In the News: Elaine Chiu Interviewed on Korean Radio about Hate Crimes against Asian Americans in the U.S.

Elaine Chiu, Professor of Law at St. John’s School of Law, Academic Committee Co-Chair, and member of the Anti-Asian Violence Task Force at AABANY, detailed how hate crimes have affected Asian Americans in the United States in a special interview on a Korean Radio Show, Morning Wave In Busan, on June 6th, 2022. 

Prof. Chiu provided an overview of the situation by referring to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism. The Center reported that anti-Asian hate crimes have increased by 339% from 2020 to 2021. This alarming percentage is exemplified by the growing number of news reports and stories of Asian hate crimes experienced by Asian Americans across the country. 

Focusing specifically on New York City, Prof. Chiu, along with other members of AABANY’s Anti-Asian Violence Task Force, looked at the number of hate incidents against Asians reported to the New York City Police Department. In 2020, Prof. Chiu mentioned 28 hate crimes reported, in contrast to 2021, when a total of 131 hate crimes were accounted for in their report. This unprecedented increase of 361% traces back to the outbreak of the pandemic in March 2020. AABANY reported this in greater detail in its Endless Tide report, which followed the Rising Tide report published in 2021, to raise awareness about the hate crimes and violence that the AAPI community has experienced over the last two years. 

Prof. Chiu also states that AAPI Americans have long been victims of racial violence, discrimination, and exclusion. One of the most well-known victims of hate crimes is Vincent Chin. Chin, who was brutally murdered after being beaten by two white men in Detroit, caused an uproar Asian American community after his assailants received a mere $3000 fine and probation upon sentencing. Forty years after Chin’s brutal murder, Prof. Chiu states that it is clear that the pandemic did not create hate crimes against Asians but instead led to them. 

She also states that the explosion of hate crimes against AAPI persons can be attributed to the divisiveness pervasive in the United States, as demonstrated during Trump’s presidency when he enabled xenophobia against Asians by calling COVID-19 the “Kung Flu.” Moreover, with the rise of China as a global superpower, the racial lines are further exacerbated and felt by many Chinese Americans residing in the United States today. Prof. Chiu also states that the steady demise of mental health resources and Americans’ ready access to guns and deadly assault weapons can be contributing factors to this issue. 

Prof. Chiu ended the interview by affirming President Biden’s meeting with BTS (방탄소년단), a world famous K-pop group. BTS was invited to the White House to talk about Asian representation and  address the amount of misinformation regarding the rise in Anti Asian hate crimes. Prof. Chiu further highlighted the importance of how President Biden and BTS’s efforts extend a sense of hope and positivity for many. With the continued rise in hate crimes and attacks against Asians, Prof. Chiu called on everyone on social media, especially those who have influence and following like BTS, to continue to visibly oppose and actively resist hate crimes against the AAPI community.

Listen to Prof. Chiu’s full interview with Morning Wave In Busan here.

AABANY President Will Ng and Immediate Past President Terry Shen Interviewed for the New York City Bar Association Podcast: A Conversation Discussing AAPI Professional Career Trajectories

AABANY President, William Ng, and AABANY Immediate Past President, Terry Shen, spoke with, Ashley Wong, an Associate at Sidley Austin LLP, for the New York City Bar Association podcast posted on May 26, 2022, to comment on AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) Professional Career Trajectories.

Associate Ashley Wong began the conversation by examining the present landscape for AAPI advancement in their careers. She notes that while the US AAPI population is the “fastest-growing racial or ethnic group in the country,” growing by 88% in the past two decades, “many AAPI employees are still portrayed as ineffective or weak managers, resulting in AAPIs leaving companies at higher rates and not reaching senior positions.” 

Commenting on his career path and success in reaching leadership positions,  AABANY President Will Ng spoke to the support he had received from colleagues and members of the AAPI community as integral factors to his success. Similarly, Immediate Past President Terry Shen also detailed the effective alliances that had helped him progress dynamically from the field of STEM to Corporate Law and even to Investment Banking. Common to their responses, both AABANY leaders spoke to the importance of having strong role models that formed their support network and the foundation for their success. 

In recognizing the work that AABANY does to ensure that future leaders in the field of law have access to more diverse role models, Will and Terry spoke about both the local and systemic changes that AABANY has put forth. From organizing pro bono clinics for LEP communities to facilitating legislative change toward the protection and promotion of AAPI communities, AABANY has advocated for meaningful participation and leadership of and for AAPI communities. Within AABANY, Terry spoke to AABANY’s Leadership Development Program, which seeks to “address the continued under-representation of [AAPI] attorneys in leadership positions in the legal field.”

To conclude the interview, Ashley asked both leaders to share any advice they had for aspiring lawyers and AAPI individuals interested in pursuing the legal profession. Will encapsulated his advice into three key points: “Think strategically, speak to others, and plan ahead.” Terry reiterated the importance of forming solid alliances with mentors and colleagues.

To listen to the full podcast, click here.

AABANY Hosts Annual Judges’ Reception in Celebration of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month 

On Monday, May 24, 2022, AABANY’s Judiciary Committee hosted its annual Judges’ Reception to honor newly inducted and elevated and retiring judges in celebration of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. We are pleased that this year’s event could be held in person, as last year’s event was via Zoom. The event was held at the Surrogate’s Courthouse, 31 Chambers Street, in downtown Manhattan. 

The honorees recognized at the event were individuals who represent the significant strides that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have achieved, in the ongoing effort to increase diversity in our leading institutions. The following judges were honored: 

  • Hon. Giyang An
  • Hon. Margaret Chan
  • Hon. Christopher Chin
  • Hon. Phyllis Chu
  • Hon. Vanessa Fang
  • Hon. Karen Gopee
  • Hon. Simiyon Haniff
  • Hon. Judy Kim
  • Hon. Biju Koshy
  • Hon. Andrea Ogle
  • Hon. Vidya Pappachan
  • Hon. Kim Parker
  • Hon. Raja Rajeswari
  • Hon. Omer Shahid
  • Hon. Soma Syed
  • Hon. Lillian Wan
  • Hon. Frances Wang

We are proud to celebrate these AAPI trailblazers in the judiciary. AAPIs remain significantly under-represented in New York courts. According to Secretary Johnson’s Report on New York Courts, 14% of New York City’s population is Asian but only 6% of judges are Asian. In light of current events and the rise in anti-Asian violence, AAPI representation on the bench is more important than ever. AABANY thanks the honorees for their pioneering example.

Thanks to everyone who joined us for this event and the Judiciary Committee for organizing. To learn more about AABANY’s Judiciary Committee and its work, click here.

2022 AABANY APA Heritage Month Events

In celebration of APA Heritage Month, AABANY is presenting or co-sponsoring several events this month. We hope to see you at one or more of them. Follow the links for more details, and please note the registration deadlines.

May 12, 2022

AABANY Co-Sponsors CLE: Invisible Under the Law: Racial Injustice & Bias Against AAPI Communities

5:30-7:30PM, Virtual

Click here to register and find event details.

May 12, 2022

AABANY Membership & Bankruptcy Committees Present: Restaurant Series ft. Cafe China

7:30PM, Cafe China, 59 W 37th St, New York 10018

Click here to register and find event details

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: May 11

May 13, 2022

AABANY Membership, Student Outreach & Young Lawyers Committees Present: Comedy Night

7:30PM, Broadway Comedy Club, 318 W. 53rd Street, New York, New York  10019

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: May 12

Click here to register and find event details

May 14, 2022

AABANY PBCS + AAFE Present: Queens Pro Bono Legal Clinic

12:30PM-3:30PM, One Flushing Community Center, 133-29 41st Ave, 2nd Floor, New York, New York  11355

Click here to find event details. To volunteer, sign up by noon on May 11 using this form.

May 15, 2022

Join AABANY at the First Annual NYC AAPI Heritage Parade!

10:00AM, 6th Ave & 44th St Midtown Manhattan

Click here to find event details.

May 20, 2022

Photographic Justice: A Tribute to Corky Lee Photo Exhibit

6:00PM – 8:00PM, U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York, 225 Cadman Plaza E, New York City, New York  11201

Click here to find event details.

May 21, 2022

AABANY Co-Sponsors: COVID Crimes – A Stop Anti-Asian Hate Crimes Play

3:00PM – 5:00PM AAFE – One Flushing Community Center, 133-29 41st Ave., 2nd Floor, Flushing, New York  

Click here to find event details.

May 23, 2022

AABANY Judiciary Committee Presents: The Annual 2022 Judges’ Reception

6:00PM New York State Surrogate’s Court, 31 Chambers Street, New York, New York  10007

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: May 22

Click here to register and find event details.

May 25, 2022

AABANY Co-Sponsors: Trial Reenactment – Vietnamese Fishermen’s Association v. Knights of the KKK

6:00PM – 9:00PM, Allen & Overy New York, 1221 6th Ave

Click here to register and find event details.

May 28, 2022

AABANY’s Membership Committee Presents: #RestaurantSeries ft. Louie’s Pizza in Queens

12:00 PM, 8134 Baxter Avenue, Elmhurst NY

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: May 26

Click here to register and find event details.

May 31, 2022

AABANY Co-Sponsors: Cultivating Leaders to Stand Against Hate

6:00PM – 7:00PM, New York County Supreme Court, 60 Centre Street Rotunda, New York, New York  

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Until filled

Click here to find event details.

May 31, 2022

AABANY Co-Sponsors: A Virtual Tour of the Japanese American National Museum

6:00 PM-7:20 PM, Virtual

Click here to find Zoom Links and event details.

Don’t forget to register for NAPABA’s Virtual Lobby Day!

NAPABA Logo

Make your voice heard on issues that are important to AAPI communities

This year’s NAPABA Lobby Day will be held on May 18 and 19 in observance of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month! This is our second virtual Lobby Day and 11th annual event. 

Lobby Day is an opportunity for NAPABA members from across the country to educate members of Congress and Congressional staffers on issues of importance to the AAPI community. This year, our agenda includes addressing anti-Asian hate with a focus on what Congress and the federal government can do to stop bias from taking root and how to support victims.

Register today to ensure that your voices and advocacy for justice, equity, and opportunity for all AAPIs are heard from your home districts to the halls of Congress!

Click here to register.

The deadline is register is April 30. Learn more about Lobby Day and bookmark the page for the latest information. If you have any questions, please contact policy@napaba.org. 

AABANY Celebrates AAPI Heritage Night at Brooklyn Nets Game

On Tuesday, March 29, 2022, AABANY members attended AAPI Heritage Night at the Barclays Center to watch the Brooklyn Nets take on the Detroit Pistons. During this inaugural event by the Nets to celebrate AAPI cultural heritage, female South Asian acapella group New York Masti performed the national anthem, Chinese-American rapper Bohan Phoenix performed during halftime, and AAPI pioneers were honored during the game.  As for the game itself, fans enjoyed an exciting game where the Nets overcame an early deficit to win by a final score of 130-123 with Kevin Durant leading the way with 41 points. Thank you to those who came out and stay tuned for future AABANY Membership Committee events!

To learn more about the Membership Committee, go to https://www.aabany.org/page/130.

AABANY Congratulates the Newly-Elected AAJANY Board

AABANY applauds Judge Shababudeen Ally and Justice Ushir Pandit-Durant’s election on February 15 as President and Vice-President of the Asian American Judges Association of New York (AAJANY). Both Judge Ally and Justice Pandit-Durant are AABANY members.

Judge Ally is a Supervising Judge of the Civil Court in New York County. He became the first Muslim male elected to New York City Civil Court in 2018 and the first South Asian Supervising Judge in 2020. Judge Ally began his legal career as a staff attorney with the New York City Administration for Children’s Services. Judge Ally then went to work for the NYC Law Department as an Assistant Corporation Counsel. For a decade prior to his time on the bench, Judge Ally operated his own law practice specializing in family and criminal law.

Judge Pandit-Durant is a Justice of the Queens County Supreme Court. Judge Pandit-Durant became the first South Asian judge elected to New York State Supreme Court in Queens and the first South Asian woman judge elected in New York State in 2018. Judge Pandit-Duran began her career as a Prosecutor in the Queens County District Attorney’s Office, serving there with distinction for 25 years before being elected to New York City Civil Court in 2015, becoming the first South Asian to hold that elected office.

On March 2, in an article entitled “Asian American judicial org. works to diversify bench,” the Queens Eagle wrote Asian judges are the “least represented racial or ethnic group on the bench,” making up 6 percent of Queens’s judiciary. In the Queens’s Family Court, “there is only one Asian judge and there are no Asian American judges in the Borough’s housing Court.” In comparison, “White judges account for around 66 percent, 17 percent of judges are Latino and 17 percent are Black,” according to the Office of Court Administration data cited by the Queens Eagle.

This lack of AAPI judicial representation is further exacerbated by the overall increase of Queens’s total population. Data cited by the Queens Eagle indicates that Asian Americans account for the largest population growth of 29 percent in Queens, “outpacing the borough’s overall 7.8 percent growth.”

Judge Ally told the Queens Eagle that though there is a lot of work left to be done, diversity efforts on the bench appear to be headed in the right direction. AAJANY’s board includes three other AAPI judges from Queens: Queens Civil Court Judge Changyong Li is the secretary, recently-elected Queens Supreme Court, Criminal Term Judge Karen Gopee is the treasurer and Queens Supreme Court, Criminal Term Judge Francis Wang is now a member of the Board of Directors. AAJANY’s Board of Directors also includes Hon. Lillian Wan, Hon. Meredith Vacca, Hon. Karen M.C. Cortes, and Hon. Shorab Ibrahim.

To read more about the AAJANY election, please click here.

Congratulations to Judge Ally, Justice Durant, and all the newly-elected Board members of AAJANY. Thank you for all you do to represent the AAPI community and to enhance diversity and inclusion on the bench.


NAPABA and GAPABA Announce Partnership on The AAPI Crime Victims & Education Fund

For Immediate Release: 
Date: March 16, 2022

ContactMary Tablante, Associate Strategic Communications & Marketing Director

Expansion of new nationwide resource comes at one-year anniversary of Atlanta-area shootings

WASHINGTON –On the one-year anniversary of the tragic Atlanta-area shootings, The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) and the Georgia Asian Pacific American Bar Association (GAPABA) are proud to announce their partnership on a nationwide compensation and education fund. The Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Crime Victims & Education Fund will provide financial assistance to AAPI crime victims and support educational and awareness programs aimed at reducing violence and bias targeting the AAPI community.

“The tragic attacks on Asian American communities continue,” said A.B. Cruz III, Acting President of NAPABA. “As we receive requests for legal assistance, we recognized the need for more comprehensive support for victims, including for mental health. Through this partnership with GAPABA, we will support the growing need for a coordinated national network of support for victims of hate.”

“One year ago, our community was rocked by an act of hate and misogyny during the Atlanta mass shootings,” said Timothy Wang, President of GAPABA. “In response we not only provided direct legal and financial support to the families, but also organized a perpetual fund to support future victims. We believe this fund is the first of its kind and fills a vital need by providing funds to people when they need it the most – car and rent payments are the last thing anyone should have to think about following a hate incident. We are proud to partner with NAPABA and leverage NAPABA’s scale, infrastructure, and know-how to expand this initiative and amplify its impact.”

The AAPI Crime Victims & Education Fund will be jointly administered by NAPABA and GAPABA. The Fund builds on NAPABA’s existing intake and referral network and infrastructure and the lessons learned from the response to the shootings in Atlanta and elsewhere around the country. The Fund will work with local AAPI community-based organizations to identify and direct support to needed individuals.

Requests will be made accessible in conjunction with NAPABA’s incident reporting form. The Fund will issue high-speed, targeted relief assistance to help support the immediate costs faced by the victim and their family, including medical expenses. The initial endowment for the Fund is provided by NAPABA, GAPABA, and numerous personal and corporate donors.

The Fund will be accessible to the public in the coming months. For more information about the Fund and its launch please visit https://bit.ly/NAPABAHateCrimes.

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The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), represents the interests of over 60,000 Asian Pacific American (APA) legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local APA bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting APA 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 all backgrounds in the legal profession.

The Georgia Asian Pacific American Bar Association (GAPABA), founded in 1993, is a registered affiliate of NAPABA and is one of the leading affinity bar associations in the Southeastern United States. GAPABA has grown to over 600 members and counts among its ranks general counsel of major corporations, elected officials, judges and public servants, partners at top-ranked firms, and attorneys who lead their own practices. GAPABA’s charitable arm, the GAPABA Law Foundation, has raised and donated over $100,000 annually to organizations that serve the community and provide pro bono legal services.

NAPABA Welcomes End of Discriminatory “China Initiative”

Released February 24, 2022

Contact: Mary Tablante, Associate Strategic Communications & Marketing Director

WASHINGTON –NAPABA welcomes the announcement that the Department of Justice (DOJ) will be ending the “China Initiative.” The program created an environment that placed heightened scrutiny on persons of Chinese ancestry in academic and research environments. For the past seven years, NAPABA has expressed concern about the profiling of Chinese American researchers and scientists and worked with partners in Congress to speak out against impermissible racial profiling.

“NAPABA applauds the end of the China Initiative,” said A.B. Cruz III, acting president of NAPABA. “We are pleased that the Department of Justice heard the concerns of members of the Asian American community, researchers, and scholars, that the program was creating a chilling effect and air of suspicion around scholars of Chinese ancestry. While NAPABA recognizes legitimate national security risks exist, with the increase in anti-Asian hatred, ending programs that create an impression of anti-Asian discrimination is even more important. We thank the Administration for putting an end to this counter-productive program and Rep. Judy Chu, Rep. Ted Lieu, and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus for their leadership on this issue.”

During a speech on Wednesday, Assistant Attorney General Matt Olsen announced changes that the DOJ is making to end the “China Initiative.” The China Initiative was established in 2018 to bring the DOJ’s economic espionage and national security investigations involving China and persons of Chinese ancestry under one umbrella. The program resulted in a number of cases in which charges were dropped or dismissed by the Courts, including the cases of Dr. Xiaoxing Xi, Sherry Chen, and Dr. Anming Hu.

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The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), represents the interests of over 60,000 Asian Pacific American (APA) legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local APA bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting APA 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 all backgrounds in the legal profession.

AABANY Joins the Fight for Fair Redistricting in New York

AABANY has been closely following the current redistricting cycle for drawing of New York State Assembly, Senate and Congressional districts.  On January 31, 2022, AABANY members Marilyn Go and Rocky Chin joined approximately 50 other demonstrators assembled outside the offices of the New York State Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment (LATFOR) to demand that public hearings be held before any vote by the State Legislature on redistricting maps for Assembly, Senate and Congressional districts.  The rally, which was organized by APA VOICE Redistricting Task Force (“APA VOICE”), was supported by various Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI)  and other minority community and civil rights groups, including AALDEF, Caribbean Equality Project, Center for Law and Social Justice at Medgar Evers College, Chinese-American Planning Council, Chinese Progressive Association, Common Cause – NY, Korean Community Services of Metropolitan NY, Latino Justice PRLDEF, MinKwon Center for Community Action, OCA-NY, South Queens Women’s March, and Westchester Black Women’s Political Caucus.  

The speakers at the rally expressed concern that AAPI and other minority groups would have no input into the redistricting process.  As Marilyn Go noted, the New York State Constitution contemplated that the Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC) would have the primary responsibility to draw new redistricting maps, but only after extensive public hearings.  However, due to a partisan split with commissioners deadlocked, the IRC submitted two sets of redistricting maps to the Legislature on January 3, 2022 and, notwithstanding a directive from the Legislature, did not redraw maps by the January 25th deadline set.  The following day, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins issued a joint statement to announce that the Legislature would draw its own maps and vote on the maps by the end of the following week.  

At the time of the rally, LATFOR had neither issued any maps nor scheduled any hearings, despite three letters sent by APA VOICE, the last letter of which AABANY and about 60 other organizations had endorsed.  Later on January 31, the Legislature issued a set of redistricting maps for proposed Congressional districts and maps for Assembly and Senate districts the following day.  The Legislature then proceeded to vote to approve maps on the third day after their issuance and Governor Hochul signed the bill setting Congressional districts on February 1, 2022 and State Senate and Assembly districts on February 2, 2022.  

Current redistricting efforts are of particular significance to the AAPI community in New York, because of the substantial growth of the AAPI population since the last census — from 1,038,388 in 2010 to 1,385,144 in 2020.  The increase in the number of AAPIs accounted for 42.1% of the population growth in New York State and the AAPI community now constitutes 15.8% of the population in New York City and 9.5% in New York State.  See https://data.census.gov/cedsci/table?q=New%20York%20State%20population%202010&tid=DECENNIALCD1132010.P1.  

Despite their increasing numbers, few AAPIs have been elected to state office in New York State.  There are only three AAPI State Senators out of 63 in New York Senate (Senators Jeremy Cooney, John Liu and Kevin Thomas, the latter two being the first AAPIs elected Senators in 2018) and four AAPI Assembly Members serving in the 150-person State Assembly (Assembly Members Ron Kim, Zohran Mamdani, Yuh- Line Niou and Jennifer Rajkumar).  Congresswoman Grace Meng became the first AAPI representative from New York to serve in Congress when she was elected in 2013.   

Although the redistricting maps will set political boundaries for voters for the next decade, the New York State legislature drew and approved map lines in one week.  The experience in New York, as well as what has been reported as occurring in many other states, have led to much cynicism about the politicization of redistricting in this current cycle.  However, voters do matter and the redistricting process is vital for groups such as AAPIs and other groups that lack political clout.  In fact, AAPI groups were among the most vocal in hearings before the IRC to express their dissatisfaction over proposed lines.  Even though they ultimately did not have a say in the final drawing of districts, AAPIs let their concerns be known.  For example, community groups advocated for the vibrant South Asian community in the Richmond Hill/South Ozone park area not be divided into seven different Assembly districts, as it is currently.  The IRC drew districts similar to that proposed by APA VOICE and other groups in a Unity Map to have this community wholly within one assembly district.  However, under the bills passed, this community is now divided into three assembly districts.   Much remains to be done.

The redistricting process will soon begin for New York City.  AAPIs have exercised and should again exercise their opportunity to inform politicians that they are involved and their interests cannot be ignored. If you want to know how you can work with AABANY on this issue, reach out to the Issues Committee here: https://www.aabany.org/page/154