In-House Counsel Speak Out on Anti-Asian Hate
To commemorate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Blank Rome LLP was proud to host, in co-sponsorship with PNC Bank and the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania, Recognizing and Reckoning with Our Nation’s History of Anti-Asian Racism, on May 26, 2021. The live webinar, moderated by Blank Rome Partner and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Emeritus Sophia Lee, featured a timely discussion among business, legal, and social justice thought leaders about the historical, political, and social underpinnings of anti-Asian racism in America and the lasting impact on our AAPI and other diverse communities. The program was featured in Law360, and an excerpt of the article is shared below.
While society seems to see Asians from different countries and cultures as a monolithic entity, general counsel Janet Lee perceives them as all different but with one common thread — a feeling of dissonance.
That dissonance started as a child born of immigrant Korean parents in Columbus, Ohio, and continues today, Lee said. She spoke Wednesday as part of an Asian American panel discussing anti-Asian hate and violence, and its impact.
Lee leads the legal department at Ansys Inc., an engineering design and software company based in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. The panel, in honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, was sponsored by Blank Rome and PNC Bank, which is based in Pittsburgh.
The panel discussion came less than a week after President Joe Biden signed a law to bolster law enforcement’s response to the growing number of attacks on people of Asian descent during the pandemic.
The panel also included Melissa Pang, assistant general counsel for the Philadelphia School District; Rosalind Chow, associate professor at Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business; Tsiwen Law, adjunct instructor at Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law; Stephen Kulp, an associate at Delany Law and chair of the Philadelphia LGBTQ Bar Association; Nydia Han, a Philadelphia TV reporter and co-anchor who has focused stories on the Asian-American community; and moderator Sophia Lee, a partner in Blank Rome’s Philadelphia office.
Pang, who said she has suffered racial slurs because she is half Asian, urged people to take a stand if they saw discrimination or stereotyping. In the workplace, she said, “if people say they won’t hire an Asian candidate because they are too quiet or won’t fit in, then you can speak up” about the stereotyping.
Law, the Villanova instructor, discussed in detail the history of violence against Asians in the U.S. as well as the leniency given to perpetrators. He called for more Asian American studies in the schools “and not a once a year program. It helps us to not be invisible anymore.”
To read the full article, please click here.
“In-House Counsel Speak Out on Anti-Asian Hate,” by Sue Reisinger was published in Law360 on May 27, 2021.