More public awareness about our report and the rise in anti-Asian violence is needed. Please share our report widely. If you have ideas or thoughts about how we can combat anti-Asian violence, please share them with us at main@aabany.org.

In the News: Judge James Cho and President Terry Shen in NYLJ

AABANY President Terry Shen was quoted in a New York Law Journal article published on April 6, 2021 titled “Former Federal Prosecutor Named US Magistrate Judge in Brooklyn.” The article highlights AABANY Past President James Cho, who was sworn in on Monday, April 5 as the Eastern District of New York’s newest magistrate judge and the district’s first Korean American judge. 

In the article, Terry Shen was quoted praising the appointment as “another important step” toward more diversity on the bench. Speaking more about Judge Cho, Terry said: “In his time as president of AABANY, Judge Cho displayed a combination of insightful leadership, work ethic, and commitment to public service that will undoubtedly equip him to be an exceptional federal judge. We congratulate Mr. Cho on this outstanding achievement.” 

To read the full article on Law.com, please click here (subscription may be required).

In the News: President-Elect William Ng Featured in Binghamton University’s Alumni Newsletter

William Ng, President-Elect of AABANY, was recently featured in Binghamton University’s April 2021 Alumni Newsletter. In the article titled “Alumnus Leads Bar Association, Combats Racism,” William discussed AABANY’s mission of ensuring meaningful participation of Asian Americans in the legal profession. He also highlighted AABANY’s leadership in addressing the rise of hate and violence against the Asian American community. As President-Elect, William looks forward to prioritizing fundraising and ramping up virtual programs to position AABANY for success in a post-pandemic environment. Speaking about his time at Binghamton, William ’04 credits his experience serving in the Student Association and as a Student Conduct Board Member to furthering his interest in law.

The newsletter also acknowledges other Binghamton alumni who have served or currently serve on the AABANY Board:

  • Yang Chen ’87, Executive Director
  • Linda Lin ‘00, Past President
  • William Wang ’00, Past President
  • Bobby Liu ’93, Former Board Member
  • Christopher Bae ’10, Secretary
  • Beatrice Leong ‘06, Membership Director

To read the full article on Binghamton University’s Alumni Newsletter, click here.

AABANY Welcomes the Officers and Directors of the FY2022 Board

AABANY’s new fiscal year began on April 1, 2021. Terrence Shen is now the President of AABANY and Sapna Palla is the Immediate Past President. We are pleased to welcome this year’s Officers and Directors.

President
Terrence Shen

President-Elect
William Ng

Immediate Past President
Sapna Palla

Vice Presidents of Programs and Operations
Joseph Eng
Cynthia Lam

Development Director
Margaret T. Ling

Director of Technology
Francis Chin

Treasurer
William Hao

Secretary
Christopher S. Bae

Membership Director
Beatrice Leong

Executive Director
Yang Chen

Board of Directors
Jasmine Ball
Una A. Dean
Jeff Ikejiri
Suzanne Kim
Edward Y. Kim
Chris Kwok
Naf Kwun
Won S. Shin
David Sohn
Kazuko Wachter
P. Bartlett Wu
Karen Yau
Andy Yoo

To view the bios of the AABANY Directors and Officers, click here.

Congratulations to AABANY Leader Eugene Kim, Assistant Editor for Book on 50 Asian Life Stories from Around the World

Eugene Kim, Vice-Chair of AABANY’s Pro Bono and Community Service Committee, is one of the editors of the recently published book 50 People. 50 Stories. I AM ASIAN. by Asian & Loud, Kevin Wang (Editor), and Loretta M. Cheung (Editor). The book is a collection of 50 uncensored life stories written by 50 Asian authors from around the world representing different ages, careers, and perspectives.

Eugene joined the project at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic after coming across the I AM ASIAN page on social media. He became interested in the project because he grew up around Asians who did not feel that they fit the model minority myth. Eugene believed the theme of the book, figuring out and being comfortable with our place and identity, was important to share. People with privilege often get to dictate the narrative, but this book was providing a platform for Asians around the world to share their story.

As a public defender with the Legal Aid Society, Eugene did not have the time to write his own story, so he joined the project as an editor. He was assigned a set number of authors’ stories to edit and he finished in August 2020. Speaking about the book, Eugene said, “The beauty of 50 different stories is that each story is unique. And although some stories are different from others (i.e. an Asian rapper, athletes, and growing up in foster care), there are some stories that may seem similar. However, even the ones that read similarly to others, they are still original in their own way, so there is definitely something in the book for every reader.”

Please join AABANY in congratulating Eugene on his creative work. 50 People. 50 Stories. I AM ASIAN. is available in print and electronically. To view the book on Goodreads, click here.

NAPABA & APIAHF Launch Combat Hate Crimes Toolkit in 24 Languages

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, there have been nearly 4,000 recorded hate incidents against the Asian American community, and this number continues to rise. Earlier this week, President Biden announced additional actions to respond to Anti-Asian Violence, Xenophobia and Bias. Attorney General Garland announced a 30-day review to assess the government’s tracking capabilities and prosecution of hate offenses that are surging across the country. The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) and the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) are working with the Biden Administration to identify problems and to offer solutions in combating hate crimes.

NAPABA and APIAHF have collaborated to urgently develop a community Combat Hate Crimes Toolkit, which provides basic and critical information for victims, community-based organizations and community leaders. The toolkit, created under the National AA and NHPI Health Response Partnership, is translated into 24 different languages—the single largest collection of AANHPI translated materials ever and includes:

  • Understanding the difference between a hate crime and hate incident
  • Working with law enforcement and the media
  • Checklist for community organizations
  • Frequently asked questions

ACCESS NOW

Our organizations are committed to expanding this toolkit and increasing the availability of languages to provide critical information needed by our community. Combatting anti-Asian hate and violence is essential to enhancing the safety and security of our community, including seeking health care. If your community-based organization is interested in co-branding the toolkit with us, please contact Abram Garcia so we can help assist.

NYC Commission on Human Rights Presents Day of Visibility on April 2, 2021 at 11 am

When:  Friday, April 2, 2021, 11am– 1pm

Meeting point:  10:45am to 11am in front of Holy Cross Church, 329 W 42nd St, New York, NY 10036

What:  Brief remarks from partner community members and Commissioner Malalis, then do a short business walk to distribute literature about the Commission to area businesses. Literature includes posters from the “I Still Believe in NYC” campaign with artwork by CCHR Artist in Residence Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya that affirms AAPI communities (see below link). We will also be distributing literature about how to report bias incidents and discrimination to law enforcement.

We understand that this event is taking place on Good Friday, a religious holiday observed by a lot of Filipino Catholics and other religious groups. Given that the woman who was attacked was on her way to church, and that we are reaching out to a house of worship as a partner, the faith component is an essential messaging through-line.

Finally, we want to emphasize that the focus of this Day of Visibility is to foster community building and restore a sense of trust and safety for Asian New Yorkers living and working in the area. As such, we do not plan on having elected officials speak at the event.

Additional Resources from the Commission on Human Rights: