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No One Is Free Until We Are All Free: A Discussion On AAPI-Black Solidarity In Fighting Racial Injustice

February 25 @ 12:00 pm 1:00 pm

In recognition of Black History Month, the Asian American Bar Association in collaboration with the Charles Houston Bar Association presents “No One is Free Until We Are All Free: A discussion on AAPI-Black Solidarity in Fighting Racial Injustice”.  

Our esteemed panel will discuss the history of tensions and solidarity between Asian and Black Americans, how their movements interact, and how both communities can work in concert to fight racial injustice. 

Our Panelists:
Dr. Robyn Magalit Rodriguez (she/her) is a Full Professor of Asian American Studies at UC Davis. She was the first Pinay (Filipina born in the United States) to serve as chair in the Asian American Studies’ department’s 50-year history. She is also the Founding Director of the Bulosan Center for Filipino Studies, the only one of its kind in the University of California system and nationally focused on the Filipinx experience in the United States. Though she has achieved many firsts as a Filipina in her profession, she has been steadfastly committed to ensuring that she is not the last. Mentorship and community-building in academia, particularly for Black, Indigenous, Women of Color, is of vital importance to her and for her work as a mentor, she was awarded the “Excellence in Mentoring Award” by the Association for Asian American Studies 2021.

Professor Margaret M. Russell has been a member of the Santa Clara University School of Law faculty since 1990 and is affiliated with the University’s Center for Social Justice & Public Service, the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, and the Center for Multicultural Learning. She has been honored for her contributions to student life at Santa Clara by the Asian Pacific Law Students Association and the Black Law Students Association. In 1991, she traveled to South Africa with a delegation of legal scholars to provide consultation on constitution-drafting for the post-apartheid transition. Prior to joining the Santa Clara Law faculty, Professor Russell was a fellow at the public interest firm Public Advocates, Inc., a law firm in San Francisco. She served as the director of Public Interest Programs and as the acting assistant dean of student affairs at Stanford University, and also clerked for the Honorable James E. Doyle of the U.S. District Court in Madison, Wisconsin.

Aarti Kohli is the Executive Director of Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, the first organization in the country to represent and promote the legal and civil rights of Asian and Pacific Islander communities. Aarti leads ALC with a vision of increasing the power of low-income immigrant communities to help advance economic and racial justice in our democracy. She currently leads a national table of Asian American leaders addressing anti-Asian hate with a focus on policy, messaging, and solidarity work. Aarti is committed to advancing local, state, and federal policy solutions that recognize and address the needs of Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. Aarti is an experienced leader with over twenty years of experience working at the intersections of immigration, civic engagement, criminal justice, economic equity, and national security. Prior to joining Advancing Justice – ALC, Aarti led her own consulting practice where she advised philanthropy and managed a project on the politics of demographic change and immigration reform at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Aarti also served as the Director of Immigration Policy at the Warren Institute at UC Berkeley School of Law where she led the institute’s immigration initiative on issues of equity for immigrant families. Formerly, she worked on a range of issues, from bankruptcy to voting rights, as Judiciary Committee counsel to Representative Howard Berman (D-CA). Before working for Congress she served as Assistant Legislative Director at UNITE union in Washington, DC where she lobbied on behalf of low-income garment workers.

Our Moderator:
Mari Bandoma Callado is a Senior Associate Attorney and Director of Diversity Equity and Inclusion at the Dolan Law Firm, PC. She exclusively represents plaintiffs in employment and personal injury matters. Since 2017, Mari has been selected as a “Rising Star” every year in the Northern California edition of SuperLawyers magazine. Mari is an advocate for equal access to justice. She regularly volunteers at Legal Aid at Work’s Workers’ Rights Clinic and Alameda County Bar Association’s Lawyers in the Library and speak on various Know Your Rights webinars and clinics, particularly on employment topics such as pregnancy discrimination and parental leave.  Mari also committed to diversifying the legal profession. She founded the Dolan Law Firm’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee and currently serves as its Director. She is a dedicated leader of several national, state and local bar association, organizations and non-profit boards.  She currently serves as AABA’s Civil Rights Committee Co-Chair. She recently completed her term as the 40th President of the Filipino Bar Association of Northern California and the Foundation of the Filipino Bar Association of Northern California after serving on its board for eight years.  In 2021, she was honored by the Minority Bar Coalition and FBANC with the Unity Award for her efforts in advancing diversity in the legal profession.

Thank you to our Co-sponsors:

  • Alameda County Bar Association (ACBA)
  • American Board of Trial Advocates – San Francisco Chapter (SF ABOTA)
  • Asian Pacific American Bar Association Silicon Valley (APABA-SV)
  • Bay Area Lawyer Chapter of the American Constitution Society
  • Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (BALIF)
  • Black Women Lawyers Association of Northern California (BWLNC)
  • California Association of Black Lawyers (CABL)
  • Chinese American Lawyers of the Bay Area (CALOBA) 
  • Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC) Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee
  • Contra Costa County Bar Association
  • East Bay La Raza Lawyers Association (EBLRLA)
  • Filipino Bar Association of Northern California (FBANC)
  • Iranian American Bar Association, Northern California Chapter 
  • Marin County Bar Association (MCBA)
  • Queen’s Bench Bar Association of the Bay Area
  • Region 9 of the National Bar Association 
  • Santa Clara County Bar Association
  • Santa Clara County Black Lawyers Association
  • South Asian Bar Association of Northern California (SABA-NC)

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