Several influential business leaders have recently started a $250 million initiative dedicated to serving 23 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders across the nation.
Members of The Asian American Foundation (TAAF)launched the initiative on Monday. According to its organizers, the initiative is the “largest-ever philanthropic effort to support the AAPI community,”Reuters reported.
In the last five years, TAAF’s board members have contributed around $125 million. The nonprofit organization was founded by prominent leaders of the AAPI community, including Joe Tsai, Joseph Bae, Li Lu, Peng Zhao, Sheila Lirio Marcelo and Jonathan Greenblatt. Founding Advisory Council members include Daniel Dae Kim, Lisa Ling, Condoleezza Rice, Jeremy Lin and more.
The organization also strives to unite AAPI communities by coming together and building a foundation that will develop the representation and advocacy of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
Another aim of the organization is to “reshape the public’s understanding of the unique challenges that Asian-Americans have faced throughout history,” according to the New York Times.
“We created TAAF to stand up for the 23 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders living in this country and help bring us all together in the fight for our own prosperity,” Sonal Shah, TAAF’s president, stated. “TAAF wants to strengthen and build power for AAPIs, particularly as we face an exponential increase in hate and violence.”
The organization’s recently launched initiative will focus on three main areas: data and research, anti-hate and education. It will aid organizations that strive to create safer spaces for AAPI communities by improving defense solutions and hate crime tracking. It will also help in developing school curriculums that accurately portray the history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
“I feel that one plus one equals unlimited potential, and that’s what really makes America powerful,” said Li Lu, Board Chair of TAAF. “As a Chinese American, I know when we leverage the strengths of everyone we create belonging and a future fueled by innovation, growth and opportunity.”
TAAF is calling on business and philanthropic leaders to take part in its AAPI Giving Challenge, which “encourages funders to support AAPI organizations and causes through both financial and non-financial means.”
Several investments in AAPI communities have already been made by TAAF, such as the distribution of $1 million grants to Stop AAPI Hate, the Asian Americans Advancing Justice Coalition (AAJC) and the National Asian American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF).
On May 3, TAAF released a launch video narrated by Ling and Kim and produced by Brad Jenkins of Enfranchisement Productions to introduce the organization.
“The Asian American Foundation has come together to support Asian American Leaders who know how to make change,” the video’s description states.
“We will serve 23 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the pursuit of belonging and prosperity. Our story is America’s story. Join us.”
Featured Image via Bloomberg Markets and Finance (left), RISE (right; (CC BY 2.0))
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