The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation announced today that it will award $5.5 million to nearly two dozen nonprofit organizations serving the increasing needs of Asian, Asian-American, and Pacific Islander communities.
The Hewlett Foundation’s infusion of funds will support 22 grantees whose work combats anti-Asian hate and violence by supporting survivors, meeting community needs, and uplifting the values, stories, and aspirations of AAPI communities. The groups represent a broad swath of approaches – from direct service in health and domestic violence, to advocacy on issues such as immigration and civil rights, to support for the broader field through data, journalism, and capacity-building.
While they range in focus from local service to national policy, almost all of the groups are based in California, primarily in the Bay Area, which includes a large, diverse, and vibrant population of individuals of Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander descent.
“These awards flow from the Hewlett Foundation’s pledge, created in response to the racial reckoning of 2020, to step up and do more on systemic racism, as well as our long-standing commitment to serving Bay Area communities,” said Charmaine Mercer, Chief of Equity and Culture at the Hewlett Foundation.
“Asians, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders — we are collectively a vital part of this country’s past, present, and future. Particularly in the Bay Area, where there is such a rich diversity of cultural communities, people of Asian descent are found everywhere: providing essential services like food, education, and health care, leading in the arts and creative industries, building tomorrow’s technology, organizing social movements, and more. We are so proud to support groups that are serving these communities in a time when the need has increased so dramatically,” said Adam Fong, co-chair of the advisory council that selected the grantees and a program officer in the foundation’s Bay Area-focused performing arts program.
“In the wake of anti-Asian violence, anti-Black racism, and the inequities laid bare by the pandemic, these nearly two dozen nonprofits are working to address the rising needs of Asian Americans locally and nationally,” said Carla Bernal, advisory council co-chair and a program fellow in the foundation’s U.S. Democracy program. She noted that between March 2020 and June 2021, there were more than 9,000 reported incidents of racism and discrimination targeting Asian Americans across the U.S., according to Stop AAPI Hate, one of the grant recipients. “We’re privileged to support the work of these organizations, which serve a diverse AAPI population with roots in more than 40 different countries. Their leadership within the broader AAPI community, and across communities of color, will help realize a vision of a more vibrant and inclusive nation.”
Grantees have told the foundation that the new funds will enable them to expand anti-AAPI violence and cross-racial programming, offer community resources to AAPI elders, develop media toolkits, fund women’s shelters, shore up infrastructure and staffing, and “keep the lights on.”
The grants will support the work of:
- 18 Million Rising, which was created in response to an enormous untapped opportunity to educate, activate, and organize young Asian Americans who are seeking a progressive political home. 18MR’s digital-first advocacy tactics elevate the voices of and mobilize our over 150,000 members to take action on issues that impact Asian America.
- AAPI Civic Engagement Fund, one of the only funds in the country that supports grassroots AAPI groups to build power and leadership to achieve transformational policy and systems change. Launched eight years ago, the Fund believes that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders must be an integral part of strengthening America’s democracy, improving the quality of life for all and creating vibrant multiracial communities.
- AAPI Data, a nationally recognized publisher of demographic data and policy research on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, with hundreds of news mentions in national and local outlets. AAPI Data’s reputation is built on data and research that is accurate, compelling, and timely. In addition to its news impact, AAPI Data is a trusted source among community organizations, government agencies, and decisionmakers seeking to better understand key aspects of AAPI communities.
- AAPIs for Civic Empowerment Education Fund (AAPI FORCE-EF) is a nonpartisan effort to build the organizers, organizations, and networks needed for a broad-based, powerful AAPI political bloc. Through integrated voter engagement, AAPI FORCE-EF educates and mobilizes low-propensity AAPI voters through a range of multilingual and culturally competent direct voter outreach strategies, including door-to-door canvassing, phone banking, direct mail, text messaging, and social media.
- API Equality Northern California builds transgender, non-binary, and queer Asian and Pacific Islander (TQAPI) power in the Bay Area to amplify voices and empower communities. Through organizing, APIENC inspires and trains grassroots leaders, transform values from scarcity to abundance, and partner with organizations to sustain a vibrant movement ecosystem.
- Asian American Journalists Association has been at the forefront of change in the journalism industry since its founding in 1981, working toward the visibility and inclusion of AAPI journalists in newsroom leadership, and toward equitable and accurate coverage of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and AAPI issues.
- Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus was founded in 1972 as the nation’s first legal and civil rights organization focusing on the needs of low-income, immigrant and underserved Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Recognizing that social, economic, political, and racial inequalities continue to exist in the United States, ALC is committed to the pursuit of equality and justice for all sectors of our society.
- Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC, whose mission is to advance civil and human rights for Asian Americans and to build and promote a fair and equitable society for all.
- Asian Americans for Community Involvement serves individuals and families with cultural humility, sensitivity and respect, advocating for and serving the marginalized and ethnic communities in Santa Clara County, California, by improving their health and well-being.
- Asian and Pacific Islander Women Lead aims to strengthen the progressive political and social platforms of Asian and Pacific Islander communities in the US through the leadership of AAPI women, girls, and non-binary communities, challenging and helping end the intersections of violence against and within AAPI communities and working in solidarity with other communities of color.
- Asian Health Services is a community health center that provides medical, dental and behavioral health services in 14 different languages to medically underserved families throughout Alameda County, California, and surrounding communities.
- Asian Immigrant Women Advocates works with immigrant workers employed in the Bay Area’s garment, home care, hotel, restaurant, assembly and other low-wage industries, and low-income immigrant youth in Oakland. It seeks to empower women and youth through education, leadership development and collective action, so that they can fight for dignity and justice in their daily lives and improve their working and living conditions.
- Asian Law Alliance provides essential services to low-income residents who could not otherwise afford legal assistance nor access language translation/interpretation they need, including Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders targeted in hate incidents, survivors of domestic violence, refugees and asylum seekers, seniors with limited English proficiency, people with disabilities, veterans, and persons experiencing homelessness.
- Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach (APILO) provides culturally competent and linguistically appropriate legal representation, social services, and advocacy for the most marginalized segments of the community including low-income women, seniors, recent immigrants, and youth.
- Asian Women’s Shelter was founded in 1988 to address the urgent and unmet needs of survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking, especially those who are immigrant or refugee women, children, LGBTQ+/GNB, and/or youth. AWS welcomes survivors of all genders, ages, races, nationalities, language communities, abilities, income levels, and more.
- Bulosan Center for Filipino Studies advances research, education, and advocacy for historical and contemporary issues faced by Filipinos in the United States, the Philippines, and abroad.
- Center for Empowering Refugees and Immigrants is a community-based mental health and social services agency in Oakland with a mission to improve the social, emotional, psychological, economic, and physical health of refugees and immigrants affected by war, torture, genocide or other forms of extreme trauma. CERI serves the Cambodian community, focusing on healing for genocide survivors and multi-generational work with younger generations, and staff also provide services in 15 languages, serving many from SE Asian refugee and immigrant communities as well as from Afghanistan, Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, and India.
- Chinese for Affirmative Action, originally founded in 1969 to protect the civil and political rights of Chinese Americans and to advance multiracial democracy in the United States, is a progressive voice in and on behalf of the broader Asian American and Pacific Islander community. CAA advocates for systemic change that protects immigrant rights, promotes language diversity, and remedies racial and social injustice.
- Chinese Progressive Association organizes and empowers the low-income and working-class immigrant Chinese community in San Francisco to build collective power with other oppressed communities to demand better living and working conditions and justice for all people.
- National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association aims to promote the mental health and well-being of the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.
- National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum is the only multi-issue, progressive, community organizing and policy advocacy organization for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women and girls in the U.S. NAPAWF’s mission is to build collective power so that all AAPI women and girls can have full agency over our lives, our families, and our communities.
- Stop AAPI Hate is a national coalition addressing anti-Asian racism across the U.S, founded in 2020 by the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council (A3PCON), Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA) and San Francisco State University’s Asian American Studies Department.
Grantees were chosen through a collaborative nomination and selection process that involved all Hewlett Foundation staff. A volunteer Advisory Council of staff who identify as Asian, Asian-American or AAPI guided the selection process. To provide streamlined support, with minimal burden on the recipients, these donations have been exempted from Hewlett’s usual reporting and application requirements, beyond what is legally required.
The Hewlett Foundation’s AAPI Advisory Council chaired by Bernal and Fong included: Pooja Agarwal, Program Associate, Environment; Suresh Bhat, Chief Financial Officer; Vicki Chu, Administrative Coordinator; Helena Geefay, Talent Development Officer; Neha Singh Gohil, Communications Officer; Catherine Hoang, Associate Accountant; Pooja Kadakia Raval, Senior Counsel; Ashley Kawakami, Digital Communications Associate; Laura Kimura, Grants Officer; Dwight Koda, Comptroller; Vidya Krishnamurthy, Director of Communications; Jennee Kuang, Program Fellow, Environment; Jennifer Kwong, Senior Counsel; Amanda Lanceplaine, Program Associate, Education; Sharon Lee, Director of Investment Operations and Accounting; Rena Lee, Senior Applications Developer; Trinh Liu, Senior IT Analyst; Leeanne Oue, Grants Officer; Jennifer Wei, Organizational Effectiveness Officer; Sarah Yun, Grants Officer; and Jing-Jing Zheng, Accounting Manager.