Minnesota Asian Pacific American Bar Association


  • Tue, June 02, 2020 1:00 PM | Vincent Pham (Administrator)

    On behalf of the MNAPABA Board of Directors:

    The unjustifiable loss of George Floyd’s life in Minnesota saddens us immensely. We stand with the Black community, the Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers (MABL), and all local and national leaders who call for justice for George Floyd and demand changes in the culture and policies of institutions and systems that have failed the Black community for generations. Please read our full MNAPABA and NAPABA statement here.

    Vincent Pham, President of MNAPABA 2019-20

  • Mon, June 01, 2020 1:00 PM | Vincent Pham (Administrator)

    Open Letter to Community:

    A call for unity and solidarity in the face of violence

    May 29, 2020

    Dear Community,

    Earlier this week, George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, was murdered by the Minneapolis police. George Floyd’s death is a continuation of the long history of criminalization, dehumanization, and oppression of Black lives in this country since its founding. As immigrants and refugees to the U.S., our families may not always understand this history, but we inherited its legacy. Our communities have also benefited from Black freedom struggles that paved the way for our own fights for freedom and equal treatment in America. So, in this moment, it matters that we commit to Black liberation and raise our voices to say that #BlackLivesMatter. We emphatically call on our Asian communities to center George Floyd’s life and continue to amplify the demands from his family and community for justice.

    Already, Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities (BIPOC) in Minnesota were disproportionately suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic. Our families and small businesses are struggling, the health impacts on communities of color have been disproportionately high, our family members are disproportionately on the front lines in essential jobs, and racist and xenophobic stigmatization early on resulted in the increase of anti-Asian violence. So, we write this knowing that BIPOC communities are hurting badly from the pandemic. Now, as Asian community members are targeted and businesses are damaged, our communities are in pain. We recognize that pain will continue to be there for Asian communities. Yet as we care for each other, we cannot let our pain distract us from George Floyd’s life and the community’s demands for justice.

    We also cannot ignore the role of Officer Tou Thao who stood watch as George Floyd was dying. To see someone who looks like us behave as a bystander to Black death is devastating and painful. This is yet another reason that we must recognize our silence in the face of anti-Black racism, and commit to the ongoing work to dismantle anti-Blackness.

    Throughout history, there have been attempts to pit Asian and Black communities against each other, a tactic that encourages us to turn on each other rather than tackle our common oppression: the systems of white supremacy. These efforts distract us from the real solution of building cross-racial solidarity to root out racist oppression. And while Asian communities have been rewarded for our assimilation into whiteness with the lie of the “model minority” myth, it is at times like this crisis that we should remember that our status is always conditional and subject to being taken away by xenophobia.

    That is why in this painful moment, we ask our Asian communities to choose our shared liberation. Let us remain focused on the systems responsible for the loss of George Floyd’s life and too many other Black lives, most recently including Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. Let us support and uplift Black-led organizing happening through NAACP Mpls, Black Visions Collective, Black Immigrant Collective, Black Lives Matter MN, Reclaim the Block and MN Freedom Fund. We amplify their demands to Minneapolis City Council Members, Mayor Frey, County Attorney Freeman, and other authorities to charge all of the officers involved and to divest from the MPD and other systems of oppression.

    Let us stand united for Black lives not only when lives are lost, but in everyday recognition that our liberation is tied together. Let us also commit to the ongoing work of addressing the anti-Blackness in our own communities and choose to fight for Black lives the way we would our own. Our struggles must be linked to truly achieve our vision of a Minnesota and a country where all our communities can thrive.

    In solidarity,

    Asian Minnesotan Organizations

    Asian American Organizing Project (AAOP)

    Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance-MN (APALA-MN)


    Coalition of Asian American Leaders (CAAL)

    Cultural Society of Filipino Americans (CSFA)

    Filipinx for Immigrant rights and Racial justice MN (FIRM)

    Hmong American Partnership (HAP)

    Japanese American Citizens League, Twin Cities Chapter (TC JACL)


    Minnesota Asian Pacific American Bar Association (MNAPABA)

    National Association of Asian American Professionals – Minnesota (NAAAP MN)

    Pan Asian Voice for Equity-MN (PAVE-MN)

    Philippine Study Group of Minnesota (PSGM)

    India Association of Minnesota (IAM)

    Release MN8

    Reviving the Islamic Sisterhood for Empowerment (RISE)


    SEIU Asian Pacific Islander Caucus

    Siengkane Lao MN

    Theater Mu

    The Southeast Asian Diaspora (SEAD) Project

    Transforming Generations

    United Senior Lao-American

    UMN Asian American Studies Program

    Vietnamese Social Services of Minnesota

    For more information about the Asian Minnesotans Against Racism & Xenophobia Collaborative, please email info@caalmn.org.

  • Wed, April 01, 2020 12:00 PM | Vincent Pham (Administrator)


    Tuesday, March 31, 2020

    Asian Minnesotan Organizations Urge Communities and Leaders to Be Proactive About COVID-19 Related Racism and Violence Against Asian American and Pacific Islanders

    We are a set of Asian Minnesotan organizations serving our diverse Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) population across Minnesota. In recent weeks, we have heard stories of racism and violent acts of bigotry against AAPI from within the state and across the country that have our community members worried about the safety of themselves and their families. Given the many historical examples of racism during times of crisis against Indigenous, Black, Latinx, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh immigrants, refugees and undocumented people, we urge communities and leaders to take this seriously before it escalates. In this unprecedented time, we must ensure everyone is cared for and feels safe. We stand together to condemn all acts of harassment, discrimination and bias against APIs, and call for more bold leadership and actions to protect all communities.

    Because COVID-19 was unknown to the public until the outbreak in Wuhan, China, some Americans feel justified in spreading xenophobic messages that blames Asian-identifying people for this deadly virus. Racist actions ranging from using xenophobic and racial slurs, to refusing customer service, to outright physical attacks have also increased. While there is understandable growing anxiety due to the spread of COVID-19, misplaced Asian rhetoric and discrimination weakens our collective ability to protect each other and work toward a healthier future.

    American history provides important lessons about how race has been used to demonize, exclude, and divert blame Asian Americans for America’s sufferings through:

    • the Chinese Exclusion Act
    • laws that prevented Filipino family reunification during the Great Depression
    • internment of Japanese Americans being labeled enemies during WWII
    • the killing of Vincent Chin during the American auto industry crash
    • attacking Muslims, Sikhs, and Hindus after 9/11
    • racist targeting over hunting grounds in Minnesota that led to racists slogans like “Save a Hunter, Shoot a Hmong”
    • targeted detainment and deportation of Southeast Asians Immigrants and refugees

    The various ways Asian Americans have been and continue to be discriminated against provides perspective about why Asian Minnesotans now fear for their physical safety and family security when our nation’s leaders irresponsibly label a disease to a whole community.

    COVID-19 is an aggressive virus that does not discriminate against race, ethnicity, color, class, gender, sexuality, ability, and citizenship status. Anyone can fall ill or carry the virus. It will require every person to rise to the occasion in order to flatten the curve to prevent catastrophic outcomes. Though we applaud some local and state leaders who have condemned racist acts against AAPIs, we urge communities and leaders to be vigilant in their commitment to not only condemn but to respond to racism against AAPIs at this time. We also ask that everyone publicly and proudly support local Asian-owned businesses and organizations.

    We acknowledge that our Native/Indigenous, Black, African, Latinx, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, refugee, immigrant, undocumented, and LGBTQ+ communities are among those who have had similar experiences with discrimination and racism, and we stand in solidarity and denounce hate speech, discrimination, and violence against these communities as well.

    Asian Minnesotan Organizations in solidarity to prevent and end racism and violence against community:

    Asian American Organizing Project (AAOP)

    Asian Media Access


    Coalition of Asian American Leaders (CAAL)

    Filipinx for Immigrant Rights & Racial Justice MN (FIRM)

    Hmong 18 Clan Council

    Hmong American Farmer Association (HAFA)

    Hmong American Partnership (HAP)

    Hmong Museum

    Hmong Women Achieving Together (HWAT)

    India Association of Minnesota (IAM)

    Indigenous Roots

    Japanese American Citizens League (JACL)

    Karen Organization of Minnesota (KOM)

    Lao Assistance Center of Minnesota (LACM)

    Minnesota Asian Pacific American Bar Association (MNAPABA)

    National Association of Asian American Professionals Minnesota (NAAAP MN)

    Philippine Study Group of Minnesota (PSGM)

    Regional Tibetan Youth Congress - Minnesota

    (RTYC - MN)

    Release MN8

    Reviving the Islamic Sisterhood for Empowerment (RISE)

    Siengkane Lao MN (SKLM)

    The SEAD Project

    Theater Mu

    Transforming Generations

    Vietnamese Social Services (VSS)

    Wat Promwachirayan

  • Wed, March 11, 2020 7:57 AM | Christine Strak (Administrator)

    MNAPABA member Evan Tsai will be recognized at the RCBA Judges’ Dinner this year on Thursday, March 26. Evan has been chosen to receive the 2020 RCBA Distinguished Humanitarian Award from the RCBA. If you are interested in attending the dinner and supporting Evan, you can find more details here. Congratulations, Evan!

  • Fri, May 10, 2019 9:42 AM | Victoria Dutcher (Administrator)

    MNAPABA nominated Immediate Past President Melitta Drechsler for the Ramsey County Bar Association's Excellence in Diversity Award. Melitta will be receiving the award on June 5 at 9am at the RCBA's Diversity Committee CLE at the First National Bank Building in St. Paul.  

    Congratulations, Melitta! 

    For more information about the event, please visit https://www.ramseybar.org/event/rcbadiversitycle/ 

  • Thu, January 10, 2019 4:53 PM | Deleted user

    When: Thursday, February 7
    12:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
    Where: University of St. Thomas School of Law
    1101 Harmon Pl.
    Minneapolis, Minnesota  55403
    United States
    Contact: Sarah Mayer

    To register: https://www.hcba.org/events/EventDetails.aspx?id=1188957&group=an

  • Sat, November 03, 2018 10:26 PM | Alex Dyste-Demet (Administrator)

    On Tuesday, 10/30, MNAPABA participated in the Jeremiah Program's Cook For Kids program. We provided dinner for approximately 25 families. Our spaghetti dinner was a hit, but the kids enjoyed the Halloween-themed cupcakes the most. 

  • Sat, November 03, 2018 9:08 PM | Deleted user

    On October 17 and November 2, various board members attended "Meet the Bar" events at St. Thomas and the University of Minnesota Law School in an effort to introduce law students to MNAPABA. Take a look at board members Richard Liu and Sukanya Momsen at the University of Minnesota Law School last week. 

  • Mon, July 23, 2018 9:30 AM | Victoria Dutcher (Administrator)

    On July 19, 2018, Chief Judge Kathleen Sanberg presented the 2018 Raeder Larson Public Service Award to MNAPABA member Karl Johnson.

    Congratulations, Karl! 

Mailing Address:
MNAPABA c/o Minnesota State Bar Association
600 Nicollet Mall, Suite 380, Minneapolis, MN 55402

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