Justice Frances Bourliot and Audrey Chang speak at EAAG assembly


Courtesy of Jack Soliman

EAAG officers invited Justice Frances Bourliot and Audrey Chang to speak at the affinity group’s assembly.

Afraaz Malick, Staff Writer

“Show Up. Stand Up. Speak Up.”

These words were the highlight of the speech made by Justice Frances Bourliot and Audrey Chang at the East Asian Affinity Group Assembly on Jan. 23.

Bourliot and Chang (both ‘97) opted to give a casual, collaborative speech to share their experiences from high school and their careers working in the legal sector.

Bourliot, who attended Tufts University, began her legal career as a staff attorney with the Texas Defender Service and the Texas Innocence Network. She was recently elected to the Fourteenth Court of Appeals and is the first Asian-American woman in Texas to be elected to a state appellate court.

Chang attended the University of Texas in Austin. Prior to practicing law, Chang worked in both the Texas Senate and House of Representatives and interned at the Texas Supreme Court. The Asian Pacific Interest Section of the State Bar of Texas recently named Chang as a recipient of its Champion of Diversity Award, which recognizes a lawyer whose actions promote diversity.

“It was inspiring to learn about the unique experiences of Justice Bourliot and Ms. Chang at St. John’s and beyond,” sophomore EAAG officer Catherine Lu said. “They are both very accomplished Asian-American women who have made a name for themselves in their respective fields and serve as role models for young Asian-American women such as myself.”

Following the speech by Bourliot and Chang, a group of students took part in a K-Pop dance, a combination of pop, rock, hip hop, rhythm and blues and electronic music genres.

Although junior performer Jeffrey Li felt pressured by a lot of school assignments at the time, he still looked forward to performing at the assembly.

“Putting together a complex performance with other EAAG members was, while somewhat intimidating, also ironically relaxing,” Li said.

After the assembly, sophomore officer Maria Cheng described the importance of EAAG.

“EAAG is important for Asian-Americans at SJS because it provides a safe space to discuss issues that affect us as a community,” Cheng said.