Free Asian American equality conference Saturday at UNF

The conference will focus on the increase in violence and hate against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders during the pandemic.
The conference will focus on the increase in violence and hate against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders during the pandemic.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The University of North Florida’s J.B. Coxwell Amphitheater will host an Asian American equality conference Saturday from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m.

The conference, sponsored by the Jacksonville Chinese Association and the University of North Florida’s Chinese Language and Culture Club, is titled Solidarity and Strength: Conference on Equality and Prosperity for Asian Americans.

Speakers will discuss the surge of violence and hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) during the COVID-19 pandemic, the long-standing discrimination against and marginalization of AAPI, the surviving and thriving of the Asian American community, and the pursuit of solidarity among all races. A Q&A session between the audience and the speakers will take place at the end of the conference.

Guests from the Florida state Legislature, Jacksonville City Council and other organizations are slated to attend the event and participate in open discussion of those topics during the event. Former WJCT anchor Odette Struys will moderate the event. Confirmed speakers include:

NameOrganization
Dr. Wei ZhouPresident of Jacksonville Chinese Association
Ju’Coby PittmanJacksonville Councilwoman
Al FerraroJacksonville Councilman
Lakesha BurtonAssistant Chief, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office
Tajmaus JohnsonLegislative Aide, on behalf of Angie Nixon, member of Florida House of Representatives
Dr. Russel MeyerExecutive director, Florida Council of Churches
Wen RaitiPresident, National Asian American PAC FL
Sharol NoblejasChair, Jacksonville Major’s Asian American Advisory Board
Isaiah RumlinPresident, National Association of the Advancement of the Colored People (Jacksonville Branch)
Basma AlaweeFlorida Refugee Organizer, Florida Immigrant Coalition
Dr. Parvez AhmedBoard member, Interfaith Center of Northeast Florida
Amudha Kanaka SundaramPresident, Indo-US Chamber of Commerce Northeast Florida
Cristina ComstockPresident, Asian Real Estate Association of America

This event is open to the public for free. All attendees should wear a mask and social distance, even though the event is outdoors.

The conference is a continuation of the Jacksonville Chinese Association’s Stop Asian Hate Rally in April that ended early due to a storm.

Besides the two organizations sponsoring the event, 14 other organizations are supporting the conference. Those organizations are:

  • Jacksonville Mayor’s Asian American Advisory Board
  • National Asian American PAC FL
  • National Association of the Advancement of the Colored People
  • Asian American Federation of FL
  • Asian American and Pacific Islander Association of Florida
  • Japanese Association in Jacksonville
  • Jacksonville Indo-US Chamber of Commerce
  • Interfaith Center of Northeast Florida
  • Jacksonville Asian Real Estate Association of America
  • OneJax
  • Florida Immigrant Coalition
  • Jacksonville Sister City Association
  • Filipino American Community of North East FL
  • The League of United Latin American Citizens