WEBINAR: To be Asian in America’s State and Local Trial Courts

On March 22, 2023, NAPCO held a webinar titled “To be Asian in America’s State and Local Trial Courts”.

Asian Americans have historically experienced an uncertain and misunderstood place in American society. They have been labeled as a “model minority” with a culture based on work ethic, education, family and respect for elders, and simultaneously described as anti-American for the actions of Asian countries beyond their control (i.e. Japan in WWII; the pandemic; increased tensions between U.S. and China). Neither is true.

It is a myth that 22-million people comprising the American Asian communities have “gained” social and economic equality. As a racial/ethnic group they are extremely diverse, representing more than 20 countries in East and Southeast Asia, Hawai’i, the Pacific Islands, and the Indian subcontinent, each with unique histories, cultures, languages and other characteristics. Their education, economic situation, and occupation levels are wide-ranging.

As a growing minority, threats and attacks against them have been rising. Most incidents involve perpetrators who are strangers, occur beyond a victim’s neighborhood, and frequently happen in public settings. Some speculate the recent uptick in confrontations and microaggressions has been fueled by escalated public frictions in Sino-American relations. Regardless of the causes, it is not surprising that many Asian Americans have come to question the fairness in American society and its institutions (including trial courts)… describing their feelings as “perpetually being seen as foreigners.”

This 75-minute online seminar and discussion offered trial court leaders and leadership teams a closer look at the needs, challenges, and issues trial courts confront in improving access and support for one of America’s most diverse and fast-growing racial/ethnic groups – our Asian American communities.


  • Hon. Roxanne Song Ong (ret.), Chief Presiding Judge 
    Municipal Court of Phoenix, Arizona 


  • Hon. Cheri T. Pham, Assistant Presiding Judge 
    Superior Court of California, County of Orange (Santa Ana) 
  • Mr. David Yamasaki, Chief Executive Officer 
    Superior Court of California, County of Orange (Santa Ana) 
  • Hon. Rabeea Sultan Collier, Presiding Judge
    113th District Court of Texas, Harris County (Houston) 
  • Hon. Gloria Tan, Associate Justice
    Massachusetts Juvenile Court