Asian Americans Advancing Justice - LA

Building upon the legacy of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center

Women’s History Month at Advancing Justice-LA: Jessica Jinn

Thursday, March 15th 2018
Jessica Jinn 
Jessica is a communications manager at Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles. Her full bio is found here
How did you first get started working in this field?
I got my first taste of social justice when I was interning at the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition one summer in college. When people speak of bicycles and cycling, it’s always in the context of being a hobby or a way to get in extra exercise on your commute. The conversation neglects to acknowledge communities and families whose sole form of transit was a bike or their last mile connection after using public transportation. It was important for the Bicycle Coalition to work with these communities and get them the resources they need to bike safely. After that, I started doing more clean energy and environmental justice work, eventually leading me to here. I want to make sure that marginalized communities get the platform they need to speak up against injustices and that we’re giving them the resources they need to succeed. 
What woman inspires you and why?
In the past year, I’ve been in awe with Ceclie Richards, the (soon to be retired) president of Planned Parenthood. I listened to her interview with Ezra Klein and my respect for her intensified -- her career path is admirable, to say the least. Her strength and leadership have been instrumental in intensifying Planned Parenthood’s political voice and ensuring that all women have access to affordable and safe health services. And more. 
What does it mean to be a woman in social justice?
Being a woman in social justice means having to work really, really hard. After reading “Lean In”, I quickly realized that success does not come to women as easily as it did for Sheryl Sandberg, and as I work in social justice, especially true working in this field. We not only expose our hearts and pour our soul into our work, but also must put in a fair amount of emotional energy to climb to the top -- so, it’s a pretty vulnerable position to be in, I think. 
Why is it important to have women in leadership roles?
Women don’t know they can succeed until they see women in leadership roles. Women in leadership roles are also important because they can be mentors and supporters of other young women. Women leaders can begin to change our workplace culture: equal pay for women, adequate family leave, and encouraging women to do work they want to do. 

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Our mission is to advocate for civil rights, provide legal services and education, and build coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders and to create a more equitable and harmonious society.