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Joint Sponsor

The ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice and the ABA Coalition on Racial and Ethnic Justice celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month 2021 with this month-long webinar series.

History & the Law: Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Context | ON-DEMAND

The rise in violence against the AAPI community, largely ignited by racist and xenophobic rhetoric amid COVID-19 and punctuated by the Atlanta massacre, has placed the issue of anti-Asian violence at the forefront. But the issue of anti-Asian hate is not new. Since the first Asian immigrants arrived on American shores in the late eighteenth century, Asians in America have contributed to the fabric of America, while also surviving repeated oppositions to citizenship and legalized violence. This program explores the history of Asian progress in America, including the creation of “Asian” as a racial construct, the history of scapegoating Asian communities, and the legal approaches used to justify exclusion and violence.

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Pandemic Technology Surveillance: Privacy Rights, Health Security and the Undocumented | ON-DEMAND

Surveillance is a tool for identifying emerging disease trends as well as mitigating the spread of COVID-19. The desire to link national surveillance systems to one single database has been sought for reporting accurate case information and data. Being able to access timely data is crucial for public health officials and researchers. Meanwhile, the pandemic has widened the inequities of privacy rights and health security in terms of managing the spread of the coronavirus as well as the rise in surveillance technology. In times of disaster, technology companies may leverage access to information and data. In this context, undocumented citizens may be vulnerable to breaches in their privacy rights. This panel of legal experts considers the concerns of privacy rights, health security, and concerns of the undocumented community.

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The Model Minority Myth: The Impact on AAPIs in the Legal Profession and Beyond | ON-DEMAND

The myth of Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) as the model minority is based on racial stereotyping and misconceptions. It ignores diversity of culture, socioeconomic status, and educational attainment in AAPI communities, and weaponizes AAPIs as a wedge in discussions of racial justice. Presenting data from the groundbreaking study, A Portrait of Asian Americans in the Law, and its successor Portrait Project 2.0, this program explores the opportunities and challenges faced by AAPI legal professionals and situate them in the broader American legal profession. The panel combines a broad data-based discussion with real-world examples and personal experiences.

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Building Asian American and Black Solidarity for Racial Justice in Today’s America | ON-DEMAND

Although there have been tensions, including those tied to colorism, between the Asian American and Pacific Islander and Black communities in America, there has been an equally long history of mutual support and collaboration between these two communities. How does anti-Blackness in the AAPI community impact the work of building solidarity with Black activists? In this conversation, we highlight our common ground so that Asian American and Black social justice communities can push forward our collective needs to fight racial injustice and other forms of discrimination in this country.

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Invisible Apartheid: What You Need to Know to Be an Ally in The Fight Against Caste Discrimination | ON-DEMAND

What is caste? What is caste discrimination? In her book “Caste,” Isabel Wilkerson powerfully writes that looking at caste is like holding society’s X-ray up to the light. But what happens when you don’t know what to look for? The challenge with caste discrimination is that, sometimes, even those who perpetuate it can’t explain what it is or how it works. As is becoming increasingly clear through California’s recent litigation against Cisco Systems for its role in perpetuation of caste-based discrimination, caste perpetuates itself nonetheless, in India and at home in the United States–whether we know what it is or not. The question that remains is how do attorneys respond to the challenge of caste, how do institutions account for and protect against caste discrimination, and how (if at all) does U.S. law learn to recognize, prohibit and punish caste discrimination. Speakers will cover the current activism around caste discrimination in the United States and provide some insights into the ongoing caste discrimination litigation against Cisco Systems in California.

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Native Hawaiian Identity, Rights and Policy Issues | ON-DEMAND

Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are often viewed together as one indistinguishable culture or ethnicity. Though inclusive, this categorization has the unintended consequence of obfuscating the distinct identity of the Native Hawaiian community and similar Pacific indigenous peoples. Much of the Native Hawaiian experience has been dominated by interactions with the United States and the relationship with settlers from Asia and Europe, resulting in a unique history that is rarely discussed thoroughly. This webinar explores the past, present, and future of the Native Hawaiian identity. Our panel discusses the status and realities of this community, along with measures to uplift the voices of Native Hawaiians in the Asian American and Pacific Islander activist movement.

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Intersection of Identities: Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and the Asian American and Pacific Islander Experience | ON-DEMAND

Being LGBTQ+ and Asian American and Pacific Islander has its own unique challenges. While there are an estimated 324,600 LGBTQ+ Asian American and Pacific Islander adults in the United States, it can be difficult for many to find other similarly situated individuals, especially in the legal community. Our panel of legal experts, justices, academics, and activists examine this unique intersection of identities and offer their personal perspectives and journeys on issues such as: the historical contexts of attitudes toward AAPI LGBTQ+ individuals; the role of specific AAPI cultural values, norms or traditions in the development and expression of AAPI LGBTQ+ individuals identity; and the unique risks faced by AAPI LGBTQ+ individuals through the lens of multiple minority stress or stigma.

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Dignity Rights in Asia: Humanitarian Toll of Economic Sanctions | ON-DEMAND

Dignity Rights emphasizes the foundational role of human dignity in actualizing a robust and just rule of law. This panel of legal experts, academics, and activists addresses the nexus of international human rights, social justice, and economic sanctions. In the past decade, companies in the Asia Pacific region have faced higher risk of primary and secondary sanctions. This shift has occurred due to the companies’ foray into Western markets, where primary sanctions jurisdiction is most likely to exist, and the disbalanced efforts by Western governments to investigate and prosecute activities alleged to threaten their security or foreign policy objectives. Compliance with foreign sanctions is often the only commercially reasonable choice for companies that desire continued access to Western markets. This panel discusses the humanitarian impact of sanctions in the context of Iran, Yemen, and Palestine.

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Upcoming Programs

In order to serve and provide resources to our Section members, the greater ABA, and the general public, the ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice presents a variety of webinars highlighting critical legal issues of civil liberties, human rights, and social justice.