Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago

Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago

Advancing Justice | Chicago understands racial equity as the condition where one's racial identity will no longer statistically predict one's life outcomes. As an organization with a racial equity mission, we unequivocally believe our work must target root causes and address or eliminate racialized outcomes for all marginalized and oppressed

Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago

Advancing Justice | Chicago understands racial equity as the condition where one's racial identity will no longer statistically predict one's life outcomes. As an organization with a racial equity mission, we unequivocally believe our work must target root causes and address or eliminate racialized outcomes for all marginalized and oppressed people, not just the AAPI community or immigrants & refugees. Accordingly, our staff and leaders reflect on whether policies are transformational and how to appropriately show up as Asian Americans, particularly when an issue predominantly impacts Black and Latinx communities. At the same time, we also recognize the need to dig deeper into an analysis of our community where significant disparities in outcomes exist. Advancing Justice | Chicago is a very diverse organization, with 100% of our staff and board members being people of color and reflecting the Asian American communities we serve. We recognize the language barriers many of our community members face and dedicate ourselves to building our programs to honor our community's native tongues and be culturally competent. Most of our staff are multilingual and fluent in various Asian languages, which has been a great asset for us to build our base, advocate and gather support for policy campaigns, and conduct voter protection works. We are building a powerful Asian American voice for racial equity by: increasing public understanding of Asian American communities; advocating for policies that promote social, economic, educational and political equity; encouraging active civic participation through education, organizing and advocacy; and working in partnership with like-minded organizations and individuals to build positive interracial and inter-ethnic relations. Founded in 1992, Advancing Justice | Chicago is an affiliate of Asian Americans Advancing Justice. Other Advancing Justice affiliates are located in Atlanta, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. The members of Advancing Justice work as equal and independent partners under one name to provide a unified, powerful voice to advance justice for all Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and marginalized communities across the nation.

About the Organization:

Advancing Justice | Chicago understands racial equity as the condition where one's racial identity will no longer statistically predict one's life outcomes. As an organization with a racial equity mission, we unequivocally believe our work must target root causes and address or eliminate racialized outcomes for all marginalized and oppressed people, not just the AAPI community or immigrants & refugees. Accordingly, our staff and leaders reflect on whether policies are transformational and how to appropriately show up as Asian Americans, particularly when an issue predominantly impacts Black and Latinx communities. At the same time, we also recognize the need to dig deeper into an analysis of our community where significant disparities in outcomes exist. Advancing Justice | Chicago is a very diverse organization, with 100% of our staff and board members being people of color and reflecting the Asian American communities we serve. We recognize the language barriers many of our community members face and dedicate ourselves to building our programs to honor our community's native tongues and be culturally competent. Most of our staff are multilingual and fluent in various Asian languages, which has been a great asset for us to build our base, advocate and gather support for policy campaigns, and conduct voter protection works. We are building a powerful Asian American voice for racial equity by: increasing public understanding of Asian American communities; advocating for policies that promote social, economic, educational and political equity; encouraging active civic participation through education, organizing and advocacy; and working in partnership with like-minded organizations and individuals to build positive interracial and inter-ethnic relations. Founded in 1992, Advancing Justice | Chicago is an affiliate of Asian Americans Advancing Justice. Other Advancing Justice affiliates are located in Atlanta, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. The members of Advancing Justice work as equal and independent partners under one name to provide a unified, powerful voice to advance justice for all Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and marginalized communities across the nation.

organizational budget

$1 MILLION - $2 MILLION

existence for

26-30 YEARS

Organization benefits AAPIs residing in the following state(s):

Illinois • Michigan • Minnesota • Ohio

organizational budget

$1 MILLION - $2 MILLION

existence for

26-30 YEARS

Organization benefits AAPIs residing in the following state(s):

Illinois • Michigan • Minnesota • Ohio

The Issue:

The Asian American community has long struggled for visibility and accurate representation. Over the past year and a half, we have seen the rise of anti-Asian sentiment and discrimination, resulting in violence against Asian/Asian American community members across the country. Stop AAPI Hate coalition has received over 9,000 racially motivated violence incident reports between March 2020 and June 2021, with the incidents in Atlanta and Indianapolis being among the higher-profile cases. We believe that one way to address these sentiments is by mandating that students across the state of Illinois learn Asian American history in school. As one of the fastest-growing populations across Illinois, over 800,000 Asian Americans currently live in the state as of 2021, yet our stories in history textbooks are nowhere to be found. This lack of representation of Asian Americans in the school curriculum erases the legacies and contributions of Asian Americans throughout history, leading to a less comprehensive understanding of US history as a whole.

The Solution:

In 2020 and 2021, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago led a coalition effort that successfully passed the Teaching Equitable Asian American Community History Act, or TEAACH Act (HB 376). Sponsored by State Sen. Ram Villivalam and Rep. Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz, the TEAACH Act creates the first state requirement of its kind in the country, ensuring that Illinois public school students learn about key topics in Asian American history. While this will not completely solve for anti-Asian hate and violence, teaching Asian American history is one step we can take to be proactive and help non-Asians understand the Asian American community and combat harmful anti-Asian stereotypes. In addition to Asian American students seeing themselves and their diverse histories accurately reflected in their school curriculum, non-Asian students will learn about the role that Asian immigrants and Asian Americans have played in the US history, our contributions to the country’s development, and the ways that our communities’ history as a vital part of America’s past and future. During our year-long campaign, Advancing Justice | Chicago’s grassroots leaders advocated for the bill, led legislative meetings, drove in calls to targeted legislative offices, organized popular education workshops, and participated in strategy and campaign decision-making. Our grassroots coalition sent 15,000 text messages to Illinois residents, sent 800 emails to legislators, collected 65 personal testimonies, and received more than 1,000 witness slips in support of this bill. On July 9, 2021, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the TEAACH Act into law, making Illinois the first state in the U.S. to require a unit of Asian American history to be taught in public elementary and high schools. This historic legislation will ensure that more than 100,000 Asian American K-12 students in Illinois see themselves reflected in their curriculum and understand the perspectives and contributions of Asian immigrants and Asian Americans in the history of the United State. The new mandate goes into effect in the 2022-2023 school year. We are now advocating for the effective implementation of TEAACH in Illinois and introducing our successful campaign model to other national partners.

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