Richard Konda is the Executive Director of Asian Law Alliance (ALA), a San Jose-based non-profit legal aid organization designed to make legal services accessible to Asian/Pacific Islanders and low-income people. Richard is also a founder of Services, Immigrant Rights, and Education Network (SIREN) and served as the organization’s Board President for 15 years.
After graduating from Santa Clara School of Law, Richard began working at the newly formed Asian Law Alliance. The organization had started as an information and referral project by a group of students from the Asian Law Students Association, and with the help of the local Japanese American Citizens League, and two young attorneys, Brad Yamauchi and Don Tamaki, ALA began taking its own cases in 1977.
During his 36 years with ALA, Richard has been an active leader in its community education program, offering legal rights and responsibilities workshops and presentations to the community; as a staff attorney he has represented numerous immigrant and refugee clients in immigration-related cases and counseled many others in a wide variety of legal matters. Richard later became Executive Director of the organization.
Throughout his career, Richard has been a dedicated advocate for civil justice and immigrant rights. In the 1980s, Konda was an active participant in the movement to obtain redress and reparations for Japanese Americans interned by the U.S. government during World War II, and in 1994, he was highly involved in the campaign against Proposition 187.
In response to the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, Konda, along with other immigrants rights activists and advocates, formed an ad-hoc coalition under the name Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and Services (NIRRS). For more than a decade, NIRRS was instrumental to statewide campaigns against anti-immigrant legislation and ballot initiatives. In 1998, NIRRS became Services, Immigrant Rights and Education Network (SIREN) and received seed funding to hire staff and establish the county’s first-ever multilingual information hotline.
Since that time, SIREN has grown to empower low-income immigrants and refugees in Santa Clara County through direct legal services, community education, community organizing, leadership development and policy advocacy. Richard became the first President of SIREN’s Board of Directors and remained in that role until 2013.
After the tragic shooting of Bich Cau Tran in July 2003, ALA along with Asian Americans for Community Involvement, The Vietnamese American Bar Association of Northern California, American Muslim Voice and many other organizations and individuals formed the Coalition for Justice and Accountability (CJA) to advocate for justice for Bich Cau Tran and for reforms in police practices. Richard has been an active member of CJA and currently serves as the chairperson of the Coalition.
Richard has received numerous awards and commendations for his work with immigrant communities, including recognitions by the Santa Clara County Human Relations Commission, Asian Americans for Community Involvement, the Northside Community Center, and the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.
Richard is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and attended law school at Santa Clara University.
The SIREN staff and Board of Directors acknowledges with deepest appreciation the years of dedicated service that Richard Konda has offered to Services, Immigrant Rights, and Education Network as Board President (1998-2013). After 15 years, Richard retired his post as President, but will continue to serve our organization as a member of the Board. Richard’s leadership has been with SIREN since its founding and has shepherded us through growing pains allowing us to move forward to become the leading immigrant rights organization in Silicon Valley. We are thankful for Richard’s tireless and effective work in involving others to help ensure the success of our mission to empower low-income immigrants and refugees in our communities.
Thank you Richard for your continued support of SIREN and your advocacy for justice in our immigrant communities.
Please join Services, Immigrant Rights and Education Network (SIREN) on Saturday, August 30th for a summer afternoon luau to celebrate the accomplishments and commitment of long-time SIREN board member, Richard Konda.
Saturday, August 30, 2014
1:00pm – 4:00pm
Issei Memorial Building
565 N. 5th Street
San Jose, CA, 95112