On November 17, leaders from think tanks, government, business, and Asian American and other affinity organizations convened at the Committee of 100’s Leadership Roundtable Dinner.
C-100 members Cheng Li and Dali Yang joined the C-100 Chairman, regional leadership, and Acting Executive Director Holly Chang in the dinner program. Washington, D.C. Regional Co-Chair Jeremy Wu welcomed guests, who included representatives from over 17 different organizations and institutions. C-100 Chairman Clarence Kwan highlighted a number of C-100’s new initiatives and underscored the Committee’s interest in collaborating with like-minded organizations to achieve shared goals. The chairman explained that C-100’s primary focus will be threefold: building U.S.-China trust, elevating nex-generation leaders, and promoting greater inclusion of Chinese Americans in U.S. society.
C-100 member Michael Lin introduced the dinner’s keynote speaker, Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27). As chair of the 1882 Project, Dr. Lin worked with Congresswoman Chu to support the passage of Congressional resolutions acknowledging the injustice caused by the Chinese Exclusion Acts. In her remarks, the Congresswoman discussed her journey as an Asian American community and political leader. She explained that she was inspired to serve in politics in order to ensure that the diversity of communities was accurately represented in policymaking bodies.
The Congresswoman highlighted three major lessons gained from her political career: networking and finding mentors is critical, there is no such thing as permanent enemies, and one must always be ready to take advantage of unexpected opportunities. Congresswoman Chu explained that current issues central to the Asian American community include immigration reform – approximately 80% of those held in the immigration backlog are of Asian descent – and stopping Asian bashing. The Congresswoman described the work of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), which she chairs, in ensuring that there is a pipeline of Asian American leaders throughout the federal government, noting that in six years the number of Asian American federal court appointments tripled from eight in 2008 to 25 in 2014. The Congresswoman then answered questions from audience members, who thanked her for her inspiring and educational remarks, and participated in the discussion on upcoming C-100 Washington, D.C. programs.
Following the Congresswoman’s keynote address, Jeremy Wu led a discussion on C-100’s upcoming programs in Washington, D.C., including an educational workshop on U.S. export and trade controls and an initiative to address the impact of rhetorical assaults against China on Chinese Americans and Asian Americans. Washington, D.C. Regional Co-Chair Ben Wu thanked guests for their participation and feedback, and welcomed their ongoing involvement and support of C-100’s programs.
Individuals and organizations interested in future C-100 Leadership Roundtable Dinners are encouraged to connect with the Committee of 100 Washington, D.C. LinkedIn group (http://bit.ly/C100DC) or contact C-100 Washington, D.C. Regional Coordinator Jennifer Welch (firstname.lastname@example.org).