John C. Yang takes the helm at Advancing Justice | AAJC

At this pivotal moment for our country, I am honored to step into the role of president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC. As an immigrant who was brought to the United States by parents who sacrificed so much to offer greater opportunities to me than they had available to them, I am proud and humbled to take on this responsibility and strive to do the same for the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. Fortunately, I know that I am joined in this effort by an incredible team of board members, tireless staff, dedicated partners and financial supporters, and by a community partners network that spans the nation.

The change in administrations, recent executive orders, and uncertainty around the policies and programs that have protected our communities for years have caused millions to fear for the future. I am resolved. Over the past 25 years, Advancing Justice | AAJC has carved out a seat for Asian Americans to be represented at the table for national conversations that influence the policies that affect us. Our input has been heard and often heeded in shaping issues in areas such as the national census, immigration policy, and other important areas.

But we have always relied on our community partners to guide our work and ensure that while we engage with agencies and administrations at a national level, we continue to be authentic in representing the needs and desires of our diverse community, whether they live in the port cities that welcomed the very first Asian immigrants in the 1800s, or in the American South and Midwest, where Asian American communities are growing rapidly.

Now, more than ever before, we will call on our community partners and all of our supporters to tell us the stories about how national and local policies are impacting your communities, to monitor the experience of Asian Americans and to alert us when there are violations of our rights, when members of our community are targeted with hate incidents or violence, or when new challenges arise that we have not faced in the past. You guide and inform our work in a way that is not only critical; it is essential.

And I will rely on you now. As we face new threats to justice, we will devise new ways to protect and defend our democracy and civil rights. We will need all of you to amplify the messages that need to echo throughout the country in order to be heard in the halls of Congress. We will equip and encourage you to take action in your local communities. My charge is to build upon our success and to advocate, and when necessary litigate, for our voices to continue to be heard.

We are America, and, as we always have, together we will continue to shape a nation that will protect and serve the rights of every member of our community.

Sincerely,

John C. Yang
President and Executive Director
Advancing Justice | AAJC

Fighting for civil rights for all and working to empower #AAPIs to participate in our democracy. Follow: @johncyangdc @tao_minnis @meganessaheb

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