As 2011 comes to a close, take a look back at AALDEF's year in civil rights...
The 2011 Justice in Action Awards
We began the year by honoring Lillian Kimura of the Japanese American Citizens League and Scripps Networks Interactive's A.B. Cruz III with our 2011 Justice in Action Awards. An unexpected highlight? BD Wong's hilarious, impromptu stand-up at the end of the night. Join us for the Year of the Dragon at our Lunar New Year Gala honoring Fareed Zakaria, Jean Koh Peters, and Parkin Lee on February 8th, 2012!
The Largest Trafficking Class Action in U.S. History
In February, our Anti-Trafficking Initiative, together with the ACLU and the Southern Poverty Law Center, sought class certification in New Orleans for 500 Indian guestworkers lured to the U.S. with false promises of green cards, who were forced to live in overcrowded, unsanitary, and racially segregated camps. The case captured national attention this November when Dan Rather made it the subject of an hour-long TV investigation, "An American Nightmare."
A New Redistricting Plan for NYC
For the once-in-a-decade chance to secure equal access to the political process, AALDEF, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, the National Institute for Latino Policy, and the Center for Law and Social Justice proposed the Unity Map, which redraws New York City voting districts to keep Asian Americans and other communities of color together. Read the AP story on the Unity Map and our op-ed in the New York Daily News.
New Jersey Town Sued to Allow Mosque
The Town of Bridgewater, NJ suddenly altered its zoning laws to block development of a mosque by the Al Falah Center. The town said it was concerned over traffic safety issues; AALDEF and our co-counsel representing the Center contend it's religious discrimination. In July, a NJ federal court ruled that we can proceed with the lawsuit. A New York Times editorial noted the importance of this decision, and our co-counsel, Peter L. Zimroth from Arnold & Porter, wrote an essay for New York Law Journal calling this "the case that makes a lawyer's life meaningful."
Founded in 1974, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) is a national organization that protects and promotes the civil rights of Asian Americans. By combining litigation, advocacy, education, and organizing, AALDEF works with Asian American communities across the country to secure human rights for all.
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