In the News: Executive Director Yang Chen and Board Director Chris Kwok Featured in The Spectator

AABANY Executive Director Yang Chen and Board Director Chris Kwok were recently mentioned in the April 28, 2021 edition of The Spectator, the Stuyvesant High School newspaper, in an article titled “Alumni Association Hosts Community Discussion on Anti-Asian Violence.” Both alumni of the school, Chris (’92) served as the moderator and Yang (’83) was one of the speakers in the April 15 community discussion. Other panelists included Joanne Kwong (’93), President of Pearl River Mart; Soo Kim (’93), President of the Stuyvesant High School Alumni Association; U.S. Representative Grace Meng (’93); Seung Yu, Principal of Stuyvesant High School; and current Stuyvesant juniors Christopher Liu, Xiaoshen Ma, Laura Xia, and Alice Zhu. During the discussion, panelists shared with over 200 attendees their personal experiences with race and their opinions on the recent increase of hate crimes and racism against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.

Yang presented the findings and solutions outlined in AABANY’s report on anti-Asian violence and spoke about how AABANY is supporting the AAPI community. He stated: “One thing we’re pushing hard on is to make sure the NYPD Asian Hate Crimes task force is being fully funded. We’re very much supportive of any effort by law enforcement to bring attention to this issue and we’re trying to put as much word out as possible especially to the Mayor’s office. Mayor de Blasio denounced Asian-American violence a year ago but we’re still waiting for someone who is arrested for the crime to actually face criminal sanctions for it.”

To read the full coverage of the program on The Spectator, click here.

PRESS RELEASE: THE ASIAN AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION OF NEW YORK AND THE CHINESE CONSOLIDATED BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION LAUNCH VIRTUAL COMMUNITY PRESENTATIONS & MONTHLY CLINIC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 31, 2021

Contact: Yang Chen, Executive Director

NEW YORK – March 31, 2021 – AABANY’s Pro Bono and Community Services Committee (“PBCS”) and the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (“CCBA”) will launch monthly virtual community presentations and clinic sessions beginning April 2021. This is a joint project to serve members of the Asian Pacific American community who have limited English proficiency by providing free “Know Your Rights” presentations about various common legal issues in housing law, elder law, family law, immigration law, and employment law. Each month will focus on one specific area of law that affects the community, along with a Know Your Rights session on anti-Asian hate and harassment at every virtual presentation. We hope to raise awareness of anti-Asian violence, to inform our audience how to report a hate incident, and to provide helpful resources to victims of hate crime.

Click here to read the full press release.

Asian American Federation Hosts Two-Part Series on Staying Safe During COVID-19 And Beyond

The Asian American Federation (AAF) will be hosting two safety trainings on how individuals can protect themselves and their communities during COVID-19.

On Friday, May 29, 2020, from 3 PM to 5 PM, AAF will be presenting on Using Nonviolent Communication During COVID-19.

On Thursday, June 4, 2020, from 3 PM to 5 PM, AAF will be exploring Using Conflict De-Escalation Strategies In Our Homes.

Register for these events at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/staying-safer-a-two-part-series-tickets-104770272706.

NYC Bar Association’s Letter to the Editor at Law.com

Law.com published New York City Bar Association Executive Director Bret Parker’s Letter to the Editor on March 31, 2020. Mr. Parker wrote the letter in response to an editorial in The American Lawyer on the law firm’s role in the time of crisis. The editorial noted that in times of crisis, clients will undoubtedly turn to their law firms for help.

However, at the same time, Mr. Parker stressed that it is important for law firms, attorneys, and members of the legal profession to also have a place to turn. That is where bar associations come in.

Although the New York City Bar Association’s building is currently closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Association is still very active and continuing its Lawyer Assistance Program for those in the legal community suffering from mental health or substance issues. The Association is also working on pro bono projects for small business and continuing its legal referral service remotely.

Mr. Parker’s Letter to the Editor noted that during this challenging time, many bar associations are working hard to provide their members with a place to engage, learn, and collaborate. For example, he mentioned the efforts of the Asian American Bar Association of New York to combat the rise in anti-Asian rhetoric and bias incidents that have resulted from the labeling of the coronavirus as the “Chinese virus.”

To read the full letter, click on the link below.

https://www.law.com/americanlawyer/2020/03/31/nyc-bar-association-we-are-still-here-to-help/?slreturn=20200306115020

Institute for Retired Professionals Admissions Information Session

From Rica Fujihara, Institute of Retired Professionals:

ARE YOU RETIRED OR NEAR RETIREMENT?  Do you enjoy stimulating discussions? Exploring new creative and intellectual interests?

Join us at the Institute for Retired Professionals at The New School.  Become part of a peer-learning community; enroll in study groups focused on history, literature, science, writing and the arts.  Lead a study group on topics that interest you.  We are members from a wide range of careers who share the excitement of learning together.  We welcome different voices which reflect the racial and ethnic tapestry of our beloved city. Our next Admissions Information Session will take place on November 4 at 3:30pm, followed by refreshments.  It will be held at 6 E. 16th Street (between Union Square West and Fifth Avenue.)

AABANY members who are interested in attending can register by sending an email to fujir480@newschool.edu.

To learn more about the Institute for Retired Professionals, click here.

To see a Fox 5 New York segment on the Institute for Retired Professionals, click here.

IP Committee Summer Mixer

On Thursday, June 13, 2019, AABANY’s Intellectual Property Committee hosted a Summer Mixer at Gu Japanese Fusion Sushi & Bar on East 52nd Street.

IP lawyers, law students, AABANY members, and non-members gathered together to share appetizers of agedashi tofu, karaage, and shrimp tempura at the back of the busy izakaya. The special rolls included ones amusingly named Spicy Girl, Dinosaur, and Dancing Eel—alongside the usual American staple of the California roll.  

Under the restaurant’s blue light, beads of ikura gleamed as members whose practices focus on different areas of IP exchanged lively stories about their work. One attendee shared a little on his background as an electrical engineer prior to entering the legal field. Another remarked that it was her first AABANY event—she wanted to know more about the organization’s work. Wooden trays of special rolls were fluidly passed up and down the table as members enjoyed the meal and company.

Among the varied topics discussed were the Avengers: Endgame’s conclusion, Huawei, Midtown’s Jollibee location, as well as deeper discussions about diversity, identity, and community. Ideas for future events were discussed—potentially including paintballing—and the Intellectual Property Committee is looking forward to hosting them over the next few months. Stay tuned for more!

Thank you to the IP Committee Co-Chairs Jeff Mok, Ben Hsing, and Greg Pan for organizing June’s IP Summer Mixer! To learn more about the IP Committee and how you can get involved, visit the Committee’s webpage here.

Join Social Security For a Call on Mental Illness in the AAPI Community – Thursday, May 23, 2019

From Everett Lo, Project Manager, Social Security Administration:

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM), recognizing the contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in the United States.  May is also Mental Health Awareness Month, when we shine a light on mental health.  No matter who you are, or where you are on life’s journey, Social Security is there for you and your family, providing financial protection and vital services for all Americans, including AAPIs.

The 2019 APAHM theme, Unite Our Mission by Engaging Each Other, affords a unique opportunity to work together to ensure access to Social Security’s programs and benefits for AAPIs experiencing mental illness.  Please join us for an informative call as we discuss Mental Illness in the AAPI Community, and How Social Security Can Help, on Thursday, May 23, 2019, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. EDT. You must register by Monday, May 20, 2019 by 5:00 p.m. EDT to participate in this call. Registrants will receive conference call dial-in information in a separate email on Wednesday, May 22, 2019.

Leading advocates in AAPI mental health will share personal insights, and representatives from Social Security will explain how we evaluate mental illness for Social Security Disability benefits, including resources available to help you.

We hope you can participate in this important call.  You may learn more about how Social Security is with AAPIs through life’s journey on our Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders page. For more information, contact Everett Lo, Project Manager, Social Security Administration, Everett.Lo@ssa.gov

Thank you to our April Pro Bono Clinic Volunteers!

April’s Monthly Pro Bono Clinic, held on Wednesday, April 10 at 33 Bowery Street in Confucius Plaza, brought out 20 lawyers and 8 interpreters who volunteered their time to help 32 clients.

At this month’s clinic, we also presented videos created in partnership with AARP to prevent immigration fraud. In the videos, former Immigration Law Committee co-chairs Susan Akina and Amanda Bernardo provided tips and advice on how to avoid being a victim of immigration scams. Scammers pretend to provide quality legal advice, help with paperwork, or other tasks involved in the immigration process. The scammer usually asks for an upfront fee, takes the money, and disappears immediately. Or worse, they provide ineffective or even harmful representation by filing the wrong paperwork, using fraudulent measures, or misrepresenting facts. Susan and Amanda stressed how important it is to only work with qualified immigration lawyers.

To see Susan’s and Amanda’s videos, click on the following links:

https://blog.aabany.org/2019/02/22/preventing-immigration-fraud-in-the-chinese-community/

https://blog.aabany.org/2019/02/22/preventing-immigration-fraud-in-the-filipino-community/

We are asking every member to actively support AABANY’s Monthly Pro Bono Clinic by making donations that are vital to its continuing operation. In a few short years, with the tireless and generous assistance of our volunteers, we have helped hundreds of low-income clients with free legal advice and referrals to high-quality, culturally sensitive, and linguistically competent legal services. Together we have helped expand access to justice for underserved Asian American New Yorkers.

If you know family members, friends, or businesses, such as your firm, who would like to support the Clinic, please help us connect with them by contacting Karen Yau at karen.yau@aabany.org.

Or please urge them to make a donation directly. They can visit the website of Asian American Law Fund of New York (AALFNY), AABANY’s 501(c)(3) affiliate: https://www.asianamericanlawfund.org/donate/ AALFNY is accepting charitable donations on the Clinic’s behalf and can issue any donor a tax receipt. Any contribution, large or small, would help. Please be sure to indicate in the memo field that the donation is intended for the Pro Bono Clinic.

Thank you to all of the April Pro Bono Clinic Volunteers!

Lawyers:

Kathy Yung
Beatrice Leong
Angela Wu
Gloria Tsui-Yip
Mayumi Cindy Iijima
Zhixian Liu
Anna Jinhua Wang
Eun Hye (Grace) Lee
Xianxiao Li (Emily)
Amanda Bernardo
Samantha Sumilang
Kevin Hsi
Barbara Hayes
Christopher Chin
Sae-Eun Ahn
Kwok Kei Ng
Pauline Yeung-Ha
Ming Chu Lee
Karen Kithan Yau
Asako Aiba

Interpreters:

Alva Lin
Justina Chen
Emily Arakawa
Derek Ting-Che Tai
Weiling Huang
Jessica Wang
Satoshi Kurita
Ruth Poon

Special thanks to Johnny Thach and Kwan Shun Jason Cheung for coordinating the clinic, and the Pro Bono and Community Service Committee Co-Chairs Karen Kithan Yau, Pauline Yeung-Ha, Judy Lee and Asako Aiba for their leadership.

If you are interested in volunteering at next month’s Pro Bono Clinic on May 8, please contact Asako Aiba at asako.aiba@aabany.org. AABANY’s Monthly Pro Bono Clinic occurs every second Wednesday from 6:30 to 8:30 PM.

Nassau County Executive Curran Warns Residents of Telephone Scam Targeting Chinese-American Community

Mineola, NY – Nassau County Executive Laura Curran [recently] issued a warning to residents about a telephone scam in which consumers receive calls from potential fraudsters impersonating the Chinese Consulate to demand payment in exchange for a package or to prevent punishment from the consulate office. As of this month, there have been continued reports of these scam calls targeting residents throughout Nassau County. Nassau residents who receive such calls should immediately contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at 1-877-FTC-HELP.

“These phone scams are more than just tedious; for many – especially our more vulnerable residents – they can be catastrophic,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran. “I urge our residents to be vigilant, and immediately contact the FTC should they receive this scam call.”

For the full press release, click here.