Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta (formerly Asian American Legal Advocacy Center or AALAC) is the first non-profit law center dedicated to Asian immigrants and refugees (“Asian Americans”) in the Southeast.
Our goal is to engage, educate and empower under-represented Asian Americans to greater civic participation.
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.
We design policy rooted in the South. We publish public policy analyses and know-your-rights education primarily focused on local and regional issues, and translate most of our work into Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese. Our key issue areas are immigration, education and voting rights.
We are a leader in immigrant civic engagement work. We register voters year-round; provide assistance and capacity to new immigrant and refugee leaders; train and organize hundreds of volunteers to work with us in the field to build a New American electorate. When underrepresented communities are active in civic life the common good is strengthened for everyone.
We defend the rights of people and communities. AAAJ-Atlanta is the first nonprofit law center dedicated to protecting and promoting the civil, social and economic rights of Asian immigrants and refugees in the South. We take on select campaigns or lawsuits that expose or challenge the people, policies and systems that violate the rights of immigrants and refugees.
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, 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 330,000 or 3.3% 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.