News

05.23.2022

Asian Americans Condemn Racist Violence and Call for Systemic Change in the Wake of Multiple Mass Shootings Around the Country

For Immediate Release

CHICAGO, IL — May 23, 2022 – Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago issues the following statement:

Our hearts are heavy as we see anti-Asian racism and racist violence continue to rise, with multiple mass shootings reported around the country this month. We grieve with the survivors and with the families and loved ones of those killed and harmed. We are reminded again of the terrible consequences of white supremacy and structural racism. 

In Dallas, Texas, a suspect was detained on Monday for shooting and injuring three Korean American women at an Asian-run salon after repeatedly expressing anti-Asian bigotry. In Buffalo, New York, a self-identifying white supremacist suspect targeted a predominantly Black neighborhood supermarket and shot and killed ten Black community members. In Laguna Woods, California, a suspect motivated by political conflicts in Taiwan attacked an elderly Taiwanese church congregation leaving one person dead and five wounded. In downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at least 17 were wounded in a shooting which happened blocks from the arena where an N.B.A. playoff game ended hours earlier. In Chicago, a 16-year-old Black youth was killed during a large gathering in Millennium Park last week, to which Mayor Lightfoot responded with a crackdown imposing a restrictive curfew for minors.  

As Asian Americans have endured intensifying anti-Asian racism and violence with hate crimes against Asians increasing by 339 percent last year [1], we know that we are not alone. Black people in the U.S. are more likely than any other community to experience hate crimes and racist violence [2]. All marginalized communities and communities of color suffer when the root causes of violence remain unaddressed.  

To prevent violence, we must work together to address the underlying root causes through deep investment in our communities: fully-funded public schools, affordable housing, living wage jobs, high quality healthcare and mental health services that are accessible to all—crucial resources like these are what nurture and sustain healthy and safe communities. And through policy changes like the Teaching Equitable Asian American Community History (TEAACH) Act, we can create inclusive education that helps build empathy and understanding across lines of difference. 

As we remember and honor everyone we have lost, we call on our community members to come together to demand systemic change, and to get involved as we work in solidarity with all communities of color to dismantle white supremacy and racist violence in all its forms. 

[1] Source: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/anti-asian-hate-crimes-increased-339-percent-nationwide-last-year-repo-rcna14282 

[2] Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/16/us/hate-crimes-black-african-americans.html 

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Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago builds power through collective advocacy and organizing to achieve racial equity. Learn more at www.advancingjustice-chicago.org.

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05.19.2022

Heritage Month Happenings

Heritage Month Happenings


What: Yoga & Boba | Donation Based Class

When:

Where: Zen Yoga Garage (1845 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647)

Donation-based Yoga class. Pay what you can

Class is offered 2 ways: IRL- In Person / Video Call- ZOOM

Register

Donations go to Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago

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What: Apologue X Long Room Present: Hit Me With Your Best Shot! Part Deux 
When: Sunday, May 29, 2022
Time: 6pm
Where: Long Room (1612 W Irving Park Rd #1, Chicago, IL 60613)

Proceeds benefit Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago

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What: $1 Off Every Order of Duck Duck Goat’s Scallion Pancakes
When: Throughout all of May
Where: Duck Duck Goat (857 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607)

Proceeds benefit Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago

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What: Soju Lemondrops made with @west32newyork soju, vodka, royal combier, lemon, lavender grapefruit bitters & a lemon sugar rim.
When: Throughout all of May
Where: Chef’s Special Cocktail Bar (2165 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60647)

Proceeds benefit Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago

Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago builds power through collective advocacy and organizing to achieve racial equity. Learn more at www.advancingjustice-chicago.org

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05.10.2022

Asian American Leaders Celebrate Creation of Chicago’s First Asian American Majority Ward in Chicago United Map

For Immediate Release

Contacts:

Grace Pai, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago

310-433-1107, gpai@advancingjustice-chicago.org

Justin Sia, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago

224-622-7992, jsia@advancingjustice-chicago.org 

City Council’s new ward map gives stronger voice to  Asian American communities in Chinatown and Albany Park.

CHICAGO, IL — May 10, 2022 — Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago applauds Chicago City Council for producing a citywide ward map that creates Chicago’s first Asian American majority ward and unifies Albany Park’s Asian American and immigrant community into one ward. 

“Asian American representation in City Hall has been long-overdue,” said Justin Sia, Democracy, Voting Rights, and Redistricting Counsel at Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago. “Our historic redistricting achievements will allow Asian American voters to have greater influence in local elections and will help elevate the unique issues that impact our community.»

Formerly splintered into multiple wards, Greater Chinatown residents will now be represented by one Alderperson in Chicago’s first Asian American majority ward. “We are thrilled that City Council has created Chicago’s first Asian American majority ward following months of advocacy by community leaders,” said Grace Pai, Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago. “With Asian Americans making up a majority of Ward 11, the Greater Chinatown community will finally have a unified voice and be able to elect a leader that is accountable to the entire community.” We are especially thankful for Ald. Byron Sigcho Lopez for advocating for the Asian American majority ward. Our redistricting partner organizations included the Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community, Pui Tak Center, and Chinese American Service League.

On the north side, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago, alongside our redistricting partner organizations, notched another win by successfully advocating for the consolidation of the Asian American and immigrant community in Albany Park into one ward, previously split into three wards. The new Ward 33 boundaries will bolster our community’s influence in City Council by allowing one Alderperson to focus on addressing the unique issues directly affecting Asians and immigrants. We are grateful for Ald. Rossana Rodriguez Sanchez for helping lead the effort to consolidate and empower this community. Advancing Justice | Chicago’s redistricting partner organizations included the HANA Center, Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment, and the Cambodian Association of Illinois.

However, City Council failed to unify the vibrant South Asian community in West Ridge into one ward. “We are deeply disappointed that the South Asian community in West Ridge continues to be split across two wards,” said Pai. “Given the fast-growing South Asian population in this area, we are hopeful that Ward 50 could become Chicago’s next Asian American majority ward in 2031.” Advancing Justice | Chicago’s redistricting partner organizations included the South Asian American Policy & Research Institute, the Indo-American Center, and the Illinois Muslim Civic Coalition.

As the Asian American community continues to build political power through this decade and beyond, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago will continue to hold City Council accountable and uplift issues that are important to Asian American communities across Chicago.

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Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago builds power through collective advocacy and organizing to achieve racial equity. Learn more at www.advancingjustice-chicago.org.

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05.02.2022

Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago Celebrates 30th Anniversary

For Immediate Release

May 2, 2022 

Contact:
Kevin Hsia, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago 
224-289-5486khsia@advancingjustice-chicago.org

CHICAGO, IL — May 2, 2022 — This year, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago is celebrating 30 years of building a powerful Asian American voice for racial equity by  

  • Advocating for policies that promote racial, economic, and immigrant justice;  
  • Increasing civic participation through political education, community organizing, and advocacy; 
  • Changing media narratives to build a more nuanced and accurate understanding of Asian American communities; and 
  • Working in partnership with values-aligned organizations to build cross-racial solidarity.  

Founded in 1992, Asian American Institute re-branded as Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago in 2013.  

On Thursday, May 5, Advancing Justice | Chicago will bring together over 200 people from all corners of the Asian and  non-Asian American community in recognizing the accomplishments and impact the organization has made the past 30 years. The celebration and program will take place at Morgan’s on Fulton in the Fulton Market district. Here’s to #30YearsofJustice! 

Where: Morgan’s on Fulton: 950 W Fulton St, Chicago, IL 60607  

When: Thursday, May 5, 2022 from 6PM-10PM 

What: A celebration of Advancing Justice | Chicago’s 30 years of building a powerful Asian American voice since 1992. Looking ahead, Advancing Justice | Chicago is leading the progressive, pan-Asian response to pressing current events and advocating for proactive and visionary solutions to achieve racial equity. 

Dress Code: Cocktail Attire 

Website: https://www.advancingjustice-chicago.org/30th/

Honorees include: 

  • Miwa Shimokogawa (Community Award) 
  • Representative Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz and Senator Ram Villivalam (Champion Award) 
  • Michael Chu (Milestone Award)  

Enjoy an evening of cocktails, food, fun, and fundraising complete with a full program celebrating our achievements and the Asian American community. Guests will participate in a Paddle Raise and Live/Silent Auction with 70 exciting items from local businesses, restaurants, and experiences. Entertainment will be provided by Pan-Asian talent, including MOD Group, a Desi-Fusion dance crew based in Chicago, IL; Dr. Srimix, a DJ from San Diego who’s best known for his remixes and mashups that blend popular American music with songs from all over South Asia; and Dholi Dhruv of HollyBolly Unlimited, a percussionist advanced in playing not only the dhol, but the tabla as well.  

Special thanks to our Champion Sponsors McDermott Will & Emery and Tyson for their critical support, in addition to our Partner and Support Sponsors. Please visit here for our full list of sponsors. 

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Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago builds power through collective advocacy and organizing to achieve racial equity. Learn more at www.advancingjustice-chicago.org.

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03.30.2022

JOB POSTING: Policy/Political Director

Policy/Political Director Job Description

BACKGROUND AND MISSION

Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago builds power through collective advocacy and organizing to achieve racial equity.

For nearly 30 years, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago has worked to bring together the Asian American community and create change in our communities. We are deeply committed to grassroots community organizing and we invest in the leadership of grassroots community members through trainings, community education, civic engagement, and collaborative issue-based campaigns. In order to strengthen our work and transform the inequities in our city, state, and Midwest region, we work with multiracial coalitions that emphasize racial equity, accountability to those most impacted, and an infrastructure of grassroots leadership. Our advocacy work focuses on promoting racial, economic, and immigrant justice, including initiatives in the areas of voting rights, language access, and immigrant rights.

As part of the national Asian Americans Advancing Justice affiliation, Advancing Justice | Chicago is a leader in the nationwide Asian American movement. Regionally, Advancing Justice | Chicago and Asian American Midwest Progressives (“AAMP”) are prioritizing the Midwest region and collaborating with partners in Ohio, Minnesota, and Michigan to tackle common struggles and build power.

AAMP was founded in 2018 to focus on electoral organizing, mobilizing Asian American voters, and holding elected officials accountable through issue-based campaigns. AAMP is a 501(c)(4) organization that shares staff and office space with Advancing Justice | Chicago, which is a 501(c)(3).

POSITION DESCRIPTION

This dual role is an exciting opportunity for a strategic relationship-builder to serve as the Policy Director for Advancing Justice | Chicago and the Political Director for AAMP. The Policy/Political Director will be the primary lobbyist for both organizations and will co-create campaign strategy with the Director of Organizing. In addition, the Policy/Political Director will conduct policy research to support the organizing team and will lead political education efforts with our grassroots base. As a member of the leadership team, the Policy/Political Director will also be responsible for guiding organization-wide decisions, maintaining healthy organizational culture, and managing personnel. This position reports to the Executive Director.

This position will fall under the staff sharing agreement between Advancing Justice | Chicago and Asian American Midwest Progressives (AAMP) so a portion of time may be spent on 501(c)(4) activities including partisan political work.

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Build relationships and advocate with decision-makers at the city, state, and county levels to advance policy and advocacy efforts;
  • Conduct policy research and analysis on priority issues, including immigration, language access, voting rights/democracy, education equity, and criminal justice;
  • Inform strategy for our issue-based campaigns;
  • Educate our staff, grassroots leaders, and others on policy issues;
  • Support the Pan Asian Voter Empowerment (PAVE) Coalition’s agenda;
  • Lead Advancing Justice | Chicago’s democracy and voting rights work, including a poll monitoring program, and supervise our Voting Rights Legal Fellow;
  • Represent Advancing Justice | Chicago and AAMP in external coalitions including with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Just Democracy Illinois, and the Illinois Alignment Table;
  • Partner with our national Advancing Justice affiliates on immigration and voting rights;
  • Provide media interviews on key issues and current events, as needed;
  • Support and when appropriate take lead on organization-wide events and activities including direct actions, press conferences, rallies, lobby days, and other events as needed;
  • Provide regular updates to the Advancing Justice | Chicago Board of Directors;
  • Consistently engage and collaborate with the other Advancing Justice affiliates on national campaigns or joint projects, such as the Advancing Justice Conference;
  • Other duties as assigned.

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