Asia Society Texas Center

[WEBCAST] Your Voice and Your Vote: Elevating Asian American Civic Engagement

Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020 – Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020

07:30 PM – 08:30 PM

shutterstock_1661415604 1200px


Thursday, August 13, 2020
7:30 p.m. Moderated Discussion
8:10 p.m. Audience Q&A — Questions welcome via YouTube Live and Facebook Live

Sign up to receive a reminder email about this program:

Sign Up


To be an American citizen is to have a voice in our democracy. In an increasingly diverse United States, representation matters, and many minorities are looking to the 2020 elections to see who will be represented to represent them. More than 20 million Asian Americans currently reside in the United States and will constitute nearly 10 percent of eligible voters by 2036. However, despite being the fastest-growing racial group, Asian American civic engagement has remained stagnantly low. In 2016, voter turnout for eligible Asian Americans was only 49 percent in comparison to 65 percent of non-Hispanic whites and 59 percent for non-Hispanic Blacks.

With both external institutional obstacles and internal mindsets that inhibit Asian American engagement, what can be done to foster an identity that encourages higher voter turnout? Join Asia Society as we hear from a group of experts on how to advocate and advance Asian American civic engagement.

About the Speakers

Christine Chen

Christine Chen, the founding executive director from 2006-2008 returned to APIAVote in January 2011 to serve as its current Executive Director.  During her tenure she had strengthened and expanded APIAVote's partners into 28 states.  APIAVote’s research and polling of Asian American voters and their regional trainings and field programs have strengthened the local grassroots programs in reaching and mobilizing Asian American and Pacific Islander voters. More recently, APIAVote has launched extensive initiatives to have a full and complete count of the Asian and Pacific Islander community in the 2020 Census. Through all these efforts, APIAVote has played a key role in elevating the Asian American and Pacific Islander electorate to an unprecedented national level in recent years. In addition Chen serves as President of Strategic Alliances USA, a consulting firm specializing in coalition building, institutional development, and partnerships among the corporate sector, government agencies, and the nonprofit and public sector.

Chen is well-known by activists across the county. Her track record in building coalitions and working at the grassroots and national levels established her as one of the strongest voices in the APIA community. She has more than two decades of experience in organizing and advocating on issues such as immigration, hate crimes, affirmative action, census, racial profiling, voting rights, election reform, and various derogatory and racist media incidents. Profiled by Newsweek magazine in 2001 as one of 15 women who will shape America’s new century, Chen served from 2001 to 2005 as national executive director of the Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA), one of the leading APIA civil rights organizations in the country. Chen currently serves on the Steering Committee for National Voter Registration Day, Kennedy Center Community Advisory Board and the board for the Center for Asian American Media.

Mark Jones

Mark P. Jones, Ph.D., is the fellow in political science at the Baker Institute, the Joseph D. Jamail Chair in Latin American Studies and a professor in the Department of Political Science at Rice University. Jones also serves as the faculty director of Rice’s Master of Global Affairs program. His research focuses on the effect of electoral laws and other political institutions on governance, representation and voting. He has received substantial financial support for this research, including grants from the National Science Foundation. His research has been published in journals such as the American Journal of Political ScienceElectoral Studies and the Journal of Politics, as well as in edited volumes published by Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press and Penn State University Press, among others. He is a frequent contributor to Texas media outlets, and his research on the Texas Legislature has been widely cited in the media as well as by numerous political campaigns.

Jones regularly advises U.S. government institutions on economic and political affairs in Argentina and has conducted research on public policy issues in Latin America and Texas for numerous international, national and local organizations, including the Inter-American Development Bank, the United Nations Development Programme, the U.S. Department of Defense, the Texas Department of Agriculture and the city of Houston. He is a frequent commentator in local, state, national and international media on government, politics and public policy. He is currently working on two principal research agendas, one that examines the impact of political institutions on politics and public policy in Latin America, and the other that analyzes the evolution of partisan politics in Texas over the past 50 years. Jones received his doctorate from the University of Michigan and his bachelor’s degree from Tulane University. Jones leads the Baker Institute's Argentina Program and helps direct the Presidential Elections Program.

Mustafa Tameez

Mustafa Tameez is Outreach Strategists’ Founder and President. He began his career in New York advertising for corporate clients, but after moving to Texas he shifted to advising successful campaigns for state legislators, mayors, members of Congress and public institutions. Tameez is a national opinion leader with over 600 appearances on CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, and CBSN. The Atlantic mentions him as a top Democratic consultant in Texas and Texas Monthly refers to him as one of the top Democrats to watch. Tameez is the Chairman of the Transportation Advocacy Group board, a Director of the Texas Lyceum, and a member of the Unity National Bank board, among other civic and business affiliations. He has also provided extensive consulting services for the Department of Homeland Security.

Moderator information will be announced.

Asia Society hosts today's leading voices, providing commentary on events in news, society, and culture. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect Asia Society views.

Asia Society Texas Center Business & Policy Programs, Endowed by

Huffington Foundation

Business and Policy programs at Asia Society Texas Center are presented by Bank of America, Muffet Blake, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, United Airlines, and Wells Fargo. Major support comes from Nancy C. Allen, Chinhui Juhn and Eddie Allen, Nancy Pollok Guinee, and Mary Lawrence Porter, as well as The Brown Foundation, Inc. and Houston Endowment. Additional funding is provided by the Friends of Asia Society Texas Center, a dedicated group of individuals and organizations committed to bringing the best in public programming.

Business & Policy Presenting Sponsors

B&P Sponsors FY2020

About Asia Society at Home

We are dedicated to continuing our mission of building cross-cultural understanding and uplifting human connectivity. Using digital tools, we bring you content for all ages and conversations that matter, in order to spark curiosity about Asia and to foster empathy.

About Asia Society Texas Center

With 13 locations throughout the world, Asia Society is the leading educational organization promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships among the peoples, leaders, and institutions of Asia and West. Asia Society Texas Center executes the global mission with a local focus, enriching and engaging the vast diversity of Houston through innovative, relevant programs in arts and culture, business and policy, education, and community outreach.


  • Tuesday - Friday, 11:00 am - 6:00 pm
    Saturday & Sunday, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
    Closed Mondays and major holidays
  • Free Hours: Admission to the building and Grand Hall exhibition is free. Admission to the Louisa Stude Sarofim Gallery is free for Asia Society members; $8 for nonmembers.

Directions & Parking

  • Free Parking
  • Paid Parking
  • Street Parking
  • Parking in Asia Society Texas Center's lot is $5 for 1-24 hours. Entrances on Caroline and Austin. Limited free and paid street parking also available.

Special Offers / Dining

An India-Inspired Café
Enjoy breakfast and lunch at Pondi! Pondicheri's museum café is open for extended lunch hours Tuesday through Sunday with a vibrant and innovative menu featuring everything from butter chicken to saffron shrimp salad and roti wraps.
Tuesday – Friday, 11 am – 5 pm
Saturday – Sunday, 10 am – 5 pm


Events at Asia Society Texas Center

Join the Houston Museum District

Join our mailing list for sneak peeks to upcoming events and insider information on the best museum district in the world

I'm interested in memberships