National Bar Associations Denounce Rising Anti-Asian Hate Related to the Coronavirus

Seven national bar associations today released a joint statement denouncing the rising number of incidents involving anti-Asian discrimination and racist remarks related to the coronavirus and COVID-19.

Calling for unity in these challenging times are the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), the American Bar Association (ABA), the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA), the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL), the National LGBT Bar (LGBT Bar), the National Native American Bar Association (NNABA), and the South Asian Bar Association of North America (SABA North America).

“Unfortunately, the emergence of the coronavirus has led to an increase in acts of hate and discrimination targeting the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. The legal community stands united against hate. The current situation calls for unity and support—not acts of division and words that sow fear,” said NAPABA President Bonnie Lee Wolf.

The FBI has warned about a surge in anti-Asian hate crimes related to the coronavirus. Numerous community organizations have documented that acts of discrimination and bias are increasing, including incidents involving stereotypes and xenophobic language.

President Wolf continued, “Thank you to our sister bars who issued their own messages of support for the Asian American and Pacific Islander community when they saw these acts of hate and discrimination on the rise. A special thank-you to ABA President Judy Perry Martinez, HNBA President Irene Oria, NAWL Executive Director Karen Richardson, LGBT Bar President Wesley Bizzell, NNABA President Robert Saunooke, and SABA North America President Aneesh Mehta for joining me in the video statement to launch this campaign. We encourage other bar associations, law firms, and organizations to join us in denouncing discrimination. We stand together. We stand against hate.”

Statement of the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA), the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL), the National Bar Association (NBA), the National LGBT Bar Association (LGBT Bar), and the National Native American Bar Association (NNABA) on the Recent Increase in Hate-Motivated Violence and Harassment

For Immediate Release
Nov. 30, 2016

For More Information, Contact:
Brett Schuster, Communications Manager
[email protected], 202-775-9555

WASHINGTON — In the aftermath of this particularly divisive presidential election, there has been a surge of bias-motivated and hate violence across the nation targeting many groups, including Muslims, immigrants, women, members of the LGBTQ community, and African Americans. We call on lawyers across the country and our elected officials to denounce and take action against this hate.

The FBI recently released its annual hate crime statistics for 2015, which demonstrated a six percent increase in hate crimes and an alarming 67 percent surge in hate crimes targeting the Muslim American community in the past year. The Southern Poverty Law Center has recorded almost 900 cases of hate-based harassment and intimidation that occurred following the election including a large number targeting immigrants and taking place in schools and on college campuses.

As diverse bar associations, we have a unique opportunity to serve as voices for individuals and communities who are targeted based on race, religion, gender, gender identity, immigration status, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability. The recent increase in reported hate crimes is a salient reminder that we must work together to speak out against hate in all forms. As bar associations representing the interests of diverse lawyers around the country, we embrace the solidarity and strength of our robust communities and we are committed to our collective mission to serve as the voice of minority communities in the legal profession.

To assist our members who may be part of or work with communities affected by hate violence, we have created a Hate Crimes Resources Toolkit, which has information about reporting incidents, supporting community organizations, offering legal services, and coordinating with government agencies.

We call on our elected officials, in a letter to the leadership of the Senate and the House of Representatives, to denounce the rising tide of hate. We encourage them to take steps to combat these incidents and promote an inclusive America where all receive equal protection under the law.

As members of the legal profession, we have a special responsibility to ensure the continuity of our best legal traditions, and to defend and uphold our commitments to justice, fairness, equality, and the rule of law under our Constitution. As national diverse bar associations, we remain steadfast in our commitment to expanding equal rights, fighting discrimination and combating hate crimes to protect minority and underserved communities.

The HNBA is an incorporated, not-for-profit, national membership organization that represents the interests of the more than 50,000 Hispanic attorneys, judges, law professors, legal assistants, and law students in the United States and its territories. From the days of its founding three decades ago, the HNBA has acted as a force for positive change within the legal profession. It does so by encouraging Latino students to choose a career in the law and by prompting their advancement within the profession once they graduate and start practicing. Through a combination of issue advocacy, programmatic activities, networking events and educational conferences, the HNBA has helped generations of lawyers succeed.

NAPABA is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 50,000 attorneys and over 75 national, state, and local bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal services and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government. NAPABA engages in legislative and policy advocacy, promotes APA political leadership and political appointments, and builds coalitions within the legal profession and the community at large. NAPABA also serves as a resource for government agencies, members of Congress, and public service organizations about APAs in the legal profession, civil rights, and diversity in the courts.

The mission of the National Association of Women Lawyers is to provide leadership, a collective voice, and essential resources to advance women in the legal profession and advocate for the equality of women under the law. Since 1899, NAWL has been empowering women in the legal profession, cultivating a diverse membership dedicated to equality, mutual support, and collective success. If you are not already a member, please considering joining. NAWL welcomes the membership of individual attorneys, including private practice, corporate, academic, government and non-profit attorneys, and groups, including law firms, corporate legal departments, law schools, and bar associations. Learn more at www.nawl.org.

Founded in 1925, the NBA is the nation’s oldest and largest national network of minority attorneys and judges. It represents approximately 60,000 lawyers, judges, law professors and law students and has over 80 affiliate chapters throughout the United States and around the world. The organization seeks to advance the science of jurisprudence, preserve the independence of the judiciary and to uphold the honor and integrity of the legal profession. For additional information about the National Bar Association, visit www.nationalbar.org.

Founded in 1973, the NNABA serves as the national association for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian attorneys, judges, law professors and law students. NNABA strives for justice and effective legal representation for all American indigenous peoples; fosters the development of Native American lawyers and judges; and addresses social, cultural and legal issues affecting American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians.

The National LGBT Bar Association is a national association of lawyers, judges and other legal professionals, law students, activists and affiliated lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender legal organizations. The LGBT Bar promotes justice in and through the legal profession for the LGBT community in all its diversity.

Press Release: Affinity Bar Associations Join APA Community Expressing Disappointment in Fox News Segment

For Immediate Release
Nov. 18, 2016

For More Information, Contact:
Brett Schuster, Communications Manager
[email protected], 202-775-9555

WASHINGTON — Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA), the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), the National Bar Association (NBA), the National LGBT Bar Association (National LGBT Bar), and the National Native American Bar Association (NNABA) joined a national coalition of organizations expressing their indignation in the segment, “Watters’ World: Chinatown Edition,” and deep dissatisfaction in public statements that dismiss community concerns over the offensive nature of the segment.

In October, Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor aired “Watters’ World: Chinatown Edition,” which featured Jesse Watters speaking with residents of New York City’s Chinatown — including some who do not appear to be native English speakers — with questions, many of which were only nominally related to the Presidential election and instead were based on racial and ethnic stereotypes.

“We found this segment to be highly offensive for its irresponsible use of these stereotypes and for its pejorative mischaracterization of Chinatown residents, immigrants, and limited English proficient communities,” said the presidents of the bar associations in a letter to Fox News.

“We join a coalition of Asian Pacific American organizations who call on Fox News to issue a written formal apology. We also encourage Fox News to take steps to increase understanding of implicit bias and to increase workforce diversity and inclusion,” said the presidents in their message.

HNBA Contact: Daniel Herrera: (202) 930-6805; [email protected]
NAPABA Contact: Brett Schuster: (202) 775-9555; [email protected]
NBA Contact: Lonita Baker: (502) 210-7062; [email protected]
NNABA Contact: Jennifer Weddle: (303) 572-6565; [email protected]
LGBT Bar Contact: Laura Hoch: (202)-637-7661; [email protected]

The HNBA is an incorporated, not-for-profit, national membership organization that represents the interests of the more than 50,000 Hispanic attorneys, judges, law professors, legal assistants, and law students in the United States and its territories. From the days of its founding three decades ago, the HNBA has acted as a force for positive change within the legal profession. It does so by encouraging Latino students to choose a career in the law and by prompting their advancement within the profession once they graduate and start practicing. Through a combination of issue advocacy, programmatic activities, networking events and educational conferences, the HNBA has helped generations of lawyers succeed.

NAPABA is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 50,000 attorneys and over 75 national, state, and local bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal services and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government. NAPABA engages in legislative and policy advocacy, promotes APA political leadership and political appointments, and builds coalitions within the legal profession and the community at large. NAPABA also serves as a resource for government agencies, members of Congress, and public service organizations about APAs in the legal profession, civil rights, and diversity in the courts.

Founded in 1925, the NBA is the nation’s oldest and largest national network of minority attorneys and judges. It represents approximately 60,000 lawyers, judges, law professors and law students and has over 80 affiliate chapters throughout the United States and around the world. The organization seeks to advance the science of jurisprudence, preserve the independence of the judiciary and to uphold the honor and integrity of the legal profession. For additional information about the National Bar Association, visit www.nationalbar.org.

Founded in 1973, the NNABA serves as the national association for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian attorneys, judges, law professors and law students. NNABA strives for justice and effective legal representation for all American indigenous peoples; fosters the development of Native American lawyers and judges; and addresses social, cultural and legal issues affecting American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians.

The National LGBT Bar Association is a national association of lawyers, judges and other legal professionals, law students, activists and affiliated lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender legal organizations. The LGBT Bar promotes justice in and through the legal profession for the LGBT community in all its diversity.

National Diverse Bar Associations Urge Senate to Hold Hearing and Vote on Supreme Court Nominee

For Immediate Release
March 10, 2016

For More Information, Contact​​:
Brett Schuster, Communications Manager
202-775-9555; [email protected]


Download: Press Release
Download: Letter to Senators Grassley and Leahy

WASHINGTON — Today, the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA), the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), the National Bar Association (NBA), the National LGBT Bar Association (National LGBT Bar), and the National Native American Bar Association (NNABA) — representatives of diverse bar associations — submitted a joint letter to Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-VT) strongly urging the Senate to uphold its Constitutional duty by holding a fair hearing and timely vote on any Supreme Court nominee.

With a long history of supporting judicial nominees from both Democratic and Republican presidents, these five non-partisan organizations represent the interests of almost 200,000 lawyers, judges, and legal professionals of diverse backgrounds across the country.

As stated in the letter: “Delay in the Supreme Court’s ability to fulfill its duties caused by intentionally leaving the Court incomplete will have a direct impact on the legal rights of Americans, individuals and businesses of all backgrounds, across the country, and further erode public confidence in our legal system and in the functioning of our democracy.”

As professional legal membership organizations and representatives of diverse American attorneys, the five representative bar associations have consistently maintained that it is both the President’s and the Senate’s constitutional responsibility to ensure that our courts are fully functioning by nominating and fairly considering nominees as described in Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution.

“With so much at stake, this is not the time to allow our highest court in the land to operate without a full bench,” said HNBA National President Robert T. Maldonado. “As our Constitution outlines, the President should nominate a candidate and the Senate carries the responsibility to vet and confirm. To not fill that seat would be a denial of justice. Let’s give the American people what they want: a fully-functioning judicial branch that gives everyone fair and equal protection under the law.”

“It is imperative that the Senate fulfill their constitutional obligations by giving the President’s nominee fair consideration and a timely vote,” said Jin Y. Hwang, NAPABA president. “By depriving this nation of a fully functioning Supreme Court, the Senate is not only ignoring their constitutional duty, but taking historically unprecedented action. The Senate must do the job they were elected to do and not hamper the effectiveness of the judiciary.”

“When the American People reelected President Obama in 2012 they placed trust in him perform the job of President of the United States. One function of the job includes nominating individuals to fill vacancies on the U.S. Supreme Court. Senate Republicans are correct when they say that the American People should have a voice in the matter, but what they are forgetting is that the American People spoke twice, in 2008 and 2012 when they voted for President Obama. Senate Republicans not only must allow the President of the United States to do his job, but they also must perform their duties under the U.S. Constitution. It is unacceptable that Senate leaders have hindered the functionality of the Federal Court system by obstructing the nominations process,” added NBA President Benjamin L. Crump.

“Regardless of which political party currently holds power in either the Presidency or the Senate, both have a constitutional duty to ensure that the Supreme Court vacancy is filled in a timely manner,” said Eduardo Juarez, president of the National LGBT Bar Association. “We urge all parties involved to fill the vacancy to ensure a properly functioning judiciary. For the Senate to abdicate its constitutional duty to advise and consent is not only wrong, but it is unprecedented.”

“The desire for an accessible, fair judiciary is a cornerstone of our democracy,” said Linda Benally, NNABA president. “Indeed principal criticisms of the King of England in the Declaration of Independence were that he ‘obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers;’ that he ‘made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the Tenure of their Offices, and the Amount and Payment of their Salaries.’ The people decided, in the Constitution, the process for ensuring that such tyranny would never again burden the United States, conferring upon the President the obligation to nominate Justices to serve on the Supreme Court and obligating the Senate to counsel the President on such nominees. This is not a partisan issue; it is an issue of each duly-elected public official honoring the public’s trust and fulfilling his or her obligations to the people of the United States as set forth in the Constitution.”


The HNBA is an incorporated, not-for-profit, national membership organization that represents the interests of the more than 50,000 Hispanic attorneys, judges, law professors, legal assistants, and law students in the United States and its territories. From the days of its founding three decades ago, the HNBA has acted as a force for positive change within the legal profession. It does so by encouraging Latino students to choose a career in the law and by prompting their advancement within the profession once they graduate and start practicing. Through a combination of issue advocacy, programmatic activities, networking events and educational conferences, the HNBA has helped generations of lawyers succeed.

NAPABA is the national association of Asian Pacific American (APA) attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 50,000 attorneys and over 75 national, state, and local bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal services and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government. NAPABA engages in legislative and policy advocacy, promotes APA political leadership and political appointments, and builds coalitions within the legal profession and the community at large. NAPABA also serves as a resource for government agencies, members of Congress, and public service organizations about APAs in the legal profession, civil rights, and diversity in the courts.

Founded in 1925, the NBA is the nation’s oldest and largest national network of minority attorneys and judges. It represents approximately 60,000 lawyers, judges, law professors and law students and has over 80 affiliate chapters throughout the United States and around the world. The organization seeks to advance the science of jurisprudence, preserve the independence of the judiciary and to uphold the honor and integrity of the legal profession. For additional information about the National Bar Association, visit www.nationalbar.org.

The National LGBT Bar Association is a national association of lawyers, judges and other legal professionals, law students, activists and affiliated lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender legal organizations. The LGBT Bar promotes justice in and through the legal profession for the LGBT community in all its diversity.

Founded in 1973, the NNABA serves as the national association for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian attorneys, judges, law professors and law students. NNABA strives for justice and effective legal representation for all American indigenous peoples; fosters the development of Native American lawyers and judges; and addresses social, cultural and legal issues affecting American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians.

Congratulations to Margaret Ling & Will Wang!

Margaret Ling, Co-Chair of AABANY’s Real Estate Committee and a member of AABANY’s Board of Directors, and Will Wang, President-Elect, have been selected to attend the 2014 Collaborative Bar Leaders Academy held in Minneapolis! The Collaborative Bar Leaders Academy is a joint initiative of the American Bar Association, Hispanic National Bar Association, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, National Bar Association, and the National Native American Bar Association. 

Please join AABANY in congratulating Will and Margaret on their achievement and wishing them safe travels this June as they head to Minneapolis.

Press Release from the Hispanic National Bar Association: Pulling Participation in the 2015 Annual Convention

Contact: Alba Cruz-Hacker, HNBA Executive Director
[email protected]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Hispanic National Bar Association Pulls its 2015 Annual Convention From Phoenix in Response to Arizona’s SB 1062

February 26, 2014

Washington, D.C. – The HNBA announced today that it has pulled its 40th Annual Convention previously scheduled for Phoenix, Arizona in September 2015.

On Monday, February 24th, the HNBA denounced the Arizona legislature’s passage of SB 1062. The HNBA also called for Governor Jan Brewer to veto the legislation and still hopes that she will do so. As set forth in its February 24th press release, SB 1062 discriminates against members of Arizona’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

The proposed legislation also impacts other citizens that are either traveling through Arizona or that are doing business or have business interests in the state. Accordingly, the HNBA’s Board of Governors voted unanimously to immediately pull the Annual Convention.

“The HNBA views this as a civil rights issue. As a national association of lawyers committed to promoting the ideals of equal protection, equal opportunity, tolerance, and inclusiveness, it is imperative that we speak up and take immediate action in the presence of injustice,” stated HNBA National President Miguel Alexander Pozo. As the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said more than 50 years ago, writing from a Birmingham, AL jail cell, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.“

As lawyers, we have sworn to uphold the United States Constitution as well as the laws of our respective states. “In our view, SB 1062 violates the Equal Protection and the Commerce Clauses of the U.S. Constitution, and offends the anti-discrimination protections found in Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,” said Mr. Pozo.

While the HNBA will remain steadfast, and stand in solidarity with our Affiliate Los Abogados and our HNBA members in Arizona, by taking this action we are sending a clear message to Arizona lawmakers. “Laws that return us to a darker time in the nation’s history simply cannot be tolerated. SB 1062 and SB 1070 are two such laws,” said Mr. Pozo. 

About the Hispanic National Bar Association

The Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) is an incorporated, not-for-profit, national membership association that represents the interests of Hispanic attorneys, judges, law professors, legal assistants, law students, and legal professionals in the United States and its territories. Since 1972, the HNBA has acted as a force for positive change within the legal profession by creating opportunities for Hispanic lawyers and by helping generations of lawyers to succeed. The HNBA has also effectively advocated on issues of importance to the national Hispanic community. While we are proud of our accomplishments, we are mindful that our mission is as vital today as it was four decades ago, especially as the U.S. Hispanic population continues to grow.

For more information, please visit http://www.hnba.com.

CBAC Reassured by Supreme Court’s Decision in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
June 24, 2013

HNBA Contact: Erika Lopez (202) 223-4777 
NAPABA Contact: Emily Chatterjee (202) 775-9555 
NBA Contact: Erika Owens (202) 842-3900 
NNABA Contact: Mary Smith (405) 761-1723 

Coalition of Bar Associations of Color 
Reassured by Supreme Court’s Decision in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin

WASHINGTON – The Coalition of Bar Associations of Color (CBAC) – the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA), the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), the National Bar Association (NBA) and the National Native American Bar Association (NNABA) – is reassured by the Supreme Court’s decision today to reaffirm the principle that diversity in higher education is a compelling national interest. We remain cautiously optimistic about the Court’s decision to send the case back to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Supreme Court partially vacated a lower court ruling that had upheld the right of the University of Texas at Austin to partially consider race in its admissions’ policy. However, in deciding Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, it left intact the precedent it set in Grutter v. Bollinger, which allows schools to consider racial diversity as an admissions factor.

Last summer, CBAC filed an amicus curiae brief with the Supreme Court in the Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin case. The brief highlights the progress made in diversifying the legal profession since the Court’s ruling in Grutter v. Bollinger, while discussing the continued need for race-conscious admissions programs to further the diversification of the legal profession.

“We are encouraged that the United States Supreme Court’s ruling affirmed the Grutter v. Hollinger decision which allows racial and ethnic diversity to be considered as one of many factors in a carefully crafted admissions policy,” stated HNBA National President Peter M. Reyes, Jr. “These are important factors to consider when taking a holistic admissions approach, and the Court in a 7-1 strongly supports our position.”

“We are encouraged by the Court’s decision today in Fisher,” said Wendy C. Shiba, president of NAPABA. “A strong majority of the Court has stood in support of diversity as a compelling interest, and members of the Asian Pacific American community are heartened by this outcome. We see evidence of the importance of a diverse workforce every day in the legal profession, and are thankful that our nation’s commitment to the values of diversity and inclusion has been ratified today.”

“Today’s decision underscores diversity as a compelling interest for all institutions of education and higher learning,” stated John E. Page, President of the National Bar Association. “Even with strict scrutiny of the methods used to achieve such diversity, the US Supreme Court continues to agree that many factors, including race, can be a factor in an admissions program.”

“Diversity is important to educational opportunities for all and furthers classroom discussion and understanding,” said Mary Smith, President of the National Native Bar Association. “We are heartened that the Supreme Court has recognized the importance of diversity.”

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