Friends of Asian American Advisory Board members Adam Tavakoly, Sunny Mullick, Josephine Gordy  and Lisa Hu Barquist and Community Relations Board members George Yap and Rey Valdes attended the Sixth Annual Florida Minority Community Reinvestment Coalition (FMCRC) and Asian American Federation of Florida (AAFF) "Let's Do Business Summit" on June 7 and 8, 2010.  Al Pina, president of FMCRC and Joy Bruce, president of AAFF did such a tremendous job (and much hard work) to put together this informative, interactive and well-attended two day summit.

The summit discussed empowering the Asian American community in Florida,
obtaining private mezzanine capital financing, availing legal economic
opportunities with financial institutions, discussing strategic plans on
health care initiatives and creating jobs in inner cities in Florida.

Keynote speaker Kerry Kennedy, Esq., Founder of the Robert F. Kennedy
Center for Justice & Human Rights, who traveled from New York to
Florida, gave an inspirational speech at the annual builders of
community and country awards dinner, the evening of June 7.  Ms. Kennedy
spoke about the importance of us collectively to help those who do not
have the resources, language abilities, and education and to give a
voice to their plights and bring about change.  Physical battery,
imprisonment without due process, and fears about homosexuality are
encompassed within violations of human rights.  An example (of many) Ms.
Kennedy gave was of a human rights activist in Mexico who is a lawyer
and nun of Indian heritage in a small town in Mexico. When growing up in
a small town in Mexico, the future activist saw her father, a union
organizer, beaten jailed for months without charges filed against him
and without legal representation when unionized workers at the sole
factory in the small town sought to improve working conditions and
wages.  As a young girl, she vowed to become a lawyer so that she could
represent individuals like her father who not only was unable to find
lawyers to represent him for fear of retribution from the factory's
owners and the police but also who did not have the financial resources
to hire lawyers.  She became a lawyer and has represented and fought for
her father's union as well as others in other towns -- all facing
similar situations.

Find a passion you care about: it will give you a purpose to and a cause
in your life.

"If you do not stand up for something, you will fall for anything" was
another message from an award recipient actively engaged in helping the
minority community here in Florida.
Lisa Hu Barquist