AABANY Hosts Screening of the Documentary “Blowin’ Up”

On Thursday, April 11, AABANY hosted a screening of “Blowin’ Up,” a feature documentary that explores the complex realities of sex work in New York City and the compassionate approach of a human trafficking court in Queens County. The film features AABANY member Honorable Toko Serita, Queens Supreme Court, as well as other heroines of the Human Trafficking Intervention Court, that work with victims of sexual exploitation who face prostitution-related charges.

After the screening, Beatrice Leong, AABANY Government Service and Public Interest Committee Co-Chair, led a panel discussion featuring speakers from the NYPD/FBI Joint Human Trafficking Task Force and a Queens Assistant District Attorney who prosecutes human traffickers. The panelists talked about how they worked together to prosecute the traffickers and how one can identify and help a suspected trafficking victim. The panel gave important insight into how gangs and traffickers target their victims, and the audience learned that many victims are new immigrants, local high school students or children in the foster care system. “Drugs can only be used once, but a person can be used over and over.”

If you suspect someone is a victim of trafficking,  you can email New York Police Department, at ved@nypd.org or visit https://www1.nyc.gov/site/acs/youth/identify.page to report them.

We thank Beatrice Leong and Emily Arakawa for providing the photos and write-up for this blog post.

GSPI and Pro Bono Joint Committee Dinner

On March 28, the Government Service and Public Interest (GSPI) and Pro Bono Committees enjoyed some traditional Chinese delicacies at Bite of Hong Kong in Chinatown. The committees gathered for a joint year-end celebration to thank and recognize members and volunteers that made the Pro Bono Clinics, trainings, panels, and other activities a success this past year.

Thank you to everyone who attended the dinner. Thanks also to our Committee Chairs for their leadership: Kevin Hsi, Beatrice Leong and Jonathan Hernandez (GSPI); and Karen Yau, Pauline Yeung-Ha, Judy Lee and Asako Aiba. To learn more about the Pro Bono Clinic and get involved, click here. To learn more about the GSPI Committee, go here. To learn more about the Pro Bono Committee, go here.

Interested in Pro Bono Opportunities with AABANY?

Interested in Pro Bono Opportunities with AABANY?

Thanks to GSPI Co-Chair Karen Yau for sharing news about NYC’s Municipal IDs!

Check out Karen’s latest update from the Government Service & Public Interest Committee:

Dear Colleagues,

Hope you are well!

There are many reasons to attend our Government Service and Public Interest Committee events. A chief one among them is that you will meet very interesting people and learn very interesting information.

As many of you know, NYC’s Municipal ID has been very popular and useful. But it has also been hard to get an appointment to secure it. See:http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/07/nyregion/more-popular-than-expected-new-yorks-id-program-has-officials-scrambling.html?_r=0
At last Friday’s panel discussion on the proposed changes to the 

Specialized High School admissions process, in the after-event reception, I met a deputy director of the Municipal ID Program and learned that its capacity has recently increased greatly. Interested persons can get appointments almost immediately.

I have just tried it and secured appointments for me and my husband with no problem. I highly recommend that you check out the program. The ID comes with many privileges, including free membership to cultural institutions. http://www1.nyc.gov/site/idnyc/benefits/museums-and-cultural-institutions.page


GSPI Committee Co-chair

If you’d like to become more active in AABANY’s Government Service & Public Interest Committee, feel free to contact Karen at karen.yau@aabany.org to join their mailing list, attend or volunteer at their events, and hear the latest. You can join their LinkedIn Group by clicking here. Our GSPI Committee is one of our most active, and there’s always room for more!