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I represented the Michigan chapter of the National Federation of Filipino-American Associations (NaFFAA-Michigan) at the 6th Annual Advancing Justice Conference held at the Hilton Hotel in Washington D.C. on September 25-26, 2014.

The conference’s theme was “Asian Americans and Pacific islanders Standing Together for Racial Justice.”

The event was a unique opportunity to bring members of the broader civil rights community to the nation’s capital.

The attendees participated in plenary sessions and workshops on topics ranging from policy issues and tools for organizing and movement-building. They also discussed the problems encountered by some of the most vulnerable population in our community.

There were data expo to share resources and resources from various federal government agencies.

A report on a recent demographic survey was released during the conference. It was entitled “A Community of Contrasts: Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in the South.”

To me, the most exciting part of the conference was the “Yes You Can Rally” held on the Pennsylvania Avenue side of Lafayette Square Park just in front of the White House. It was an action for Immigration and Social Media Campaign.

The rallyists chanted and told President Obama that “Yes, he can offer administrative relief to all undocumented immigrants, stop deportations and stop the separation of families.

I listened to the discussion on the topic, “Asian Americans and the Civil Rights Movement.” The speaker tackled the contributions of Asian Americans to the civil rights movement and examined how Asians will continue to claim their place and support the rights of all communities. There was also a discussion on how we can contest the invisibility of our communities and how to dismantle the model minority myth.

The mission statement of Asian Americans Advancing Justice calls for the promotion of a fair and equitable society for all by working for civil and human rights and empowering Asian Americans and Pacific islanders and other underserved communities.