2018 Summit

The following is a recap of the Second Annual AAPI Progressive Summit. The summit, hosted by AAPI Progressive Action and AAPI Victory Fund, was held on May 14, 2018 in Washington DC. The event boasted a line of prominent AAPI leaders and speakers. Attendees discussed important issues that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders face in the current political environment. Continue reading to learn more about the summit.

Screen Shot 2018-08-30 at 4.57.37 PM.png

The Second Annual AAPI Progressive Summit 

This year's Summit focused on The Year of the Woman Warrior

The Second Annual AAPI Progressive Summit was a convening of the nation's top Asian American and Pacific Islander progressive leaders. Attendees had the opportunity to engage with Senators, Representatives, and key decision makers. With talks surrounding issues facing Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, the summit allowed attendees to engage in important conversations, looking toward initiatives to move forward in this current political climate.

Attendees took a look at issues facing the AAPI community including immigration, census, data disaggregation, and public charge. A moderated panel featuring the Honorable Christopher P. Lu from the University of Virginia Miller Center of Public Affairs and John C. Yang, President and Executive Director of AAJC discussed the importance of these issues and how we, as a community, can ensure our voices are heard. 

This year's focus, the Year of the Woman Warrior, celebrated the successes of Asian American women and tried to answer the question: How do we build a long-lasting infrastructure to support AAPI women's political leadership? Attendees had the opportunity to discuss these issues and hear from well known women leaders in a moderated panel featuring Sayu Bhojwani, Founder and President of New American Leaders, Luisa Blue, Executive Director of SEIU, Bel Leong Hong, Founder, President, and CEO of Knowledge Advantage Inc., and Carrie Pugh, National Political Director of the National Education Association. 

The summit also brought together promising new AAPI leaders from across the country. They discussed methods for building greater political influence for the AAPI community at the local, state, and federal level. They discussed key issues facing our community and how they are fighting back against policies that work against our community's interests. 

To finish out the summit, attendees discussed intersectionality and coalition building with communities in a moderated panel. Some topics included how technology changes the way we communicate, how we can leverage our strengths to increase our voices, and how we can continue to grow a progressive AAPI national movement. 

Keynote Speaker - Brad Jenkins


Brad Jenkins is an expert at turning belly laughs into beltway advocacy. As Funny Or Die’s Managing Director and Executive Producer in Washington D.C., Jenkins manages creative campaigns and political strategy for non-profits, foundations, and national brands. Before joining Funny Or Die last year, Jenkins spent four years serving as President Obama’s Associate Director in The White House Office of Public Engagement. From The White House, Jenkins brought together creative executives, thought leaders, and some of the world’s biggest stars to advance the President’s agenda—culminating in the Emmy-award winning “Between Two Ferns” interview on the Affordable Care Act. In 2008, Jenkins served as the Deputy Director of Special Projects for President Obama’s election campaign, specializing in the intersection of youth media and grassroots engagement. Prior to joining the White House, Jenkins was the founding Vice President of Business Forward, an organization that brings entrepreneurs into the policymaking process. Before the 2008 campaign, Jenkins worked on the trading desk for the asset management firm, Farallon Capital in San Francisco, CA.