Newswise — The University of Illinois at Chicago will be the site for a WBEZ panel discussion, “From Identity to Empowerment: The Fight for Asian American Political Power.”


Nov. 19
6:30-7:45 p.m.


Student Center East, Illinois Room A
750 S. Halsted St.


Esther Yoon-Ji Kang, WBEZ’s race, class and community reporter, will lead a discussion into the past, present and future of Asian American political power in the region.

While a growing number of Asian Americans are involved with politics and policy in the region, the community still struggles to consolidate its power in Chicago and the region. As the number of Asian Americans is quickly growing locally and nationally, challenges remain for the community as they face discriminatory policies and destructive stereotypes.

There will be two panels featuring separate speakers.

Panel one:

  • Ameya Pawar, former Chicago alderman
  • Theresa Mah, state representative
  • Lori Yokoyama, former Cook County State’s Attorney candidate

Panel two:

  • Andy Kang, executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice, or AAAJ
  • Wasan Kumar, president of UIC’s Indian Student Association
  • Kristina Tendilla, community activist and former organizer for AAAJ and the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum
  • Faith Kares, associate director of UIC’s Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy

The event is being presented in partnership with UIC’s Asian American Resource and Cultural Center. The Asian American Resource and Cultural Center, or AARCC, is one of the seven Centers for Cultural Understanding and Social Change and officially opened in the spring of 2005 as a result of student efforts to ensure that UIC supports the needs of Asian Americans. AARCC promotes the intellectual and personal growth of UIC students, staff and faculty; advocates for greater access, equity and inclusion of Asian Americans; and educates the UIC community about Asian Americans.

The event is free and open to the public, but RSVP is requested.