FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 29, 2021

Press contact:
Bo Tefu, bo@change-llc.com
Stephanie Ong, stephanie@change-llc.com

AAPI Civic Engagement Fund Awards More than $7.5 Million in Grants to AAPI Groups Committed to Racial Justice and Power Building in Communities Around U.S.

Los Angeles – Amidst ongoing violence against Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities and ahead of the 2022 midterms, the AAPI Civic Engagement Fund has awarded more than $7.5 million in funding to AAPI community-based organizations to build power and enhance racial solidarity across the country. 

“In this unparalleled time, we are focused on providing essential resources to support the civic engagement infrastructure and capacity of AAPI groups and leaders to address the immediate challenges in our communities, while also building lasting power,” said EunSook Lee, director of the AAPI Civic Engagement Fund. “These groups are grounded in advancing intersectional solidarity, working as part of the broader movement for racial justice to dismantle the inequities that harm us all.”

A total of $4.7 million in general operations support was awarded to support a cohort of 31 local- and state-based AAPI groups across 18 states. Grantees received $150,000 over two years to implement year-round civic engagement work. Complementing these on-the-ground activities is the Fund’s support of AAPI Women Rising, a special initiative led by Women’s Democracy Lab and New American Leaders. AAPI Women Rising aims to increase the number of women of color seeking to run for office to help close the representation gap for AAPI women. This initiative includes a public awareness and recruitment campaign, intensive coaching for up to 20 candidates, a paid fellowship for three state legislators, and a year-long fellowship for up to five current officeholders and networking opportunities.

An additional $2 million was awarded to a total of 37 community-based organizations as part of the Anti-Racism and Intersectional Justice Grants (ARIJ). The majority of groups are led by AAPI women and represent 26 ethnic backgrounds, including some of the most underrepresented ethnic groups, such as Southeast Asian, South Asians, Muslim Americans. 

These $50,000 grants were allocated to help local AAPI groups counteract the alarming trend of anti-AAPI violence and racism across the nation, building an effective anti-racism and intersectional justice network that boosts local and state response capacity and cohesively sets an agenda for long-term transformative change. Grantees are part of the Shared Liberation Network, which encourages peer learning among the community groups. The Fund also created and manages a digital resource hub (movementhub.org) designed to amplify activities of its grantees.

The Fund also awarded its first year of Creative Content grants to fund collaborations between AAPI civic engagement groups and independent artists. Fund projects seek to use their creative talents to encourage civic participation in AAPI communities. A total of $450,000 was awarded among nine groups to produce creative content that strengthens the policy and civic engagement agenda of their respective communities. The Fund is also supporting RUN AAPI’s storytelling cultural campaign focused on engaging AAPIs between the ages of 18 and 34 years. 

About AAPI Civic Engagement Fund

The AAPI Civic Engagement Fund exists to foster a culture of civic participation within AAPI communities. As it enters its eighth year as one of the only funds in the country that supports grassroots AAPI groups to build power and leaders to achieve policy, systems, and transformational change, the Fund seeks to strengthen its communications infrastructure and capacity, galvanize additional support, and shape the narrative about the power and impact of the AAPI communities on our electorate and democracy. For more information about the Fund, visit https://aapifund.org.