RCAO and ICAAR jointly Hosted International Forum on Anti-Racial Discrimination

RCAO and ICAAR jointly Hosted International Forum on Anti-Racial Discrimination

Los Angeles — International Forum on Anti-Racial Discrimination was recently held online, which was organized by four organizations in the U.S. and the U.K., including Roundtable of Southern California Chinese-American Organizations (RCAO), International Chinese Alliance Against Racism (ICAAR) (UK), Professors and Experts Federation USA, and UK Society of Chinese Lawyers.

The forum discussed the racial discrimination situation in the U.S. and the U.K., addressed the concerns about increasing hate crimes and violence during the pandemic, and suggested ways to promote racial equality in society and in the workplace.  Over 200 people attended the forum on Zoom.

The four keynote speakers at the forum are from both U.S. and U.K. and have different backgrounds, including former California State Senator , UCLA scholar, Member of Parliament in UK, and a community-based anti-racist organization leader.

Dr. Bob Huff

Dr. Bob Huff served in the California State Legislature for 12 years, of which he served as the Senate Minority Leader for three years.  Now he and his wife Mei Mei formed Huff Strategies, LLC, specializing in government relations, community outreach and business development.  Mr. Huff shared his extensive experience in advocating racial equality and discussed what we can do to deal with racial discrimination.

Dr Min Zhou

Another keynote speaker Dr. Min Zhou is Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Asian American Studies and Director of the Asia Pacific Center at the University of California, Los Angeles.  She spoke about the model minority stereotype and its impact on Asian Americans.  She examined the transition from the “yellow peril” in the past to the present “model” minority stereotype and its impact on Asian Americans.

Ms. Sarah Owen

The keynote speaker Ms. Sarah Owen is the first female MP of East or South East Asian descent in the UK Parliament. She has been working to highlight the worrying rise in hate crime faced by East and South East Asian communities in the UK during the pandemic, hosting the first ever parliamentary debate on the issue.  Her speech discussed these issues and her campaign work against misogyny and hate against East and South East Asian people.

Mr. Suresh Grover

Another keynote speaker from the U.K. is Mr. Suresh Grover, a founder and co-Director of The Monitoring Group, UK’s national community-based antiracist organization, established 40 years ago.  On a daily basis, The Monitoring Group provides advocacy, research and trauma services.  The UK’s daily newspaper “The Guardian” has described Suresh Grover “as one of the 100 most influential people on social policy in the United Kingdom”.  His speech is titled “Racism and Anti-racism: the key features of the British experience”.

RCAO honorary chairwoman Ms. Sue Zhang, RCAO chairwoman Ms. Phoebe Chen Huang, and President of ICAAR and UK Society of Chinese Lawyers Dr. Xiaojiu Zhu MBE made welcome remarks.  They pointed out that this forum is open to the public and held in English, aiming to promote public awareness and enhance understanding and inclusion among different racial and ethnic groups.

Dr. Lianlian Lin

In her summary speech, Dr. Lianlian Lin, President of Professors and Experts Federation USA and Professor at Cal Poly Pomona, shared two takeaways from the forum.  She said that both U.S. and U.K are facing same challenges and we need to join forces internationally to fight against racism.  The personal experiences of the keynote speakers are very inspirational.  We should take our share of responsibility to stop hate crime and violence.

There are 36 co-organizing organizations for the forum, including 20 from the U.S., 15 from the U.K., and one from Netherlands.  Dr. Lei Xu served as MC, Dr. Ling Ding provided tech support, and Dr. Lianlian Lin and Dr. Xiaojiu Zhu were Chief Planners for the forum.  On behalf of the forum organizing committee, Dr. Lianlian Lin expressed sincere appreciation to all speakers, organizing and co-organizing organizations, the forum work team, and all participants at the forum.  Especially, she thanked Ms. Sue Zhang and Dr. Xiaojiu Zhu MBE, who are mother and daughter living in different countries and their connection makes this international forum possible.

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