FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 28, 2017
Contact: Mary Tablante;
NCAPA Congratulates Vanita Gupta on Being Selected to Head the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) congratulates civil rights leader Vanita Gupta on her selection as the next president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. Gupta most recently served as head of the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice in the Obama administration and will be the first woman, first Asian American, and first child of immigrants to lead the coalition of more than 200 diverse civil rights and social justice organizations. She will begin her role on June 1.
NCAPA and 10 of our members are also members of the Leadership Conference. NCAPA leaders issued the following congratulatory messages:
Suman Raghunathan, executive director of South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), a co-chair of the NCAPA civil rights committee: "Our work as civil rights advocates has never been more important, and now more than ever, we must come together to unite even stronger to combat hate. For the South Asian American community, this work is deeply personal as hate violence and xenophobic rhetoric have become increasingly too common. That's why the announcement of Vanita Gupta to head the Leadership Conference, a large and diverse coalition, comes at such a critical time. We commend Vanita Gupta for improving efforts to report hate crimes and data collection, and we are committed to collaborating with her and the Leadership Conference to build on this work."
John C. Yang, president and executive director of the Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, a co-chair of the NCAPA civil rights committee: “Vanita Gupta is an outstanding trailblazer in the civil rights community. In such a turbulent time for immigration and civil and human rights, the selection of Vanita Gupta is a momentous occasion and a recognition of the important role of the Asian American community in civil rights. We are thrilled to see a child of immigrants in this important leadership position in human and civil rights advocacy.”
Quyen Dinh, NCAPA chair and executive director of the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC): “Vanita Gupta is an exemplary choice to lead the Leadership Conference, not just because of her impressive professional background, but also because she knows firsthand the challenges that immigrants and people of color face each day. At this critical moment in history, it is vital that the experiences of the underserved are heard, and I have full confidence that she will work tirelessly to advocate for issues affecting the daily lives of our communities.”
Gregory Cendana, NCAPA executive committee member and executive director of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO (APALA): “I am thrilled for the Leadership Conference for having selected Vanita Gupta to head the organization. Her experience overseeing federal investigations of the Ferguson, Baltimore, and Chicago police departments to advance criminal justice reform and public safety will be instrumental in these challenging times where black and brown communities are under constant attack. As the struggles for broader racial, economic, and social justice move forward, it is vital that a large civil rights coalition like the Leadership Conference is led by someone who has fought for civil and human rights throughout her entire career. APALA has been a proud member and looks forward to this next chapter of our coalition and movement.”
Christopher Kang, NCAPA national director: “Vanita Gupta, who was the first South Asian American to lead the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights division, continues to make history in her leadership of the Leadership Conference. This is a critical time for the civil and human rights movement and for the racial justice movement, and Vanita will bring her voice, her passion, and her experience to bear in moving our nation forward. We also thank Wade Henderson for his two decades at the helm of the Leadership Conference. I have worked with Wade for many years, and his legacy in advancing the civil rights of all Americans and his tremendous impact will continue to be recognized and remembered for years to come.”
NCAPA members of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights are Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO (APALA), Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD), National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA), National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC), OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates (OCA), Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF), South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC).
Based in Washington, D.C., the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans is a coalition of 34 national Asian Pacific American organizations that serves to represent the interests of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities and to provide a national voice for our communities’ concerns. Our communities are the fastest growing racial/ethnic group in the United States, currently making up approximately six percent of the population.