President's Message

May 2020

President's Message

Dear Members:

This year marks APABA of Colorado's 30th Anniversary and we had grand plans to celebrate at our annual banquet. Unfortunately, our banquet has been postponed to a later date, when we can all safely celebrate together. We hope to see everyone again soon.

Since we weren't able to recognize our award recipients this year at the banquet, I want to congratulate again all of our esteemed award winners:

  • Judge Sueanna Johnson - Minoru Yasui Community Service Award
  • Kamela Maktabi - Governor Ralph Carr Award
  • Paul Chin - CU Law School Minoru Yasui Student Award
  • Harshwinder Kaur - DU Law School Minoru Yasui Student Award

I am honored to serve as APABA's new President and look forward to working with the APABA community this coming year. Thank you to Sumi Lee, our immediate past President for serving our members and the Asian Pacific American community this past year. I am also pleased to announce our new officers--Clark Yeh (President-Elect), Harry Budisidharta (Treasurer), and Blake Gansborg (Secretary)--and our Board members listed at the bottom of this newsletter.

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. We would like to celebrate our members on our social media by posting videos of what it means to be an Asian American lawyer today in Colorado. If you want to be highlighted, please send a video (about a minute long) to Deborah Yim for us to post. Or, if you would like to nominate a member to post a video, please send me your nominee.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been really challenging for our entire community. We are still navigating many uncertainties and figuring out the new norm. What makes it even more challenging is the increase of racism and bigotry towards Asian Pacific American individuals and communities. In March 2020, APABA issued a statement condemning the discriminatory and xenophobic treatment of Asians and Asian Americans in response to the coronavirus. If you are experiencing hate crimes or incidents, we encourage you to contact local law enforcement or the FBI Denver Field office.

To learn more about reporting and investigating state and federal anti-bias laws, as part of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, APABA will be sponsoring a free CLE Webinar on Civil Rights Enforcement on Friday, May 29 at 12-1PM.  Zeyen Wu and Bryan Fields from the U.S. Attorney's Office and Bree Beasley from the Office of Denver District Attorney will be leading this Webinar. I hope you will be able to join and learn how private attorneys can work with their offices on these matters. Please register here to receive the link to the Webinar.

In addition, we know that law students and recent graduates are navigating the difficult employment landscape during the COVID-19 pandemic. APABA will be co-sponsoring with the Colorado LGBT Bar Association a Careers During COVID-19 Webinar on June 2, 2020 at 1-2PM on finding and creating employment opportunities, networking virtually, and optimizing application materials. Please register here to receive webinar information.

Now more than ever, we want to hear from you and be the voice for our community. If you have any suggestions for programs, events, or how to make APABA more valuable to our community and members, please reach out to me or any of the APABA officers and Board members.

Stay safe and healthy everyone!


Anne Lee



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