New Foundation Commits $250 Million to Support AAPI Causes

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Protestors at a March 5 demonstration against anti-Asian hate.

WASHINGTON Announcing a $250 million initiative, a new philanthropic organization has revealed plans to galvanize resources, help meet the needs of the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities and combat anti-Asian hate.

On May 3, The Asian American Foundation (TAAF) announced it has raised $125 million from among its board members as part of an initiative to create what is believed to be the largest philanthropic commitment in support of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) organizations and causes in recent memory.

In the aftermath of the tragic Atlanta-area shootings in March, TAAF distributed gifts of $1 million each to Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Stop AAPI Hate, and the National Asian American Women’s Forum. These grants will offer ongoing support as these organizations monitor anti-AAPI hate incidents and build systems to measure and defend hate against the community for the long term.

Sonal Shah

By investing in anti-hate, education, data, and research, TAAF aims to solve the long-standing lack of investment in AAPI communities, particularly as anti-AAPI hate and violence persist at alarming rates.

“We created TAAF to stand up for the 23 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders living in this country…particularly as we face an exponential increase in hate and violence,” said Sonal Shah, TAAF president, who previously served as deputy assistant to President Obama.

TAAF’s board chair is Li Lu, Himalaya Capital founder and chairman. The board is composed of business and social impact leaders.

Jerry Yang, co-founder of Yahoo! and founder of AME Cloud Ventures, stated, “I believe a much-needed change at this moment requires a national awakening and dialogue that involves leaders from every community.”

Audrey Yamamoto, Asian Pacific Fund president and executive director, points out that in conjunction with the TAAF launch, the Give in May campaign takes place during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month to raise awareness and funds for organizations service AAPI communities, many of them unseen.

Among those on the TAAF Advisory Council are: Lisa Ling, CNN; actor-producer Daniel Dae Kim; professional basketball player Jeremy Lin; Lisa Hasegawa, regional vice president, NeighborWorks America; Motoatsu Sakurai, president emeritus, Japan Society; Dr. Mariko Silver, president and CEO, Luce Foundation; and Eric Toda, head of global marketing, Facebook.

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