About Us


Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago builds power through collective advocacy and organizing to achieve racial equity. We do this by:


Developing grassroots leaders through base-building programs such as KINETIC (for high school English learners), I Speak Power (for adult English learners), and A Just Chi (at-large community members)


Connecting communities through coalition leadership including Just Democracy Illinois, the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, and the Pan-Asian Voter Empowerment Coalition


Getting out the vote by reaching out to Asian Americans, increasing participation, and growing our community’s power. We win campaigns by exercising our power and mobilizing community members to achieve racial equity.



For over 25 years, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago has worked to bring together the Asian American community, and empower them to create change in their communities. In 2017 we adopted a new racial equity mission that allows us to extend beyond our community, forge new relationships, and win on issues that affect all marginalized communities.

Advancing Justice | Chicago is an affiliate of Asian Americans Advancing Justice. Our national affiliation allows us to raise a more powerful voice to better serve our communities and become more effective in addressing the civil rights issues faced by Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other vulnerable and underserved communities. Other Advancing Justice affiliates are located in Atlanta, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.



The Asian American Institute (AAI) is founded as a research and policy organization with the goal of uplifting the profile of Asian American communities in Chicago.


AAI lobbies to nominate Bill Lann Lee as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, and to confirm Paul Igasaki as a commissioner on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.


AAI promotes Asian American and Pacific Islander participation in the 2000 Census, and publishes “A Comprehensive Guide to the Asian American Community of the Greater Chicago Area.”


AAI forms a coalition on redistricting, and sets the ground work to launch poll monitoring programs to ensure language access compliance under the Voting Rights Act during the 2002 election.


AAI and the Association of Asian Construction Enterprises successfully lobbies the City of Chicago to re-include Asian Americans in the affirmative action program for city contracts.


AAI is a founding member of the PanAsian Voter Empowerment (PAVE) Coalition, which organizes the first-ever Asian American-focused mayoral forum.


AAI works with Cook County election officials to implement required language access for South Asian voters for the first time ever and runs the largest election poll watching effort in IL.


AAI rebrands as Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago as an affiliate alongside peer organizations in D.C., Southern California (Los Angeles and Orange County), San Francisco, and Atlanta.


Advancing Justice | Chicago organizes a community forum on police brutality, with initial demands evolve into the Chicago Welcoming City Ordinance.


Advancing Justice | Chicago leads the championing of the Automatic Voter Registration and the Illinois TRUST Act for the state.


KINETIC youth leaders successfully advocate for change in Chicago Public Schools policy to better support English language-learner students.


Advancing Justice | Chicago launches Bystander Intervention Trainings in partnership with Right To Be in response to rising anti-Asian sentiment and violence.


Advancing Justice | Chicago leads the passage of the TEAACH Act, making IL the first state in the nation to require Asian American history to be taught in all public schools.


Advancing Justice | Chicago leads the passage of the TEAACH Act, making IL the first state in the nation to require Asian American history to be taught in all public schools.

From Our Leaders

"What's great about Advancing Justice | Chicago is the focus on raising leaders for both today and the future - leaders who believe in racial equity who will fight for it through civic engagement and policy advocacy. The staff and grassroots leaders inspire me every day."

— Karthik Raja, Advancing Justice | Chicago Board Member