Civil rights leader and executive director of the Asian American Scholar Forum, Gisela Perez Kusakawa, will be the next featured guest when Cal State San Bernardino’s Conversations on Race and Policing hosts its next program at noon on Monday, Feb. 26, on Zoom.

The program, free and open to the public, can be accessed from a PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android at

Kusakawa is the first executive director for Asian American Scholar Forum (AASF), appointed in 2022. Prior to joining AASF, she served as founding director and supervising attorney for the Anti-Profiling, Civil Rights, & National Security program (formerly the Anti-Racial Profiling Project) at Asian Americans Advancing Justice, the leading Asian American civil rights organization in the U.S.

She has worked with asylum seekers and detained immigrants, and is an expert on policy and advocacy on anti-profiling, national security and civil rights, having spearheaded coalition work to end the U.S. Department of Justice’s China Initiative. A first-generation immigrant from the Philippines, Kusakawa became an attorney dedicated to public service, helping many immigrants and their families coming to the U.S. She is admitted to practice law at the District of Columbia and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, and received her J.D. from The George Washington University Law School.

She is the author of the article, “From Japanese American Incarceration to the China Initiative, Discrimination Against AAPI Communities Must End,” published by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The Conversations on Race and Policing program began after the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, and its aftermath. Floyd, a Black man, was killed by a white Minneapolis police officer, triggering extensive protests, demands for systemic reform in policing, and profound dialogues on race and racism. This also led to the inception of Cal State San Bernardino’s Conversations on Race and Policing, abbreviated as CoRP.

In subsequent court cases, three other former Minneapolis police officers implicated in Floyd’s death were given prison sentences.

The series has featured scholars, journalists, law enforcement officers, lawyers, activists, artists, educators, administrators and others from throughout the nation who shared their experience and expertise on issues related to race and policing.

One hundred forums have taken place since, and video recordings of the sessions are posted online on the Conversations on Race and Policing Lecture Series Archive. 

Upcoming programs, which will all take place at noon on Zoom, include:

The series is organized by Matt Patino (CSUSB alumnus and adjunct faculty member at Crafton Hills College); CSUSB faculty members Mary Texeira (sociology) and Jeremy Murray (history); Robie Madrigal, public affairs/communication specialist for the CSUSB John M. Pfau Library; Michael German, fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice; and community member Stan Futch, president of the Westside Action Group.

For more information, contact Robie Madrigal at or Jeremy Murray at