Join us for a one-day conference—including sessions with leading scholars, journalists, advocates, and policymakers, as well as a film screening and discussion with the filmmakers—to examine where Asian American politics have been, and are going, during this time of increasing anti-Asian hate and discrimination.


2:00–2:05: Introductory remarks from Roosevelt House Public Policy Program Director Dr. Basil A. Smikle Jr.

2:05–2:30: Today’s Context, a panel featuring Dr. Vivian Louie in conversation with Hunter professor of Asian American Studies Chris Kwok.

2:30–4:00: Moving Forward, a panel discussion on the issues facing Asian Americans, civic engagement, and paths forward featuring journalist Rong Xiao Qing and political consultants Trip Yang and John Albert.

4:00–4:30: Break

4:30–4:35: President Jennifer J. Raab introduces New York City Council Member Sandra Ung, representing the 20th District in Queens.

4:35–5:30: Council Member Sandra Ung delivers brief remarks followed by Q & A.

5:30–6:30: A Screening of new documentary The Race Epidemic, an examination of xenophobia and racism against the AAPI community due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to watch the trailer:

6:30–7:00: Post-Screening Talk Back: A conversation with The Race Epidemic Executive Producer Ron Wong, co-founder of the Asian Pacific American Leadership Foundation (APALF).

7:00–8:00: Reception with light refreshments.



John Albert is a Partner at Bolton St. Johns. His advocacy portfolio has included leading New York City non-profits, cultural organizations and business corporations. He has advocated in support of internationally recognized corporations and advised their business operations to help them strategically plan for the changing legal and regulatory environment of New York City. Throughout his career Mr. Albert has secured millions in City and State funding for youth, after-school programs, at-risk populations, parks and cultural institutions.

Chris Kwok is a professor of Asian American Studies at Hunter College, as well as a mediator and community organizer who has been active in speaking out against anti-Asian violence and harassment. He received his B.A from Cornell University with a major in Government and a minor in Asian American studies, and his J.D. from UCLA Law School, where he served on the staff of the Asian American Pacific Islander Law Journal. Previously, he served as the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Coordinator at the U.S. Equal Employment Commission in the New York District office.

Vivian Louie is Professor of Urban Policy and Planning and Director of the Asian American Studies Center and Program at Hunter College.  Dr. Louie studies American identity, civic participation and civic education at the intersection of race, ethnicity, immigration, social class and gender. She also writes about the factors that shape educational and workplace success among immigrants and their children. Her books include: Compelled to Excel: Immigration, Education and Opportunity Among Chinese AmericansKeeping the Immigrant Bargain: The Costs and Rewards of Success in America; and Writing Immigration: Scholars and Journalists in Dialogue, which she co-edited.

Hon. Sandra Ung is a City Council Member representing the 20th District in Queens, including Flushing, Mitchell-Linden, Murray Hill, Queensboro Hill, and Fresh Meadows; it is the City Council’s only majority Asian district. She is Chair of the Committee on Governmental Operations, which has jurisdiction over municipal government and structure, including the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings, Board of Elections, and the Commission on Public Information and Communication. Her family immigrated to New York City when she was seven years old, after escaping the Cambodian genocide. She attended local public schools, including P.S. 22, J.H.S. 189, Flushing High School, Hunter College, and Columbia Law School, where she earned her J.D. in 2001.

Ronald W. Wong is the founder of the Asian Pacific American Leadership Foundation and a producer and writer whose films include The Race Epidemic. He has won nearly 100 awards for his creative work, including the production of commercials, public service announcements, and traditional and digital advertising. As an appointee at the U.S. Department of Justice Community Relations Service, he worked on hate crime policies and racial reconciliation.

Rong Xiaoqing is a reporter for the Chinese-language newspaper Sing Tao Daily in New York. Her work has appeared in Foreign Policy, the National ReviewWiredThe New York Times, the New York Daily News, the South China Morning Post, and China Newsweek. She has won awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, City University of New York Journalism School, New America Media, and the Deadline Club, where she was the first reporter from non-English-language media to be recognized. She has received grants from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, the Fund for Investigative Journalism, and the California Health Endowment.

Trip Yang is a political consultant who managed Jumaane Williams’ successful campaign for New York City Public Advocate. He also helped City Council Member Donovan Richards win the Queens borough president primary. Yang, who focuses on consulting for progressive candidates and candidates of color, was Bernie Sanders’ New York political director. He also advised the campaigns of state Attorney General Letitia James and Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez.

Asian American Politics: Where We Are Today and the Paths Forward | Posted on October 12th, 2022 | Public Programs