Asian Law Caucus executive director Titi Liu today emailed supporters to let the community know that she’s officially on board now and to kick off a series of quarterly email updates. This is the first:
I wanted to reach out to let the Caucus’ many supporters know that I am officially on board now. Since I was appointed in February, so many people have been very generous with their time, sharing their perspectives on the legacy and future of the Caucus. I am inspired by how much the Caucus means to the community and grateful for the input. I look forward to your continuing guidance and advice.
Beginning with this issue, I will be writing on a quarterly basis to update you on Caucus developments, to share our victories and to seek your advice on challenges we may encounter. None of our work is possible without your support, so we hope to keep you better-informed about the exciting developments at the Caucus.
In the past two months, two of our staff attorneys were honored for their innovative work and leadership. The programs they lead are emerging projects for the Caucus, so I am using this moment of celebration to share with you something about their work.
In May, Shirin Sinnar was selected as Public Interest Attorney of the Year by the South Asian Bar Association in recognition of her work advancing the civil rights of the South Asian community. Shirin has initiated a number of important cases that highlight employment discrimination and racial profiling suffered by Muslim, South Asian and Middle Eastern members of the Asian community since 9/11. Co-counseling with Minami Tamaki, she recently won a settlement against Whitehall Jewelers for refusing to hire an employee because she wore a headscarf and just initiated a new lawsuit on the same issue this week resulting in significant media coverage.(Click here for press releases). She is currently working on a legal and advocacy campaign that addresses invasive searches and questioning at our nation’s borders targeting Muslim, South Asian and Middle Eastern travelers. (Click here to view the testimony submitted by the Caucus to US Senate Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution)
In June, the Pacific Asian American Women Bay Area Coalition honored Angela Chan with a Monarch Award for her work with immigrant families and their children in San Francisco’s juvenile hall. The Monarch Awards recognize emerging Asian and Pacific Islander women leaders who inspire those around them and who are making outstanding contributions at a young age. To challenge language and cultural barriers in the criminal justice system, Angela heads a program at the Caucus to provide direct legal representation to and policy advocacy for immigrant parents with children in the juvenile system. Angela has also been working on addressing race-based harassment and bullying in Bay Area schools. (Click here to view an editorial written by Angela Chan and San Francisco public defender Jeff Adachi on safe schools).
Both Shirin and Angela are terrific examples of the new generation of leadership that has been cultivated at the Caucus in recent years. We continue our tradition of providing a platform for committed Asian public interest lawyers to shine. Their work furthers the Caucus’ steadfast commitment to civil rights while also challenging us to meet new needs and develop more effective strategies to achieve our objectives of a just society in the US for people of all colors and backgrounds.
I look forward to our continuing conversations as we work towards our common goals.