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AAPI Equity Alliance
AAPI Equity Alliance
AAPI Equity Alliance
AAPI Equity works collaboratively with a broad range of stakeholders–including its more than 40 community-based organization members, government agencies, and businesses–to address the needs of AAPI communities. Its mission is to improve AAPI lives through civic engagement, capacity building, and policy advocacy. No other organization plays such a vital leadership role within the Los Angeles AAPI community. Its collaborative approach and intersectional lens on AAPI identities and experiences makes it the trusted, go-to organization in the region. AAPI Equity leverages its considerable expertise as well as that of its diverse partners to mobilize quickly in providing culturally and linguistically relevant direct services that meet immediate and basic needs. This has included provision of mental health, vaccination, and other critical services during the COVID-19 pandemic. As regional lead for the Stop the Hate initiative, AAPI Equity anchored two dozen partner organizations to provide support and services to victims of hate crimes and their families, including assessing the mental health effects of racial trauma. At the same time, AAPI Equity’s work with its partners lays the foundation for longer-term capacity building efforts and systemic change that will empower AAPI communities. AAPI Equity amplifies the voices of organizations and individuals in policy decisions concerning public health, immigration, civic engagement, redistricting, domestic violence and anti-racism/hate crimes. Together with its cofounded partner Stop AAPI Hate, AAPI Equity assumes a national leadership role in combatting anti-Asian racism. AAPI Equity brings a multiracial approach to this work in solidarity with organizations which serve other ethnic/pan-ethnic communities.
About the Organization:
5 MILLION - 8 MILLION
The most significant new challenges facing the AAPI community over the past few years have been the Covid-19 pandemic and the attendant rise in anti-AAPI hate. During the height of the pandemic, AAPI Equity Alliance coordinated over $4 million in ARPA funds to provide vaccination outreach to the AAPI community in partnership with 14 member organizations. AAPI Equity Alliance led a collaborative of 18 organizations to address COVID-19 and its impacts on AAPIs. AAPI Equity Alliance has provided culturally and linguistically appropriate outreach and education, offering PPE and vaccines to underserved AAPI immigrant community members since 2020. Multilingual community health workers translated materials into over twelve languages and engaged more than 271,000 community members. More importantly, the resources have strengthened the capacity of our organizations to serve the overall health needs of AAPI communities. Though that crisis has abated, it continues to exacerbate anti-AAPI racial trauma in its wake. President Trump and other high-level leaders scapegoated AAPIs for causing the pandemic in racist rhetoric that dovetailed with a rise in reported hate, racist incidents and crimes against AAPIs. These incidents have taken various forms, including verbal harassment, physical assaults, and vandalism. Asian Americans have reported feeling unsafe and fearful in public spaces, and many have experienced trauma and emotional distress as a direct result. Moreover, hate incidents and crimes can have long-lasting effects on individuals and communities, including perpetuating stereotypes, undermining social cohesion, and eroding trust in institutions. For Asian Americans, the impact of these incidents can be particularly profound, given the long history of discrimination and marginalization that many have faced in the United States.
While AAPI Equity Alliance has rapidly responded to emerging crises, its smaller coalition members lack sufficient resources and professional development opportunities to empower their communities in these new landscapes. Building the capacity of AAPI organizations enables leaders to advocate for their communities. This empowerment approach enables AAPI communities to have a stronger voice in policy decisions that affect their lives.
AAPI Equity Alliance has has been at the forefront of advocacy efforts, serving as a vocal and visible advocate calling for increased awareness, education, and policy change to address the root causes that contribute to these incidents. AAPI Equity Alliance’s innovative, non-traditional structure fosters engagement of diverse community stakeholders who are leading the work on the ground, and allows it to provide policy and advocacy support for which smaller organizations lack the capacity. AAPI Equity Alliance’s board members are comprised of leaders from member organizations, unlike traditional community organizations that pull from individuals outside the sector. AAPI Equity Alliance also utilizes committees to lead the important work, staffed by member organizations and guided by volunteer efforts. This creates a level of accountability for AAPI Equity Alliance, and helps root it to the on-the-ground direct service work delivered by its members. The continuation of these efforts requires empowering our AAPI community-based organization coalition members to engage in both the rapid response work to address crises and the policy advocacy that addresses the root causes and diffuse effects of these emerging challenges. We seek to uplift our 40+ member organizations by launching a pilot program for an AAPI Administrative Hub. Three years ago, we conducted extensive focus groups with our members (Executive Directors of AAPI nonprofit organizations in Los Angeles County), and learned our members’ desire for integrated, cost-efficient, administrative services. At the outset, we will design a preferred vendor list, to coordinate and source best-pricing for our member organizations. In the long term, we envision creating an umbrella organization that serves as a fiscal sponsor to AAPI nonprofit organizations, and an incubator for early-stage AAPI community- based organizations. Another pressing need among smaller members is to understand policy better and develop effective advocacy in their communities. We would like to teach policy and advocacy in a field setting by bringing members to Sacramento to familiarize themselves with the political process in California’s state capital and gain access to state assembly members. Understanding policymaking steps and connecting to state lawmakers allows smaller organizations to amplify their voices and advance their interests effectively.