Jin Y. Hwang | Immediate Past President
NAPABA Lawyer — 2016 Fall/Convention Edition
It is with much gratitude and a tinge of bittersweetness as I write my last President’s message. It has been a true privilege to serve as your president, and I am very thankful for what we all have accomplished together this year on behalf of the legal profession and the Asian Pacific American community. I am happy to share some of our recent accomplishments.
All three of our successful Regional Conferences were insightful and inspiring:
- Northeast | “Raising Our Voices: Securing Our Future”: Aug. 19-21, hosted by the Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York (KALAGNY)
- Central | “The Choice is Yours: Celebrating the Different Career Paths Within Our Profession”: Sept. 22-23, hosted by the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Central Ohio (APABA-CO)
- Southeast | “Leading Together”: Sept. 30-Oct. 1, hosted by the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Virginia (APABA-VA)
Much thanks to our host affiliates KALAGNY, APABA-CO, and APABA-VA; hard-working Regional Conference co-chairs; Regional Conference Committee Co-Chairs Tirzah Lowe and Daniel Sakaguchi; our various Board members as well as Committees and Networks co-chairs and members who submitted CLE programming and attended; our amazing staff, especially Navdeep Singh, policy director, and Priya Purandare, director of meetings and membership; the knowledgeable panelists; and everyone who dedicated their considerable time and effort in organizing such impactful events for our organization.
We also continued the recent tradition, established under Immediate Past President George Chen, of strengthening NAPABA branding and sharing insights with our affiliates by providing panels on Article III judicial nominations and how to position yourself as a judicial candidate, as well as strategic lobbying using the backdrop of NAPABA Lobby Day. Some of the impressive keynote speakers at the different Regional Conferences included: Presiding Justice Randall T. Eng of the New York State Appellate Division, Second Department; Chief Justice Maureen O’Conner of the Supreme Court of Ohio; Professor Daniel Tokaji of The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law; D. Stephen Mathias, assistant secretary-general for legal affairs of the United Nations; and Kiran Ahuja, chief of staff at the Office of Personnel Management.
As you know, NAPABA has been very active in increasing voter engagement, registration, and rights awareness and protection in this significant election year. For example, at the August Presidential Election Forum, hosted by Asian Pacific Islander American Vote & Asian American Journalists Association and co-sponsored by NAPABA, over 3,000 Asian Pacific American professionals from 40 organizations heard from the four leading presidential candidates or their surrogates: Libertarian Party’s Gary Johnson, Green Party’s Dr. Jill Stein, Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes on behalf of Republican Party’s Donald Trump, and past U.S. President Bill Clinton on behalf of Democratic Party’s Hillary Clinton. MSNBC’s Richard Lui served as moderator where the presidential candidates addressed the largest convergence of Asian Pacific Americans to share their views on issues important to the Asian Pacific American community. NAPABA also hosted a train-the-trainer non-partisan workshop on voter protection and poll monitoring as part of the Presidential Election Forum. After you enjoy our inspirational National Convention in San Diego and you return home, I urge you to vote and help monitor the polls on Nov. 8th. We are the fastest growing community of color and can potentially be the swing vote in many crucial elections. Irrespective of who you vote for, we need to get engaged, and make our voices heard.
As this bar year draws to a close, I would like to reiterate my deepest appreciation to all who have tirelessly contributed to NAPABA’s successes, especially our incredible staff, led by our stalwart Executive Director Tina Matsuoka; fellow Board of Governors; pro bono General Counsel Sid Kanazawa; Committee and Network co-chairs; leaders from our 75 national associates and state and local affiliates; sponsors and supporters; collaborative partners; and Leadership Advisory Council. Warm congratulations to incoming President Cyndie Chang and the 2016-17 Board of Governors. I look forward to serving my seventh and final year on the Board with you as well as everything we will continue to accomplish under Cyndie’s leadership.
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Very truly yours,
Jin Y. Hwang