Over 150 build community at 12th annual Asian American Leadership Forum

Brandon Lee
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Over 150 people build community at 12th annual Asian American Leadership Forum

Forum featured track for Mandarin-speaking youth, sponsored by the Comcast Foundation

CHICAGO – On Saturday, February 20, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago hosted its 12th annual Asian American Leadership Forum. For the past 11 years, the Leadership Forum has become a collaboration between people with diverse skills, backgrounds, and passions, coming together to deepen their investment in the Asian American community.

_DSC9650“It is our belief at Advancing Justice | Chicago that we all have a role in the larger movement to build power for the Asian American community of Illinois,” said Tuyet Le, Executive Director of Advancing Justice | Chicago. “Through the workshops and speakers at the Leadership Forum, over 150 participants were able to see the different ways in which they can contribute.”

This year’s Leadership Forum also included a workshop specifically for Mandarin-speaking high school students. The 20 student participants were also a part of Advancing Justice | Chicago’s KINETIC program, sponsored by the Comcast Foundation, which empowers English-language learners to use their immigration stories to be leaders in their communities.
“In this track, students utilized visual art as a way to tell their story,” said Vi Ray-Mazumder, KINETIC Program Manager. “Everyone, including those who can’t vote or are still learning English, has a story to share and a leadership role to play. This is one way to empower them to take the lead for our community.”

_DSC9800“The Comcast Foundation is proud to support Advancing Justice | Chicago’s KINETIC program and their work to develop young leaders in our community,” said John Crowley, Comcast’s regional senior vice president.  “Since its inception in 1999, the Comcast Foundation has contributed more than $170 million in support of programs and nonprofits to help strengthen the communities we serve.”

Other workshop tracks at the Leadership Forum included a primer on 2016 election issues, training to protect immigrant voting rights, a professional leadership development session.