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Q&A With CABA President, Community Involvement

We sat down with CABA President Jeff Koh for a series of questions about our organization. Below is Part 2 of our series, Q&A with CABA President. Part 1 can be found here.

How does CABA “give back” to the community? Any pro bono activities?

CABA, CABA board directors and CABA members are big on community involvement and giving back to the under-represented and under-resourced in the community. On a regular and monthly basis, CABA board directors and membership provide pro bono legal services to the community at the Chinatown Pro Bono Legal Clinic.  Established in 2010 (with CABA as a co-founder), the Chinatown Pro Bono Legal Clinic works to meet the legal needs of the Chinese-American community and under-resourced communities in Chicago and the surrounding areas. More than several of our 26 CABA board directors serve on the boards of various charitable organizations in the city, including the Chicago Bar Foundation, the Asian American Bar Foundation, Chinese American Service League, and Asian Americans Advancing Justice Board, etc., and CABA co-hosts and cross-advertises events with each of these partner organizations.

What APA communities do you serve? Do you serve specific ethnic groups or populations?

The two large geographic nexuses in the city, other than downtown Loop Chicago, are the Cermak-Chinatown community located south of the downtown area, and the Argyle-Little Saigon community located north of the downtown area.

While CABA is nominally Chinese, and serves the Chinese APA community, CABA has generally erred on the side of overinclusion (particularly given the extent of the Chinese diaspora and inter-marriages between communities). We have co-hosted and partnered with most APA and minority organizations in the city (such as coming out strong in support of the Muslim and Arab communities in the wake of the immigration executive orders). We have welcomed anyone with an interest in Chinese, Chinese-American, APA, legal or Chicago matters in the city to become involved with CABA.

Tell us about the relationships CABA has with other community based organizations.

Three of the biggest community-based organizations in Chicago serving our community are the Chinese Mutual Aid Association (up north in Argyle-Little Saigon), Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Chicago (also up north) and the Chinese American Service League (south in Cermak-Chinatown.)

CABA board directors and membership serve on the Boards of each of these organizations, these organizations subscribe to CABA’s mailing list and vice versa, we co-host and cross-advertise events, and CABA remains intimately involved with and is friends with these organizations and their Executive Directors and staff.

Have a question for the president? Submit your question via Twitter @cabachicago or Facebook.

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