Save the Date: Join our 50th anniversary gala in San Francisco on November 18, 2022!

50th Anniversary Gala: “Tomorrow’s World is Ours to Build”

August 22, 2022 News

Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus is excited to celebrate 50 years of civil rights advocacy for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) and Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian (AMEMSA) communities. This year’s celebration series, themed “Tomorrow’s World is Ours to Build,” takes inspiration from Yuri Kochiyama’s powerful call to action to commemorate this milestone year of ALC’s history. Save the date for our 50th Anniversary Gala, to be held on Friday, November 18, 2022 at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square.

The organization first started back in 1972, when the founders took a broken, discarded door, laid it flat on some bricks and boxes, and turned it into a table for their first office in Oakland. This group of young lawyers laid the foundations for the first legal services and civil rights organization serving Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in the United States. Over five decades, ALC has grown to become a leading progressive voice for the AAPI community with a national impact. Today, Asian Law Caucus has over 55 staff members, outgrowing our office in Chinatown, San Francisco, and opening a second office in Oakland.

Illustration highlights the 3 pronged approach of ALC, the organization's 6 program areas, and features the clients we serve, often those impacted by several systemic issues--immigrant communities and low income families. The illustration includes quote by Yuri Kochiyama, "tomorrow is ours to build."

Illustration by Natalie Bui

To mark our 50th birthday and to set the stage for the next 50 years, please join us for the 50th Anniversary Gala, which will be a hybrid event gathering our friends both in-person* and virtually. We invite you to this special event and reunion for many of our dear friends and supporters. Program details will be announced in the coming weeks. Please stay tuned.


Honorees

For our milestone year of ALC's 50th Anniversary celebration, we honor Dale Minami, Don Tamaki, and Peggy Saika because as ALC staff in our early years, they exemplified the spirit of compassionate community lawyering that continues to inspire our staff today. Dale, Don, and Peggy would emerge as respected civil rights leaders beyond their time at ALC, helping to shape the struggle for social justice over several decades.

Dale Minami, Senior Counsel at Minami Tamaki LLP, has litigated significant civil rights cases for Asian Pacific Americans including leading the legal team that overturned Fred Korematsu’s landmark 40-year-old conviction. Minami received the American Bar Association’s highest award, the ABA Medal, and the ABA’s Thurgood Marshall and Spirit of Excellence Awards. He has also been recognized as a Super Lawyer in Northern California for 18 straight years. He co-founded the Asian Law Caucus, the first public interest law firm serving Asian Americans in the country, AALDEF, and the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area, the first Asian American bar in the country.

Don Tamaki, Senior Counsel at Minami Tamaki LLP, and former executive director of the Asian Law Caucus (1980-1983), is known for his historic work serving on the pro bono legal team that reopened the landmark Supreme Court case of Korematsu v. the United States. He is co-founder of Stop Repeating History, a campaign focused on drawing parallels between the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II and the targeting of minority groups based on race or religion. In 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Tamaki to serve on the Task Force to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans.

Peggy Saika, Executive Director of Common Counsel Foundation since 2019, has worked for over four decades as a social justice leader in movements for racial equity; gender, sexuality, and reproductive justice; environmental justice; and immigrant and workers’ rights. Previously the Executive Director of Asian Law Caucus from 1983 to 1991, Saika also served as the founding Executive Director of the Asian Pacific Environmental Network from 1993 to 2001, and as the CEO of Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy from 2002 -2015. She is a co-founder of the Asian Women’s Shelter, API’s for Choice, the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, and the NY Committee to Free Chol Soo Lee.

Phi Nguyen, Grace Pai, Aarti Kohli, and Wendy Tokuda sit on chairs as a panel on stage.

ICYMI: To launch our 50th Anniversary year, we were thrilled to host a Special Reception during AAPI Heritage Month in May, featuring an evening of music with jazz musician Francis Wong and a conversation moderated by news anchor Wendy Tokuda with community leaders and partners about building AAPI communities’ political and organizing power. You can watch the full recording of the inspiring event.

*We take the public health challenges posed by COVID-19 seriously, and we will follow strict CDC and county guidelines and make adjustments as needed.