Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus Short Films
Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus Short Films
Film by Evan Jackson Leong. Civil rights pioneers celebrate Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus’ 40-year history defending the rights of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. Listen to our founders, attorneys, and community leaders share stories about Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus’ enduring vision to serve as a consistent, articulate, and effective advocate for API interests, especially the poor and underrepresented in our communities, the role of the Caucus in ongoing civil rights battles, and our hope for a just society for all people.
The executive directors of the Asian Law Caucus, Asian Pacific American Legal Center, Asian American Justice Center, and Asian American Institute come together to discuss the growing needs and challenges of the Asian American community, and the advantages of bringing their regional civil rights groups together via the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice to further our collective mission.
Film by Evan Jackson Leong. “A DREAM A Part” is a short film about five Asian undocumented students and their lives living in the United States. These students are actively fighting for the passage of the DREAM Act, a piece of pending bi-partisan legislation that would provide undocumented students that arrived in the US before the age of 16 a pathway to legalization if they attend two years of college or serve two years of the military. These students are involved in ASPIRE (Asian Students Promoting Immigrant Rights through Education), the first and only undocumented Asian Pacific Islander youth group. ASPIRE is a program of Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus.
From the mass internment of Japanese Americans during World War II to the ongoing post 9/11 virtual internment of Muslims, Arabs and South Asians, the United States government has long used war time hysteria and racism to institutionalize the persecution of entire communities. Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus was born from an urgent need to unearth the individual voices of these victims, capture the experiences of the communities, and elevate the truth into the light of justice. From our fight to overturn Fred Korematsu’s conviction for evading internment to our present advocacy to end the racial profiling of Muslim communities, Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus has a sustained history of protecting civil rights in the wake of national security concerns. This film gives a glimpse into the unfortunate repetition of history and Advancing Justice - ALC’s work to support communities and individuals in condemning their dehumanization, voicing their stories and challenging the injustice. In the backdrop stands Fred Korematsu’s story as an ever present model of courage, a reminder of how the course of history and our nation can change drastically if we have the courage to act and speak up in the face of fear.
As the nation’s first legal and civil rights organization serving low-income Asian Americans, Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus has a special place in America’s historical landscape. Its rich legacy includes the landmark decision in civil rights, Korematsu v. United States, along with hundreds of victories concerning racial profiling, housing, community development, labor, employment, and national security. Empowering Communities: Asian Law Caucus in Action is a short film that captures the history of Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus and how it continues its role as the champion of civil rights in the Asian American community and in other diverse communities with whom the Caucus stands in solidarity. The film includes a polyvocal mosaic of former and current Executive Directors, staff attorneys, community leaders and partners who have been integral in accomplishing Advancing Justice - ALC’s mission: to promote, advance, and represent the legal and civil rights of Asian and Pacific Islander communities. Empowering Communities: Asian Law Caucus in Action provides a glimpse of the diverse advocacy work of Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus and how it thrives on the support of the community. Evan Jackson Leong has been directing, shooting, producing and editing films for over ten years as an independent filmmaker. He started his career in documentaries, directing his first project, Him Mark Lai: The People’s Historian, which has been broadcast nationally on PBS. He also directed BLT Genesis, a behind-the scenes-look at the film, Better Luck Tomorrow. He then moved on to feature films working with Director Justin Lin on Fast and Furious 3: Tokyo Drift. He is currently working on his first feature film. He also co-produced Justin Lin’s second indie, Finishing the Game. Last year he directed and shot a feature documentary, 1040, which explores the emerging presence of Christianity in Asia.