Contact: Priya Purandare, Executive Director Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Today, in a 5-4 landmark decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration’s decision in 2017 to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) violated federal law in Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California. The DACA program, whose beneficiaries are also known as DREAMers, protects eligible undocumented youth from deportation and provides them with work permits. Approximately 650,000 individuals, including more than 16,000 Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs), benefit from this program and about 120,000 AAPIs are eligible for DACA. The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) applauds the Court for its decision, which will protect these individuals, many of whom are the sole providers in their families.
“The Court’s decision ensures the protection of hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. These DREAMers now know they are currently safe from being suddenly deported from the country in which they grew up, went to school, and now work,” said Bonnie Lee Wolf, President of NAPABA. “There has been strong bipartisan support in Congress to protect DREAMers, who significantly contribute to their communities in the United States. The Court’s decision is not a permanent fix and Congress needs to act. NAPABA remains committed to protecting DREAMers.”
NAPABA’s policy resolution to support the continuation of DACA recipients can be found here and the original resolution to support DACA recipients can be found here. The Supreme Court decision can be found here.
Sharon and Ivan Fong recently began a scholarship fund for rising 2L law students who demonstrate outstanding professional promise, community service, and commitment to the APA community.
Applicants will be evaluated for (a) academic excellence in their undergraduate school years and first year of law school, (b) leadership experience, (c) volunteerism or service in the public interest, (d) knowledge of social and cultural issues of any one or more AAPI communities or commitment to making a significant impact on issues affecting one or more AAPI communities, or both, and (e) commitment to “pay it forward.”
The NAPABA Law Foundation will award from the Sharon and Ivan Fong Scholarship Fund at least one $5,000 scholarship each year, half of which would be distributed to the recipient in his or her second year of law school and the remainder of which would be distributed to the recipient in his or her third year of law school.
Applicants must apply by June 30, 2020 at 5:00 PM ET. However, if applicants submit all but the reference letters by the deadline (and commit to getting the references in soon thereafter), applications will not be considered late.
As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and in consideration of the safety and well-being of our members and attendees, NAPABA has postponed all in-person events for the remainder of 2020—the Regional Conference in Charlotte, NC and the NAPABA Convention in Los Angeles, CA.
NAPABA is planning a dynamic virtual conference in place of the 2020 NAPABA Convention scheduled for Nov. 5-8. We know that the need to connect is powerful, even more so during these unprecedented times. We pledge to use this opportunity to expand the breadth of our reach and explore new ways to keep you informed, engaged, and connected on a global scale.
You will have an exceptional opportunity to visit with old friends and meet new ones, hear recognized experts share insights, identify new business opportunities, and further propel your career trajectory—all from the safety and comfort of your home. The NAPABA virtual experience will be a unique and engaging forum that will bring our community together and serve to touch and inspire each one of us—a NAPABA FOR ALL!
More information about NAPABA’s virtual conference in November will roll out over the summer as we finalize the details. Please make plans to join us for the largest virtual gathering of Asian Pacific Americans attorneys and law students—without the airfare add-ons and travel-sized toiletries.
Thank you for your commitment and support of NAPABA.
Contact: Priya Purandare, Executive Director Email: email@example.com
WASHINGTON – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) denounces the introduction of the SECURE CAMPUS Act. The bill introduced by Senator Tom Cotton and Senator Marsha Blackburn, along with a companion bill introduced by Congressman David Kustoff, will prohibit Chinese STEM graduate students from receiving a visa to study in the United States under the presumption that all Chinese STEM students engage in espionage.
“Asian Pacific Americans have faced a long history of discrimination and exclusion in the United States. This includes the Chinese Exclusion Act, Japanese American Incarceration, the post-9/11 racial profiling of Arabs, Sikhs, Muslims and South Asians, and the targeting of Asian American scientists,” said Bonnie Lee Wolf, President of NAPABA. “The SECURE CAMPUS Act uses xenophobic vitriol to divide our country, and by extension, further incites fear and hatred toward Asian Pacific Americans. With the COVID-19 pandemic, Anti-Asian sentiment is at an all-time high. We must continue to strongly denounce racist rhetoric.”
The bill seeks to exclude Chinese graduate students from attending STEM programs in the U.S. and to block federal funding from any institution that has participation from these students. “Graduate students from China and other countries have come to the United States for educational opportunities for decades. They have made substantial contributions to our society and have become U.S. citizens,” said Wolf. “At least 10 Nobel Prize winners in STEM fields and over a dozen astronauts are Asian Pacific Americans who are immigrants or are the children of immigrants.”
The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) represents 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.
The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is now accepting nominations for Officer and Director Candidates and applications for At-Large Candidates for the 2020-21 NAPABA Board of Governors.
In 1988, NAPABA was successfully formed by visionary leaders who provided the passion, determination, and support needed to transform the concept of a national Asian Pacific American bar association into a vibrant, diverse, and flourishing organization. Today, NAPABA is the voice for 50,000 Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students and represents the interests of nearly 90 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations.
The organization has grown exponentially over the past decade—maturity, stature, and staff. As a result, the NAPABA Board of Governors has continued to evolve as an oversight and governing body committed to the mission and purpose of NAPABA. The governing Board of 23 and national staff of seven (7) complement and support each other—together focused on NAPABA’s mission through different perspectives and actions.
NAPABA is committed to having a governing board that reflects the diverse Asian Pacific American legal community and has the right blend of skill, expertise, community connections, and diverse perspectives as a whole. To that end, the NAPABA Board of Governors embarked on a positive, forward looking, transformation—transitioning the Board from an operationally engaged group to a more strategically focused governing board that will employ a “best practice” standing committee framework to better execute its organizational oversight responsibilities.
The NAPABA Board of Governors now includes five (5) Officers and four (4) Directors elected by the membership, ten (10) Regional Governors chosen by the NAPABA regions, and four (4) At-Large Board Members who are appointed by the Board of Governors. In addition, the NAPABA Board of Governors has established three (3) Standing Committees: Governance, Nominations and Elections; Finance; and Programs. These new Standing Committees may include a mix of Board and non-Board members and will allow committee members to collectively oversee key strategic areas important to NAPABA, as well as assess matters of consequence in depth, and provide recommendations to the entire Board. Stay tuned for future opportunities to lend your talent and support to NAPABA and participate in NAPABA Standing Committees.
The Nominating and Elections Committee is now accepting nominations for Officer and Director candidates and applications for At-Large Board Member candidates for the 2020-21 NAPABA Board of Governors.
The Minnesota National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (MNAPABA) and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) released the following statement on June 2, 2020:
“The events of the past few weeks—the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, as well as numerous incidents of explicit bigotry, bias, and brutality—are nothing less than disturbing and heartbreaking. The Minnesota Asian Pacific American Bar Association (MNAPABA) and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) stand in solidarity with our Black neighbors in the Twin Cities and beyond.
We demand change. When there is an imbalance of power, our position as members of the Bar and our understanding of the rule of law makes it even more critical that we stand strong against any form of injustice. We recognize the generational failures of our government and criminal justice systems in protecting the Constitutional and human rights afforded to Blacks.
We must address deeply rooted racism in our society. We must work to create trust and fairness in our legal system by addressing systemic bias in the law to safeguard civil rights, civil liberties, and justice for all individuals regardless of race, ethnicity, disability, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religious background, or immigration status.
MNAPABA and NAPABA stand in solidarity with the Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers (MABL) and the National Bar Association (NBA) as they seek justice and reform at a local and national level. We stand in unity with our affiliated Asian Pacific American bars and sister bar associations in speaking out against racism in all its forms.”
On April 27, 2020, the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) along with the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) and many other bar associations signed onto a statement of support for Congressional resolutions opposing anti-Asian sentiment related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Asian American and Pacific Islander community has been the target of increasing acts of bias, racism, and xenophobia in connection with the coronavirus. AABANY firmly stands against racism and discrimination and is proud to support efforts to address the experiences our community may face with these issues.
NAPABA continues to monitor the current situation regarding coronavirus and recognizes the disruption it has had—and may continue to have—on members’ daily lives.
With that in mind, NAPABA has extending its deadline for the 2020 NAPABA Convention Call for Programs to April 20 at 5 p.m. ET to provide more time for submitting proposals.
NAPABA also understands that the current situation may impact submitters’ ability to secure speakers for program ideas as people’s schedules change. NAPABA wants to reassure everyone that the CLE Committee will take the current events into consideration upon reviewing the submissions and will not count the lack of “confirmed” speakers against any submission.
NAPABA still encourages submitters to include those who have expressed interest in speaking on a program as “confirmed” speakers, and understands that their availability may change.
On Friday, April 3rd, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) hosted a webinar titled “Pandemic and Acts of Hate Against Asian Americans: From Past to Present.” The webinar traced the historical roots of Asian American discrimination related to disease and public health issues and presented solutions for the present in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The webinar featured a panel which included Professor Jack Chin of UC Davis Law School, Matt Stevens of The New York Times’s Political News division, Harpreet Singh Mokha of the Department of Justice’s Community Relations Service, and Rahat N. Babar, Special Counsel, Office of the Governor of New Jersey. Chris M. Kwok, the NAPABA Dispute Resolution Committee Co-Chair and our very own AABANY Issues Committee Chair, helmed the panel as moderator.
Professor Chin began by outlining the extensive history of anti-Asian discrimination within the United States. He focused on how discriminatory legislation at the state level in California and at the national level through the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 frequently correlated Asian American immigrants with disease. In particular, Professor Chin noted how San Francisco became a focal point of race-based efforts to control the bubonic plague in the early 1900s. Multiple political attempts were made to isolate and discriminate against Asians in the city which were repeatedly rebuffed by legal challenges such as Wong Wai v. Williamson and Jew Ho v. Williamson. Professor Chin underscored the ugly but recurring theme pushed in American politics about the “foreignness of germs.”
Following the professor’s historical account, Matt Stevens, an Asian American political reporter for The New York Times, noted the efforts that legislators are making to combat these acts of discrimination. Moreover, he noted the pervasive feeling of fear that permeates the Asian American community.
Harpreet Singh Mokha, National Program Manager for Muslim, Arab, Sikh, South Asian, and Hindu (MASSAH) issues at the Community Relations Service of the DOJ, explained the role and function of CRS during this pandemic. Established under Title X of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, CRS, frequently called “America’s Peacemakers,” works directly with communities facing conflict on racial, ethnic, gender, sexual orientation, religious, and disability issues. It has four primary functions: facilitating dialogue, mediating conflict, training community members, and providing consultation for methods of community assistance. Mr. Mokha noted that members of communities all across the country should be encouraged to make use of CRS’s resources and report hate crimes at their first occurrence.
To wrap up the panel, Rahat Babar, Special Counsel for Litigation with the Office of the New Jersey Governor, echoed Mr. Mokha’s point to report hate crimes without hesitation. He noted a 2020 in-state report which found a 65% increase in bias incidents between 2018 and 2019 with 46% of those engaging in such bias incidents being minors. Thanks to this report, Governor Phil Murphy was able to set up a task force to explore why minors were engaging in such behavior. Mr. Babar notes that without a robust data set of incident or hate crime reports, lawmakers and community leaders will not be able to identify root problems or pose solutions.
Overall, the panel outlined past and present cases of racial discrimination targeted towards the AAPI community. All panelists acknowledged the importance of speaking out during this time of uncertainty for the sake of protecting fellow community members both now and in the future.
This event reached the largest audience for a NAPABA webinar to date, with 160 registrants. The program stressed placing the events of today within historical understanding of America, engagement with our government institutions charged with enforcing our laws, and collaboration across civil society organizations. We at AABANY thank and acknowledge Chris Kwok for proposing this program to NAPABA and serving as moderator.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Priya Purandare, Executive Director of the National Association of Women Judges, has been named the Executive Director of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), the nation’s leading voice for Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors and law students.
Priya will succeed Jill Werner, who has served as Interim Executive Director since November 2019. Priya brings unparalleled institutional knowledge, having started her career at the NAPABA Law Foundation in 2009. Returning to NAPABA in 2014, Priya steadily rose through the ranks to Deputy Director, and most recently, led the association as Interim Executive Director.
“We are excited for Priya to return to NAPABA—an organization that she has made significant contributions to over the past five years. She is strategic, resilient, and determined—someone who can lead this complex organization with a deep understanding of and appreciation for our history,” said NAPABA President Bonnie Lee Wolf.
“I am thrilled to rejoin the NAPABA family,” said Priya. “This community of vibrant and diverse attorneys is unlike any other. NAPABA has been my professional home for several years and I am excited to continue working with our talented, dedicated staff and Board of Governors. My vision for NAPABA is grounded in maintaining a relentless focus on our members. I am deeply committed to seeing NAPABA thrive in 2020 and beyond.”
Priya is uniquely situated to lead NAPABA into the future and will begin her role as Executive Director on April 15.
The Executive Director search was successfully conducted by the NAPABA Board of Governors and led by President-Elect A.B. Cruz III.