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The 2016 Advancing Justice Conference (AJC) is the first and only national conference in the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community focusing on civil rights and social justice. Over 700 AAPIs from across the U.S. will come together to address issues facing our fastest growing populations. The theme will focus on civic engagement and building our electoral and social power in support of economic and racial justice. Conference attendees will participate in two days of panel discussions, caucus sessions, skills and capacity building, trainings, and networking receptions.

Questions? Email conference@advancingjustice.org
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Thursday, March 31 • 12:30pm - 2:00pm
Closing Plenary: Movements for Change

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What does it take to make change in the 21st century, and what can Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders learn from movements that are not specific to our community, but deeply intersect with racial, social and economic justice issues that affect us? How did Black Lives Matter evolve from a social media hashtag to a movement forcing our nation to grapple with deeply entrenched state and individual violence against African Americans? How did the LGBTQ community win “marriage equality” at the U.S. Supreme Court after losing the battle for the ballot box and public opinion for years? How has the “Fight for 15” to increase minimum wage swept through major cities and key states across the nation? What was the real story of undocumented immigrant youth organizing that led to the President authorizing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program? As AAPIs who advocate for social change, how are our communities impacted by these movements and what can we learn as we return home to continue our work for justice and equity?

avatar for Eric Ward

Eric Ward

Program Officer, Ford Foundation
Eric K. Ward works on the Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice team at the Ford Foundation. His grant making has supported the consolidation of progress achieved in combating inequality and promoted the dismantling of institutional discrimination and other barriers to full participation that racial and ethnic minorities and indigenous peoples continue to experience in society. Before joining the foundation in 2014, he was a program executive for... Read More →

avatar for Melina Abdullah

Melina Abdullah

Professor & Chair of Pan-African Studies, California State University, Los Angeles and Black Lives Matter leadership team
Melina Abdullah is Professor and Chair of Pan-African Studies at California State University, Los Angeles, and Council for Affirmative Action Chair for the California Faculty Association. Abdullah earned her Ph.D. from the University of Southern California in Political Science and her B.A. from Howard University in African-American Studies. Abdullah serves on the leadership team for #BlackLivesMatter and is committed to ending state-sponsored and... Read More →
avatar for Carlos Amador

Carlos Amador

Lead Organizer, California Immigrant Policy Center
Carlos Amador is California Immigrant Policy Center’s Lead Organizer. He was previously the Project Manager of the Dream Resource Center at the University of California, Los Angeles Labor Center, where he worked on issues impacting immigrant youth nationally. Amador is a former Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors for the United We Dream Network, and a founding Steering Committee member of the California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance. He... Read More →
avatar for Gerry Hudson

Gerry Hudson

Executive Vice President, Service Employees International Union National
Gerry Hudson's outstanding commitment to labor, confronting the realities of long term care, and environmental justice spans decades. Hudson leads the union's political program--ensuring that Service Employees International Union (SEIU) members and all workers have a strong voice to hold politicians accountable and elect candidates at all levels who stand with working families. Hudson continues to help lead SEIU's efforts to win quality... Read More →
avatar for Jenny Pizer

Jenny Pizer

Law and Policy Project Director, Lambda Legal
Jennifer Pizer is National Director of the Law and Policy Project for Lambda Legal, the country’s premiere legal advocate for the LGBT civil rights movement. A leader in this movement for three decades, Pizer litigates to protect family relationships; to obtain fair conditions in health care, employment, and education; and to challenge use of religion to discriminate. She also drafts legislation, advises policymakers, and works with... Read More →