Justice Denied: Wards Cove Packing v. Atonio

On June 23rd, the Filipino American National Historical Society hosted their 16th Biennial Conference, A Pinoy State of Mind: Building Our Roots at John Jay College. We were proud to join the National Filipino American Lawyers Association, the Filipino American Lawyers Association of New York and the Filipino American Lawyers Association of Oregon in presenting Justice Denied: Wards Cove Packing Co. v. Atonio. In the 1970s, led by Filipino activists, workers in Alaskan canneries organized and filed class actions against unfair and discriminatory working conditions that had prevailed for decades against Asian American cannery workers. Although the Filipino workers lost their case before the United States Supreme Court, their efforts led Congress to pass an amendment to the Civil Rights Act in 1991 to achieve equal treatment and justice for workers of color. The reenactment cast wonderfully brought this tragic history back to life. 

At the end of the re-enactment, several former Alaskan cannery workers attending this event stood up and shared their personal experiences with audience. The audience gave them a round applause. The story telling compelled many audience members to reflect on how much that generation had suffered and how much history has progressed. 

Thank you to Connie Montoya and FALA New York for organizing this important session during the FANHS Conference. Thank you once again to Hon. Chin and Kathy Hirata Chin for once again leading a successful reenactment. For those wanting to learn more about this historical reenactment, please visit: http://reenactments.aabany.org/justice-denied-wards-cove-packing-v-atonio/

Write-up by AABANY Intern Claudia Shi.


VOLUNTEER and Join Us at the Annual Citywide Citizenship Application Assistance Event on May 11th!

Please Support AABANY and Volunteer with Us for the Saturday, May 11th, Citywide Citizenship Day 2013.

We invite you to participate in the largest naturalization application assistance event in New York State! Your skills and experience will be an enormous asset and we greatly value your commitment.

AABANY is co-sponsoring this event again. This year, we hope to have at least 10 experienced AABANY immigration law practitioners participate. But we also need the help of all attorneys and paralegals — whether you practice immigration law or not! We need any and all AABANY members to participate on Citizenship Day, in order to better serve and represent the APA immigrant community.


Attorneys and paralegals with or without expertise in naturalization and citizenship law. We need your help to determine applicant’s eligibility for naturalization, assure that applicants leave the event with a properly completed application, and to assist and/or supervise volunteers providing application assistance.


Saturday, May 11, 2013 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. But if you can only come for part of the day, that’s ok too. Volunteer whatever time you can — whether it’s a morning or an afternoon. 


John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Haaren-Hall Building, 899 Tenth Avenue, Gymnasium, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10019. 

How to Register: Click here to be taken to the registration form. Once there, you should chose “AABANY” as your affiliation so we can keep track of registration and attendance for you. 

Why Volunteer?  Because you are helping the many immigrants in our city who hope for and deserve U.S. citizenship — but cannot afford private attorney legal fees to achieve their goal. Plus, I guarantee that you will have fun and enjoy a great deal of personal satisfaction by assisting others during this pro bono event. I know this because I see the happy faces of our volunteers each year! This is always a wonderful experience!

For more information: Contact Rio Guerrero, Co-Chair AABANY Immigration and Nationality Law Committee, at [email protected].