WASHINGTON – March 9. The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) opposes H.R. 734, recently introduced in the House of Representatives as the “Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act of 2023,” which would effectively ban transgender and intersex girls and women from participating in school sporting activities that align with their gender identities.
NAPABA is proud that last month, its Board of Directors ratified a policy resolution sponsored by its LGBTQ+ Network, that affirms the civil, constitutional, and human rights of transgender and non-binary youths, including those within the AAPI community, and recognizes their rights to participate in school sports and to receive the social, educational, developmental, and physical and mental health benefits of athletic participation. NAPABA’s policy resolution also expressly opposes discriminatory legislation that prohibits transgender students from participating in school sports as violative of their rights under Title IX.
Transgender youth experience disproportionately higher instances of bullying, harassment, isolation, family rejection and suicide, and exclusion from the benefits of athletic participation should not be yet another risk they face. H.R. 734 is inconsistent with NAPABA’s values of equality, community, advocacy, relationships, diversity, equity, inclusion, open-mindedness, and the health and wellbeing of our members and the Asian American and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities, and the organization’s commitment to all underserved and underrepresented communities.
### 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.
Mark your calendars and save the date for NAPABA’s 12th annual Lobby Day, May 22-23, taking place in Washington, DC.
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. NAPABA’s Lobby Day is not only about supporting important legislation, but ensuring that your voices and advocacy for justice, equity, and opportunity for all AAPIs are heard from your home districts to the halls of Congress!
NAPABA is proud to have been an organizational partner for the Unity March this past Saturday [June 25], the first large mobilization of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) on the National Mall that brought people of all backgrounds together who care about advancing socioeconomic and cultural equity, racial justice, and solidarity. Executive Director Priya Purandare was quoted in the Washingtonian for this historic event. We thank our members who attended and volunteered in the summer heat. Your presence contributed to a larger movement, and we are grateful for all you do! If you missed the event or any remarks, a full livestream of the Unity March is available for viewing here.
Community Service Corps | #NAPABAinAction
The mobilization came at the 40th anniversary of Vincent Chin’s murder, a critical turning point for the AAPI community. Chin’s murder, and the fact that his killers faced no jail time, highlighted the lack of a strong national voice for AAPIs within this country’s legal system. The case galvanized the community to action and this led to NAPABA’S founding in 1988 to give voice to values of justice, equity, and opportunity for AAPIs. Since that time, NAPABA has been strongly committed to civil rights advocacy.
We now stand at another turning point in history with the current rise in hate crimes targeting diverse communities. To take action and harness the power of our membership, we launched the NAPABA Community Service Corps to provide opportunities for NAPABA members to act for impact at the local and national levels. NAPABA Community Service Corps opportunities include hate crimes assistance and election protection efforts to fill the needs of the community.
NAPABA needs your help to form a national infrastructure of members committed to strengthening our communities. Will you join #NAPABAinAction? Learn more here and sign up on the Volunteer Now tab!
$130,000 Investment will build the pipeline of future leaders in our community.
For Immediate Release: June 27, 2022 Contact:Mary Tablante, Associate Strategic Communications & Marketing Director
WASHINGTON – NAPABA and the NAPABA Law Foundation are proud to announce the expansion of the NLF Community Law Fellowship program to include a new two-year fully funded fellowship placement at NAPABA. The Community Law Fellow will work to serve the AA & NHPI community and build NAPABA’s capacity to support the membership’s commitment to public service and advocacy.
“We are excited to offer this opportunity to build the pipeline of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander attorneys with expertise and skill to create change in our communities through advocacy and policy,” said NAPABA Acting President A.B. Cruz III. “This fellowship is another example of the ways that NAPABA and NLF, along with our members and supporters, can create an active legal community that is willing, ready, and able to serve.”
Established by a generous gift from Paul W. Lee of Goodwin Procter LLP the NAPABA Law Foundation Partners and In-House Counsel Community Law Fellowship was launched in 2004 to address the need for attorneys working on behalf of the AA & NHPI populations. NAPABA’s support of the program will establish the 12th Fellowship.
“The Community Law Fellowship is one of the premier ways that the NAPABA legal community can make an investment in the future of public service,” said Juliet K. Choi, Chair of the NLF Fellowship and Scholarship Selection Committee and first NLF Community Law Fellow (2004). “We are proud that we can we leverage the power of NAPABA and NLF to serve the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander community.”
The NLF Community Law Fellow placement at NAPABA is a two-year fellowship program designed for a recent law school graduate who is interested in pursuing a career in public interest law and policy. The Fellow will directly support NAPABA’s advocacy and policy program with a focus on supporting and leading initiatives within our anti-hate project. The Fellow will also support other NAPABA community engagement programs, educational programs, and legislative advocacy.
We encourage all interested applicants to apply and for others to share this with any prospective candidates.
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 equalopportunity 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.
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!
On June 29, Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) Board Director and Real Estate Committee Co-Chair Margaret Ling moderated the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Collaborative Bar Leadership Academy (CBLA) Opening Program titled: “Effective Marketing, Advocacy and Public Relations Strategy.” The panelists for the event were Edgar Chen, Esq., National Policy Director for the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA); Elia Diaz-Yaeger, Esq., President of the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA); Tricia “CK” Hoffler, Esq., President of the National Bar Association (NBA); and Dinesh Kumar, Esq., Vice President of Public Relations for the South Asian Bar Association (SABA) of North America. The panelists discussed the role of minority bar associations in facing widespread social and political issues as well as the unique voice of advocacy that minority bar associations can utilize. The discussion also explored different ways of reaching membership through websites, newsletters, and other methods.
AABANY thanks Karl Riley, the Chair of the CBLA, for organizing the panel event as well as ABA for hosting the discussion at such a critical moment for the Asian-American community.
On May 25, the Asian American Bar Association of New York’s Anti-Asian Violence Task Force (AAVTF) hosted an information briefing about the AAVTF’s activities and about the rise in anti-Asian violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. The speakers for the event were AABANY President Terry Shen; Board Director, Issues Committee Co-Chair and Asia Practice Committee Co-Chair Chris Kwok; Board Director and past Pro Bono & Community Service (PBCS) Committee Co-Chair Karen Yau; PBCS Committee Co-Chair Karen King; Prosecutors’ Committee Co-Chair Joseb Gim; and Executive Director Yang Chen.
Chris and President Shen gave the opening remarks, introducing the event, and thanking all the attendees for coming.
After these remarks, Chris began the presentation, explaining how the publicity about anti-Asian violence generated in mainstream media has suddenly catapulted Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) into the public consciousness. Unlike before, Asians are now viewed as a group that experiences discrimination and violence, just like any other minority. Chris explained that these realizations politically empower AAPIs to make change in the political system as Asians become more aware about race and the ways in which it affects them. The AAPI identity has also been recreated through artwork, publications, and other initiatives. Asian non-profits have also begun receiving a large influx of donations that have great potential to aid the AAPI community. Chris also discussed the history of AABANY’s report and how Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric about the virus incited a wave of anti-Asian hate and violence during early 2020. These events culminated in the report’s publication in February 2021. Karen then discussed the report’s publication process which involved the feedback and support of bar associations, law firms and other organizations. The subsequent publicity generated by the report was cemented by the anti-Asian shootings in Atlanta. Ever since, Karen explained, AABANY has frequently been requested to speak at numerous events and on many media outlets. Many initiatives proposed by the report have also since been implemented.
Yang then went on to discuss the genesis of the AAVTF, made up of members of the Academic Committee, Issues Committee, Legal Referral and Information Services (LRIS) Committee, PBCS Committee, Prosecutors Committee, and Student Outreach Committee as well as Immediate Past President Sapna Palla, President Shen, and President-Elect Will Ng. Yang also explained how the AAVTF was founded to realize the goals outlined in the report, focusing on three prongs of action: education/communication, research, and advocacy. Ever since, the AAVTF has pressed for hate crime prosecutions in DA Offices, published Know Your Rights Brochures for community members on what to do if they face an anti-Asian bias incident or hate crime, organized speaking engagements, begun data tracking for incidents, formed the Hate Eradication Active Response Team (HEART), and much more to raise awareness and combat anti-Asian violence.
Joe Gim, prosecutor and the Chief of the new Hate Crimes Bureau at the Nassau County DA Office next discussed the role of the Prosecutors’ Committee in the AAVTF, which was primarily to shed light on criminal statutes and on the gaps between law enforcement’s understanding and implementation of these statutes. This information, Joe explained, is used to strengthen AABANY’s initiatives and advocacy efforts.
Chris affirmed this statement, reiterating his thanks to the AAVTF and the indispensable support it provides in leading the conversation about anti-Asian violence. Chris also pointed out that any movements that fight back against hate, regardless of which group is targeted, are fighting against a common enemy of structural racism.
Yang and Karen Yau went on to promote the Turning the Tide (T3) Project, which is hosted at the Asian American Law Fund of New York (AALFNY) to raise money for the AAVTF’s initiatives, research, and advocacy combating anti-Asian hate and violence. Karen King also gave a special shoutout to the HEART initiative, encouraging the attendees to volunteer their time to help connect victims of anti-Asian violence with legal aid and other resources. She also encouraged attendees to involve their law firms as sponsors for projects and events.
Chris then closed the presentation by pointing out how the police’s lackluster response to hate crimes is in part due to the historical invisibility of the AAPI community. He also explained how this invisibility has its roots in the 1853 People v. Hall case where George Hall, a white man, was convicted but then released after murdering a Chinese miner. Chris explained how Hall appealed his release on the basis of a California statute which prevented people of color from testifying against whites. Chris also emphasized that supporting the Black Lives Matter movement does not detract from support for the AAPI cause. To illustrate the importance of building a multi-racial coalition, Chris recounted an interview he had with the celebrated documentary director Spike Lee for his film about New York City and race that will be released in September 2021. Lee explained that he had chosen to interview Chris because “people were asking where the Asians were. And I listened.”
After the presentations, the discussion was opened to the attendees for a question and answer session.
Karen Lin, PBCS Committee Co-Chair asked whether or not AABANY would advocate for including AAPI history in the public school curriculum. Yang answered by reiterating AABANY’s support of any educational initiatives, pointing to AABANY’s trial reenactments project as an example.
AABANY member Jennifer Luo then pointed the discussion towards the lack of successful hate crime prosecutions. Joe explained that law enforcement currently lacks sufficient resources and infrastructure to investigate hate crimes. As hate crimes are unique in that the prosecutor must prove that the perpetrator was motivated to commit the crime due to racial bias, this process requires more investigation and information which the police currently lacks. To address this issue, Joe also proposed creating a database of hate crimes and bias incidents that would allow law enforcement to easily access information and also to enable community members to report incidents more efficiently. He also mentioned the newly minted COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, which would allocate funding towards combating hate crimes. Chris also added that AABANY is planning a Candidates’ Forum that would give AABANY and its members an opportunity to ask about measures being considered to protect the AAPI community from violence.
David Ahn then asked about AABANY’s plans to monitor hate crimes going forward. Chris answered by citing AABANY’s involvement in a case in Flushing, Queens where the perpetrator, despite revealing his racist sentiments in a text sent to the New York Times, was not charged with a hate crime. After AABANY’s advocacy in the DA’s Office, the perpetrator was charged with a hate crime. Chris also added that, though not every case would lead to a hate crime enhancement, AABANY is continuing to monitor the news and other outlets for advocacy opportunities. Yang also explained that the HEART initiative would help AABANY keep track of the incidents, connect with the community, and improve AABANY’s advocacy efforts. Karen Yau also pointed out that there are other alternatives to criminal prosecutions that victims would be able to pursue if they wished.
Chris then shared his own experiences with anti-Asian violence growing up, recounting a story where his friends were assaulted by a white supremacist gang while exiting a movie theater in Queens. He also described his efforts to reconnect with them hoping to preserve their stories and voices as a part of the history of anti-Asian violence.
AABANY Treasurer William Hao also discussed his own involvement in the aftermath of the Atlanta shootings while on a call with former U.S. Attorney Byung J. (“BJay”) Pak, the FBI, and local law enforcement. Will shared that even though the media had severely twisted the narrative by promoting the perpetrator’s claim that he had not been motivated by racism, the call served to give Asians a voice in revealing the truth of the events and reshaping the story. Will concluded by emphasizing the importance of AAPI representation in government and law enforcement.
Marilyn Go (USMJ EDNY, ret’d) then asked about AABANY’s ability to speak out during majority political forums. Chris answered by pointing out the difficulty of entering majority forums, but also noted that events recorded on Zoom would allow AABANY to hold candidates accountable for their words. Yang also referenced the City Council District One Candidates’ Forum which did take questions from AABANY regarding the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force. Jennifer then asked about the possibility of keeping a record of candidates’ responses regarding issues of anti-Asian violence. Chris responded that AABANY’s future plans to hold a Manhattan DA Candidates’ forum would allow AABANY to record responses from the candidates on that issue.
AABANY thanks all of the attendees for their time and their commitment to serving the AAPI community. To view the recording of the event, click here.
In celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM), please join NAPABA on May 24-27 for NAPABA’s first ever virtual Lobby Day.
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’s Lobby Day has never been as important as it is now. NAPABA is operating at the intersection of anti-Asian hate crimes and hate-based incidents, all set against the backdrop of the COVID-pandemic, a pandemic for which our communities have been falsely scapegoated. This year, NAPABA’s Lobby Day is not only about supporting important legislation, but ensuring that your voices and advocacy for justice, equity, and opportunity for all AAPIs are heard from your home districts to the halls of Congress!
NAPABA provides undergraduate and law students who are interested in the legal profession and advocacy within the Asian Pacific American community with the opportunity to work in Washington. D.C. The program develops leadership and professional skills and encourages political and civic engagement.