THE ASIAN AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION OF NEW YORK, THE KOREAN AMERICAN LAWYERS ASSOCIATION OF GREATER NEW YORK, AND THE SOUTH ASIAN BAR ASSOCIATION OF NEW YORK JOIN IN A STATEMENT CONDEMNING ANTI-SEMITISM AND ALL FORMS OF HATE

The Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY), the Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York (KALAGNY), and the South Asian Bar Association of New York (SABANY) stand in solidarity with the American Jewish community and unequivocally condemn anti-semitism and all forms of bigotry, hatred, and discrimination. We join in this statement at the start of a New Year for Jewish people around the world, in hopes that together we can bring about greater understanding, peace and harmony in all our communities.

AABANY, KALAGNY, and SABANY recognize that there has been a staggering rise of hate crimes and intolerance against Jewish people. In recent months, we’ve seen attacks on Jewish communities and Jewish-owned places of business, and senseless violence against Jewish people. Many of our friends, family, and colleagues have been victims of such anti-semitism and bigotry.

As anti-semitism surges in the United States, we must do all that we can to put a stop to these hateful incidents. We are compelled to act now. As members of the bar and officers of the court, we strive to work together with our allies to eliminate anti-semitism and to enhance awareness of this injustice.

We are deeply concerned about the increase in anti-semitic sentiment, threats, and violence against our Jewish neighbors, friends, and community. We urge U.S. legal, political, civic, and faith leaders to denounce the use of hateful, anti-semitic rhetoric, which not only endangers the Jewish community, but also damages our national social fabric.

We will continue to strengthen the alliances between our nation’s Jewish and Asian communities, fight against all forms of bigotry and hatred, and stand together with communities facing discrimination.

NAPABA Co-Sponsors Resolution on Hate Crimes Adopted by the American Bar Association in Historic First

WASHINGTON – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) applauds the American Bar Association’s (ABA) adoption of Resolution 514, which calls for Federal, State, local, territorial, and tribal jurisdictions that have not already done so to enact bias-motivated crime legislation to encompass arson, trespass, mischief, harassment, intimidation, and other criminal conduct as predicate acts of hate crimes. This is the first ABA resolution that NAPABA has co-sponsored in its history, and it comes at a critical juncture in the history of our country as the nation confronts the twin scourges of both the pandemic and a precipitous rise in anti-Asian American hate crimes and incidents. “The number of reported hate crimes and incidents represents only the tip of the iceberg,” said NAPABA President A.B. Cruz III and NAPABA Past President Wendy Shiba, who serves as NAPABA’s delegate before the ABA’s House of Delegates, in a joint statement. “Racism, xenophobia, and hate crimes have been on the rise not only against Asian Americans, but against other groups of color and religion as well.  This resolution recognizes that we are not alone in our suffering, and that a consistent, nationwide approach to battling bias-motivated crimes and improving the reporting and collection of data about such acts is required.”
             
The Resolution also urges all jurisdictions to enact civil remedies for victims to recover damages for bias-motivated crimes and urges all jurisdictions to require data collection on bias-motivated crimes and to adequately fund law enforcement best practices, policies, training on data collection, and victim services in response to such crimes. NAPABA extends its gratitude to the ABA’s Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice and to all the co-sponsors who have championed adoption of this resolution.
 
In addition to co-sponsorship of Resolution 514, this session NAPABA also co-sponsored Resolution 102, which urges members of the legal profession to devote at least 20 hours each year to efforts to advance and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the legal profession; and Resolution 801, urging support for the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative, which was launched after the discovery in the United States and Canada of unmarked mass gravesites at boarding schools designed to forcibly assimilate indigenous children. The Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative is designed to investigate, locate, and record such burial sites as well as to study the historical legacy of such schools. NAPABA is grateful to the other co-sponsors and leaders of these important efforts before the ABA House of Delegates, including by NAPABA Past President Jin Y. Hwang, who as NAPABA’s representative to the ABA’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council and Chair of the Council’s Policy Innovation and Resolution Incubator Subcommittee, co-authored and co-shepherded Resolution 102.

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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.

Congresswoman Grace Meng Secures Millions to Help Implement Her Hate Crimes Act Recently Signed into Law by President Biden

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens) announced today that she secured $30 million in a key spending bill to expand provisions in her COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, which President Biden signed into law on May 20th to help combat the ongoing hate and violence against Asian Americans and other impacted communities.

Meng attached the funding to the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations bill. The measure now heads to the House floor where it is expected to pass later this month. The money would be provided directly to community-based organizations to implement the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act’s goal of community engagement, empowerment, and education. One of the major provisions in the new hate crimes law directs federal agencies to work with community-based organizations to raise awareness of hate crimes during the COVID-19 crisis.

“Community-based organizations are the heartbeat of our communities,” said Congresswoman Meng. “Since the beginning of the pandemic, they have been on the front lines standing against the rise in bigotry and attacks. They’ve worked tirelessly to help victims and stop this spike in discrimination and intolerance; and they have done all this under-resourced. As my COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act addresses the problem, we must be certain that community groups have the resources they need to carry out parts of the new law. I am so proud of the new $30 million grant program that would advance community-based approaches to addressing hate crimes. This vital funding would reinforce and expand the critical ground work that these community groups have been doing; it would help them scale up and expand out. I look forward to this funding being approved by the full House and passed by the Senate  – so that our neighbors can live free from hate and violence.”

Community-based organizations and civil rights groups can use the funds for:

  • Implementing and facilitating educational classes and community services for defendants convicted of hate crimes (directly related to the community harmed by the offensive).
  • Culturally competent and linguistically appropriate public education campaigns on the collection of data and public reporting of hate crimes.
  • Safety ambassadors to escort vulnerable community members in public places.
  • In-language support for victims and/or surviving families of hate crimes including mental health support.
  • Providing bystander, de-escalation trainings in multiple languages.
  • Other community-based strategies deemed appropriate for communities of color and other vulnerable and historically disadvantaged communities.

The Commerce, Justice, Science spending bill funds the U.S. Department of Justice, Department of Commerce, and science-related initiatives. Meng is a senior member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies which determines the funding levels for the measure. The $30 million is allocated under a new grant program called “Community-Based Approaches to Advancing Justice.”

Other provisions of Meng’s COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act include, among other things, creating a position at the Department of Justice to facilitate expedited review of COVID-19 hate crimes, encouraging more reporting of incidents in multiple languages, and expanding public education campaigns aimed at raising awareness of hate crimes and reaching victims.

Meng reintroduced the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act in March with Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI). It was passed in Congress with overwhelming and bipartisan support; 364 to 62 in the House and of 94 to 1 in the Senate.

“The Community-based Approaches to Advancing Justice grant, championed by Congresswoman Grace Meng, recognizes that our communities are in crisis,” said Jo-Ann Yoo, Executive Director of the Asian American Federation. “Victims and their families continue to struggle to overcome the terrible physical, mental, and economic toll of hate violence: our seniors are terrified to step outside their doors, and parents are afraid to send their children to school even after months of isolation at home. While the nation’s attention may have shifted from the wave of violence that continues to batter our communities, we are still being called on every day to do the urgent work needed to protect them from further attacks. The Congresswoman clearly understands. This grant is an ambitious and necessary step to enhance and expand community engagement, empowerment, and education against hate. The Asian American Federation is hugely inspired by Congresswoman Grace Meng’s efforts. We thank her for her commitment to support and protect the millions of hard-working Asian Americans that continue to help our nation confront a global pandemic despite the bias they face.”

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, Rep. Meng’s leadership  has been tireless and inspiring,” said Gregg Orton, National Director of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA). “Her relentless pursuit of justice and greater opportunities for the Asian American community has resulted in meaningful progress in the fight against anti-Asian hate; and we are deeply appreciative of her willingness to work with us towards these solutions. The inclusion of a new grant program at DOJ that will support the work of community-based organizations responding to hate crimes comes at a critical time. So many of our community organizations, who were already under-resourced, have been pushed even further beyond their limits to respond to hate. This provision must be preserved by the Senate.”

“ADL applauds Congresswoman Meng and the Appropriations Committee in their continued efforts to fight against hate,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). “We welcome the creation of the Community-Based Approaches to Advancing Justice grant program and similar initiatives. Congress and the Administration must continue to prioritize – and fully fund – community-driven, whole-of-society approaches to address all forms of hate.”

“Congresswoman Meng is to be congratulated for her commitment to non-carceral approaches to conflict resolution,” said Laura M. Esquivel, Vice President for Federal Policy and Advocacy at Hispanic Federation. “We urge support for the ‘Community-Based Approaches to Advancing Justice’ grant program which will directly fund trusted community-based groups to build stronger, safer communities through community empowerment and education.”

“It is a long time coming for dollars to assist in the work we struggle to accomplish,” said Ken Cohen, Regional Director of the NAACP New York State Conference Metropolitan Council. “The NAACP embraces the concept and hopes the funding will find its way to the Branches of New York City, New York State and the many other organizations that do this work with little or no funding.”

“The fight for justice must be community-led and organized. By securing a $30 million grant program for community-based organizations, Representative Grace Meng is taking the appropriate steps necessary to ensure that every city in America is safer tomorrow than it was yesterday,” said Alphonso David, President of the Human Rights Campaign. “Vulnerable communities across the country, including trans and non-binary people of color, will be better equipped to prevent and respond to hate crimes because of funding for community-based strategies. The Human Rights Campaign is proud to support this provision in the Commerce, Justice, and Science FY2022 appropriations bill and urges Congress to swiftly enact it into law.”

“SALDEF applauds U.S. Representative Grace Meng’s successful effort in securing $30 million in funding to expand provisions in the COVID 19 Hate Crimes Act, which will support community- based organizations’ engagement, empowerment and education initiatives in regard to hate crimes,” said Kiran Kaur Gill, Executive Director of the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF). “This will directly help communities impacted by hate crimes and provide critical resources to support these efforts. As a community that has been disproportionately targeted by hate crimes, Sikh Americans understand the importance of addressing these issues head on and the consequences if they are gone unchecked. These resources are critical to curbing the discrimination and violence and, by allocating them to community-based organizations, they will go where they are most needed – on the front lines. We sincerely appreciate Representative Meng’s action on this issue. “

“AABANY is immensely appreciative of Congresswoman Meng’s leadership in combating anti-Asian hate,” said Terrence Shen, President of the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY). “Providing these resources to AAPI community groups is critical because they have generally been underfunded, but nonetheless deeply connected to the AAPI community. These organizations have been doing critical work since early in the COVID-19 pandemic. The increased funding will meaningfully amplify their efforts.” 

“This grant program demonstrates a commitment for community-based responses to anti-Asian hate and racism, and builds upon the historic COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act passed in May,” said John C. Yang, President and Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC. “We are pleased that Congress will be funding community organizations that have the cultural competency to reach, serve, and support our diverse Asian American communities through mental health services, public education campaigns, training on how to respond to anti-Asian hate and harassment, and more. We thank Rep. Grace Meng for her strong and steadfast advocacy to ensure that Congress follows through on its promises to meet the needs of our communities. We also extend our appreciation to the organizations that have long been working, and have stepped up during the COVID-19 pandemic, to protect and support those who are the most vulnerable.”

AABANY AAVTF Holds a Briefing on Anti-Asian Violence on May 25

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.

NAPABA Statement on DOJ’s Guidance on Improving the Department’s Efforts to Combat Hate Crimes and Hate Incidents

For Immediate Release: Date: May 27, 2021

Contact: Priya Purandare, Executive Director

WASHINGTON – Today, Attorney General Merrick Garland issued guidance to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on “Improving the Department’s Efforts to Combat Hate Crimes and Hate Incidents.”  The guidance implements the DOJ’s obligations under the newly enacted COVID-19 Hate Crimes law.

As part of today’s announcement, Attorney General Garland stated that the DOJ will, amongst other activities:

  • Designate the Chief of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section to expedite review of hate crimes allegations brought to light during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Appoint a Deputy Associate Attorney General to serve as coordinator for DOJ’s anti-hate crime and hate incident resources.  That coordinator will also be a central hub for law enforcement and community stakeholders on relevant training and outreach materials. 
  • Encourage all U.S. Attorneys Offices to designate both a criminal and civil Assistant U.S. Attorney to serve as Civil Rights Coordinators in every judicial district.
  • Create district alliances of between federal, state, and local law enforcement, against hate, where feasible.
  • Establish a position of Language Access Coordinator for the Department. 

NAPABA is already working in several of these areas. NAPABA has, in partnership with APIA Health Forum, created Combat Hate Crimes Toolkits in 25 different AA NHPI languages on how to identify and report hate crimes.

Language equity and access has been a priority of NAPABA for decades.  NAPABA encourages the Coordinator to draw on NAPABA’s Language Access Project and its groundbreaking report on linguistic equity for Asian Pacific Americans navigating the justice system.

To report a hate crime, contact local law enforcement or your nearest FBI field office, or visit: https://www.napaba.org/page/ReportaHateCrime

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The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) in the largest Asian Pacific American membership organization representing the interests of approximately 50,000 legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American 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 color in the legal profession.

Board Member Margaret Ling Featured in Asian Columbia Alumni Association’s May 2021 Newsletter

In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the Asian Columbia Alumni Association (ACAA) is featuring prominent Asian alums and honoring their contributions to Asian and Pacific Islander communities in North America. In the May 2021 Newsletter, ACAA featured AABANY Board Member and Real Estate Committee Co-Chair Margaret Ling (Barnard College ’78) for her actions in speaking up against anti-Asian hate crimes and educating others to respect the AAPI community. In the feature, Margaret is quoted:

“Since 2020, Asian American Pacific Islanders (AAPI) have been intensely affected by the COVID 19 pandemic, the killing of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement, and recently the Atlanta, Georgia killings. Throughout this time, the AAPI community has been faced with racism, xenophobia and anti-Asian hate crimes and violence. As an AAPI attorney and Fourth Generation American Born Chinese, I have been active in speaking up and speaking out with other Asian and ally organizations to educate others to respect the AAPI community and afford all of us equity, fairness and just treatment under the law. We are all Americans and are rooted in our immigrant and cultural heritages which make us stronger together.”

Please join AABANY in congratulating Margaret on her recognition by the Asian Columbia Alumni Association for her work in supporting the AAPI community!

AABANY Publishes Know Your Rights Brochure to Assist AAPI Community Members Experiencing Bias Incidents

To assist the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community in New York City amid the surge of anti-Asian hate and violence, AABANY has created a Know Your Rights brochure to inform and educate AAPIs on their legal rights if they experience a bias incident or potential hate crime.

The brochure provides a background of the U.S. legal system, defining a hate crime according to the New York State hate crime statute and differentiates between a hate crime and a bias incident. It encourages individuals who have experienced an incident to focus on the facts and ask themselves: “Do I have evidence that an attack was motivated by a belief or perception about an individual’s race, color, national origin, ancestry, or gender?” The brochure also provides tips on what to do when individuals are experiencing a bias incident. This includes turning on sound or video recording; taking note of the attacker’s physical appearance and clothes; and collecting bystander witness contact information. The brochure then outlines the steps of what to do after experiencing a bias incident, such as pursuing action through the criminal justice system, a civil lawsuit, or non-legal option.

AABANY is available as a resource to the AAPI community. The bar association offers interpretation and translation services, provides information or referral services for individuals interested in pursuing a civil lawsuit, and can serve as a guide for individuals interested in exploring the criminal justice process and other forms of assistance.

To view the Know Your Rights Brochure, please see the links below:

English: https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.aabany.org/resource/resmgr/2021aav/KnowYourRights_Online_0513.pdf

Chinese (simplified): https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.aabany.org/resource/resmgr/2021aav/KnowYourRights_Online_Simpli.pdf

Chinese (traditional): https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.aabany.org/resource/resmgr/2021aav/KnowYourRights_Online_TradCh.pdf

Translations into other Asian languages are currently in process and will be uploaded soon. Please be on the lookout for that announcement.

If you have any questions about these Know Your Rights brochures, please feel free to contact AABANY at main@aabany.org 

Please feel free to share this post and the links to the PDF brochures widely. Please also print out and distribute hard copies to anyone who you think might benefit from receiving this information.

Pro Bono & Community Service Committee Hosts Elder Law Clinic and Presentation

On May 4, AABANY’s Pro Bono & Community Service Committee (PBCS) hosted a virtual law clinic and presentation on elder law as a part of the Virtual Community Presentation Series. The event was co-sponsored by AABANY, the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA), and the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of New York.

In light of the instability brought about by the pandemic, the new changes to the Medicaid laws, and the surge in anti-Asian violence, Committee Vice-Chair May Wong moderated the event to address the questions and concerns of the Chinese community, as well as to provide free legal consultations on these topics. May was joined by Karen Eng, specializing in estate planning, administration, elder law, Article 81 guardianship, and residential real estate at Thomas J. Manzi, P.C., and Pauline Yeung-Ha, Partner at Grimaldi & Yeung, LLP specializing in trusts, wills and estates, elder law, and special needs planning. Also present were Co-Chairs Judy Lee, Karen Lin, and Kwok Ng.

Karen Eng presented information on advance directives, wills, and trusts, while Pauline spoke on the new Medicaid changes and the effects the changes would have on individual healthcare. Both Karen Eng and Pauline emphasized the importance of advance preparation in matters of healthcare and estate planning. Kwok translated the speakers consecutively into Cantonese and Mandarin and also presented information on hate crimes and resources for reporting incidents. 31 individuals attended the event. At the presentation’s end, PBCS, along with Karen Eng and Pauline, opened the virtual free services clinic for two client consultations. The CCBA provided their physical headquarters for the two clients to meet remotely with the attorneys.

The PCBS Committee thanks Karen Eng and Pauline Yeung-Ha for offering their expertise in elder law to give back to the Chinese community. PBCS would also like to thank Annalee Patel, Bei Yang, Chao-Yung Chiu, Jian Cui, Julie Choe, Kelly Tang, and Xinyi Shen for their help and support in organizing the event. AABANY would also like to thank the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association and the New York Chinese Chamber of Commerce for co-sponsoring this event. To watch the presentation, click here. To learn more about the Pro Bono & Community Service Committee and its work, click here and click here.

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.

In the News: AABANY Board Director Chris Kwok Interviewed (Again) on the Rise in Anti-Asian Hate Crimes

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On April 26, Chris Kwok, AABANY Board Director, AABANY Issues Committee Chair, and Co-Executive Editor of AABANY’s report on anti-Asian violence, was featured on PBS’s Metrofocus program. Host Jenna Flanagan interviewed Chris and The City reporter Christine Chung on the surge in hate crimes against Asians in the United States as well as steps to take to prevent these crimes. In the interview, Chris explained that, oftentimes, the circumstances of the incident make it very difficult to prosecute a perpetrator for a hate crime. As a result, Chris stated, hate crimes against Asians are severely underreported and that the incidents are often classified only as assault or harassment. Chris also emphasized the universality of the issue of hate crimes, while noting that perpetrators were not of a single race. Chris also explained the importance of the wider community’s role in combating hate crimes. Towards the end of the interview, Chris noted that “I think we need to get to a point where we care for each other as New Yorkers, have each others’ back. You know, get back to a sense of the city where we take care of each other a little more.” Watch the full segment here.

On May 1, Chris was quoted in FOX 5, which echoed his sentiments regarding the importance of reporting hate crimes and incidents of racially-motivated harassment. As Chris said, “[h]aving an official record of these things is useful for tracking the sentiment of anti-Asian hate and harassment.” Read the full news story here.

Please also take a look at previous blog posts from February 19, March 1, March 8, and March 15, and March 29, highlighting news stories about our report. If you have come across a news report or article about our report that is not listed above, please let us know at main@aabany.org.

More public awareness about our report and the rise in anti-Asian violence is needed. Please share our report widely. If you have ideas or thoughts about how we can combat anti-Asian violence, please share them with us at main@aabany.org.