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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Following more than a year of rising anti-Asian sentiment, prominent business leaders and corporates are pooling millions to fight discrimination and to reverse economic and cultural exclusion. 

Driving the news: Saturday marked the start of Asian Pacific American Heritage month and numerous organizations and companies have launched platforms and programs to coincide with the time period.

  • Facebook and BMW are working with non-profit Gold House to grow Asian-led small businesses through an accelerator program and e-commerce sales campaign — like Amazon's Prime Day — called Gold Rush.
  • AT&T-owned HBO, Comcast NBCUniversal and ViacomCBS networks are launching campaigns like "See Us" and "We Belong" and special events to spotlight Asian creators. Comcast is also committing $2 million in direct support for social justice organizations.
  • Big banks like UBS and Citigroup, as well as Amazon, Walmart and Coca-Cola are part of a new $250 million effort to aid Asian American and Pacific Islander causes through The Asian American Foundation, which launched Monday

Why it matters: America's centuries-long history of excluding Asians has led to widespread systemic marginalization. The rise in attacks — many violent in nature — has galvanized the larger community to overhaul systems simultaneously.

What they're saying: “AAPI communities need systemic change to ensure we are better supported, represented, and celebrated across all aspects of American life," Sonal Shah, a former Obama official and now president of The Asian American Foundation, said in a statement.

  • In media, actors of Asian descent are still largely underrepresented.
  • In the workforce, workers of Asian descent are often left out of diversity initiatives and are the least likely group to be promoted into management.
  • In philanthropy, communities of Asian Pacific Islanders have received less than 0.5% of charitable giving.

The bigger picture: People of Asian descent currently make up about 7% of the U.S. population at 23 million and is the fastest-growing racial or ethnic group.

  • By 2060, the number of Asians in the U.S. is expected to reach nearly 36 million people, or more than 3x their population in 2000, according to Pew.

Go deeper

Twenty-somethings turned out in 2020

Adapted from U.S. Census Bureau data analyzed by William Frey/Brookings Institution; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Americans from ages 18 to 24 voted in last year's general election at the highest rate since at least 2000, according to an analysis of new census data by the Brookings Institution’s William Frey.

Between the lines: For the first time in at least two decades, more than half of 18- to 24-year-olds voted overall, rising from 43% in 2016.

Updated 19 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Bipartisan police reform negotiations end without deal

Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) with Sens. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) in the Capitol in May 2021. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Bipartisan talks on reforming police tactics and accountability, prompted by George Floyd's murder in May 2020, have ended without a compromise, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), a key negotiator, said Wednesday.

Why it matters: Lawmakers, led by Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) and Sens. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Booker, had been working toward a bipartisan deal for months but things fell apart due to disagreements on qualified immunity and other issues.

Federal Reserve scales back expectations for economic recovery as Delta variant weighs

Fed chair Jerome Powell during a congressional hearing last year. (Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The Fed downgraded near-term expectations for the economy and the labor market, alongside hotter-than-expected inflation, in new estimates out on Wednesday.

Why it matters: It's the first time those closely-watched estimates reflect impact from the delta variant that's already rattled the labor market. Still, Fed chairman Jerome Powell said enough progress has been made to begin to pull back emergency-era measures that have supported the economy.