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Dear Friends, 

As Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities continue to be targeted and attacked, there are reasons to be hopeful.

Together with you and a diverse network of advocates and allies, The Asian American Foundation (TAAF) envisions a future where AAPI communities are free from discrimination and hate, feel a sense of belonging, and can prosper and thrive.

TAAF is working with our partners to make strategic investments that will help build the infrastructure needed to better protect, support, and celebrate AAPI communities.

Starting with this newsletter, we will provide regular updates about our collective work and lift up inspiring community stories. We are deeply grateful for the many supporters as well as our government and corporate partners who join us in addressing the underinvestment in AAPI communities. We are inspired by the work of nonprofit community-based organizations and advocates.

Together, we have the potential to create lasting change and meaningful impact. 


With hope for the future,
The Asian American Foundation (TAAF)

Asian Justice Rally, San Francisco (TAAF) 

Continuing the Fight Against Anti-AAPI Hate 

Following historic levels of reported anti-AAPI hate crimes last year — which increased by 339% nationwide, 361% in New York City, and 567% in San Francisco — AAPIs have continued to endure tragic incidents of violence and high profile murders, which while not racially motivated, caused further stress and trauma for our AAPI communities already taut with fear. In response, TAAF convened its Anti-Hate Action Centers and National Network and supported rallies, vigils and victims funds.

Joining On the Ground Efforts

  • In New York, we supported the Asians Fighting Injustice fund in support of the vigil to celebrate the life of Michelle Go.
  • In San Francisco, TAAF CEO Norman Chen spoke at the post-Asian Justice Rally luncheon that commemorated the one-year anniversary of the death of 84-year old Thai grandfather, Vicha Ratanapakdee, and other victims of anti-AAPI hate.
Jose Antonio Vargas with MSNBC’s Tiffany Cross, MIT Professor and former NYC Deputy Mayor Professor J. Philip Thompson, Asian American Federation president Jo-Ann Yoo, and TAAF CEO Norman Chen.

Building on the Legacy of Black-AAPI Solidarity 

An important part of TAAF’s work this year is looking for opportunities to partner with Black leaders and organizations, as well as other BIPOC communities, to foster more ongoing allyship and cross-racial support. 

Creating Connections Between Communities 

 
Across the United States, state buildings were illuminated in purple to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Atlanta spa shootings. (Flickr, @GovLarryHogan, @GovPritzker)

Commemorating March 16 with Hope and Action 

The Atlanta-area spa shootings on March 16, 2021 sparked a movement that galvanized AAPI communities. To commemorate the one-year anniversary of the tragic attacks and honor the victims — including six women of Asian descent — TAAF supported efforts across the country that marked this somber moment with shared resolve.

Supporting Solidarity and Action Across the Nation

  • Taking the lead from TAAF Advisory Council member and First Lady of Maryland, Yumi Hogan, TAAF worked with governors across the country to illuminate in purple their governors’ mansions, state capitol buildings, and other landmarks as a nationwide symbol of solidarity. 
     
  • TAAF supported organizations calling for sacred reflection as well as those that held “Break the Silence” rallies in 11 cities across the country. The events were attended by thousands of people nationwide and featured speakers such as New York Governor Kathy Hochul  and author Min Jin Lee.
     
  • TAAF also held a virtual convening in Illinois focused on the implementation strategy for the Teaching Equitable Asian American Community History (TEAACH) Act — a historic piece of legislation passed last year making Illinois the first state to require Asian American history be taught in the state’s public schools. The convening began with remarks from Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, who co-authored a recent CNN op-ed with New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy that reinforces our belief that “education is one of the most powerful antidotes we have for combating hate.” 
White House Deputy Assistant to the President and AA and NHPI Senior Liaison Erika Moritsugu joined Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), Congresswoman Grace Meng, and Sung Yeon Choimorrow of NAPAWF with Teen Vogue's Editor-in-Chief Versha Sharma to discuss the state of AAPI women. 

Shedding Light on the Experiences of AAPI Women

In honor of Women’s History Month and the unprecedented anxiety and fear so many AAPI women are living with in this moment, TAAF led efforts to raise awareness about the unique experiences of AAPI women. 

Uncovering the Facts and Seeking Solutions

  • TAAF joined the Korean American Community Foundation (KACF-NY) in funding  a National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) report titled The State of Safety for Asian American and Pacific Islander Women. The report presented several key findings, including:
    • 74% of AAPI women living in the US have experienced discrimination in the past 12 months, with no statistical differences between ethnic groups. 
    • 90% of AAPI women don't feel like their elected officials understand how these issues impact their communities in a unique way.  
       
  • In partnership with Condé Nast and Teen Vogue, TAAF convened a panel of leaders to discuss the state of AAPI women. The speakers emphasized the need for culturally sensitive resources, mental health support and new legislation including the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, the Violence Against Women Act, and the Family Act. 
"RISE: A Pop History of Asian America from the Nineties to Now" attempts to "fill in the blanks" of Asian American identity and culture over the last 30 years. (Harper Collins)

Headlines from Across our Communities

The Atlantic: Violence Against Asian American Women Is Rooted in More Than Just ‘Hate’

The New Yorker: The Difficulty of Being a Perfect Asian American

The New York Times: The Marines Reluctantly Let a Sikh Officer Wear a Turban. He Says It’s Not Enough.


CNN: From 'The Joy Luck Club' to 'Crazy Rich Asians,' a new book hopes to 'fill in the blanks' of Asian American pop culture

Time: Kid of the Year Finalist Mina Fedor, 13, Speaks Out For Asian Equality

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

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