Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago

Chicago, IL   |


Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago builds power through collective advocacy and organizing to achieve racial equity. Founded in 1992, Asian American Institute re-branded as Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago, an affiliate of Asian Americans Advancing Justice in 2013. Other Advancing Justice affiliates are located in Atlanta, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. The members of Advancing Justice work as equal and independent partners under one name to provide a unified, powerful voice to advance justice for all Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and marginalized communities across the nation.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Ms. Grace Pai

Main address

4716 N. Broadway St

Chicago, IL 60640 USA

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Formerly known as

Asian American Institute



NTEE code info

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (R01)

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (R05)

Minority Rights (R22)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Base-Building & Leadership Development

Advancing Justice | Chicago builds a base of community leaders who are impacted by issues and shares our racial equity analysis. Our leadership development equips community members with the knowledge and skills necessary to be informed, strategic leaders and active participants in our policy campaigns and organizing strategies. Base-building programs include KINETIC, I Speak Power, and A Just Chi.

Population(s) Served
Age groups
People of Asian descent
Immigrants and migrants

We work on issue-based advocacy campaigns for laws and policies that promote social, economic, and political equity for the Asian American community while operating within a racial equity framework, including initiatives in the areas of voting rights, language access, immigrant rights, and discrimination. Advancing Justice | Chicago also collaborates with other progressive or immigrant-serving communities to leverage our collective power to move bold agendas of solutions to the challenges facing our communities. Issue-based campaigns include Erase the Database, Teaching Equitable Asian American Community History (TEAACH) Act, Citizenship for All, and more.

Population(s) Served

Civic engagement programs and initiatives provide community members with the knowledge and resources needed to show their power and fight for issues that impact our communities. Programs include voter education, voter protection, the annual Asian American Action Day in Springfield, and census planning and outreach.

Population(s) Served
People of Asian descent
People of Asian descent

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Advancing Justice | Chicago is a leader in the Just Democracy Coalition, a coalition of community groups dedicated to protecting and promoting the value of every vote, regardless of the voter’s geography, race, ethnicity, or party affiliation. The Coalition won Automatic Voter Registration [AVR] in Illinois in 2016 and has since been engaged in an ongoing struggle with the Illinois Secretary of State Office to fully implement AVR. Advancing Justice | Chicago is part of the lawsuit against the IL Secretary of State regarding these ongoing problems and lack of transparency and accountability in the implementation of AVR. In the coming year, the Coalition will also largely be focused on independent redistricting reform and engaging communities in the redistricting process.

Immigration has historically been one of Advancing Justice | Chicago’s primary issue areas. For the past six years, Advancing Justice | Chicago has been on the front lines battling xenophobic executive orders and leading state-level coalition efforts to pass legislation like the IL Way Forward Act, IL Trust Act, and IL VOICES Act with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights [ICIRR]. ICIRR has and continues to work on state-level policy to limit cooperation between local law enforcement agencies and immigration authorities, disrupt the deportation pipeline, increase access to services for immigrants regardless of citizenship status, and pass protections for immigrants regardless of immigration status. The IL Way Forward Act passed in 2021 was a major victory, ending all Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE] contracts with local prisons across the state and prohibiting local police from collaborating with ICE on civil immigration enforcement, marking a significant step towards getting ICE out of our communities.

Language justice has long been a priority for Advancing Justice | Chicago; we have been engaged with the Mayor’s Office on this issue for several years and have continued to run one of the largest poll monitoring operations during elections specifically looking for language access for voters. In 2015, Advancing Justice played a significant role in the passing of Chicago’s Language Access Ordinance, although the ordinance was not as comprehensive as we had hoped. In 2019, Advancing Justice | Chicago launched a language justice campaign and coalition with the aim of creating a comprehensive language justice policy. We paused the coalition’s work as most of our member organizations are direct service agencies and were over capacity serving their community during the pandemic, but we aim to restart the campaign before the end of 2021 when our coalition members are able to engage their clients and grassroots community members in person again.

Advancing Justice | Chicago combines grassroots base-building, advocacy, and civic engagement to build power, strengthening our ability to hold elected officials accountable to a progressive, community-driven agenda to move us towards racial equity.

Our work cultivates powerful grassroots leadership from spaces often neglected and under-resourced in the leadership development landscape. Through culturally relevant training and opportunities, we see the emergence of powerful grassroots leadership from immigrant and refugee communities, whose contributions lead to more robust and relevant organizing and advocacy work. In addition to equipping our community members with the knowledge, skills, and resources necessary to regularly engage with power-brokers and decision-makers at all levels of society, we align, convene, and collaborate with like-minded organizations to advocate for laws and policies that benefit all communities.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Following our organization’s commitment to racial equity, our advocacy and organizing work is intended to contribute to the wider racial justice organizing and movement that benefits all marginalized communities and peoples. Each of our specific base-building programs serves a unique demographic that is more explicitly focused on the Asian American and immigrant and refugee communities.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    SMS text surveys, Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time,


Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago

Board of directors
as of 11/2/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Ms. Khai Yang

Allstate Insurance

Board co-chair

Mr. Karthik Raja


Youngmee Ko

CME Group

Jean Kim

US Foods

Michael Chu

McDermott Will & Emery LLP

Mark Anthony Florido

Leadership for Educational Equity

Sheehan Band

Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP

Milynn Mapalo

Prosper Rose Consulting

Cathy Nieng

Freelance UX Designer & Interactive Strategist

Kavisha Daru


Aisha Ghori Ozaki

Allstate Insurance

Sumi Cho

Sumi Cho

Sumi Cho

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/18/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Asian American/Pacific Islanders/Asian
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation


We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/18/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.