NAPABA Webinar on Combating a History of Anti-Asian Discrimination: How to Protect the Asian American Community

A racist cartoon originally depicted in the publication, the San Francisco Wasp, in 1881. The cartoon was a parody of the Statue of Liberty and represented a growing fear of Asian immigrants within the United States

On Friday, April 3rd, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) hosted a webinar titled “Pandemic and Acts of Hate Against Asian Americans: From Past to Present.” The webinar traced the historical roots of Asian American discrimination related to disease and public health issues and presented solutions for the present in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The webinar featured a panel which included Professor Jack Chin of UC Davis Law School, Matt Stevens of The New York Times’s Political News division, Harpreet Singh Mokha of the Department of Justice’s Community Relations Service, and Rahat N. Babar, Special Counsel, Office of the Governor of New Jersey. Chris M. Kwok, the NAPABA Dispute Resolution Committee Co-Chair and our very own AABANY Issues Committee Chair, helmed the panel as moderator. 

Professor Chin began by outlining the extensive history of anti-Asian discrimination within the United States. He focused on how discriminatory legislation at the state level in California and at the national level through the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 frequently correlated Asian American immigrants with disease. In particular, Professor Chin noted how San Francisco became a focal point of race-based efforts to control the bubonic plague in the early 1900s. Multiple political attempts were made to isolate and discriminate against Asians in the city which were repeatedly rebuffed by legal challenges such as Wong Wai v. Williamson and Jew Ho v. Williamson. Professor Chin underscored the ugly but recurring theme pushed in American politics about the “foreignness of germs.”

Following the professor’s historical account, Matt Stevens, an Asian American political reporter for The New York Times, noted the efforts that legislators are making to combat these acts of discrimination. Moreover, he noted the pervasive feeling of fear that permeates the Asian American community.

Harpreet Singh Mokha, National Program Manager for Muslim, Arab, Sikh, South Asian, and Hindu (MASSAH) issues at the Community Relations Service of the DOJ, explained the role and function of CRS during this pandemic. Established under Title X of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, CRS, frequently called “America’s Peacemakers,” works directly with communities facing conflict on racial, ethnic, gender, sexual orientation, religious, and disability issues. It has four primary functions: facilitating dialogue, mediating conflict, training community members, and providing consultation for methods of community assistance. Mr. Mokha noted that members of communities all across the country should be encouraged to make use of CRS’s resources and report hate crimes at their first occurrence. 

To wrap up the panel, Rahat Babar, Special Counsel for Litigation with the Office of the New Jersey Governor, echoed Mr. Mokha’s point to report hate crimes without hesitation. He noted a 2020 in-state report which found a 65% increase in bias incidents between 2018 and 2019 with 46% of those engaging in such bias incidents being minors. Thanks to this report, Governor Phil Murphy was able to set up a task force to explore why minors were engaging in such behavior. Mr. Babar notes that without a robust data set of incident or hate crime reports, lawmakers and community leaders will not be able to identify root problems or pose solutions. 

Overall, the panel outlined past and present cases of racial discrimination targeted towards the AAPI community. All panelists acknowledged the importance of speaking out during this time of uncertainty for the sake of protecting fellow community members both now and in the future. 

This event  reached the largest audience for a NAPABA webinar to date, with 160 registrants. The program stressed placing the events of today within historical understanding of America, engagement with our government institutions charged with enforcing our laws, and collaboration across civil society organizations. We at AABANY thank and acknowledge Chris Kwok for proposing this program to NAPABA and serving as moderator.

A racist cartoon published in San Francisco-based publication, The Wasp. The cartoon promoted then-common racist myths that Chinatown was riddled with disease.
A racist cartoon published in the illustrated San Francisco weekly “Thistleton’s Illustrated Jolly Giant” depicting San Francisco’s The Globe Hotel. The cartoon insinuates that the Globe Hotel secretly contained a “small pox hospital” and an “underground Chinese cemetery,” perpetuating racist stereotypes of the time.

From NAPABA: Prepare for the 2020 Census

Census Day is April 1

This month, households across the country will receive letters inviting them to fill out their 2020 Census forms online. Are you ready to fill yours out? Are you ready for the questions you may get as a lawyer about the Census?

Everyone should be counted in the Census, regardless of language ability, immigration status, age, income or identity. Unfortunately, in some communities there is misinformation, confusion, and fear about participating. And others, like the AAPI community, are historically undercounted.

If our communities don’t fill out the Census, they lose out on electoral power and representation, funding, resources and access to services in their language. As lawyers and community leaders, we are in a position to dispel myths and help our communities get counted.

In light of concerns about the coronavirus, Census officials are encouraging individuals to fill out the form online or by mail. For more information about the Census and the Coronavirus, please visit

Four Things You Can Do to Help:

Watch and share the Census Bureau’s videos, in English and over sixty other languages, on how to fill out the Census online.

Share the in-language Census resources in your community and with your clients.

Share the AAPI in-language “About the Census” videos on social media.

Learn what lawyers and bar associations can do to protect the public.

NAPABA, the South Asian Bar Association of North American and Asian Americans Advancing Justice developed resources for AAPI lawyers about the upcoming Census. Find more materials, including in-language resources and videos, at and

Together we can ensure our communities are counted!

Questions about the Census?  You can contact NAPABA two ways:

  • Call the census language hotline, for answers to questions in English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Urdu, Hindi, and Bengali/Bangla.  Call 8:30 AM to 8:30 PM Eastern Time at 844-2020-API or 844-202-0274.
  • Go to

2018 NAPABA Law Foundation Summer Public Interest Internship Scholarship

2018 NAPABA Law Foundation Summer Public Interest Internship Scholarship

AARP Campaign for Grandparents Day of NextDayBetter

National Grandparents Day is just around the corner – September 10th, 2017 to be exact!

Are you a parent to an AAPI child?

Would you be interested in participating in a video montage and story, celebrating the sacrifice and accomplishments of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) grandparents?

We just need cute video footage of your child interacting with their API grandma and grandpa and more.

In partnership with AARP, we are creating a video entitled “Dear Grandparents” – a storytelling project focused on celebrating the immigrant stories of AAPI Grandparents. For this video, we are crowdsourcing cute footage moments of grandchildren, parent, and grandparent interacting with one another. Simply put, “Dear Grandparents” is a message of love and gratitude for our Asian Immigrant parent/grandparents.

What do we need?

  • Footage when your child first meets their grandparents.
  • Food! Teaching kids to use chopsticks or how to dip lumpia, slurping noodles, etc.
  • Grandparents with your child! Playing, hugging, holding, etc.
  • Families together – selfies/mirror shots of you and your children are welcome.
  • Kids walking, running, eating – just being kids.
  • Solo footage of kids smiling, crying, making funny faces.

How can you participate?

  • Send an email to to express your interest in participating. We will follow up with instructions on how to participate.
  • Due Date: All footage is due on August 2nd.

About our Social Impact Company: NextDayBetter is a storytelling media platform for diaspora communities. Through our global event series and original digital storytelling, we celebrate the stories of multicultural immigrants across the globe and call them to action. Through storytelling, we build empowered communities that solve today’s greatest challenges. Some of our storytelling partners include MailChimp, Doctors Without Borders and AARP.
Impact Case Study: Our campaign with Doctors Without Borders inspired the Filipino diaspora to ask pharma to reduce the price of pneumonia vaccination, resulting in over 400,000 petitions signed, 110 Filipino organizations participating, and a verbal commitment by Pfizer and GSK to drop the price of pneumonia vaccination in humanitarian settings. Watch our video here.

AAPI Data Challenge

We are pleased to share that the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and the University of California, Riverside’s have partnered to launch Elevate: AAPI Data Challenge! We want to hear from the community on novel approaches to interpret data on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs), particularly data that is broken out by detailed origin (e.g., Chinese, Cambodian, Filipino, etc.).

Background: AAPIs make up the fastest growing racial group and are projected to surpass 50 million by 2060. AAPIs are one of the most diverse racial groups, representing dozens of ethnicities, cultures and migration stories from around the world. Over the last 10 years, there have been significant improvements in the availability of data on AAPIs and while these datasets include information on the detailed origin of AAPIs, they are still underutilized, which is why we’re launching Elevate: AAPI Data Challenge.

Key Date: Submissions will be accepted until Monday, September 5 (Labor Day). They can take on various forms, including infographics, apps, data tables, blog posts, and even animations, videos, and other creative mediums. Challenge details can be found here.

Please help us get the word out! You can also read more about our announcement here on the Angry Asian Man Blog as well as in this article by NBC News.

Thanks for your support and we look forward to seeing your submissions!

Thanks to Everett Lo for sharing this information with AABANY.

Coming Together: A LGBTQ Allyship Panel Workshop

Please join Project by Project (PbP), and their 2016 partner, National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) as they present “Coming Together: A LGBTQ Allyship Panel Workshop.” This workshop is aimed for the general public to generate awareness of the underlying issues of the AAPI LGBTQ community and how we can be better allies. Our panelists will provide a wide range of perspectives, situations and environments and ways allies can support the AAPI LGBTQ community. Topics include: a corporate perspective, a Family Acceptance Campaign called Family is Still Family, struggles of coming out and the need for allies, and other LGBTQ AAPI issues like immigration and racial justice after-Orlando.

Shamina Singh, President at MasterCard Center for Inclusive Growth
Andy Marra, Communications Manager at the Arcus Foundation
Glenn Magpantay, Executive Director of National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA)
Clara Yoon, Founder of API Rainbow Parent of PFLAG-NYC


6:30pm-7pm | Welcome and Registration

7pm-8:15pm | Panel workshop discussion

8:15pm-8:30pm | Audience Q&A

8:30pm-9pm | Refreshments and Networking

This year, National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) and Project By Project (PbP) are partnering to develop both organizations by leveraging their combined experiences, knowledge and skills. NQAPIA is dedicated toward building a world where all Asian Americans, South Asians, Southeast Asians, Pacific Islanders are fully accepted in their homes, families, places of work, places of worship and community regardless of their sexual orientation or gender-identity. PbP is an organization of professionals from a range of industries that uses its members to develop innovative solutions and apply them to serve non-profits in our local communities. Furthermore, training its members to be leaders within the AAPI community.

Light refreshments will be provided.

RSVP on EventBrite is required. Seats are limited.

This workshop is free to the public but a suggested donation of $5 or more is appreciated. Please make your donation at:

Thank you for your support!

WHEN: Tuesday, July 19, 2016 from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM (EDT) –

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WHERE: Asian American / Asian Research Institute (AAARI) – 25 West 43rd Street, #1000, New York, NY 10036 –

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Special Shout-out from AABANY to its LGBT Committee Chair Glenn Magpantay. He is one of the panelists at the event.

Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

#MyAAPIStory: Sharing the Diverse Stories of the AAPI Community

#MyAAPIStory: Sharing the Diverse Stories of the AAPI Community