View this email in your browser
Attendees of a commemoration ceremony light candles  near the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin. (Credit: Angela Major/Wisconsin Public Radio)


Dear Friend, 

In the past few months, we have joined our partners to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Vincent Chin’s murder, as well as the lives of the Sikh community members we lost in the Wisconsin Oak Creek shooting 10 years ago. All these years later and our communities still remember, still grieve, and still have hope that together we can build a better future for our AAPI families, friends, and loved ones. 

From the six hundred candles lit in commemoration at Oak Creek to the unveiling of a new mural dedicated to Vincent Chin, I was struck by Helen Zia’s reflection from her memoir and social history, Asian American Dreams, that “the dreams of the Asian Americans who came before stay within each of us. They are the memories of where we’ve come from, the lessons of what we’ve been through, and the visions of roads we have yet to walk in this land called America.”

In order to ensure our communities are supported going forward, we need to invest in the next generation of AAPI leaders now. TAAF has been working to do just that recently, working with Act to Change as well as The Sundance Institute — two partnerships we’re thrilled to highlight in this edition of our newsletter along with a number of other exciting initiatives. 

Thank you for your continued support of TAAF, and I encourage you to join us in similarly looking for ways to lift up the young people who are going to carry the torch for our communities in the years to come.

In hope and partnership,

Norman Chen 
CEO, The Asian American Foundation

Attendees at the Chardi Kala Community Event gathering on Saturday, August 6th. (Credit: SALDEF)

Honoring the 10 Year Anniversary of Oak Creek

Earlier this month, TAAF joined Sikh Americans and allies from across the country to commemorate the 10 year anniversary of the mass shooting in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.

Oak Creek 10th Anniversary Remembrance

  • On the morning of August 5, 2012, a white nationalist entered the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, a gurdwara (Sikh house of worship) where he shot and killed six worshippers and severely injured others, including a community member who ultimately passed from complications related to his injuries.

  • This attack was the deadliest massacre of Sikhs in the United States.  

  • The Sikh Temple of Wisconsin led commemorative services. SALDEF (Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund) and the Sikh Coalition, which are both part of our Anti-Hate National Network, and the Interfaith Coalition of Milwaukee, provided additional programming and community engagement support focused on centering the Oak Creek Sikh community.
“Growing up, Connie Chung was the only Asian person on a national stage delivering the news. She allowed me to know what was possible.” -Lisa Ling (Credit: Will Song)

Growing AAPI representation in Hollywood and beyond   

Celebrating representation on and off the camera with Universal Studios, Rideback Ranch, and Panda Express  

On July 26, we joined Universal Pictures and Rideback Ranch at an event to celebrate the release of comedian Jo Koy’s film “Easter Sunday” as well as Panda Express's commitment of $1 million dollars to TAAF’s AAPI Narrative Change Initiative. 

  • We were proud to bring together a powerhouse all-female panel that discussed the importance of having role models to show us what is possible, and that representation is about more than just who’s in front of the camera. Kathy Im, Director of Media & Journalism of MacArthur Foundation, moderated, and the panelists included Andrea Cherng of Panda Express, Jacqueline Kim of UTA, journalist Lisa Ling, and Lorraine Ali, TV critic at the LA Times. 

  • The panel was followed by an incredible lineup of comedic performances from Jo Koy, Jimmy O. Yang, Ronny Chieng, Paul Kim, Fahim Anwar, and Andrew Lopez.
Partnering with the Sundance Institute to support AAPI storytellers  

This summer, TAAF announced the Sundance Institute | The Asian American Foundation Fellowship and Collab Scholarship — a joint effort that reflects TAAF’s commitment to supporting AAPI storytellers and the next generation of AAPI voices.
  • The fellowship and scholarship support twelve established and emerging artists to foster inclusion and belonging in American culture.

  • The Fellowship and Scholarship are made possible through generous support from Giving Challenge partners Panda Express and The MacArthur Foundation.

Located in Detroit’s historic Chinatown, a newly commissioned mural to honor and celebrate Vincent Chin by Detroit artist Anthony L. Lee was unveiled. (Credit: Joyce Xi Photography)

Remembering the Legacy of Vincent Chin 

Forty years after the murder of Vincent Chin and the miscarriage of justice that followed, a four-day commemoration was held in Detroit from June 16 to 19. 

Vincent Chin 40th Remembrance & Rededication

Vincent Chin’s legacy helped ignite the pan-Asian civil rights movement, ultimately building a multiracial, multicultural coalition united for equal justice which stands as a landmark of American history. 

  • Community leaders, activists and changemakers commemorated Vincent’s legacy and celebrated culture through community dialogues and a commemorative film series. 

  • Vincent Chin Legacy Guide: Asian Americans Building the Movement is a teaching tool in multiple languages, created by American Citizens for Justice, that gives important historical context about why we remember Vincent Chin. 

  • TAAF was a proud sponsor of American Citizens for Justice, a Detroit-based Asian American civil rights group that organized the Remembrance & Rededication  and was founded in response to Vincent Chin’s murder.

TAAF partners Act to Change, SALDEF, and Sikh Coalition gather for the Unity March.  (Credit: TAAF)

Joining forces at Unity March, the first national AAPI Rally  

On June 25, the Unity March made history on the National Mall in Washington, D.C, organizing to advance socioeconomic and cultural equity, racial justice, and solidarity.  

The first large-scale, Asian American-led multicultural rally 

  • The Unity March was organized by a broad coalition of AAPI organizations: APIA Vote, AAJA, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, Asian Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurship, Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote, Gold House, Indian American Impact Project, NAKASEC, NCAPA, OCA and SALDEF.
Participants of Act to Change’s first Youth Ambassador Program organized a rally in Oakland. (Credit: Act to Change)

Grantee Highlight: Celebrating Act to Change’s Youth Ambassador Program

Act To Change is a national nonprofit working to end bullying among Asian American and Pacific Islander, Sikh, Muslim, LGBTQI, and immigrant youth, with an interdisciplinary approach that spans education, public health, and civil rights.  

  • TAAF partnered with Act to Change to launch the first cohort of their Youth Ambassador Program to develop the next generation of AAPI leaders and activists – part of our multi-generational approach to preventing hate and promoting belonging. 

  • Over six months, the inaugural cohort of ten aspiring AAPI youth community leaders in Chicago, New York City, and Oakland participated in leadership development sessions, mentoring, and community action projects. Check out their work at AAPI Amplified.

  • We’re looking forward to the second cohort to be launched this fall!
"The most important thing I learned as a Youth Ambassador is that I am not alone in my struggles. I think putting myself into leadership positions makes me think that I should be without fault. However, being with my fellow Ambassadors showed me that I don't have to be perfect to stand up for others and for myself.”–Chicago participant
Iman Vellani headlines Ms. Marvel, based on Marvel's first Muslim superhero. (Credit: Marvel Studios)

Headlines from Across our Communities

Pew Research: In Their Own Words: The Diverse Perspectives of Being Asian in America

Variety: Janet Yang Becomes First Asian Elected as Film Academy President

NPR: 'Ms. Marvel' treats being Muslim as ordinary — and that makes it extraordinary

New York Times: Asian and Black Communities Have a Long History of Shared Solidarity

Detroit Metro Times: Nearly 40 years ago, a Metro Times reporter helped turn the killing of Vincent Chin into a movement for Asian American rights


Our Mission
To serve Asian American and Pacific Islanders in the pursuit of belonging and prosperity,
free from discrimination, slander and violence.

Copyright © 2022 The Asian American Foundation, All rights reserved.
Click to update preferences or unsubscribe.

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
The Asian American Foundation · PO Box 21749 · Washington, District of Columbia 20009 · USA