March 2021 Issue
Too often, we’ve turned against one another... Vicious hate crimes against Asian Americans who have been attacked, harassed, blamed, and scapegoated. At this very moment, so many of them, our fellow Americans, they’re on the front lines of this pandemic trying to save lives, and still, still they’re forced to live in fear for their lives just walking down streets in America. -President Joe Biden (3/11/21)
Dear AAPIP Community,
While details are still forthcoming on last night’s shootings in Atlanta, AAPIP unequivocally condemns the ongoing and intensifying violence directed at Asian Americans. As a network and a community, we grieve for the murder of at least 8 individuals in Atlanta last night, including 6 Asian women. Whatever the specific motivations for this episode, the attacks in Atlanta appear to be the latest escalation of anti-Asian sentiment in this country, which have resulted in more than 3,800 reported incidents of violence directed against Asian Americans, a majority of which has been directed at Asian American women. We stand firm against racism and racialized misogyny in all forms, because solidarity matters. The palpable fear and pain felt in Asian American communities is unacceptable.
In partnership with Native Americans in Philanthropy (NAP), AAPIP co-authored a Letter to the Editor in The Chronicle of Philanthropy directing philanthropy to act in support of our invisibilized communities. We are grateful to NAP and others for their solidarity in this moment. We are committed to working with our sector toward a robust philanthropic response.
One year ago this month, AAPIP put out its first statement on the impact of Coronavirus on Asian communities here in the U.S. It was to be the first of several in a year-long reckoning around anti-Asian and anti-Black racism. While anti-Asian hostility is rooted in anti-Blackness, it is important to call it out for its own distinct brand of injustice. This brand was manufactured centuries ago from the first day Asians set foot on this continent, from the same factory of white supremacy that invented slavery, genocide, and empire building.
However, we commend our new President who called out anti-Asian violence in his earliest days through this memorandum. Rather than stoking the flames, he again included a call to end this hatred in his first primetime speech to the nation, saying “it’s wrong. It’s un-American. And it must stop.”
In addition to our statement on the increased reports of anti-Asian violence and hate, AAPIP developed this Supporting API Communities Resource Directory to mobilize the philanthropic sector towards meaningful action in the midst of heightened violence and hate targeting Asian American communities. We encourage allies to engage by learning about and supporting the work of API organizations and coalitions, participating in webinars and online discussions, and the deeper work of connecting the dots between the interpersonal racism experienced by individuals, the systemic racism that impacts Asian American communities (detention, deportation, etc.), and the harm caused by the “model minority” narrative that pits Asian communities against Black communities. It is important for the sector to understand the greater context that these anti-Asian attacks fall under and to support community efforts addressing anti-Asian violence. These are the moments to accelerate philanthropy for an inclusive democracy that calls us all to our fullest human potential.
Earlier this month, AAPIP welcomed a new staff member, Angela Y. Hom, as Administrative Manager. You can read Angela’s bio here. We also thanked and said farewell to Marnelle Marasigan who served as AAPIP’s Membership Services Manager for five years. We wish Marnelle the best of luck as she pursues a PhD in Psychology!
Later this month, AAPIP will publish a new, highly anticipated research report on foundation funding to AAPI communities. For those who have been following AAPIP’s work closely, this report builds on AAPIP’s 2007 Growing Opportunities and 1992 Invisible and In Need reports. We are very excited to be releasing the report and will be sharing that with you all soon!
Have you been looking to engage with organizing and activism in a more meaningful way? The Lunar Project Giving Circle, a community education and solidarity funding project for Asian Americans, is recruiting for its inaugural cohort. The twelve-week program runs from June 12 - August 29 and applications are due by 12pm PST Thursday, April 22nd, 2021. Learn more about the program here.
Lastly, we extend our warmest and most healing energies to you all on a very heavy day in a long year of enduring this pandemic and heightened violence and hate targeting our communities. These events cement how vital our work here at AAPIP and in philanthropy writ large is, and how we must address root causes and create systems and institutional changes. The time is now.
We thank you all for engaging with us in this important work to accelerate philanthropy for an inclusive democracy that calls us all to our fullest human potential.
In community and with gratitude,
The AAPIP Team