The Asian American Federation of Florida (AAFF) is a 501(c)(3) coalition that aims to unity and collaboration among the various Asian Pacific American organizations and to improve the relationship of a culturally diverse Asian Pacific American community in Florida. The AAFF is a statewide organization made up of more than 70 Bangladesh, Burmese, Cambodian, Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Iranian, Korean, Laotian, Taiwanese, Thai, Turkish and Vietnamese faith-based and community-based organizations, businesses and media.



The AAFF/FMCRC/Let's Do Business Florida Summit

MIAMI, FLORIDA – July 15, 2011

AAFF Summit

                On June 16-17, 2011, more than 50 Asian American community leaders gathered in Fort Lauderdale during the Annual Summit of the Asian American Federation of Florida (AAFF), to discuss economic development, issues and opportunities that impact their communities, organizations, and businesses. This was done in conjunction with the Florida Economic Development Summit hosted by Let’s Do Business Florida and Florida Minority Community Reinvestment Coalition (FMCRC).

                Key members of the White House and Federal agencies including Minority Development Business Agency (MBDA), HUD, and Department of Labor identified the need for public services and resources in the context job creation in low-and-moderate income communities,  and successful approaches for addressing these needs. The panelists explored federal efforts to support job creation development in low-and-moderate income communities, including the challenges of access to community economic development capital for nonprofits that serve minority and underserved communities.


                Jeanette Lee,  Staff Attorney for the Asian American Justice Center’s Affirmative Action Program, talked about the necessity and effectiveness of minority contracting programs in public and private sectors locally and nationally, and encouraged Florida Asian American business owners and organizations to share and write their experiences in government and corporate contracting. Jessica Chia, NAPABA Law Foundation Partners and In-House Counsel Community Law Fellow at the Asian American Justice Center, discussed the DREAM Act and  the need for community advocacy.  Dr. Antonio Wong,  Medical Director of Doctors Plus, gave an update on affordable health care and its impact on the Asian community.  Ahn Nguyen, Partnership and Data Specialist from the U.S. Census Bureau, Atlanta Region, summarized the latest statistical data for Asian Americans in Florida at the Summit and gave a hands-on workshop at the NANAY Community Center on how to access online data from the Census.  Mikki Canton,  Founder and CEO of Asia-Americana  International LLC and Senior Public Policy Advisor to the Mayor of the City of Miami for Public/Private Partnerships and International Alliances, presented plans to set up an Asia Americana International District in Miami. ASIA Affinity Group gave free visual screening to the Summit attendees and a powerpoint presentation on Health Vision.

                The highlight of the AAFF Summit was a panel presentation by Florida student leaders who participated in the AAFF Youth Essay Contest  on “How To Empower Youth To Become Future Leaders of Our Community”. Lawrence Wong and Catherine Wong from the University of Miami garnered the First and Second Prizes, while Alyssa Wang from the University of Florida won the Third Prize. The other youth panelists were Neha Swaroop, Northeast High School Graduate who is going to University of Florida beginning in Fall 2011; and Anna Sun, a second year student from University of Florida.  The panel was moderated by Anthony Reynolds, Vice President of the University of Florida Student Body and Chief Executive Officer of the Student Government Cabinet.  Below are excerpts of the speeches presented by the youth.

Anthony-Ray Espino Reynolds - AAFF Youth Council - 6/17/2011
Lawrence Wong (part 1)
Lawrence Wong (part 2)
Catherine Wong
Alyssa Wang
Neha Swaroop
Anna Sun
All Video produced by Asia Trend Magazine http://www.AsiaTrendMagazine.com

                “AAFF would like to encourage youth participation and identify future community leaders that can be mentored and who can potentially bring Asian Americans in Florida to a higher level of achievement,” said AAFF President Dr.  Joy Bruce.

                As a result of this initiative, the AAFF Board members unanimously agreed to create  a new AAFF Youth Council, that will initially be headed by Anthony Reynolds and Lawrence Wong.

                The next AAFF meeting will be held on October 15-16, 2011 at Double Tree Hotel in Orlando, Florida, and will include a 4-hour workshop on the business requirements for Government Contracting to be facilitated by Atlanta-based President of Government Contractors Association,  Abe Xiong, who will share vital information  on how to register, prepare and successfully negotiate for government contracts.

The Asian American Federation of Florida (AAFF) is also planning to include Voters Education and Advocacy in its next meeting agenda, with specific focus on the Alien Land Law (Florida is the only State that still has this provision discriminating and prohibiting Asians from owning properties). The current Florida Census data will be utilized to design initiatives for advocacy and empowerment, which includes voters’ registration and youth mobilization.

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