LOS ANGELES (June 20, 2013) — Four leading civil rights organizations with a combined 114 years of service and leadership in the Asian American and Pacific Islander community came together Thursday to officially launch Asian Americans Advancing Justice (Advancing Justice).
The Advancing Justice affiliates are Asian Americans Advancing Justice in Los Angeles (formerly Asian Pacific American Legal Center); Asian Americans Advancing Justice in Chicago (formerly Asian American Institute); Asian Americans Advancing Justice (formerly Asian American Justice Center); and Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus (formerly Asian Law Caucus).
“Together, as Asian Americans Advancing Justice, we will be able to raise a more powerful and impactful voice on behalf of the communities we serve,” said Stewart Kwoh, president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles. “We will continue to respond to local and regional issues but we will also be able to elevate those same issues to a national platform and ensure that the concerns of our communities are heard and heeded as never before.”
The four organizations are not merging; rather, they will operate as equal and independent partners that share common principles and work closely on critical issues. Each organization continues operating with separate boards of directors, leadership, staff, programs, and finances. Each remains accountable to their stakeholders, whether local, regional or national.
“Advancing Justice is, at its core, building a critical and lasting human and civil rights infrastructure for the Asian American and Pacific Islander community that brings local grassroots activism to a national arena,” said Tuyet Le, executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Chicago.
Although the members of Advancing Justice have worked together for many years, this new, closer affiliation will help the groups better serve the community and more effectively address civil rights and social justice issues faced by Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and other vulnerable and underserved communities.
“This closer affiliation will allow us to engage on even more issues in more places at once and to be an even stronger national voice for Asian Americans and underserved communities on civil and human rights issues,” said Mee Moua, president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC.
The affiliation will strengthen its advocacy voice as well as services on behalf of the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, through legal services, public policy, research, litigation, leadership development, research, community organizing, and strategic communications.
Chris Punongbayan, acting executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, said: “Our new name reflects a deep grounding in Asian American communities and a broadening approach beyond legal work. Most importantly, it reflects our goal of advancing justice while honoring our legacy and history as the first Asian American civil rights organization in the country.”
Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC is a national organization that advances the civil and human rights of Asian Americans and builds and promotes a fair and equitable society for all through public education, policy analysis and research, policy advocacy, litigation and community capacity and coalition building.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Asian Law Caucus is the nation’s oldest legal organization defending the civil rights of Asians and Pacific Islanders, particularly low-income, immigrant and underserved communities.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago is the leading pan-Asian organization in the Midwest dedicated to empowering the Asian American community through advocacy, research, education, leadership development and coalition-building.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Los Angeles is the nation’s largest legal organization serving Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders through direct legal services, impact litigation, policy advocacy and leadership development.
The official address will be with Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Los Angeles, 1145 Wilshire Blvd, 2nd Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90017. Call 213-241-0227 or email [email protected] for more information.