Inspired by community lawyer Regina Lee and outraged by the 1982 murder of Vincent Chin, OuYang embarked on a legal career in civil rights. For 21 years now, OuYang has taught at Columbia University and New York University (NYU). Her courses cover constitutional challenges facing African, Latino, and Asian American communities; the impact of post-911 government policies; and managing workforce diversity and inclusion. OuYang is the coordinator of APA VOICE’s Redistricting Task Force, a group of 18 Asian American groups in NYC advocating for a voice in the redistricting process and that Asian American communities of interest are kept whole. She founded and supervises OCA-NY’s Hate Crimes Prevention Art Project, now in its 16th year.
Her law career began in Boston with a two-person firm, Gilmore and Landoli where OuYang handled visa petitions, asylum claims, and legalization applications under the 1986 Immigration Act and researched race and sex discrimination cases. Later, OuYang became a staff attorney at the Disability Law Center where she handled employment, housing, and public access discrimination cases. In 1991, OuYang relocated to NYC to be a staff attorney with AALDEF. For 8 years, OuYang handled voting rights challenges and represented victims of race discrimination, hate crimes, and police brutality. In 2000, President Clinton appointed OuYang to be a special assistant to Commissioner Yvonne Lee at the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights which held hearings in Florida to investigate voting irregularities in the 2000 presidential election.
From 2018-2019, at NY Immigration Coalition (NYIC), she created and grew NY Counts 2020, the first statewide coalition seeking a fair and accurate census count. This coalition led the advocacy to remove the citizenship question from the 2020 Census. In 2019, OuYang, as a census trainer for APIA VOTE, a national, non-partisan organization, conducted census training for APA communities in FL, CA, MN, NM, AZ, and MO. With NYIC and the Bar Ass’n of the City of NY, OuYang conducted pro-bono legal clinics for Arabs, Muslims, and South Asians on the federal government’s post-911 special registration program. She advised OCA on Voices of Healing, a book on 9-11 Asian American victims, heroes, survivors, and community response.
For 8 years, OuYang coordinated The Fund for New Citizens, a $1 million fund at The NY Community Trust that supported groups helping immigrants integrate into NYC. With MinKwon Center and APA VOICE, she organized a multi-racial, citywide coalition to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. OuYang received the American Dreamer Award for Ambassadorship from Mayor Bloomberg, Columbia University Outstanding Teaching Award (Honorary Mention), NYU Martin Luther King, Jr. Faculty Award, and the NYU College of Arts and Science Outstanding Teaching Award. OuYang received a B.A. from University of Michigan and a J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law.
Articles, Publications, and Appearances