In the News: AABANY and Paul, Weiss’ Report on Anti-Asian Violence Receives Widespread Press Attention

On February 11, AABANY held a press conference to discuss the release of its report co-authored with Paul, Weiss, A Rising Tide of Hate and Violence against Asian Americans in New York During COVID-19: Impact, Causes, Solutions. Since the report’s release, news media across the country and around the world have summarized and cited its findings. 

Here are some news stories that discuss the report:

“Study Shows Rise of Hate Crimes, Violence Against Asian Americans During the Pandemic” By Zijia Eleanor Song and Jennifer Vázquez, February 11, 2021, NBC New York, https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/study-shows-rise-of-hate-crimes-violence-against-asian-americans-in-nyc-during-covid/2883215/

“지난해 뉴욕 아시안 대상 혐오·폭력 사건 급증” By Shim Jongmin, February 12, 2021, The Korea Daily, http://www.koreadaily.com/news/read.asp?art_id=9086440 

“Greater Asian-American representation in leadership ranks needed to stem hate crimes in the US, says report” By Mark Magnier and Owen Churchill, February 12, 2021, South China Morning Post, https://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/3121518/greater-asian-american-representation-leadership-ranks-needed-stem-hate

“歧視亞裔 紐約市全美第2多 亞裔律師協會籲政府採取行動” By 顏潔恩, February 13, 2021, World Journal, https://www.worldjournal.com/wj/story/121381/5249694

“【武漢肺炎】紐約巿針對亞裔仇恨罪案大增7倍 分析指受害人不願報案問題被低估” February 13, 2021, Apple Daily, https://tw.appledaily.com/international/20210213/SRL5UCFZUZBJXAEQOKN42SY6I4/

“Amid COVID-19 Pandemic, Anti-Asian Violence Spikes Across the U.S.” February 15, 2021, NPR The Takeaway, https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/takeaway/segments/amid-covid-19-pandemic-anti-asian-violence-spikes-across-us 

“NY Bar Group Tackles Pandemic-Fueled Anti-Asian Crimes” By Marco Poggio, February 16, 2021, Law360, https://www.law360.com/pulse/articles/1354591 (subscription required)

Here are some news stories about recent incidents of anti-Asian violence, where they mention AABANY’s report:

“Anti-Asian Hate Crime Surge Fuels Demands for Systemic and Sensitive Responses” By Christine Chung, February 11, 2021, The City, https://www.thecity.nyc/2021/2/11/22279407/anti-asian-hate-crime-surge-fuels-demands-for-systemic-and-sensitive-responses 

“Remember, Racism Isn’t Just Black And White. Anti Asian Racism Is On the Rise in the Pandemic Era” By Eric Hinton, February 11, 2021, NBC 5 Dallas Fort-Worth, https://www.nbcdfw.com/lx/remember-racism-isnt-just-black-and-white-anti-asian-racism-is-on-the-rise-in-the-pandemic-era/2549631/ 

“VP Harris responds to surge in violent attacks against Asian Americans” By Hannah Miao, February 12, 2021, CNBC, https://www.cnbc.com/2021/02/12/vp-harris-responds-to-surge-in-violent-attacks-against-asian-americans.html 

“38 Ways to Donate in Support of Asian Communities” By The Editors, February 12, 2021, New York Magazine (The Strategist), https://nymag.com/strategist/article/where-to-donate-to-help-asian-communities-2021.html 

“大门涂粪诅咒!华人幼儿园遭种族仇恨攻击!暴力升级,全美亚裔吁政府采取行动!” By 新西兰中文先驱网, February 15, 2021, Chinese Herald, https://www.chineseherald.co.nz/news/education/racial-hate/ 

“Hundreds of volunteers are escorting elderly Asian Americans to keep them safe” By Austa Somvichian-Clausen, February 16, 2021, The Hill Changing America, https://thehill.com/changing-america/respect/equality/539083-attacks-on-elderly-asian-americans-cause-advocates-to-stand

The report has also made the news on WNYC-FM and MSNBC. 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.

AABANY Releases Report on Anti-Asian Hate Amid COVID-19

An eight-fold increase in reported hate crimes against Asians, racist rhetoric such as “the Chinese virus,” and insufficient media coverage of anti-Asian violence — these were among the timely issues discussed at a press conference hosted by the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) on February 11. The press conference centered around AABANY and Paul, Weiss’ co-authored report: A Rising Tide of Hate and Violence against Asian Americans in New York During COVID-19: Impact, Causes, Solutions. Speakers of note included:

  • Chris Kwok, Board Director, Issues Committee Chair
  • Karen King, Vice Chair, Pro Bono & Community Service Committee; Counsel, Paul, Weiss
  • U.S. Rep., Grace Meng (D-NY)
  • Prof. Russell Jeung, Stop AAPI Hate
  • President Frank Wu, Queens College, CUNY
AABANY President Sapna Palla and Executive Director Yang Chen were joined by executive editors of the report Chris Kwok and Karen King, professors Russell Jeung and Frank Wu, and Congresswoman Grace Meng.

The report’s primary finding is that anti-Asian hate and violence surged in 2020. Between March and September of that year, the number of reported anti-Asian hate incidents related to COVID-19 exceeded 2,500. 

At the press conference, Rep. Meng kickstarted the discussion of this grim reality by situating it against a backdrop of long-standing intolerance toward the AAPI community, which motivated the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Meng condemned some of the nation’s top government officials and social institutions for fanning the flames of this deep-rooted racism. As noted in the report, the xenophobic rhetoric of elected officials, paired with misinformation spread by the media, normalizes and fuels disease-based stigma against Asians. The subsequent uptick in violence against Asian communities motivated Meng to propose and help pass House Resolution 908 in 2020 denouncing all forms of anti-Asian sentiment. While Meng described the bill as largely symbolic, it has since been incorporated into President Biden’s presidential memorandum, which includes concrete measures to disseminate COVID-19 resources in different languages and improve the collection of data on hate crimes. Meng’s fight to amplify voices within the AAPI community thus lights the path forward. “We’ve taken a positive step — an initial step — but we must continue to speak out whenever and wherever anti-Asian sentiment rises,” said Meng. 

A similar desire to spotlight the plight of AAPIs motivated Chris Kwok to serve as an executive editor for the report on anti-Asian violence. Since the onset of the pandemic, Kwok noted at the conference, there has not been a single prosecution or civil resolution for any incident of anti-Asian bias. A key purpose of the report is thus to show that Asian invisibility in the political and legal space has real-life consequences. Moving forward, Kwok hopes to inspire a constructive dialogue among Asians and other Americans alike. To that end, the report highlights seven initiatives that will help policyholders at all levels keep communities safe and hold perpetrators of violence accountable. These initiatives range from broad prescriptions, such as public education campaigns and collaboration among minority groups, to specific remedies, such as clear reporting mechanisms for victims and the more consistent prosecution of hate crimes. 

Professor Russell Jeung continued the discussion of possible solutions to anti-Asian hate incidents while echoing his concern about the divisive effects of COVID-19. Drawing from data he helped collect for Stop AAPI Hate, Jeung said that among United States cities, New York City reported the second-highest number of hate incidents in the past year. Assessing the range of anti-Asian hate incidents reported to Stop AAPI Hate, the report notes a concerning number of incidents involving verbal harassment, physical assault, and being coughed and spat on. Worse still, the youth and the elderly are the most common victims of racist attacks and consequent racial trauma. Among its federal recommendations to address this issue, Stop AAPI Hate proposes to expand civil rights protections for AAPIs experiencing discrimination, end the racial profiling of Chinese researchers, and mobilize a federal interagency response to anti-Asian hate amid the pandemic. As Jeung is quick to emphasize, this fight for the civil rights of Asian Americans is a fight to expand protections for all Americans. “Please stand up, speak out, build bridges, and together we can make good on the promise of a diverse democracy,” said Jeung.

In promoting the proposals of Stop AAPI Hate and the report, for which he wrote the foreword, Queens College President Frank Wu highlighted the importance of building multi-racial coalitions. Wu identified Black, Latinx, and other underrepresented communities as allies to the AAPI community. As emphasized in the report, stronger collaboration among such minority groups is especially critical in communities like New York City, whose diversity heightens the danger that hate incidents exacerbate racial politics. “It would be a mistake of principle and pragmatism to point the finger at another group and suggest that others are guilty by association,” said Wu. Instead, we must look to universal values and American ideals as forces for national unity. As Wu writes in the foreword to the report, “To be Asian American is to be American, to express confidence enough in an experiment of self-governance to participate wholeheartedly.”

President Frank Wu, Queens College, CUNY, wrote the foreword of the report.

Rep. Meng concluded the press conference by calling on all Americans, especially those raised in the United States, to identify and combat racism when it occurs within their own circles. Meng stated that too often, stories of victims from the AAPI community are left out of mainstream media and the public consciousness. Along with implementing the aforementioned policy recommendations, therefore, Meng emphasized the need for racial solidarity. Only then can Americans progress toward the shared goal of dismantling systemic racism in this country and advancing justice for all. 

ASIAN AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION OF NEW YORK ANNOUNCES RELEASE OF REPORT ON RISE OF ANTI-ASIAN VIOLENCE IN NEW YORK DURING COVID-19

NEW YORK – February 10, 2021 – The Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) is proud to announce the release of its report co-authored with Paul, Weiss, ​A Rising Tide of Hate and Violence against Asian Americans in New York During COVID-19: Impact, Causes, Solutions​. Executive editors of the report were Chris Kwok, AABANY Board Director and Issues Committee Chair, and Karen King, Vice Chair of AABANY’s Pro Bono and Community Service Committee and Counsel at Paul, Weiss. The report is dedicated to Corky Lee, who passed away on January 27, 2021 due to COVID-19. Corky was a revered photographer in the Asian American community who had been documenting the effort to combat anti-Asian violence and harassment in the wake of COVID-19. Read more here.

To read A Rising Tide of Hate and Violence against Asian Americans in New York During COVID-19: Impact, Causes, Solutions, click here.

Asian American Federation of New York’s “The Impact of Covid-19 on Asian American Employment in New York City”

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a record rate of job loss for Asian New Yorkers, with unemployment benefit applications increasing by more than 6000% from February to June of 2020.

At 1.3 million people, Asian Americans are over 16% of the population in New York City and are growing faster than all other demographics in the City.

In February 2020, Asian Americans in New York City had a jobless rate of 3.4% — however, Asian American unemployment soared to 25.6% by May 2020, the largest increase among all major racial groups. 

AAF’s latest report:

  • Brings you the key demographic data for decision-makers on how different ethnicities within the Asian American community such as Bengali, Chinese, Korean, and so on, were impacted by job losses
  • Identifies the specific industries that Asian American New Yorkers depend on for work
  • Reveals the industries that lost the greatest amount of jobs due to the pandemic
  • Shares recommendations for private and public leaders to help Asian Americans during the COVID-19 recovery

Get your FREE copy of The Impact of Covid-19 on Asian American Employment in New York City sent to your inbox by completing the form at https://aafcovid19resourcecenter.org/unemployment-report/?mc_cid=6ffdf5cf0b&mc_eid=ddd4d683c8.

AABANY Hosts Panel Addressing Anti-Asian Violence and Hate Arising From COVID-19 (Korean)

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 aabanyclinic@gmail.com, 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.

AABANY Clinic Hosts COVID-19-related Anti-Asian Violence and Hate Webinar

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 aabanyclinic@gmail.com or call our hotline at 516-690-7724.

View the video of the webinar by clicking on the image above.

NYCCHR Chair and Commissioner Carmelyn Malalis’ Response to a Rise in Anti-Asian Harassment and Hate Crimes

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: Progress and Challenges on Language Access, An Asian Pacific American Perspective 2017

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For Immediate Release

Dec. 14, 2017

Download a copy of “Interpreting Injustice.”

WASHINGTON — At a briefing on Capitol Hill, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) released “Interpreting Justice: Progress and Challenges in Language Access,” a report on language access for Asian Pacific Americans with limited English proficiency (LEP).

“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.

For more information, the media may contact Brett Schuster, NAPABA communications manager, 202-775-9555, bschuster@napaba.org. Questions about the 2017 report may be sent to Oriene Shin at 202-775-9555, or at oshin@napaba.org.

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 AAF: State of Asian American Children – National Report and Conference

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
  • Depression and suicide among adolescent females
  • Philanthropy as an advocacy tool

CONFERENCE AGENDA

FEATURED SPEAKERS

SPONSORSHIP INFORMATION

 

AAJC Media Advisory: Advancing Justice and Asian American Federation to Present New Data on Asian American Community in the Northeast

Please go here if you would like to register
MEDIA ADVISORY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
November 18, 2013
CONTACT: Kimberly Goulart

Presentation of findings will discuss population growth, economic diversity, and implications for policy makers
WHAT:
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 DMalone@advancingjustice-aajc.org

WHEN:
Thursday, November 21, 2013
12:00pm – 2:00pm  

WHERE:
Asia Society and Museum
725 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10021

WHY:
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.

ABOUT:
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.
# # #

Asian Americans Advancing Justice
 (www.advancingjustice.org) works to promote a fair and equitable society for all by working for civil and human rights and empowering Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and other underserved communities. We comprise Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC (www.advancingjustice-aajc.org), Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Asian Law Caucus (www.advancingjustice-alc.org), Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago (www.advancingjustice-chicago.org), Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Los Angeles (www.advancingjustice-la.org).