On Sunday, May 17, 2020, the Pro Bono & Community Service Committee of the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) hosted the Korean version of its webinar series, “Anti-Asian Violence and Hate Arising from the COVID-19 Pandemic.” The presentation addressed the increase in violent incidents against Asians in the community and included a discussion of the rights that victims and bystanders have when a racially motivated confrontation occurs, as well as what actions rise to the level of a prosecutable offense.
The webinar featured moderator, Sean Dong Min Rhee, a Northeastern University law student, as well as two panelists: Kings County Assistant District Attorney Stephanie Pak and Naomi Jeehee Yang, an Associate at Paul Weiss.
During the presentation, Stephanie Pak explained what actions would constitute a hate crime (P.L. §240.30) and aggravated assault (P.L. §485.05) as set forth in New York Penal Law. She also gave examples of actions that would rise to a criminal level so that community members would be able to recognize incidents which they should report to law enforcement agencies or their local District Attorney’s office. Furthermore, Stephanie emphasized that when Korean victims are called Chinese during an assault, this does not invalidate the action from being prosecuted as a hate crime but rather makes the issue ripe for prosecution.
The other panelist, Naomi Jeehee Yang, shared information on who to contact during or after these incidents, as well as a few helpful tips that can help prosecutors and law enforcement. She stressed the importance of recording an incident because the evidence is often a key component in successfully prosecuting assailants. If this is not an option, it is important to call 911, as phone calls to police are recorded and can also be used as evidence during a criminal trial. Most importantly, Naomi spoke on the significance of reporting these anti-Asian episodes. If incidents are reported there will consequently be a more accurate number of cases in which Asians are being victimized in the community. This, in turn, increases the visibility of this issue and will spur action by government officials and policymakers – bringing about legislation or resources that can be helpful to the Asian community.
Thank you to our panelists, the excellent attorneys at Paul Weiss for their pro bono assistance, and our volunteers at the Pro Bono Committee for planning and organizing our Anti-Asian Violence and Hate Arising from the COVID-19 Pandemic webinars. We will have more community presentations on topics related to COVID-19 and its impact on the AAPI community this month. For more information on anti-Asian harassment and violence, email [email protected], call our hotline at 516-690-7724, and check out the resources that AABANY has compiled at https://www.aabany.org/page/covid19.
View the video of the webinar by clicking on the image above.
On Wednesday, May 13, 2020, the Asian American Bar Association’s (AABANY) Pro Bono & Community Service Committee hosted the webinar, “Anti-Asian Violence and Hate Arising from the COVID-19 Pandemic.” This event addressed the increase in violent incidents against the Asian American community, and the relevant State and Federal laws for victims and witnesses of these hate crimes who seek to report them.
The webinar featured panelists David Chiang, Supervising Assistant District Attorney, Queens District Attorney’s Office; Joe Gim, Deputy Chief, Nassau County District Attorney; and Julia Kerr, Associate at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP. Eugene Kim, a volunteer at AABANY’s Pro Bono Clinic, moderated the panel.
David Chiang, Supervising Assistant District Attorney, Queens District Attorney’s Office, discussed New York Penal Law § 240 and § 485,both of which elevate sentencing for bias incidents to the criminal level. Section 240, covering Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree, states that threats of physical violence based on the perception of race are considered as misdemeanors. Section 485, the Hate Crime Law, enhances sentencing for incidents proven to be motivated by bias.
Joe Gim, Deputy Bureau Chief, Nassau County District Attorney’s Office, advised victims and bystanders of anti-Asian hate crimes to record the crime by taking a video of the incident with their phones or calling 911. Doing so would not only preserve the evidence necessary to strengthen the case against the perpetrator but also publicize these hateful acts to highlight the prevalence of anti-Asian violence. Even if the victim is not willing to come forward, whether due to language barriers or distrust of law enforcement, bystanders can still report the crime. After preserving evidence and notifying the police, the police will file a Complaint Report, and the case will either result in an arrest or be handed off to prosecutors and end up in trial.
Julia Kerr, Associate at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, concluded the webinar by encouraging individuals to report incidents of anti-Asian violence to both government and non-governmental organizations to prevent future hate crimes. In addition to calling 911, victims and bystanders can also reach out to the New York State and New York City Hate Crime Task Forces, MTA Hotline, local District Attorney, and NY Attorney General’s Office. Other resources include AABANY, Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Communities Against Hate, Equality Watch, Southern Poverty Law Center, and Anti-Defamation League.
We thank the panelists for joining us for this CLE program and Eugene for serving as the moderator. Look forward to more community presentations on COVID-19 and its impact on the APA community this month. For more information on anti-Asian harassment and violence, email [email protected] or call our hotline at 516-690-7724.
View the video of the webinar by clicking on the image above.
The recent spike in Anti-Asian harassment and hate crimes have prompted a strong response by NYCCHR Commissioner Carmelyn Malalis. Encouraging New Yorkers to stand together against discrimination, she describes the history of scapegoating in times of crisis and the dangers of fearmongering. She encourages individuals to combat Asian-American stereotypes and misconceptions that underplay anti-Asian racism. With Malalis at the helm, the NYCCHR has formed a COVID-19 response team to handle reports of discrimination and harassment. She strongly encourages victims and bystanders to record and report such incidents to the NYC Commission on Human Rights.
“Interpreting Justice” provides recommendations on policies, strategies, and best practices for legal, government, and community stakeholders to further diminish barriers to language access services for Asian Pacific Americans. “Interpreting Justice” finds that while overall progress has been made in the past 10 years, LEP individuals continue to struggle with limitations on languages interpreted, costs of interpretation, inconsistent interpreter quality, insufficient language assistance inside and outside of the courtroom, and a lack of translated written materials.
“This important report demonstrates the progress federal and state courts and agencies have made in the past decade, but underscores the continued need to improve language access services for the Asian Pacific American communities all over the country,” said NAPABA President Pankit J. Doshi. “NAPABA’s language access report, ‘Interpreting Justice,’ provides an updated picture on how the federal and state courts and agencies accommodate for the fastest growing population in the United States, Asian Pacific Americans.”
The diverse array of languages and dialects, particularly among Asian and Pacific Islander Americans, presents great challenges to ensure quality interpretation in both federal and state courts.“Interpreting Justice” recommends improving rules and standards for the use of interpreters, creating and providing translations of vital documents, and prioritizing appropriate training and compensation to maintain a pool of highly qualified interpreters.
Access for people with limited English proficiency in state courts progressed in the last decade, but access still varies greatly by state. More state courts and agencies have adopted language access plans or require certified interpreters, but states remain inconsistent with compliance with language access requirements. Much of the progress state and local agencies achieved for LEP individuals was the result of collaboration with advocates and community stakeholders.
NAPABA’s report also recognizes funding for language access as one of the largest barriers for LEP individuals and programs designed for LEP individuals. Federal budget cuts and the lack of awareness of language services for the LEP community creates a required increased emphasis on pursuing other forms or channels of funding, often stretching organizational capacity. NAPABA’s report recommends a number of feasible measures to counteract the underfunding.
“Interpreting Justice” builds on the work NAPABA started in 2007 with its groundbreaking report, “The State of Language Access for Asian Pacific Americans,” a culmination of NAPABA’s longstanding commitment to advance equal access to justice for Asian Pacific Americans with limited English proficiency (LEP) and widely used in creating new national standards on language access in the courts. To access the full report, click here.
The report is a project of the NAPABA Research Institute led by the NAPABA Pro Bono and Community Service Committee. The report was released during a Congressional briefing in collaboration with the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, featuring remarks delivered by Congresswoman Grace Meng (N.Y.–6), held in conjunction with the NAPABA Convention in Washington, D.C.
The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of almost 50,000 attorneys and over 80 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American 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 continues to be a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network of committees and affiliates, 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. To learn more about NAPABA, visit www.napaba.org, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter(@NAPABA).
From our friends at the Asian American Federation comes this announcement:
The Asian American Federation is preparing a first ever national report to examine changes in demographics and socioeconomic status of Asian American children. The report will help us better understand the characteristics and growth of Asian American children, identify family support, as well as financial, educational and health related needs.
A conference to discuss the report’s findings, policy implications and philanthropic responses will be held:
Thursday, March 27, 2014 Time Warner Center, New York City 8:00am breakfast & registration 8:30am program
This full day event will include continental breakfast, plenary sessions, concurrent workshops and a networking reception. Discussion topics include:
Early childhood development including health disparities and access to care
Health policy that promotes healthy children in Asian American communities
Social policy towards working poor families
Education policy to promote academic success for at-risk youth
Presentation of findings will discuss population growth, economic diversity, and implications for policy makers
Asian Americans Advancing Justice and the Asian American Federation will present key findings from the New York section of a new report that
documents the social and economic diversity of two of the fastest-growing racial groups in the region:
A Community of Contrasts: Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders in the Northeast, 2013 Members of the media are asked to RSVP to Dana Malone at [email protected]
Thursday, November 21, 2013
12:00pm – 2:00pm
Asia Society and Museum
725 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10021
The AANHPI community is experiencing explosive growth in the Northeast, which is fueling a host of policy concerns including economic access and language barriers. At the same time the growth is leading to unprecedented levels of civic participation, making the AANHPI community a key electorate in metropolitan New York. A Community of Contrasts profiles this incredibly diverse population.
A Community of Contrasts: Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders in the Northeast, 2013 compiles the latest data on growing Asian American and NHPI communities in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia. This is the fifth in a series of reports that strive to make disaggregated data more accessible in order to promote better understanding of our communities, and to help policy makers, government agencies, service providers, and other stakeholders better respond to and serve the needs of Asian American and NHPI communities.
The following sponsors made the report and launch event possible: the
Asia Society and Museum, the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation, the Chung Ying Tang Foundation, and Bank of America.
The Coalition for Asian American Children and Families (CACF) and the Fund for Public Advocacy invite you to attend a presentation and reception for our Asian Pacific New Yorkers Count project on Thursday, October 10th from 5:00pm – 7:30pm, generously hosted by Sunshine Sachs at 136 Madison Avenue, 17th Floor.
The Asian Pacific New Yorkers Count project is a partnership effort to create awareness and action to support the fastest growing community in New York City, Asian Pacific Americans. At our October 10th event, we will present our report and recommendations for action from our comprehensive analysis of demographic data, a Community-Based Organization survey, data on New York City services, and information on funding for the Asian Pacific American community of over 1.1 million individuals.
We hope you will join us and other community leaders to share your ideas and support for the needs of the changing face of New York City on October 10th.
New York, NY— Today, the Asian American Federation released a briefing paper that details the Asian population, ethnic breakdowns and the major Asian languages spoken in each of the 51 Council Districts based on new lines finalized in May 2013.
“As discussed in our demographics report in April 2012, the Asian population remains the fastest growing in the City,” said Howard Shih, Census Programs Director at the Federation. “But to see the Asian American community as monolithic would be erroneous. The population numbers disguise the diversity of our population. With the upcoming City elections, term limits, and with many of the Council Districts slated for new representatives, we hope this will be a useful tool for the incoming City Council to better serve our Asian community,” added Shih.
Some of the key highlights from the briefing paper are:
In addition to one majority Asian district, eleven other districts had more than one in five residents who were Asian.
Four City Council Districts were home to a very diverse mix of Asian ethnic groups. Each of these districts had seven or more different Asian groups who each had populations of more than 1,000 people.
The diversity of Asian languages spoken in the city is a particular challenge when reaching out to the community.
“This report is an invaluable tool that will serve to help elected officials better understand the growing Asian population in New York City,” said Council Member Daniel Dromm, who represents Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, and East Elmhurst. Dromm’s district, one of the most ethnically diverse areas in the City, saw an increase of over 8,000 Asians in the total district population. “The data in this document provides key insight into my district that will enable me to better communicate and understand a vital part of my constituency”.
As the briefing paper points out, Council District 20, centered in Flushing, remains the district with the largest Asian population at 66% of the population. “While I represent the largest Asian population, it is important to note that Asians are living throughout the City. The myth that Asians live in identifiable enclaves [has] long been dispelled. Our city leaders have to be mindful of the diversity of the Asian community, from languages spoken to the cultural practices,” said Council Member Peter Koo. “The onus is on us – the elected leaders – to hear their issues, address their concerns, and make room for them to contribute to their neighborhoods,” added Koo.
Manhattan’s Chinatown still remains as a district with one of the largest Asian populations. “My constituency represents one of the largest populations of Asians and Asian Americans in New York City, and this report highlights what we already know: we must have greater service and resources in these growing communities,” said Council Member Margaret S. Chin, who represents the area. “Cultural understanding, linguistic access, and civic participation are essential keys to ensuring that these voices are heard.”
“The briefing paper shows our growing electoral strength. Asian New Yorkers can play a significant role in determining the next leaders of our city in the upcoming elections,” said Cao K. O, executive director of the Federation. “And our community must re-cast our importance in the city’s civic matters. We have to be willing to embrace this opportunity by going to the polls.”
Asian American and Pacific Islander Voters Up for Grabs, Survey Finds
WASHINGTON–Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders–two of the fastest-growing demographics in the U.S.–are open to persuasion by either major party at the ballot box, a new survey released today revealed.
The findings in “Behind the Numbers” are the result of a survey that interviewed approximately 6,600 AAPI voters in 11 languages after Election Day sponsored by Asian American Justice Center (AAJC), Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote), and National Asian American Survey (NAAS).
Among the significant findings: two-thirds of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders voted for President Obama, yet about half are independent or do not think in terms of political party.
“Our research shows that if either major party made significant investments to engage with Asian American and Pacific Islander voters, they could reap significant advantages over the next decade,” said Karthick Ramakrishnan, director of NAAS. "This is especially the case as Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have a sizable portion of persuadable voters.“
The survey also found that language proficiency made a tremendous difference, both in terms of partisan profile and the presidential election. For example, the survey found that national polls conducted only in English might have underestimated the vote share for Mitt Romney. Notably, however, Obama won every segment of the AAPI vote, including 61 percent Vietnamese voters-a group that traditionally voted Republican.
The report was an important milestone in surveys of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders because it was conducted in nine Asian languages including Laotian, a first for a national public opinion survey.
"The survey results also revealed the importance of conducting surveys in Asian languages to get accurate results,” said Terry Ao Minnis, director of census & voting programs of AAJC. “Ensuring that legally required language assistance is readily available and easily identifiable at the polls is imperative to safeguard our communities’ ability to exercise fully their constitutional right to vote.”
Given its representative national sample, the survey also provided conclusive evidence on partisan and nonpartisan voter engagement efforts in battleground states and in the rest of the country.
“The study confirmed that community organizations played a major role in mobilizing Asian American and Pacific Islander voters and stepped in where the Democratic and Republican parties were absent,” said Christine Chen, executive director of APIAVote. “The parties and other voter mobilizing organizations must invest in linguistically and culturally appropriate outreach to engage our communities for future elections."