Reigniting Community

Strengthening the APA Identity

Thursday-Friday, March 15-16, 2012
University of California, Irvine School of Law

The common statement, "They all look the same" and the "Model Minority Myth" are misguided notions that have plagued Asian Pacific American (APA) communities in the United States, perpetuating the stereotype of APAs as a monolithic group of perpetually unwelcome foreigners. Far from a homogenous or monolithic identity, however, the label "APA" describes a diverse, complex community of individuals and families who hail from many different ethnic, cultural, and national backgrounds. Rooted in the Civil Rights Movement, the APA Movement has thus focused on finding commonalities to build a sense of community and address shared problems. Accomplishing this mission has proven challenging, given the wide range of socioeconomic, ethnic, and generational needs of the APA community.

The APA community and APA jurisprudence, then, provide a unique lens through which to look at community collaboration and political participation. The conference seeks to explore the following four questions:

  1. "Who identifies as APA, and what implications does the APA identity have for these individuals?"
  2. "Is economic justice and socioeconomic achievement an APA issue, and how does it comport with commonly-held assumptions based on the model minority myth?"
  3. "How is the APA identity complicated by the theory of intersectionality?"
  4. "How do the struggles and successes of APA racial formation inform community collaboration and interracial coalition building more broadly?"

Registration fee: $20.
Online registration is now closed, but you may register on-site to attend the panels on Friday, March 16.

Featured Speakers

Amna Akbar
CUNY School of Law

Angelo Ancheta
Santa Clara Law

Khin Mai Aung

Kim D. Chanbonpin
The John Marshall Law School

Robert Chang
Seattle Univ. School of Law

Jack Chin
UC Davis School of Law

Neil Gotanda
Western State Univ. Law

Marc-Tizoc González
St. Thomas Univ. School of Law

Ana Henderson
Warren Institute
UC Berkeley Law

Trina Jones
Duke Law

Eugene Lee
Asian Pacific American
Legal Center

Nancy Leong
University of Denver
Sturm College of Law

Julian Lim
Washington Univ. Law

Eileen Ma
API Equality-Los Angeles

Nicole Ochi
Asian Pacific American
Legal Center

Yungsuhn Park
Asian Pacific American Legal Center

Kim Hai Pearson
Gonzaga School of Law

Lee Ann Wang
University of Michigan

Eddy Zheng
Community Youth Center of San Francisco

Community Reception & Film Screening

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Reception and APA Arts Showcase
6:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.
Location: UCI Law Courtyard

Documentary screening: "Vincent Who?" (Co-Sponsor: UC Irvine Asian American Studies Department)
7:00 p.m.-7:45 p.m.
Location: UCI Law, EDU 1111
A film about the murder that awakened a people and ignited the Asian American civil rights movement.

Facilitated discussion of documentary
7:45 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
Featuring documentary producer Preeti Kulkarni
Facilitated by Prof. James Lee, UC Irvine Asian American Studies

Symposium Schedule

Friday, March 16, 2012


8:00 a.m.-8:30 a.m. Registration/Breakfast

8:30 a.m.-9:00 a.m. Opening/Welcome

9:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m. Racial Formation: Defining "Asian Pacific American" (Co-Sponsor: underRepresented Student Alliance)

  • Moderator: Mario Barnes, UC Irvine School of Law
  • Trina Jones, Professor of Law, Professor of Law, Duke University School of Law
  • Nancy Leong, Professor of Law, Sturm College of Law, University of Denver
  • Robert Chang, Professor of Law and Director of the Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality, Seattle University School of Law

10:45 a.m.-12:15p.m. Economic Justice: Complicating "Asian Pacific American" (Co-Sponsor: Black Law Students Alliance & Latina/o Law Students Association)

  • Moderator: Stephen Lee, UC Irvine School of Law
  • Yungsuhn Park, Attorney, Asian Pacific American Legal Center, Member of Asian American Center for Advancing Justice
  • Julian Lim, Visiting Assistant Professor, Washington University Law
  • Marc-Tizoc González, Assistant Professor of Law, St. Thomas University School of Law

12:15 p.m.-1:30 p.m. Working Lunch: A Facilitated Discussion on Anti-Asian Violence
This lunch session will pose questions for discussion based on recent incidents of anti-Asian violence across the country.

1:30 p.m.-2:45 p.m. CONCURRENT PANELS: Exploring Intersectionalities and Challenging the Model Minority Myth

  • LGBT APA Civil Rights (Co-Sponsor: OutLaw) - STREAMING VIDEO HERE
    • Moderator: Stefanie Wilson, UC Irvine School of Law
    • Eileen Ma, Executive Director of API Equality-Los Angeles
    • Kim Hai Pearson, Assistant Professor, Gonzaga University School of Law
  • Criminality and Identity (Co-Sponsor: Criminal Law Society) - STREAMING VIDEO HERE
    • Moderator: Jennifer Chacón, UC Irvine School of Law
    • Gabriel “Jack” Chin, Professor of Law, University of California, Davis School of Law
    • Eddy Zheng, Project Manager, Community Youth Center of San Francisco
    • Amna Akbar, Attorney-in-Residence/Adjunct Professor of Law, City University of New York School of Law
  • APA Feminism (Co-Sponsor: Women's Law Society)
    • Moderator: Carrie Menkel-Meadow, UC Irvine School of Law
    • Kim D. Chanbonpin, The John Marshall Law School
    • Lee Ann Wang, Ph.D Candidate, University of Michigan American Cultures Program
  • APAs and Education Access (Co-Sponsor: Orange County Human Rights Association) - STREAMING VIDEO HERE
    • Moderator: Jonathan Glater, UC Irvine School of Law
    • Khin Mai Aung, Education Equity Project Director, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund
    • Nicole Ochi, Skadden Fellow – Youth Rights/Litigation, Asian Pacific American Legal Center, Member of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice

3:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Political Participation: Organizing as a Community (Co-Sponsor: American Constitution Society)

  • Moderator: Claire Jean Kim, UC Irvine, Asian American Studies
  • Angelo Ancheta, Professor and Director of the Katharine & George Alexander Community Law Center, Santa Clara Law
  • Ana Henderson, Director of Opportunity and Inclusion/Lecturer-in-Residence, Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Race, Ethnicity, and Diversity at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law
  • Eugene Lee, Voting Rights Project Director, Asian Pacific American Legal Center, Member of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice

4:30-5:30 p.m. Closing/Tea
Closing by UCI Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky and Neil Gotanda, Professor of Law, Western State University College of Law