AILA Public Statements, Press Releases

AILA Presents Sui Chung with the 2019 Diversity and Inclusion Award

6/19/19 AILA Doc. No. 19062034.
George Tzamaras
Belle Woods

WASHINGTON, DC - The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) will recognize Sui Chung, of the Immigration Law & Litigation Group in Miami, FL, with the 2019 Diversity and Inclusion Award for outstanding efforts in promoting diversity and inclusion excellence in the immigration legal profession this week during AILA's Annual Conference in Orlando, FL.

Sui Chung, Immediate Past President of AILA South Florida, was previously honored by the American Immigration Lawyers Association with the Michael Maggio Award for establishing the Krome Mental Incompetency Representation Project. Highlights of her litigation practice have included co-representing the lead Florida case addressing immigrants' right to effective representation in criminal proceedings, and representing Enrique from the award-winning novel, Enrique's Journey. Chung serves as Vice Chair of AILA National's ICE Liaison Committee and on the boards of the American Immigration Council, Immigrants' List PAC and Civic Action, and Catholic Legal Services. She began her career at the Board of Immigration Appeals through the Attorney General Honors Program. Chung received her J.D. from Georgetown University, and her B.A. and B. Music degrees from Oberlin College.

Through Sui Chung's leadership, AILA South Florida has promoted the inclusion of diverse voices of its membership, including in the development of future leadership. Chung mandated focused efforts and demanded a change in culture, requiring a commitment from all leaders to go beyond their traditional "call of duty" and henceforth reimagine the Chapter's commitment to all of its members. Highlights have included enumerating "Diversity & Inclusion" as central to the Chapter's annual plan; founding a Diversity & Inclusion Committee; creating a welcoming environment and providing a call-in option for members to remotely participate in board meetings; creating a progressive hierarchy for developing new and diverse speaking talent in various forums; highlighting the LGBTQ committee by having it produce a featured social event at a LGBTQ-proud venue; and implementing a purposeful rotation in committee leadership, who pass on responsibility to a continuously new team of leaders. The impetus for this rapid evolution started and ended with Chung, Founder of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee, whose intrepid resiliency has produced rapid, remarkable, and sustainable change. Significantly, part of that change is her happy embrace of becoming "past-tense" (as a now-former elected leader), as she sagely passes on the leadership mantle and obligations to others, for them to continue the cycle of inclusion and the cultivation of new leaders and development of talent within our organization.