NAPABA Applauds the Nomination of Julie Ann Su to Secretary of Labor

For Immediate Release: 
Date: February 28, 2023
Contact:  Priya Purandare, Executive Director

WASHINGTON – February 28, 2023. President Joe Biden nominated Julie Ann Su to serve as Secretary of Labor. NAPABA applauds this historic announcement, and endorsed Ms. Su’s nomination earlier this month.

“Julie Su is one of the most qualified individuals to be nominated to serve as U.S. Secretary of Labor,” said Sandra Leung, President of NAPABA. “If confirmed, she will be the first Asian American to lead an executive department in the Cabinet of the Biden Administration. We are proud that an accomplished member of the Asian American legal community and NAPABA can serve the country in this role. We thank President Biden for honoring his commitment to diversity within the Administration and urge the Senate to quickly confirm Julie Su as Secretary of Labor.”

“Julie Su is an experienced labor rights advocate and attorney, with a long record of protecting workers’ rights and fighting for social justice,” said Priya Purandare, Executive Director of NAPABA. “She is an experienced leader and public servant who has dedicated her career to protecting the rights of workers of all backgrounds across the country. A recognized leader within the legal and Asian American community, we can think of no better nominee to serve our country.”

In 2014, NAPABA honored Ms. Su with its highest honor, the Daniel K. Inouye Trailblazer Award, which recognizes the outstanding achievements, commitment, and leadership of attorneys who have paved the way for the advancement of others in the community.

Ms. Su currently serves as Deputy Secretary of Labor and previously served as California Labor Secretary. She has a demonstrated commitment to public service, having been California Labor Commissioner, Litigation Director at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, and taught at UCLA Law School and Northeastern Law School. Ms. Su was a recipient of the 2019 American Bar Association’s Margaret Brent Award and a recipient of the MacArthur Foundation’s “Genius” Grant. She is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Stanford University.


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 NAPAWF and AAJC’s Supreme Court Amicus Brief in Support of Roe v. Wade

AABANY has joined as a co-signatory to the amicus brief in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization filed by the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) and Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC).

In a press release, AAJC stated:

The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) and Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC (Advancing Justice – AAJC), with Duane Morris LLP, filed an amicus brief urging the nation’s highest court to reject a call by the state of Mississippi to overturn Roe v. Wade and allow individual states to ban or end the legal right to abortion.

The amicus, or the “friend of the court” brief, represents 29 community and civil rights organizations, as well as bar associations, representing the interests of Asian American and Pacific Islander women in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The Dobbs case is a challenge, brought by the independent and sole abortion care in Mississippi, represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights, to the state’s 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

To read the full press release and the amicus brief, click here.

NAPABA is Proud to Congratulate Past President John C. Yang

2021 ABA Spirit of Excellence Award Honoree

President and Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC and NAPABA Past President John C. Yang is among the five honorees of the American Bar Association’s 2021 Spirit of Excellence Award. NAPABA proudly congratulates John for his illustrious accomplishments in every facet of the legal profession and for championing the Asian American & Pacific Islander community.

The Spirit of Excellence Award celebrates the efforts and accomplishments of lawyers who work to promote a more racially and ethnically diverse legal profession. The awards are presented to lawyers who excel in their professional settings; who personify excellence on the national, state, or local level; and who have demonstrated a commitment to racial and ethnic diversity in the law.

John has achieved professional excellence in his wide-ranging career that has spanned four different practice settings. He has served as partner at a law firm practice in Washington, DC; led as a Director of Legal affairs at a Fortune 200 company in Shanghai, China; served as a Senior Advisor within the Obama Administration; and most recently, directs the organizational efforts to fight for civil rights and empowering Asian Americans to create a more just America at the Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC.

At each stage of John’s career, he has served as a leader, role model, and mentor to countless racially and ethnically diverse individuals, helping to guide many promising lawyers’ careers. John has tirelessly promoted and supported attorneys who were interested in pursuing a federal judgeship, resulting in the nomination and confirmation of more than 25 Asian American Article III judges. His work has also opened doors for attorneys interested in serving in presidential administrations.

John’s advocacy has reached far beyond the Asian American & Pacific Islander community. In addition to his leadership roles within NAPABA, John has served as Chair of the Minority Caucus of the ABA House of Delegates where he worked closely with bars of color to advance distinct and unifying agenda items and resolutions and he has served on the ABA Commission on Racial & Ethnic Diversity. Present day, John serves on the Executive Committee of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights at Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC where he collaborates closely in coalition with other organizations representing the interests of minority groups.

John used his parents’ experiences as well as the injustices that he personally encountered as an immigrant to the United States from Taiwan to navigate his own path while blazing a trail for others to follow. NAPABA is proud to have supported John’s nomination as a Spirit of Excellence honoree.

Spirit of Excellence Ceremony

NAPABA invites you to join in celebration as John is recognized and honored at the ABA Spirit of Excellence Award Virtual Ceremony on February 18 at 5 PM ET. In addition to John, honorees include Barbara L. Creel, Román D. Hernández, Sherrilyn Ifill, and Lori E. Lightfoot. To register for the awards ceremony during the ABA Midyear Meeting, please click here.

Press Release: Asian Americans Advancing Justice Demands Racial Bias Investigation

June 4, 2015

Mariam Hosseini, Advancing Justice – ALC

In response to the recent case of Sherry Chen, a federal employee who was arrested on suspicion of espionage for China before all charges were suddenly dismissed, Asian Americans Advancing Justice (Advancing Justice) issues the following statement:

As a leading national civil rights voice rooted in Asian American communities, we demand an investigation into whether race and national origin played a role in the shameful indictment of Sherry Chen, a dedicated scientist with the National Weather Service. Because Ms. Chen’s case is not unique or isolated, we further call upon the Administration to examine systemic racial bias against Asian Americans in all federal agencies, particularly those with jobs requiring security clearances.

Ms. Chen is only the most recent victim of over-zealous federal investigators and prosecutors who view with suspicion any ties with family and friends in other countries, particularly China. Clearly, the system has perverse incentives, rewarding law enforcement officials for high-profile prosecutions that fit the narrative of the foreign threat as opposed to rewarding them for a fair and careful consideration of the facts.

Ironically, Asians immigrate to the U.S. because our country claims to offer freedom, a fair process and protections for all, regardless of race and class.  We know that this promise has not held true for communities of color, for example, for African Americans in the criminal justice system.  Neither is the system working for well-educated Chinese Americans who may have assumed that their privileged economic status would protect them against racial bias.

As Sherry Chen’s case, as well as past cases such as the unjust prosecution of fellow federal scientist Wen Ho Lee indicate, the national security system is set up to feed biases and suspicion of “foreigners”.  In the recent past, we have been contacted by other Asian Americans who have faced questions because of visits to their countries of origin, participation in ethnic organizations, or contacts with Chinese friends and family. This racial profiling is unacceptable.

Our community cannot wait for the government to act.  We must also protect our rights. Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus has created this Know Your Rights guide for scientists and other individuals who are contacted by law enforcement agents.  Our national affiliation will continue to champion the rights of our communities and all Americans whenever civil rights and civil liberties are violated on the pretext of national security.

Making America Work: Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in the Workforce and Business 2014

Please join the Asian American Federation and Asian Americans Advancing Justice – LA for the release of our newest report:

Making America Work: Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in the Workforce and Business 2014

Friday, February 27, 2015
10 AM to Noon

114 West 47th Street
New York, NY
Ground Floor Auditorium
(between 6th & 7th Avenues)

This event is generously hosted by Bank of America.

We will present the key findings of Making America Work, our report focusing on how Asian Americans contribute to the economy. The report includes a look at the impact of the Great Recession on the net worth of Asian Americans, the breadth of jobs and industries in which Asian Americans are major contributors, and the job creation and economic activity generated by Asian American-owned businesses. We also examine how Asian immigrants and low-wage workers play an important role in the economy. Lastly, we conclude with a number of recommendations to help Asian Americans overcome barriers to further success.

RSVP:  Please reply with the names of attendees to by February 23. Security badges will be pre-printed for attendees to enter the auditorium.