Legal Aid Society


Asians for Black Lives: Exploring and Practicing Solidarity

On June 19th, the Attorneys of Color at Legal Aid Caucus of the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys-UAW 2325 (ACLA) presented a panel discussion to explore the depth of Asian American experiences, political identity, and struggles. Panelists also focused on what building cross-racial solidarity looks like, specifically Black-Asian relations, and the development of relationships of mutuality and accountability. The discussion unpacked how racial conflict and divide and conquer politics unfolds between communities of color, and shared concrete steps and strategies we can individually and collectively take as we build solidarity in the movement for Black liberation and begin to radically reimagine what is possible.

For those who couldn’t attend the APAHM webinar, you can view the recording here.

Opening remarks by Zamir Ben-Dan, Co-Representative of the Black Attorneys of Legal Aid Caucus of the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys (BALA), Staff Attorney in Brooklyn Criminal Defense Practice

Panelists for the event included:

Zamir Ben-Dan, BALA Co-Representative, Staff Attorney in Brooklyn Criminal Defense Practice
Mitchell Esteller, ACLA co-representative, Staff Attorney in Decarceration Project
Naila Siddiqui, Staff Attorney in Manhattan Criminal Defense Practice
Jennvine Wong, Staff Attorney in the Cop Accountability Project
Jason Wu, ALAA Trustee, Staff Attorney in Housing Justice Unit-Group Advocacy

Additional Resources:

Reappropriate: California Poised to Restore Affirmative Action After Nearly 25 Years
Chalkbeat NY: I’m an Asian American graduate of Brooklyn Tech. Please don’t use me as a wedge in your education lawsuit.

NBC News: Hmong Family Whose Son Was Shot by White Officer Speaking Out in Solidarity
MPR News: ‘We need to help them’: Asian Americans Demand Justice for George Floyd
Vox: Asian Americans Need To Talk About Anti-blackness In Our Communities
NPR: For One Immigrant Community, George Floyd’s Death Isn’t Just About Black And White

Medium: We Will Not Be Used: Are Asian-Americans the Racial Bourgeoisie?
Autostraddle: Asian Communities Must Desert the American Empire and Protect Black Lives
Truthout: Non-Black People of Color Are Mobilizing to End Complicity in Black Death
Autostraddle: Showing Up For Black People Is a Duty, Not a Transaction
Truthout: The Asian American Reply to Pandemic-Era Racism Must Be Cross-Racial Solidarity

Truthout: A Growing Asian-American Movement Calls for Prison Abolition
New York Times: Yes, We Mean Literally Abolish the Police
The Intercept: Ruth Wilson Gilmore Makes the Case for Abolition
Democracy Now!: Angela Davis on Abolition, Calls to Defund Police, Toppled Racist Statues & Voting in 2020 Election

Everyday Feminism: Calling In: A Quick Guide on When and How

Movement for Black Lives (M4BL)
Mapping Our Social Change Roles in Times of Crisis
The War Before by Safiya Bukhari – former Legal Aid Society employee