Today, four leading civil rights organizations-with a combined 114 years of service and leadership in the Asian American and Pacific Islander community-came together to officially launch Asian Americans Advancing Justice (Advancing Justice).
The Advancing Justice affiliates are:
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.”
The four organizations are not merging and 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, staffs, programs and finances. Each remains accountable to their stakeholders, whether local, regional or national.
“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.”
“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.
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.
“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.