In The News: Margaret Fung, Co-Founder of AALDEF, is Retiring after 50 Years of Service as a Pioneer in the Struggle for AAPI Civil Rights

On April 1, 2024, AsAm News published an article by Ti-Hua Chang reporting on the retirement of  Margaret Fung, co-founder of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF). After serving as Executive Director of AALDEF for most of the fifty years she’s been with the organization, she is now retiring from her position in October.

AALDEF, based in New York, is a national organization known for spearheading advocacy efforts in support AAPI workers’ rights, voting rights, and anti-Asian hate initiatives, among others. Margaret Fung, who pioneered many such civil rights activities, has been praised by community leaders, especially in Chinatown, for her continuous fight to improve the lives of the working people and immigrant communities. After hearing about her retirement, many wondered what the future of AALDEF will look like without her prominent contributions. 

Executive Director of the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) Yang Chen stated, “AALDEF is the NAACP of the Asian American community and has done a lot of great work in the last 50 years. Now that Margaret is stepping down, the big question is: will they be able to perpetuate that, continue that.”

The full article can be found at:

Whatever the future holds for AALDEF in the years to come, Margaret’s legacy as an AAPI civil rights advocate and trailblazer in the male-dominated legal field will continue to live on. AABANY honors Margaret for all that she has accomplished in a storied career. 

NAPABA Congratulates Julie Su on Labor Deputy Secretary Nomination

For Immediate Release: Date: February 10, 2021

Contact: Priya Purandare, Executive Director

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) congratulates NAPABA Trailblazer, California Labor Secretary Julie Su, on her nomination to be Deputy Secretary of Labor in the Biden-Harris administration.

“California Labor Secretary Julie Su currently oversees the largest state labor department in the country and is an exceptionally well-qualified candidate to serve as Deputy Secretary of Labor,” said A. B. Cruz III, president of NAPABA. “Julie is a nationally recognized expert on workers’ rights and civil rights and has spent a large portion of her career advocating for the immigrant community. 2020 has been a difficult year for most Americans, but even in the face of a pandemic and severe economic decline, as California Labor Secretary, Julie led the state through decisive actions and creative solutions to rescue California businesses. With a state economy of over $3.2 trillion that spans diverse industries, NAPABA is confident that her leadership will steer our country toward recovery and opportunity. Our strong support of her underscores the importance of having public servants who are representative of the American people: whether it’s race, gender or socioeconomic status.”

Prior to her role as California Labor Secretary, Su was California Labor Commissioner, Litigation Director at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles and has taught at UCLA Law School and Northeastern Law School. Su was a recipient of the 2019 American Bar Association Margaret Brent Award and a recipient of the MacArthur Foundation’s “Genius” Grant. She is a graduate from Harvard Law School and Stanford University.

NAPABA advocated for and strongly supported Julie Su’s nomination. We thank President Biden for nominating Julie Su to Deputy Secretary of Labor.


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 in government and the judiciary on the local, state, and federal levels, 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.