Columbia Law School’s Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA) is proud to present:
Not Your Model Minority: Where We’re Really From And Where We’re Going
Including Keynote Panelists Helen Wan, author of The Partner Track; Sylvia Chin, partner at White & Case; Kyoko Lin, partner at Davis Polk & Wardwell; James Cho, Assistant U.S. Attorney; and Endnote Panelist David Lat, founder and managing editor of Above the Law.
Saturday, February 27, 2015
Columbia Law School
435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10027
The past year bore witness to national conversations about diversity, accountability, inclusion, and celebration taking center stage. We have moved past aspiring to mere tolerance of minorities and are tasked, as a society, with building on our past victories to create, in its truest form, a more perfect union. Legal triumphs over discrimination must translate into sociocultural norms and administrative consistency. Grassroots movements seek legislative permanence. Business practices are called to meet higher standards of equality. At the same time, we have seen how far we have left to go, as we mourn the victims of ignorance and hate time and time again. Questions of race, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity, political views, economic ideals, and religious beliefs manifest — and, at times, challenge — our collective commitment to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
For our 5th annual Conference, we invite members and allies of the Asian Pacific American community to join us as we take stock of where we come from and where we are going. We titled the 2016 Conference “Not Your Model Minority: Where We’re Really From and Where We’re Going,” because this captured what we see as the voice rising from the Asian Pacific American community in the various sectors it impacts, be it law or journalism or entertainment. Though Asian Pacific Americans have made great strides, obstacles continue to challenge our progress. Ironically, one of the biggest challenges is the model minority myth––the idea that Asian Pacific Americans, as a whole, have succeeded in this country. This tidy analysis lends itself to ignorance of our struggles and erasure of our diversity, with the result that pressing issues affecting the APA community go unaddressed. Moreover, this myth is applied in troubling ways to oppress other minorities. Thus, the mission of this Conference is to bring law students and professionals together to take back our identities. We are no one’s “model minority.” Rather, the APA community is dizzying in its diversity of origin, richness of character, and boldness to defy the mold and reach new heights.
Each part of the Conference is an invitation to connect and grow. The Conference will begin with a keynote panel on the “bamboo ceiling,” touching on barriers that Asian Pacific American legal professionals must overcome in their day-to-day work and long-term career progress. Our negotiations and mental health workshops offer interactive opportunities to get equipped with tools to improve our effectiveness and quality of life as professionals. The panels on LGBTQ identity and engaging the public through media provide real world contexts in which Asian Pacific Americans are asserting their true identities in the national consciousness. We hope that through these events, attendees will gain a better idea of where Asian Pacific Americans are really from — not physically, but socially and historically — and how we are moving forward as a community.
We have a wonderful Conference in store for you and are thrilled to bring together such an impressive set of professionals and students. We look forward to seeing you there.
Michelle Bai & Rebecca N. Kim
Shengxi Li & Seungwook Son
1L Conference Co-Chairs
Soolean Choy & JoonHwan Kim
The Asian American Bar Association of New York is certified by the New York State Continuing Legal Education Board as an Accredited Provider. The CLE programs in this conference have been approved in accordance with the requirements of the CLE Board for the credits indicated; please see the Schedule page for details on which panels are CLE credit-eligible.