As the year winds down to a close, these are the top ten political stories that had a major impact on the AANHPI community highlighting the many political issues that have defined the AANHPI community this year. Sadly, many didn’t receive much mainstream media coverage.
How many of these stories were you following this year?
Just two days after his absurd statement — wherein he justified turning away of Syrian refugees with the reasoning that the US federal government was correct in treating Japanese American citizens and nationals with similar racial suspicion and hostility — went viral, Mayor David Bowers has reportedly apologized.
Bowers’ three-paragraph press statement from earlier this week buzzed through social media, with angry constituents and Asian Americans calling for the mayor to apologize and/or resign. Several officials of the state of Virginia — including Roanoke City Council members and Bowers’ own Vice Mayor — joined in that outcry, and condemnation of Bowers’ statement showered down upon the Mayor’s office from both sides of the aisle.
In addition to briefs filed by the Asian American Legal Defense Fund (AALDEF) and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), the brief filed by Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAAJ) was signed by over 160 national AANHPI groups and individuals, including by this blog. Other signatories hail from all parts of the AANHPI diaspora, in terms of ethnicity, gender and group focus.
The Advancing Justice conference is the nation’s largest conference focused on Asian American and Pacific Islander social justice. It is organized by one of my favourite non-profits, Asian Americans Advancing Justice.
The mission of Asian Americans Advancing Justice is to promote a fair and equitable society for all by working for civil and human rights and empowering Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other underserved communities.
Every year, AAAJ invites prominent AAPI activists and civil rights advocates to their annual conference to help foster a broad conversation on social justice within our community. In past years, the conference has hosted included Kiran Ahuja, the Honorable Denny Chin, Rep. Judy Chu, Sen. Dick Durbin, Rep. Mike Honda, Harold Koh, Norman Y. Mineta, Tom Perez, Ai-jen Poo, Gautam Raghavan, Jose Antonio Vargas and more.