Asian American Unity Coalition presents the 2021 National Civic Leadership Forum, a virtual conference that brings together prominent speakers from bipartisan political leaders to community activists to promising young leaders who are ready to tackle this year’s theme, AAPI: The Power of Unity. Sponsored by Civic Leadership USA, it aims to unite all AAPI communities and allies, and create a platform to interact, learn, and build trust with each other.

No matter where you are in the USA, anyone who registered can be part of this free conference happening on September 24 (4-7PM CST) and September 25 (10AM–5:30PM CST)

If you are still uncertain if this event is for you, we have listed down five reasons why you shouldn’t miss this coveted and highly informative forum. 

  1. Engaging and powerful keynote speakers

The concept about strength in unity has been a long-going conversation. With the pandemic, it has never mattered more than ever. Ready to discuss their respective points on this year’s theme, the forum’s keynote speakers are US Rep. Grace Meng, US Rep. Young Kim, community activists Andrew Yang and Linda Sarsour, Judge Mustafa Kasubhai, and more distinguished public figures.

  1. Invaluable chance to grow your network with participants from different ethnicities

Aside from being an avenue to listen and learn from panel discussions and keynote speakers, this one-and-a-half day virtual forum is an opportunity to network and communicate with influential leaders and members from different organizations and ethnic groups through chat rooms. The 2021 NCLF aims to be a safe space where ideas and perspectives are exchanged as the sessions tackle diverse disciplines including political engagements, social contributions, media, and many more.

  1. An ideal panel discussion participated by professionals of diverse Asian backgrounds 

For the Opening Night Panel Discussion entitled “Healing and Unifying Asian Americans,” it will feature panelists from diverse backgrounds traversing across Asia. They will discuss the stories of Asian Americans, bask unto the identity of AAPI, and explore questions tackling discrimination and challenges as well as how to overcome them in unity.


  • Ms. Peggy Nagae, Civil Rights Attorney and Author, Portland, Oregon
  • Ms. Aneelah Afzali, Executive Director of American Muslim Empowerment Network, Seattle, Washington.
  • Dr. Debbi Almontaser, Founder of Bridging Cultures, New York.
  • Dr. Hatem Bazian, Professor of Islamic Law and Theology at Zaytuna College and at Asian-American and Asian Diaspora Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.
  • Dr. James Zogby, Founder and President of the Arab American Institute; Managing Director of Zogby Research Services, Washington DC.
  • Ms. Jenny Kim, Board Member of Korean American Coalition, Portland, Oregon
  • Dr. SK Lo, President of Asian American Unity Coalition
  • Mr. Ronault “Polo” Catalani, Civil Rights Attorney and Executive Director of New Portland Foundation, Portland, Oregon. (Moderator)

  1. Eight Breakout Sessions on engaging topics where AAPI can show their unity through.

On the second day, there will be eight sessions divided into four parts. In each division, participants can decide which session they would like to attend for the next hour. Don’t worry, you can simulcast both sessions and transfer freely from one to another.

Read through each session below and choose which interests you best!

SESSION 1-A: Unity Through Healing: AAPI Leading in Racial Harmony Stand Up and Speak Out 

A panel discussing the past and present challenges and issues concerning the AAPI community, and how AAPI with its diverse ethnic groups could be the leaders of creating racial harmony in the country.

(Session led by Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs)

SESSION 1-B: Unity Through Contribution: AAPI Contribution

This session covers the undeniable participation of Asian Americans in the rapid development of the nation, starting from the past to the future.

(Session led by Asian Culture and Education Society USA)

SESSION 2-A: Unity Through Communication: What’s Next for AAPIs in Media and Entertainment

A panel discussion on AAPI’s existence in the industry, and how media and entertainment can be a leverage in creating our unifying narrative.

(Session led by The 1990 Institute)

SESSION 2-B: Unity Through Inclusion: AAPI Representation and Equality 

With the respected panelists for this session, they will articulate how the AAPI community can be more empowered as well as further discuss AAPI’s belongingness to this nation.

(Session led by South Asian Women's Network)

SESSION 3-A: Unity Through Participation: AAPI Political Engagement

Political activists and officials will come hand in hand for the AAPI Political Engagement session, setting its goal to emphasize the importance of unifying the Asian American community to participate in the elections as much as possible. 

(Session led by New Portland Foundation, Global Organization of People of Indian Origin)

SESSION 3-B: Unity Through Appreciation: AAPI Cultural and Heritage

This session aims to take on the wonderful sundry of ethnicities within the community.

(Session led by Hindu American Foundation)

SESSION 4-A: Unity Through Inspiration: AAPI Future Generation

We will explore further into AAPI youth leadership. Not only will the panel exchange views on how to empower the youth to be more involved, but also on how organizations can further foster a more interethnic and multigenerational camaraderie to spark progressive change. 

(Session led by Chicago Asian Network)

SESSION 4-B: Unity Through Intersectionality: AAPI Shattering the Bamboo Ceiling

We understand the long history of AAPI in the country—the struggles and challenges many generations continuously go through. In this session, they will be telling live experiences through the lens of intersectionality, and see how it relates and influences the community in making these long-standing barriers fall.

(Session led by Oregon NOW, Asian and Pacific Islander Community Coalition of Oregon)

  1. This heartwarming and incredibly inspiring fun fact about the forum.

With the information above, I believe you already have a clue: this conference is not only assembled by one organization but is brought forth with the support of various multicultural groups. They have worked side by side to lead sessions, reach out to panelists and speakers, and make the conference possible. Truly, these event producers have exemplified what they pursue to achieve. 

These event details prove a well-thought-out conference cultivated to help participants from all backgrounds better understand the AAPI community in as many fields and perspectives as possible. It’s rare to stumble upon a virtual occasion with this caliber where you can both learn from the speakers and communicate to them as well.

Hence why we encourage you to register and not miss out on the 2021 National Civil Leadership Forum. See you there!

Sep 17, 2021

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