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Foundation to convene 3rd annual summit on anti-Asian hate, building AAPI coalitions

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Foundation to convene 3rd annual summit on anti-Asian hate, building AAPI coalitions
News

News

Foundation to convene 3rd annual summit on anti-Asian hate, building AAPI coalitions

2024-04-23 04:07 Last Updated At:04:10

NEW YORK (AP) — A foundation launched in the wake of anti-Asian hate will hold a wide-ranging conference bringing together Asian American and Pacific Islander notable figures for a third year.

The Asian American Foundation will hold a Heritage Month Summit next month in New York City for AAPI Heritage Month. Oscar-nominated actor Steven Yeun, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu and actor Maulik Pancholy — who had an upcoming appearance canceled by a Pennsylvania school board over his sexual orientation — are among those set to attend.

The summit will include various panels on issues like civil rights, extremism and the importance of representation. There will also be showcases of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander entrepreneurs in various sectors such as nonprofits, food and philanthropy.

The Asian American Foundation, or TAAF, was established in May 2021 by prominent Asian American business leaders. The organization notably secured more than $1 billion donor pledges for AAPI organizations through an “AAPI Giving Challenge” at the time.

There had been a dramatic spike in verbal, physical and online attacks of AAPI hate since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, which was thought to have originated in China. Stop AAPI Hate, a reporting center, documented over 9,000 incidents — mostly self-reported by victims — between March 2020 and June 2021.

The foundation's goal was to “close critical gaps of support for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and end the longstanding underinvestment in our communities.”

The summit will take place in Manhattan from May 2-3.

FILE - Actor Maulik Pancholy attends an event on April 27, 2012, in New York. The Asian American Foundation will hold a Heritage Month Summit in May 2024 in New York City for AAPI Heritage Month. Emmy-winning actor Steve Yeun, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu and actor Pancholy — who had an upcoming appearance canceled by a Pennsylvania school board over his sexual orientation — are among those set to attend. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini, File)

FILE - Actor Maulik Pancholy attends an event on April 27, 2012, in New York. The Asian American Foundation will hold a Heritage Month Summit in May 2024 in New York City for AAPI Heritage Month. Emmy-winning actor Steve Yeun, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu and actor Pancholy — who had an upcoming appearance canceled by a Pennsylvania school board over his sexual orientation — are among those set to attend. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini, File)

FILE - Boston Mayor Michelle Wu speaks during a campaign rally in support of the statewide Massachusetts Democratic ticket, Nov. 2, 2022, in Boston. The Asian American Foundation will hold a Heritage Month Summit in May 2024 in New York City for AAPI Heritage Month. Emmy-winning actor Steve Yeun, Wu and actor Maulik Pancholy — who had an upcoming appearance canceled by a Pennsylvania school board over his sexual orientation — are among those set to attend. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm, File)

FILE - Boston Mayor Michelle Wu speaks during a campaign rally in support of the statewide Massachusetts Democratic ticket, Nov. 2, 2022, in Boston. The Asian American Foundation will hold a Heritage Month Summit in May 2024 in New York City for AAPI Heritage Month. Emmy-winning actor Steve Yeun, Wu and actor Maulik Pancholy — who had an upcoming appearance canceled by a Pennsylvania school board over his sexual orientation — are among those set to attend. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm, File)

FILE - Actor Steve Yeun poses on Oct. 10, 2013, in New York. The Asian American Foundation will hold a Heritage Month Summit in May 2024 in New York City for AAPI Heritage Month. Emmy-winning actor Yeun, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu and actor Maulik Pancholy — who had an upcoming appearance canceled by a Pennsylvania school board over his sexual orientation — are among those set to attend. (Photo by Scott Gries/Invision/AP, File)

FILE - Actor Steve Yeun poses on Oct. 10, 2013, in New York. The Asian American Foundation will hold a Heritage Month Summit in May 2024 in New York City for AAPI Heritage Month. Emmy-winning actor Yeun, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu and actor Maulik Pancholy — who had an upcoming appearance canceled by a Pennsylvania school board over his sexual orientation — are among those set to attend. (Photo by Scott Gries/Invision/AP, File)

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Fani Willis and judge presiding over Georgia Trump election case defeat challengers

2024-05-22 10:09 Last Updated At:10:10

ATLANTA (AP) — Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, the Georgia prosecutor who brought a sprawling racketeering case against former President Donald Trump and others, has won the Democratic primary in her bid for reelection.

Willis defeated progressive attorney Christian Wise Smith in the primary election and is now set to face off against Republican Courtney Kramer in the fall. Willis told reporters after her victory that the voters sent a message that “people want a DA that is just, that treats everybody equally and that works hard, and they know that they have that in me.”

Meanwhile, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee, the judge who was randomly assigned to preside over the election interference case, also fended off a challenger, winning a nonpartisan election to keep his seat.

The Trump election case and racketeering cases against well-known rappers have boosted Willis’ public profile. But on Tuesday night she touted her efforts to fight violent crime by being tough on gang members while also saying she worked to give second chances to first offenders and created programs to catch at-risk youth before they get caught up in the criminal justice system.

“The people said yes to justice. The people said yes to safety. The people said yes to integrity. The people said yes to Fani Willis," Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens said to applause Tuesday night at Willis' victory party.

With her name recognition, the advantages of incumbency and a hefty fundraising haul, Willis’ victory in the primary was not terribly surprising. As she moves on to the general election, the odds would seem to be in her favor as well. Fulton County includes most of the city of Atlanta and is heavily Democratic, about 73% of its voters having cast ballots for President Joe Biden in the 2020 election.

But Willis was taking nothing for granted after her primary win, telling supporters, “The campaign does not end tonight. It begins tonight.”

“My opponent is completely unqualified,” she said, later adding, “But while she is inexperienced and unqualified and does not represent the values of my county, don't get confused. She is a real threat because of who backs her and how they back her.”

Willis urged her supporters to continue to back her financially, noting that there was a store selling campaign merchandise onsite during her victory party.

Kramer, who has ties to some of Trump’s most prominent allies in Georgia and has drawn campaign contributions from both the county and state Republican parties, told reporters when she qualified to run that the Trump indictment prompted her to challenge Willis. In a post on the social media platform X earlier this month, she wrote, “The future of Fulton and safety in our community should not be controlled by self-interested politicians who use their office for political law fare. It’s time for a change.”

McAfee has been on the bench since last year when Republican Gov. Brian Kemp appointed him to fill an empty seat. He has since become one of the most high-profile judges in Georgia since he was randomly assigned last year to preside over the election interference case. With the added advantages of incumbency, strong bipartisan backing from heavy hitters and an impressive fundraising haul, he was the likely favorite to win.

Willis and Smith both worked in the Fulton County district attorney’s office under then-District Attorney Paul Howard. They both challenged their former boss in the Democratic primary in 2020. Willis and Howard advanced to a runoff that she won, and she ran unopposed in the November general election that year.

Kramer ran unopposed in the Republican primary Tuesday and has already been focusing her attention on attacking Willis. A lawyer who interned in the Trump White House, she has ties to some of the former president's prominent allies in Georgia.

Kramer and her backers will undoubtedly continue to focus on what even some of Willis' closest allies have seen as a major misstep — her romantic relationship with a special prosecutor she hired for the election case. Claims by defense attorneys in the case that the romance created a conflict of interest threatened to derail the prosecution.

McAfee ultimately ruled that it did not create a conflict of interest that should disqualify Willis, but he said she could only continue the case if the special prosecutor, Nathan Wade, stepped aside. Wade promptly left the case, but a defense appeal of McAfee's ruling is now pending before the Georgia Court of Appeals.

Wade was among those gathered at an event space in Atlanta's Buckhead neighborhood Tuesday evening to celebrate Willis' win.

Willis obtained an indictment in August against Trump and 18 others, accusing them of participating in an alleged illegal scheme to overturn Trump's narrow loss in the 2020 presidential election in Georgia. Four people have pleaded guilty after reaching deals with prosecutors. Trump and the 14 others who remain have pleaded not guilty.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis speaks after winning re-election in the Democratic primary on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Buckhead, Ga. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis speaks after winning re-election in the Democratic primary on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Buckhead, Ga. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis speaks to the media after winning the Democratic primary on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Buckhead, Ga. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis speaks to the media after winning the Democratic primary on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Buckhead, Ga. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis speaks after winning re-election in the Democratic primary on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Buckhead, Ga. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis speaks after winning re-election in the Democratic primary on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Buckhead, Ga. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis celebrates winning re-election in the primary on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Buckhead, Ga. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis celebrates winning re-election in the primary on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Buckhead, Ga. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens takes a photograph with Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis before she speaks and after winning re-election in the primary on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Buckhead, Ga. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens takes a photograph with Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis before she speaks and after winning re-election in the primary on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Buckhead, Ga. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis celebrates with supporters after winning re-election in the primary on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Buckhead, Ga. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis celebrates with supporters after winning re-election in the primary on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Buckhead, Ga. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis arrives before she speaks after winning re-election in the primary on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Buckhead, Ga. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis arrives before she speaks after winning re-election in the primary on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Buckhead, Ga. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis arrives before she speaks after winning re-election in the primary on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Buckhead, Ga. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis arrives before she speaks after winning re-election in the primary on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Buckhead, Ga. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

In this photo combination of file images, Fulton County Superior Judge Scott McAfee presides in court, left, while Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, right, looks on during a hearing on the Georgia election interference case, March, 1, 2024, in Atlanta. (AP Photos/Alex Slitz)

In this photo combination of file images, Fulton County Superior Judge Scott McAfee presides in court, left, while Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, right, looks on during a hearing on the Georgia election interference case, March, 1, 2024, in Atlanta. (AP Photos/Alex Slitz)

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