Asian Americans Advancing Justice - LA

Building upon the legacy of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center

History

1983

Founded

The Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC) of Southern California is founded with Stewart Kwoh as the Executive

1983

Vincent Chin Case

On June 19, 1982, Vincent Chin, a Chinese American, is brutally murdered in Detroit by two white autoworkers who blam

1984

Citizenship Assistance

APALC begins its citizenship assistance program. 

1985

Expanding Legal Services

APALC hires its first full-time staff attorney and expands its legal services and pro bono programs to focus on famil

1985

Executive Advisory Council

April 1985 – APALC establishes its Executive Advisory Council, comprised of corporate, legal, nonprofit and local bar

1985

Department of Justice City of Los Angeles Redistricting Suit

In late 1985, the U.S.

1987

Immigration Reform and Control Act

In 1986, Congress passes the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), which provides amnesty to millions of undocum

1987

Los Angeles Hate Crime Ban

As a result of APALC’s advocacy, Los Angeles becomes the first major west coast city to ban hate-motivated violence o

1988

Monterey Park Library Litigation

A wave of “English only” ordinances are passed in local municipalities.

1989

Asian Pacific American Dispute Resolution Center

APALC founds the Asian Pacific American Dispute Resolution Center (APADRC) to provide an alternative and culturally c

1989

City of Gardena

The Gardena City Council proposes to limit the extent of Korean and other Asian languages allowed on commercial signs

1990

1990 Census

APALC organizes the Asian American and Pacific Islander community to fully participate in the 1990 Census.

1990

Leadership Development in Interethnic Relations

APALC creates Leadership Development in Interethnic Relations (LDIR), a training program focused on providing individ

1991

Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans for Fair Reapportionment

APALC helps found the National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium (later renamed the Asian American Justice Cent

1991

LDIR

The LDIR program starts its first training cycle with 23 participants. 

1991

Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans for Fair Reapportionment

Beginning in spring 1990, APALC organizes the Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans for Fair Reapportionment (CAPAFR),

1992

Dimaranan v. Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center

Dimaranan v Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center: APALC wins a Title VII case on behalf of Aida Dimaranan, a Filipin

1992

Rodney King Riots

Following the acquittal of four police officers in the beating of Rodney King, Los Angeles experiences the largest ci

1992

Hunter/La Ley v. City of Los Angeles

Hunter/La Ley v.

1992

Voting Rights Act

The Voting Rights Act is expanded in 1992, requiring voting materials to be provided in Asian languages for the first

1993

Bae v. Anchorage Fire & Casualty Insurance Co.

Bae v Anchorage Fire & Casualty Insurance Co.: On behalf of Korean American merchants who were victims of the 199

1993

Japanese American Redress Payments

More than 1,000 Japanese Americans who were interned during World War II are denied redress payments by the U.S.

1994

Northridge Earthquake

The Northridge Earthquake strikes Los Angeles County; at a magnitude of 6.7, it kills 72 people, injures thousands, a

1994

Exit Polling

APALC conducts its first exit poll, providing unique information on Asian American voters, such as data from the Rose

1994

Jessica McClintock v. KIWA

Jessica McClintock v KIWA: APALC defends the right of students and the Korean Immigrant Workers Advocates to protest

1994

Proposition 187

A rise in anti-immigrant sentiment spurs the passage of Proposition 187, which denies all public services to undocume

1995

A Dream Come True

A Dream Come True, APALC’s multilingual video on the process of becoming a U.S.

1995

El Monte Sweatshop

72 Thai garment workers are found enslaved in an El Monte sweatshop, held behind barbed wire and under armed guard, s

1996

Tong Sik Chong Case

Tong Sik Chong case: Chong is an 81-year-old Korean immigrant who speaks no English and is hard of hearing.

1996

Thien Minh Ly Case

Thien Minh Ly case: Ly, a 24-year-old Vietnamese American, is the victim of a vicious hate crime.

1996

California Immigrant Welfare Collaborative

Anti-immigrant sentiment continues with the passage of “welfare reform” (a.k.a.

1996

UC Irvine Hate E-Mail Case

UC Irvine hate e-mail case: Nearly 60 Asian American students at UC Irvine receive threatening email messages from Ri

1996

Proposition 209

Despite a hard-fought battle against it, California passes Proposition 209, which prohibits the state of California f

1997

Leadership Development High School Class

The first LDIR high school class is launched, and students from this first class play a pivotal role in changing thei

1998

Building Campaign

 Still housed in the downtown church building, APALC launches an ambitious Building Campaign to raise $4 million doll

1998

Stewart Kwoh Named MacArthur Foundation Fellow

Executive Director Stewart Kwoh is named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow, becoming the first Asian American attorney an

1998

Proposition 227

Proposition 227, which severely limits bilingual education programs and mandates a “one size fits all” approach to te

1999

Castaneda v. UC Regents

Castaneda v.

1999

Census 2000

APALC spearheads a massive statewide campaign to maximize Asian American and Pacific Islander participation in Census

1999

Building Purchase

APALC purchases its current home with the help of many generous donors and supporters of the Building and Endowment C

1999

Joseph Ileto Case

Joseph Ileto case: Filipino American postal worker Joseph Ileto is shot and killed by a white supremacist, shortly af

1999

AB 633

APALC is instrumental in helping to pass state legislation (AB 633) that holds garment manufacturers jointly liable f

1999

Garment Worker Cases

Garment worker cases: APALC brings and resolves a number of cases on behalf of low-wage, immigrant garment workers, o

1999

APALC v. Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services:

APALC v.

2001

Kenny Chiu Case

Kenny Chiu case: A white man stabs Kenneth Chiu, a 17-year-old Taiwanese American, to death in Laguna Hills.

2001

Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans for Fair Redistricting

APALC and the Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans for Fair Redistricting (CAPAFR), which it anchors, present statewi

2001

Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans for Fair Redistricting

APALC again brings together the statewide Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans for Fair Redistricting, which creates

2001

Castro v. Forever 21, Inc.

Castro v.

2001

September 11, 2001

Following the September 11th attacks on the east coast, South Asians and other immigrants are randomly targeted becau

2001

“Kenny’s Law”

The Governor signs into law AB 2428 or “Kenny’s Law,” sponsored by Assemblymember Judy Chu, which strengthens protect

2001

Julie Su Named MacArthur Foundation Fellow

 Litigation Director Julie Su is named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow, becoming the second APALC staff member, after E

2002

Fashion 21 v. Garment Worker Center

Fashion 21 v.

2002

Asian Language Legal Intake Project

APALC launches the Asian Language Legal Intake Project (ALLIP) as a joint collaboration with local legal aid organiza

2002

Building Campaign Completion

APALC successfully completes its $4 million Building Campaign. 

2002

Bai v. Wondries Toyota

Bai v.

2003

ALLIP Hotline Expansion

APALC’S ALLIP hotlines expand to include Korean and Khmer (Cambodian).

2003

Asian Americans for Civil Rights and Equality

To establish a strong Asian American civil rights presence in the state capital, APALC and Chinese for Affirmative Ac

2003

Gonzalez v. Abercrombie & Fitch

Gonzalez v Abercrombie & Fitch: APALC is part of the legal team that sues Abercrombie & Fitch, charging that

2003

Preparing Asian Pacific American Youth Advocates Launch

APALC launches Preparing Asian Pacific American Youth Advocates (PAPAYA), an after-school program aimed at training A

2003

Proposition 54

Proposition 54 seeks to eliminate the state’s collection and analysis of race and ethnicity data, but is defeated due

2004

Demographic Data Reporting

 APALC launches the first in a series of reports providing detailed demographic data on Asian American and Pacific Is

2005

LDIRs in Health

LDIR shifts to a sector-based approach, “LDIRs in Health,” which seeks to build leadership among community-based heal

2005

Parent Organization Network

The Parent Organization Network (PON) is founded, with a mission to connect, empower, and mobilize parents and parent

2005

API Equality-LA

APALC helps found API Equality-LA, a coalition of Asian American organizations and individuals working to achieve the

2005

Los Angeles Taxi Workers Alliance

APALC helps found the Los Angeles Taxi Workers Alliance (LATWA) to organize efforts to improve working conditions and

2005

Parent Academies

APALC graduates its first class of 90 parents from its parent academies, a nine-week program equipping immigrant pare

2006

Ahn v. SCI

Ahn v SCI: APALC and its co-counsel sue Oakdale Memorial Park on behalf of 17 elderly Korean immigrants, alleging tha

2006

California Speaks: Language Diversity and English Proficiency Rates by Legislative District Report

APALC releases California Speaks:  Language Diversity and English Proficiency Rates by Legislative District, the firs

2006

Orange County Office Opens

APALC hires its first Orange County-based staff person and opens an office in Garden Grove, in the heart of Orange Co

2006

Immigrant Rights March

APALC participates in the historic immigrant rights march down Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, with over 500,000 p

2006

American Civil Rights Foundation v. LAUSD

American Civil Rights Foundation v LAUSD: APALC joins other civil rights and legal groups in intervening in two relat

2006

H.R. 9/Voting Rights Act

After extensive advocacy, APALC celebrates the signing of H.R.

2006

APALC Becomes Census Information Center

APALC becomes a Census Information Center, an official program of the U.S.

2006

Asian Americans at the Ballot Box:

APALC publishes Asian Americans at the Ballot Box:  The 2004 General Election in Los Angeles County, the first report

2006

Voter Mobilization

APALC spearheads its first voter mobilization effort targeting Asian American voters in Los Angeles County.

2007

LDIR in Central Valley

DIR pilots its training curriculum in the Central Valley.

2007

Kim v. Shin

Kim v Shin: APALC represents four Koreatown tenants who endured uninhabitable living conditions in their apartments,

2007

Equal Marriage Rights

APALC is co-counsel on and helps organize a coalition of 63 local, state, and national Asian American organizations t

2007

Stewart Kwoh Receives Loren Miller Legal Services Award

Executive Director Stewart Kwoh receives the Loren Miller Legal Services Award from the State Bar of California, its

2008

Naturalization Process DVD Release

APALC releases a new DVD on the naturalization process, which provides information on the citizenship application, te

2009

Asian American Voting Trends on Proposition 8

APALC releases data showing Asian American voting trends on Proposition 8 during the November 2008 election.

2009

Untold Civil Rights Stories: Asian Americans Speak Out for Justice

is published.

2009

Thai Sweatshop Workers Citizenship Ceremony

 Fourteen years after they were first discovered enslaved in a suburban Los Angeles sweatshop, APALC organizes a spec

2010

Trinity Law Associates Suit

APALC represents a group of 28 Korean immigrant homeowners against in a lawsuit against Trinity Law Associates, a law

2010

Census 2010

APALC launches a California-wide effort to ensure an accurate count of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific

2010

SB 1070

APALC and other civil rights groups sue to block SB 1070, a sweeping and profoundly anti-immigrant piece of state leg

2010

Citizenship 101

APALC releases "Citizenship 101: Your Guide to Citizenship," the latest version of its citizenship video along with a

2010

Asian American Center for Advancing Justice

APALC joins its sister civil rights affiliates – Asian American Institute (AAI), Asian American Justice Center (AAJC)

2010

Delano Regional Medical Center Lawsuit

APALC represents Filipino Americans in California’s Central Valley in a lawsuit against Delano Regional Medical Cente

2010

Julie Su Appointed California Labor Commissioner

Litigation Director Julie A.

2011

Club One Casino Suit

APALC sues Club One Casino in Fresno, on behalf of more than 20 casino workers alleging race discrimination against H

2011

Assembly Bill 1088

APALC co-sponsors Assembly Bill 1088, a bill that would break down state data by Asian American and Pacific Islander

2011

Vietnamese Family Law Workshops

APALC begins offering self-help and family law workshops in Vietnamese in Orange County Superior Court – the first as

2011

Asian American Pacific Islander Naturalization Network

APALC launches the Asian American Pacific Islander Naturalization Network, a statewide campaign to help Asian America

2011

Thai Language ALLIP

APALC adds a fifth language – Thai – to its Asian Language Legal Intake Project (ALLIP). 

2011

A Community of Contrasts

APALC, as part of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice, releases a national demographic report on Asian Am

For Legal Help

Advancing Justice - LA’s hotlines prioritize assistance to low-income persons in the following areas of law: family, immigration, consumer, public benefits, employment, housing, and civil rights.

English: 888.349.9695
需要協助嗎: 800.520.2356

ត្រូវការជំនួយជាភាសាខ្មែរ:

800.867.3126
도움이 필요하십니까?: 800.867.3640
Tagalog: 855.300.2552
ต้องการความช่วยเหลือ: 800.914.9583
Cần sự giúp đỡ: 800.267.7395

 

Our mission is to advocate for civil rights, provide legal services and education, and build coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders and to create a more equitable and harmonious society.