LOS ANGELES (May 29, 2013) — To commemorate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Los Angeles County (APABA-LA) hosted a panel discussion on Fisher v. University of Texas, a case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court involving race-conscious admissions.
Though the facts of the case do not directly deal with the Asian-American community, the parties in Fisher heavily cited the impact of race-conscious admissions on the Asian-American community in support of their respective arguments, and Asian-American grassroots organizations filed briefs in support of and against such policies. More than one hundred members of the community — attorneys, law students, physicians, and community activists — attended the event, which was held at the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC). In addition to APALC, over twenty-five community organizations co-sponsored the event.
The panel featured Laboni Hoq, APALC’s Litigation Director; Albert Giang, Counsel at Caldwell Leslie & Proctor, PC; and Dr. Susan Wilbur, Director of Undergraduate Admissions at UCLA. The panelists discussed the legal background of race-conscious admissions, admissions policies in California and Texas, and the effect of race-conscious admissions on the Asian-American community and diversity generally. Mike Eng, Trustee-Elect for the LA Community College District Board and Former State Assemblyman, moderated the panel.
“As an incoming college trustee facing the era of increasingly limited admission spaces, the panel discussion on the Fisher case was extremely important and timely. I am very concerned that the ultimate decision may do undue harm to the interests of the immigrant communities that I have represented as an Assemblyman and Mayor for the past decade,” stated Mr. Eng.
One attendee, Tamika Butler, noted: “This panel really highlighted the struggle that young adults in the diverse API community face in their pursuit of quality education. The phenomenal panelists engaged the audience, made the topic easy to understand, and clearly illustrated why the future of affirmative action is an important issue that impacts all communities.”
APABA-LA hosts an event commemorating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month each year to educate the public about issues affecting the Asian-American community. Prior years have included panels on diverse topics, such as hate crimes, bullying, and Asian-Americans in the media.