35th Annual Celebration

Speaker Biographies

Roger Lau

Justice in Action Award Recipient

Roger was born and raised in New York City. He started working in politics as an intern for then-Massachusetts Senator John Kerry’s office when he was attending the University of Massachusetts where he studied Political Science. He would go on to serve in many roles on Kerry’s senate staff and campaigns - including as Deputy State Director in the senate office, campaign manager for his 2008 re-election campaign, and was a member of the national campaign staff during Kerry’s presidential run in 2004.

In 2012, Roger began working on Elizabeth Warren’s first campaign for US Senate in Massachusetts as political director. After helping her become the first woman to serve in the senate from Massachusetts, Roger served as her State Director in the senate overseeing her staff and outreach operations in the state and was tapped to lead her 2018 reelection effort. In 2019, he was named as Senator Warren’s campaign manager for her bid for president joining Faiz Shakir from the Sanders campaign as the first Asian Americans to manage an American presidential campaign.

Roger has also worked on campaigns for Hillary Clinton and several senate and house congressional races in New England. Roger also served in the US Department of Commerce during the Obama Administration. 

Roger currently lives in the Boston area and serves as Senior Advisor to Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Joanna Xing

AALAM/Dow Fund Scholarship Recipient

Joanna Xing is currently a 3L at Northeastern University School of Law.  She is a daughter of Chinese immigrants and grew up in Maryland.  Prior to law school, Joanna obtained an MPH in Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University.  She has been very involved in environmental justice activism in New York City and Portland, Oregon, and served as an AmeriCorps member with Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization. During law school, Joanna has remained committed to antiracist work through NUSL's Committee Against Institutional Racism and she has loved supporting Boston's Asian community as a Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center youth mentor. This summer, Joanna helped defend indigent clients at Metropolitan Public Defender in Portland, Oregon.  She is passionate about a holistic, intersectional approaches to social change and hopes to pursue a public interest career focused on public health and survivor-centered solutions to criminal injustice.

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