Why are you changing your name?
In 1983, the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC) was founded to give a legal and political voice to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. We have done that for 30 years now and we are proud of what we have accomplished: the lawsuits we have won or settled, the laws we have passed or changed, the reports we have published, the people who we have helped, and the leaders we have trained. As we look forward to the next 30 years, APALC seeks to raise an even more powerful voice for justice, one that resonates at the local and regional as well as the national level. As a critical step towards achieving that vision, APALC is now Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Los Angeles (or Advancing Justice | Los Angeles).
Who is Asian Americans Advancing Justice?
Asian Americans Advancing Justice is an affiliation of four leading civil rights organizations, rooted in the Asian American community. We advocate for Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and other underserved communities to promote a fair and equitable society for all. Together, we will be a more powerful and impactful voice for justice. Our affiliates are located in San Francisco, Chicago and Washington, D.C.
Are the groups merging into one organization?
No. Each organization will continue to operate with separate boards of directors, executive directors, staff, programs and finances. We remain equal and independent partners who share common principles and coordinate closely with one another.
How will this affect the national and local advocacy work you do?
As Advancing Justice | Los Angeles, we will not lose our ability to be responsive to our local communities and we will continue to focus there, but now we can better elevate local issues to a national platform.
Why the name “Asian Americans Advancing Justice”?
Our new name reflects our deep grounding in Asian American communities, and our approach of mobilizing multiple strategies—including litigation and legal services, research and advocacy, community education and training, coalition-building and leadership development—toward our ultimate goal of advancing justice for all.
Does the new name end your work with Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders?
No. We will continue to work closely with Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI) leaders and organizations, but we also recognize that we are not in a position to speak as leaders of that community. During the past few years, we have strengthened our partnership with the NHPI community, including providing grants to NHPI groups (e.g., Census, get-out-the-vote, health access, etc.), supporting emerging NHPI leaders, and advocating on issues of common concern (e.g., data disaggregation). We are also working with NHPI groups to produce two demographic reports on Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities, nationally and in California.