Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón on Tuesday announced the creation of the office’s first-ever Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) Advisory Board, which will “initiate the necessary dialogue to meet the needs of AAPI communities and find concrete ways to build a more equitable justice system.”
“As we recognize and celebrate the contributions and influence Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have made to the history, culture and achievements of the United States and Los Angeles County, it is crucial to see the challenges members of the AAPI community face today and find solutions,” Gascón said.
Gascón said the creation of the AAPI Advisory Board comes at a time when anti-Asian racism and acts of violence have skyrocketed. The AAPI Advisory Board will meet regularly to address hate crimes and other priority issues, conduct outreach to diverse AAPI communities, and advise Gascón on improvements to better serve AAPI residents and all those who come into contact with the DA’s office. They also will work to improve diversity and inclusion within the office itself.
The AAPI Advisory Board members include:
- Sophal Ear, Associate Dean and Associate Professor for the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University.
- Connie Chung Joe, J.D., Chief Executive Officer of Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles (Advancing Justice-L.A.), the nation’s largest legal and civil rights organization for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders.
- Jonathan Cruz, who serves on the Board of Governors of the Philippine American Bar Association.
- Lisa Kang, who serves on the board of the Asian Pacific American Lawyers Alliance and on the Executive Committee of the Criminal Justice Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association.
- Manjusha Kulkarni, Executive Director of AAPI Equity Alliance (AAPI Equity), which serves the 1.5 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Los Angeles County.
- Arnold Lee, president of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Los Angeles County.
- Esther Young Lim, creator of the “How to Report a Hate Crime” booklet, which has been translated to 10 different languages.
- Chanchanit Martorell, Founder and Executive Director of the Thai Community Development Center.
- Mark M. Nakagawa, West District Superintendent of The United Methodist Church.
- Diane M. L. Tan, a longtime community and civil rights advocate.
- Jen Won, who has served on the Board of Governors for the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association since 2019.
- Mia Frances Yamamoto, co-founder of the Multi-Cultural Bar Alliance and the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Southern California.
[Information via news release from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.]