Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta is the first nonprofit legal advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the civil rights of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander (AANHPI) and Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian (AMEMSA) communities in Georgia and the Southeast.
We work in four major program areas: Civic Engagement and Organizing, Direct Legal Services, Impact Litigation, and Policy Advocacy.
We are one of five independent organizations that make up the national Asian Americans Advancing Justice. Together with our affiliates in Chicago, DC, Los Angeles and San Francisco, we bring more than 100 years of collective experience in addressing the civil rights issues faced by Asian Americans and other vulnerable and underserved communities.
Policy Advocacy We lead and shape public policy that impacts Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders (AANHPI) and all immigrant populations in Georgia. We educate our communities through workshops, publications, and community issue forums. We are at the forefront of policy advocacy and champion the civil rights of AANHPIs in the Southeast.
Organizing & Civic Engagement We aims to affect deep, longterm shifts in power, behavior, and culture through community-building and education, leadership development, issue-based and electoral campaigns, and coalition-building.
Impact Litigation Our litigation department combines impact litigation with other strategies to expand legal protections for AANHPI and other marginalized communities and to advocate against laws and policies that are unjust or oppressive. We primarily focus on the areas of immigrant justice and voting rights.
Legal services We provide a range of free and low cost immigration legal services to refugees, asylum seekers, immigrants, and migrants in Georgia. Our multilingual staff provides immigration legal services to help eligible persons and their families obtain legal status and citizenship and provides legal representation in removal proceedings. In addition, the Legal Services Program collaborates with various community partners and immigrant rights organizations to hold free legal workshops and community education programs in Georgia.
Advancing Justice-Atlanta principally serves the growing Asian American population in Georgia regardless of age, sexual orientation, gender, class, disability or language ability. While much of our outreach is geared towards Asian Americans in order to address the growing need, we promote equity and fairness for all individuals.
On an annual basis, our work reaches approximately 10,000 directly and many more through extensive media coverage. Our work is broadly disseminated and shared outside our community and region.
Asians are the fastest growing ethnic and racial minority in the country. The South experienced the fastest Asian population growth and Georgia is the flashpoint with one of the largest foreign-born populations in our region. Georgia’s Asian and Pacific Islander populations nearly doubled and now make up 350,000 or 4% of the state’s total population. Gwinnett County is home to the largest Asian community with approximately 97,960 Asian American residents (~11% of the total population).
Despite the population growth and counter to the ‘model minority’ myth, Asian Americans in Georgia remain underrepresented and underserved.
Asian and Pacific Islanders living in poverty is one of the fastest growing groups in the country, and the South endured the largest increase with low-wealth Asian immigrants and refugees increasing by 55% in the last decade.
Asian Americans have the lowest percentage voter turn-out rates in Georgia out of all groups, despite their registration rates being the second highest in our state. 1.3% of Georgia active voters identify as Asian American.
Cultural diversity stymies civic and social integration, and presents unique challenges with education and mobilization efforts.
The huge influx of Asian Americans and other immigrants has heightened anti-immigrant sentiment in our state at levels not seen in recent decades and led to the introduction of discriminatory policies that have negatively impacted our community members.