Sep 28, 2021 - Politics & Policy

The Asian American Foundation builds national advocacy network to fight anti-Asian hate

Illustration of a bullhorn with a map of New York city on it

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Asian American Foundation (TAAF) is setting up a nationwide effort for national and local advocacy groups to work together as violence and hate crimes against Asians and Pacific Islanders persist. 

Why it matters: Stop AAPI Hate has tracked over 9,000 self-reported anti-AAPI incidents since March 2020 — half of which occurred in the first six months of this year alone.

The details: Through direct partnerships and funding, TAAF’s new Anti-Hate National Network aims to connect the foundation with organizations fighting the issue and bridge them to one another.

  • The efforts begin with the Chinese American Service League in Chicago, the Asian American Federation in New York City and Asian Health Services in Oakland leading the network's first pilot “action centers."
  • Each group, which also received a $500,000 grant from TAAF, will expand their existing anti-hate services and create new ones led by the foundation.

Separately, the foundation will also partner with GoFundMe to set up an AAPI Emergency Relief Fund for victims of hate crimes and their families, with an initial $500,000 investment.

What they’re saying: “What we've heard from the organizations … is that they want to be a part of a national network so they can learn from each other,” Sonal Shah, president of The Asian American Foundation, told Axios.

  • TAAF's efforts will also allow the AAPI community to "speak with one voice on a national scale," Paul Luu, CEO of the Chinese American Service League, tells Axios.

The big picture: “We have this time, this moment, to use the horror of what's been going on in our communities to try to try to mobilize change,” longtime Asian American activist Helen Zia told Axios.

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