Welcoming Remarks: NEA President Becky Pringle
We began the day with a greeting from National Education Association President Becky Pringle. As the leader of the 3 million member union, the largest in the nation, she is a fierce social advocate warrior and defender of educator rights. She reminded us that “as the ancestors of tomorrow you are molding a future that will allow all of our children to live into their brilliance.” We are grateful to the NEA for their longstanding partnership and support.
Keynote Speaker: Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal
In the morning, delegates and guests heard from Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal. As a lifelong organizer for immigrant, civil and human rights and the first South Asian American woman to get elected to the U.S. House of Repreentatives, she is an inspiring leader who understands the issues facing AANHPI workers. She recognized the role that APALA has played in electing more diverse, progressive and labor candidates, organizing AANHPI workers into unions, and winning strong contracts for our members.
Our Rights Under Attack Across the Globe
Jessica Tang, APALA Treasurer and President of the Boston Teachers Union as well as American Federation of Teachers Vice President, moderated a panel, “Our Rights Under Attack Across the Globe.” Speakers included Josua Mata (SENTRO), Osa Tui Jr. (HSTA), Sabrina Liu (USW), Peter Kuel (Drivers Union), Justine Lim (UCLA Labor Center), and Nadia Nisha Belkin (Asian American Power Network). The panelists highlighted the struggles that Asian, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander and immigrant workers are facing across the world and how APALA is organizing to ensure that AANHPI workers have a voice and power.
Speakers addressed the attacks against labor leaders in the Philippines, organizing Uber/Lyft drivers who are predominately immigrant and workers of color, combatting anti-Asian hate facing our communities, fighting for immigration justice for undocumented and immigrant AAPI workers, increasing AANHPI civic engagement across the U.S., and standing up against the multiple attacks on educators and public education. We know that we must join together in this fight. When workers rights are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back!
Solidarity with WGA and SAG-AFTRA
APALA stands with our union siblings at Writers Guild and SAG-AFTRA who are on strike to determine the future of their work. We ask that you follow and like WGA (@WGAEast and @WGAWest) and SAG-AFTRA (@SAGAFTRA ) social media accounts and posts to uplift and amplify their fight.
“I’m moved by the support of APALA for SAG-AFTRA’s strike against the AMPTP. This ‘Hot Strike Summer’ we are having this year proves that workers across every industry are tired of our fair wages and earnings not mattering. We all can help and amplify each other's pickets and strikes. Today’s action for UNITE HERE was a great reminder of the power APALA can harness when all of us union siblings support each other,” said Parvesh Cheena, SAG-AFTRA representative on the APALA National Executive Board.
When We Fight, We Win!
Mikayla Vu, UAW and APALA Second Vice President, moderated our panel, “When We Fight, We Win” which uplifted inspiring organizing victories from AANHPI workers. Speakers included Angel Sherbune (SEIU 1199NW), Eni Lestari (International Migrants Alliance), Relle Partido (Starbucks Workers United), Paula Isla-McGill (AFA-CWA Alaska Airlines), and Johanna Hester (UDW/AFSCME Local 3930 and Child Care Providers United).
The speakers shared their stories of how they have organized and won, despite numerous challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic. It was inspiring to hear from these powerful labor leaders who are building AANHPI power and building the power of the labor movement. The workers united will never be defeated!
Delegates and guests joined for a celebration gala to honor our APALA Convention Awardees. Acting Secretary of Labor and APALA member Julie Su provided a keynote address that celebrated the incredible work of APALA over the last 30 years.
We honored the following outstanding labor leaders and community allies:
- Art Takei Leadership Award: Jason Chan, IAM District 751 and APALA Seattle Chapter
- Vincent Foo Organization Award: Asian Americans United
- John Delloro Trailbrlazer Award: Empowering API
- Philip Vera Cruze Lifetime Achievement Award: Tracy Lai, AFT and APALA Seattle Chapter
- Tam Tran Freedom Fighter Award: Ian Sereulo, APALA San Diego Chapter
- President’s Award: Leonard Hoshijo, ILWU Local 142 and Hawai’i Chapter
Day 1 Highlgiht Revision
In an effort to uplift and practice APALA's Principles for Collective Liberation, specifically Racial Justice and Open Transparency, we have made edits to sections featuring WSLC President April Sims.
Please note that there were two errors in yesterday's Highlights report. Please see the revised version here. We apologize for the errors.
Thank you to our Sponsors!
We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all our sponsors for their unwavering support and commitment to APALA’s mission and to making this convention possible!