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[ADVOCACY] Karen Narasaki - Civil Rights Advocate! / Media Advocate?

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  • madchinaman
    Travis Smiley Interview with Karen Narasaki http://www.pbs.org/kcet/tavissmiley/archive/200505/20050525_transcript .html#1 - Can a legal advocate with limited
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 9, 2006
      Travis Smiley Interview with Karen Narasaki


      Can a legal advocate with limited working knowledge of Hollywood be
      an effective advocate of change in the entertainment industry? Look
      forward to your comments on this question.


      Tavis Smiley: Good evening from Los Angeles, I'm Tavis Smiley. Last
      week the four major broadcast networks unveiled their fall schedules
      in New York, and despite promises from the networks to bring more
      diversity to primetime television, the reality does not match the
      rhetoric. The latest study on the lack of inclusion focuses on Asian
      Americans. Asian Americans make up 5% of the U.S. population, yet
      less than 3% of characters on TV are of Asian decent. Tonight, a
      conversation about the new study and the lack of diversity on TV with
      Karen Narasaki, president of the National Asian Pacific American
      Legal Consortium. Also tonight, talented singer-songwriter Shelby
      Lynne is here. The Grammy winning is out this week with a new CD
      called "Suit Yourself." Later on, a special performance from Shelby
      Lynne. We're glad you joined us. That's all coming up right now.

      Announcer: Tavis Smiley is made possible in part by Toyota, makers of
      the 2005 Toyota Camry. Now, that's moving forward.

      This portion of "Tavis Smiley" is brought to you by Wal-Mart. We
      embrace diversity, and strive to uphold its ideals for our customers
      and our associates. We are committed to our community partnerships,
      and we are an equal opportunity employer.

      The Annie E. Casey Foundation. Helping to build better futures for
      America's kids and families.

      And by contributions to your PBS station from viewers like you. Thank

      Captioning made possible by KCET Public Television and the U.S.
      Department of Education

      Tavis: Karen Narasaki is the president and executive director of the
      National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium, a nonprofit civil
      rights group furthering the cause of Asian Americans. Prior to her
      current post, she served as the Washington D.C. representative to the
      Japanese-American Citizens League. This month we celebrate the Asian
      Pacific American history month. Karen, it's nice to have you here.

      Karen Narasaki: Great to be here.

      Tavis: This study--first of all, I guess the first thing out of my
      mouth is tell me something I don't know. But 'topline' this study for

      Narasaki: Well, we're very excited to do this study. It's
      called "Lights, Camera, and Too Little Action." We've been working on
      the issue of where are the Asian Americans in popular media,
      particularly on prime-time television. And one of the most
      interesting findings, I thought, was we already knew there weren't
      that many Asian Americans who had regular characters in prime-time
      shows. But one of the things we found was even when they did get to
      be a regular character, they often had the least screen time of any
      of the characters that were on that particular show. And I think part
      of the reason is because they're usually seen as not having any kind
      of family relationship, so they're there as a supporting character,
      but you don't get to really see who they are, and they turn out to be
      fairly one-dimensional.

      Tavis: No family relationship, though, is absolutely antithetical to
      what we think in society, in fact, when we think about Asian

      Narasaki: Exactly. That's what's so interesting. I always tell people
      my own experience. We have a very dysfunctional family that would be
      funny on any sitcom that you could air, but we just don't see writers
      writing that yet, and I think that's the big challenge.

      Tavis: Speaking of challenge, what's the challenge uniquely for Asian
      Americans versus Hispanic Americans versus African-Americans? Because
      everybody has the same--I could have done a whole panel of people of
      color with this same complaint tonight legitimately.

      Narasaki: Exactly. I think it's because Asians have always been
      treated as foreigners in America. I'm fourth generation here in
      America, and I still get asked regularly where are you from? And if I
      say Seattle, they say, no, I meant where are you really from? Because
      people don't look at us and think I'm American. So this whole notion
      of the stereotype of somehow being exotic, so that if you're going to
      write a character for an Asian-American, somehow they have to be a
      different kind of character than you would write for any other show,
      and that's just not the case. Asian Americans should be able to be
      any particular character on any show. We just haven't been able to
      break through the writers' mindsets.

      Tavis: So what characters in your study have you found that Asian
      Americans most often play, in fact?

      Narasaki: Well, that's the interesting thing. They often play
      doctors. We actually complain when there is a medical show that
      doesn't show a doctor, because the reality is in that industry,
      Asians are very prevalent as both doctors and nurses. There's been
      way too many shows that were set in San Francisco in a hospital and
      there was no Asian American in a city that's 30% Asian American. And
      we just wonder, you know, what city did they wander into. But what
      we're not seeing is Asian Americans who are often in blue-color
      positions. There are a lot of Asian Americans who are secretaries.
      There are a lot of Asian Americans who drive trucks, who, you know,
      play all sorts of roles throughout society. There are Asian Americans
      who are attorneys. You don't often see that. "Boston Legal," one of
      the most powerful partners in one of the biggest law firms in Boston
      is actually Asian-American, but you wouldn't know it if you saw that
      show because you see no Asian-Americans in any role there.

      Tavis: You know, what's funny about this as I think about it is that
      your struggle, the Asian-American struggle is uniquely different in
      this regard, I think, from the African-American struggle and even
      from the Hispanic struggle with regard to images on television. For
      Hispanics and African-Americans, most often when I have these
      conversations, it's about wanting to be seen on television in the
      complexity of their character and the complexity of who they are, the
      same concern that you have. But with black folk and brown folk, it's
      wanting to be seen in a better light than they are typically seen.
      With Asian-Americans, given what you've just said with regard to them
      not being seen in enough blue collar jobs, one can almost take from
      that that because you guys are always seen as doctors, and for lack
      of a better word, "brainiacs," that you don't see the complexities of
      the Asian-American experience, but that would be coming top down as
      opposed to bottom up.

      Narasaki: Right. I get asked that question a lot. Asian Americans do
      get seen in very unsavory roles on television. It's usually the guest
      roles, just as other minorities were. In the smaller roles, we're
      seen as the thugs, the gang members, the people who are the lowest of
      the low in society. But again, it's a question of the richness of who
      we are. And when you're just seen in the model minority light, you
      miss the fact that in fact a high degree of Asian Americans are under
      poverty levels. Many families are struggling. And so then those
      people, the most vulnerable in our community get forgotten. The kids
      in schools--I was just talking to someone who I met at General
      Electric, and he said to me, you know, I came from a broken home, my
      father was an alcoholic. He said I've been afraid to even share that
      part of who I am because I didn't think anybody would believe me. I
      feel like I have to live up to this picture of who I am, and now I
      realize that I need to tell people that in fact I've had this
      background so that people will understand that there are others like
      me who need help.

      Tavis: Who are not altogether a model minority.

      Narasaki: Exactly.

      Tavis: Tell me what the greatest challenge for Asian Americans is
      when Hollywood doesn't represent Asian Americans in their true light.
      As an African-American, I certainly understand, being a black male,
      what happens when the image gets promulgated that we so often think
      of when we think of black men. I know that struggle. Tell me, though,
      what the struggle is uniquely for Asian Americans to the extent that
      Hollywood doesn't show Asian Americans in their full light.

      Narasaki: Right. Well, the challenge for Asian Americans is, first of
      all, we're not seen enough, period, so the existing stereotypes just
      perpetuate themselves because there's nothing to counter that. And
      then when we are, if it's a stereotype, that's a problem. We do civil
      rights and people often ask me, you're a legal group. You do civil
      rights. Why are you talking about television? Because we see how it
      manifests itself in employment discrimination. We see how it
      manifests itself in a hate crime. Everybody thinks that all Asian-
      Americans are martial artists, and I've seen too many times when
      there's a victim of a hate crime, and the person who did it is
      raising the defense of, well, of course, 10 of us beat him up because
      we were assuming that he was a martial artist, and so we felt
      threatened for our lives, when that's not the reality of who we are.
      It is often the case, and when you look at employment discrimination
      of, well, you're a foreigner. And after 9/11, for example, too few
      people knew who Indians and Pakistanis were. So the only image you
      see is what was flashed after 9/11, and the result of that was a rise
      of hate crimes targeting them. You know, everybody being racially
      profiled. You're suspected of being a terrorist until you've been
      proved otherwise. And that's because people don't know who we are.
      They don't know that we have families. They don't know that we love
      people. They don't know that we have sorrows and that we have the
      same challenges that they do.

      Tavis: Anybody on TV doing anything right where Asian Americans are
      concerned? I ask that because I think of Sandra Oh on "Grey's

      Narasaki: Yeah, I actually think that's one of our successes. We've
      been working with the networks for several years and I've been
      raising Sandra Oh because she's an accomplished actress. She was
      great on HBO, and I kept saying--

      Tavis: And "Sideways."

      Narasaki: Also she's been doing movies, and I said why--because, you
      know, the standard reply you get when you say why aren't you hiring
      more Asian Americans is we don't have any qualified ones. I say she's
      doing movies. She's doing well, She's clearly qualified. And her role
      is an example of a network getting it right. She's a well-rounded
      individual. She has a love interest. She's flawed as a character.
      People are getting to know her, both positive and negative, and
      that's what we're looking at. I think the character of Bug
      on "Crossing Jordan." He's one of the scientists, and people get
      concerned because, you know, he's sort of a scientific nerd, but he's
      been allowed to date, he's been able to bring up his immigrant
      background and the fact he's Asian, but he's done it in a way that it
      doesn't define who he is. He's not there just to be the Asian, but
      that's part of the richness of his character.

      Tavis: So maybe in time, Hollywood will get it right.

      Narasaki: I hope so. One of the things we've been working on is
      getting more writers, because that's the only way we think our
      stories are really going to get told, is to get more Asian-Americans,
      or at least people who know Asian Americans to be on the writing
      teams that are doing these shows.

      Tavis: Well, we'll keep talking about it till they make it right.
      Karen, nice to see you.

      Narasaki: Great. Thank you.


      By Janna Chan for AsianAvenue.com

      Seattle, Washington 1966. An eight-year-old Karen Narasaki
      accidentally overhears the pained voices of her parents discussing
      where their family would live next. Seattle was no longer an option.
      Although her father was a second generation Japanese American, World
      War II veteran and an engineer at Boeing, the possibility of buying
      his family a house in Seattle was out of the question due to racial
      covenants at the time. Fast-forward 38 years and this moment is still
      one of Karen's earliest memories. This is the moment she realized
      that the American dream might always be just that—a dream.

      Today, Karen Narasaki is the president and executive director of the
      National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium (NAPALC), a non-
      profit, non-partisan civil rights organization. Even though racial
      covenants are a now a thing of the past, she continues to fight for
      Asian American rights and works with NAPALC to advance the rights of
      all minorities through public policy, education, litigation and
      advocacy. Boasting a long history of civil rights activism through
      her work with the Japanese American Citizen's League, Lawyer's
      Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the Asian Pacific American
      Media Coalition, Karen has always opted for the road less traveled in
      order to pave a better one of her own.

      After not being able to buy a house in Seattle Karen's parents moved
      her, her twin brother and two sisters to Renton, a blue collar
      suburb. Trying to make the best out of their situation, the Narasakis
      regularly encouraged their children to work harder and to not let
      society dictate their roles. Karen and her brother eventually
      enrolled at Renton High School where, according to Karen, there were
      only 20 Asian Americans in a class of roughly 500 students. Right off
      the bat Karen got involved with school leadership programs. She
      became president of her sophomore class and became a finalist for the
      National Merit Scholarship along with her brother. "My father was
      very excited," said Karen over the phone from her Washington D.C.
      office. "His dream was for one of his kids to attend an Ivy League
      school and this scholarship signaled a step closer to that. He told
      me once that he would have proved himself in America if this

      Growing up, Karen's father was fairly open about talking about race
      with his children. Both of her parents were sent to internment camps
      after the Pearl Harbor bombing during WWII yet her father still chose
      to join the military. He was part of the famous 442 all Japanese
      American battalion that fought in Europe. The struggles that both her
      parents endured laid the groundwork for Karen's self-confidence and
      ignited a desire to make sure that her parents' experience in the
      camps would never happen to anyone else. "I think he [her father] was
      a little bitter," says Karen. "He, like many other Japanese
      Americans, was born here—he was not an immigrant and his mom was born
      here also. In many ways he still felt very grateful for the
      opportunities America presented that he felt would not be available
      in Japan. The message he gave to us growing up was to be a real
      patriot. That being an American really meant being willing to stand
      up and try to make America better—make it live up to its ideals."

      After high school, Karen fulfilled her father's dream of an Ivy
      League child when she was accepted to Yale. A stellar 4.0 student
      with an impressive extra curricular résumé, Karen's road to Yale was
      still not an easy one. She came from a less-than-desirable public
      high school and had a guidance counselor that didn't know the first
      thing about Ivy League schools. When Karen was finally accepted to
      Yale it was mainly because of its progressive affirmative action
      policies. "I think that I am an example of how affirmative action is
      supposed to work," says Karen. "The reality is that at a school like
      Yale there are thousands of students that apply that can do the work.
      They weren't just looking at your grades or your test scores, but
      whether you showed evidence that you were going to be a leader. I
      felt that because I took full advantage of this opportunity that Yale
      did the right thing. They weren't `wasting the slot' because I proved
      that I could do the work."

      Karen graduated magna cum laude with an economics and political
      science degree at Yale and went on to attend the UCLA law school. She
      graduated third in her class and although her college career was
      superb job offers weren't exactly flying through her door. She was
      later told that her applications for summer jobs were overlooked
      mainly because firms weren't keen on hiring women or minorities. She
      eventually landed a coveted position as a corporate attorney at
      Seattle's largest law firm, Perkins Coie. Karen spent six years at
      the firm and proved, without a doubt, her qualifications as an
      attorney. She remained active while at the firm moonlighting at Asian
      American and women's rights groups, and was allowed to do so because
      she was one of the top billing associates in terms of hours logged.

      Literally months away from making partner at her firm, a case she was
      working on with the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
      (NAPABA) suddenly made her rethink her career goals. The case, Wards
      Cove Packing Co. v. Antonio, was a class action suit brought upon by
      the predominantly Filipino and native Alaskan employees who had been
      discriminated against at an Alaskan cannery. Karen was set to speak
      at a press conference in support of the employees but was stopped
      after she found out that one of her clients at Perkins Coie, an
      Alaskan fish cannery, had taken out an op-ed piece in the local paper
      in defense of Wards Cove. "I felt that it was getting harder and
      harder to be a conservative corporate attorney by day and a civil
      rights activist by night," says Karen. "I knew that I would have to
      make a decision about my career, but it was very difficult because
      that summer I would be up for partner…But in the end, I knew that I
      needed to make a decision."

      The year was 1986 and Karen said goodbye to her old life, and a hefty
      salary, to enter the non-profit sector as a tireless advocate for
      human and civil rights. A nationally recognized expert on affirmative
      action and immigrant, civil and voting rights Karen has appeared
      on "The Newshour" with Jim Lehrer, ABC and CBS News, "Hardball" with
      Chris Mathews and has been quoted in just about every major American
      newspaper. During the Clinton administration, Karen was invited to
      the White House on several occasions to advise the president on civil
      rights issues. Part of her 12-hour-work-days include leading NAPALC
      and serving on the boards of the Leadership Conference Educational
      Fund and the Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Under
      Karen's leadership, the 1992 Voting Rights Act extension of the
      language rights provision was passed which has helped thousands of
      Asian, Latino and American Indian citizens to register and vote in
      their native languages. Her latest effort is the Rights Working Group
      which is a coalition of civil rights, civil liberties, human and
      immigrant rights advocates working together to address the
      deterioration of civil and human rights in the aftermath of 9/11.

      Karen has come a long way from Renton and even further from the
      racial biases that once haunted her parents and threatened her goals.
      Through her leadership and actions, she has pioneered a path for
      Asian Americans and other minorities to demand a just and equal
      America. "One of the things I really believe in is, if at the end of
      the day, NAPALC has achieved equality for Asian Americans but not for
      Latinos, Jews and other Americans we haven't done our job," says
      Karen. "What I'm interested in is helping people understand that
      their fates as human beings are linked to each other. If we really
      want the America we say we want then that's going to take work and it
      isn't about does affirmative action or voting rights directly benefit
      me. It's about does it benefit us is the larger picture? Diversity
      does make a difference."


      Karen Narasaki

      Karen K. Narasaki is the President and Executive Director of the
      Asian American Justice Center, formerly known as the National Asian
      Pacific American Legal Consortium. AAJC is a non-profit, non-partisan
      civil rights organization whose mission is to advance the human and
      civil rights of Asian Pacific Americans through advocacy, public
      policy, public education, and litigation. AAJC is affiliated with the
      Asian American Institute in Chicago, the Asian Pacific American Legal
      Center in Los Angeles, and the Asian Law Caucus in San Francisco.

      Before joining AAJC, Ms. Narasaki was the Washington, DC
      Representative for the Japanese American Citizens League. Prior to
      that she was a corporate attorney at Perkins Coie in Seattle,
      Washington. Before joining Perkins Coie, she served as a Law Clerk to
      Judge Harry Pregerson on the United States Court of Appeals for the
      Ninth Circuit in Los Angeles.

      Ms. Narasaki serves in a number of leadership positions in the civil
      rights and immigrant rights communities. She is Vice Chair of the
      Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, the nation's oldest and
      broadest civil rights coalition and Vice President of the Coalition
      for Comprehensive Immigration Reform and Chairperson of the Rights
      Working Group, a coalition of human rights, civil rights, civil
      liberties and immigrant rights groups working to address the erosion
      of civil liberties and the basic rights of immigrants since 9/11. She
      also serves on the board of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights
      Under Law, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund, and
      is a past board member of the Independent Sector.

      Ms. Narasaki is a nationally recognized leader in the Asian American
      community, where she serves as the immediate past Chair of the
      National Council of Asian Pacific Americans and Chair of the Asian
      Pacific American Media Coalition.

      Media appearances
      A regular guest on News & Notes with Ed Gordon, Ms. Narasaki has
      appeared on ABC and CBS News, Fox News Channel, the Jim Lehrer
      Newshour, Hardball with Chris Mathews, America with Dennis Wholey and
      several National Public Radio shows, including Talk of the Nation and
      Powerpoint. She has also been quoted by The New York Times, The
      Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, as well as
      numerous regional newspapers, including The Chicago Tribune, The
      Houston Chronicle, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and The Los
      Angeles Times.

      Recognized by The Washingtonian Magazine as one of the 100 most
      powerful women in Washington, DC, Ms. Narasaki has received numerous
      awards and accolades. She was the 2005 recipient of the American Bar
      Association Spirit of Excellence Award, and has received the
      Congressional Black Caucus Chair's Award, International Channel We
      the People Award, and was named one of the 100 Most Influential Asian
      Americans of the Decade by A Magazine, among numerous other awards.

      She is a graduate, magna cum laude, of Yale University and Order of
      the Coif, of the UCLA School of Law.

      Ms. Narasaki's father served in the famed 442nd Regimental Combat
      Team of the US Army, the all-Japanese American unit that fought in
      Europe during World War II.

      Ms. Narasaki graduated 3rd in her class at UCLA Law School.

      At Yale, Ms. Narasaki was at Davenport College - "Home of the Gnome"

      Ms. Narasaki has a niece named Julia.


      Biographical Sketch: Karen K. Naraksaki

      Karen K. Narasaki is the Bxecutive Director of the National Asian
      Pacific American Legal Consortium, a nonprofit, nonpartisan
      organization. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., its mission is to
      advocate the legal and civil rights of Asian Pacific Americans
      through litigation, advocacy, public education and public policy
      development. Ms. Narasaki also serves on the Bxecutive Committee of
      the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights as the Chairperson of its
      ComplianceIEnforcement Committee and is Chairperson of the National
      Network of Against Anti-Asian Violence. Ms. Narasaki is a graduate of
      Yale University and the U.C.L.A. School of Law.


      Karen Narasaki

      As President and Executive Director of the National Asian Pacific
      American Legal Consortium (NAPALC), Karen Narasaki is one of the
      nation's most effective advocates for Asian Pacific Americans and
      other minority group members. Her compelling life story demonstrates
      how affirmative action programs are needed even for the so-
      called "model minorities."

      Karen Narasaki's commitment to the ongoing struggle for civil rights
      for the nation's Asian Pacific Americans is rooted in a long history
      of discrimination. Years before her birth in 1958 in Seattle, her
      father and his family were interned in World War II because of their
      Japanese descent. Her father, a third-generation Japanese-American,
      born in California, went on to serve valiantly with the famed 442nd
      Battalion in the later stages of the war.

      Although he was a successful engineer with Boeing, he was unable to
      make a home for his family in Seattle's middle and upper class areas,
      because of property covenants that restricted Asian Pacific Americans
      and other minorities from living in those neighborhoods. As a result,
      he moved the family to a blue-collar suburb, where young Karen
      attended under-resourced public schools. Few of her classmates
      attended college, and the Ivy League schools that her father wished
      Karen to attend did not send recruiters to her high school.

      As a National Merit scholar with an almost perfect 4.0 GPA, Karen
      applied to Yale University, where her credentials were discounted
      because her high school was hardly considered fertile ground for
      students aspiring to Ivy League institutions. Fortunately, for Yale,
      and for Karen Narasaki, the university's interest in building a
      diverse student body that included African Americans, Latinos, Native
      Americans and Asian Pacific Americans led them to advance her
      application from waiting list to accepted. Yale's affirmative action
      gave Karen Narasaki the opportunity to prove herself academically.

      While working part-time throughout her four years at Yale, she
      maintained an excellent academic record and graduated magna cum
      laude, with distinction in her major. Her outstanding performance at
      Yale opened doors for her that were hitherto closed to women and
      minority students.

      However, when she attended law school at UCLA, she still encountered
      discrimination. For example, her applications for summer jobs were
      bypassed, even though she was a top-ranked student, apparently
      because firms were reluctant to hire women and minorities.

      After graduating from law school third in her class, she served as a
      Law Clerk to Judge Harry Pregerson on the U.S. Court of Appeals for
      the 9th Circuit in Los Angeles. Later, affirmative action goals at
      Seattle's largest law firm gave her an opportunity to further
      demonstrate her qualifications as an attorney. Throughout her six
      years at Perkins Coie, Karen Narasaki proved to be one of the top-
      billing associates. Before joining NAPALC she was the Washington DC
      representative for the nation's largest membership-based Asian
      American civil rights organization, the Japanese American Citizens

      Recognizing that only through affirmative action efforts was she
      given opportunities, Karen Narasaki continues to advocate for such
      programs. Under her leadership, NAPALC has worked with others to
      maintain affirmative action on the federal level and to block
      attempts to pass English Only legislation in Congress. In her
      passionate testimony in 1997 against a bill that would have
      effectively ended affirmative action programs, Ms. Narasaki
      stated, "Constitutional guarantees and anti-discrimination laws on
      their own have not achieved true equality of opportunity for all

      She persists in battling inequality and seeks to build collaborative
      relationships with other minority group members, including African
      Americans and Latinos. For example, she serves as Chairperson of the
      Compliance/Enforcement Committee of the Executive Committee of the
      Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. Among her many achievements
      was the 1992 Voting Rights Act extension of the language rights
      provision, which has helped thousands of Asian, Latino and American
      Indian citizens to register and vote in their native languages.

      Ms. Narasaki serves on the Board of the Lawyers Committee for Civil
      Rights Under Law, Leadership Conference Education Fund and the
      Independent Sector. She has also served on the Boards of National
      Immigration Law Center, National Asian Pacific American Bar
      Association (NAPABA), the Asian Bar Association of Washington, the
      Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Southern California and the
      Organization of Pam Asian American Women.

      Among the many awards Ms. Narasaki has received are the 2001
      Washington Magazine 100 Most Powerful Women; the 2000 U.S. Department
      of Justice Citizen Volunteer Service Award; the 1999 Asian Pacific
      American Labor Alliance Community Award; the 1999 Award for 100 Most
      Influential Asian Americans of the Decade; and the 1994 NAPABA
      Trailblazer Award.

      Karen Narasaki suggests that young lawyers help their clients and
      communities to achieve their goals, objectives, and even dreams. In
      her words, "It is easy to find 100 problems that an idea might solve,
      but the true value is to find the path to make the idea work." She
      encourages young lawyers to take risks and find work about which they
      feel passionate.

      Karen Narasaki is that kind of lawyer herself. Because of her many
      achievements, the ABA is proud to salute her during Asian Pacific
      American Heritage Month.
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