September 2022

Reflections on 9/11

Dear AAPIPers,

The summer months have melted away (with high temperatures) and we hope your summer was filled with rejuvenating and nourishing days. 

Now in September, AAPIP shifts to hold space twenty-one years since the 9/11 attacks, remembering the lives lost and communities that have been targeted since that fateful day. What remains is our nation’s failure to acknowledge and amend for an entire community that has been unfairly scapegoated and dehumanized. That day is etched in the hearts of Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian (AMEMSA) communities as the start of two decades of hate crimes, surveillance, false imprisonments, and threats by our neighbors and our government.

In this month’s newsletter, Dr. Shariq Siddiqui, Director of the Muslim Philanthropy Initiative (MPI) at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy writes a guest column on the state of American Muslim philanthropy 21 years after 9/11.  We’ve also included additional resources on the American Muslim community in our “What We Are Reading” section presented by Pillars Fund and MPI.

There are a lot of exciting leadership announcements to celebrate, and in case you missed it, some staff transitions at AAPIP that we are reflecting on.  Read below for more.


In community,

The AAPIP Team





The State of  American Muslim Philanthropy: 21 years after 9/11



By Shariq Siddiqui, JD, PhD

Dr. Shariq Siddiqui is Assistant Professor of Philanthropic Studies and Director of the Muslim Philanthropy Initiative at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis.


According to the Institute of Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU), 1.1 percent of the US population is Muslim. Muslim Americans are a highly diverse minority with no one ethnic group making a majority. Muslim Americans are largely a community of color with Asians, African Americans, Arab and Latinos making up the largest proportion of this small minority population.


Muslim American households have a lower than average income than the average American household. Prior research by ISPU shows that Muslim Americans are under a great deal of stress and face a great deal of external prejudice and islamophobia.


The terrorist attacks on 9/11/2001 were transformative to the American way of life. Its impact was particularly felt in the Muslim American community when it was discovered that the terrorists were of the Islamic faith. The US government immediately looked for possible support of such terrorists domestically, scrutinizing Muslim American charities and philanthropists for a possible link, and creating a climate of fear for this small community...READ MORE


Reflections on Staff Transitions and the Future of AAPIP


Over the summer, some of you may have heard about the departures of several AAPIP team members (Maya Iwata, Lori Kodama, and Suk Rhee). In case you missed it in our last newsletter, we thanked each of them for their many contributions to AAPIP.  


Many of you reached out to express care and concern - thank you. As you know, transitions are always difficult, and even harder for an already small organization when that happens all at once. Thank you for your inquiries about the organization’s well-being, feedback during these challenging moments, kindness for staff at this time, and reminders about the larger context around us. It is a testament to the strength of our connections within the AAPIP community.

During this time, it is important to center ourselves on AAPIP’s mission and what draws us here to this network. We remain committed to our values centered on cross-racial solidarity, equity and justice, and as importantly, the love and generosity of spirit that brings us all into community with one another. Together, we have worked hard over the past several years with significant impact through our reports, working groups, the recent Gathering, and more. That deep commitment will never change and AAPIP endures because of our shared dedication, commitment, and connection to AAPIP's mission and to the network.


For us on staff, we are continuing on our own journey together in healing, team building, bonding, and planning. At this time, we are being even more intentional about the pace of our work as well as the content. We are reorganizing our staffing structure and overall infrastructure needs while fine tuning priorities from our strategic frame to move AAPIP’s work forward. We have interim support in place, and have already welcomed a new team member (see announcement below). We will be reaching out to you along the way, but in the meantime, please feel free to reach out if you have any questions, feedback, or ideas to share.


In times of transition, organizations need even more support, not less.  AAPIP is no different. While staffing transitions may cause temporary disruptions, together we can persevere and build a path forward in support of our communities.


Exciting Announcements In Philanthropy


New Presidents and Chief Executive Officers

Congratulations to the following members of the AAPIP community on their new appointments: 

AAPIP Board Chair Dr. Vivian Tseng will become the next president and CEO of the Foundation for Child Development.


Raymond Colmenar is the new president of the Akonadi Foundation.

Carolyn Wang Kong was named the new president and executive director of the Asian Pacific Fund.



New AAPIP Staff

We are excited to welcome the newest member of the AAPIP staff team: 

Samanta Ratsavong (a former AAPIP Social Justice Fellow) has rejoined us as our membership programs coordinator.  




Being Asian in America

Published August 2, 2022 by Pew Research Center


A New Documentary Sheds Light on a Pivotal Movement in Asian American History

Published August 22, 2022 in The Guardian


Published September 7, 2022 by Pillars Fund


Published September 8, 2022 by Muslim Philanthropy Initiative, Lilly Family School of Philanthropy




Advancing justice and equity will take all of us.


AAPIP appreciates the steadfast support from the 100+ Institutional Members who have joined us so far.


Special shoutout to the following new institutional members:

  • AAPI Victory Alliance/AAPI Progress and Education Fund
  • Asian American Futures
  • The Colorado Trust
  • Earthjustice
  • Groundswell Fund
  • Lenfest Institute for Journalism
  • One8 Foundation
  • Target Foundation

Since our founding in 1990, AAPIP has envisioned a more just and equitable society and has been a critical voice for advancing the full picture of racial justice - one which includes Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities. As our nation and the world reckon with the legacies of dehumanization and injustice, AAPIP is an increasingly important voice in philanthropy.  


Your membership helps support AAPIP's work and centers you as an important part of the growing AAPIP community with special benefits!

Become an AAPIP Member


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