Fostering a culture of civic participation within Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.
AAPIs have faced specific discrimination and barriers at the polls, and AAPI civic participation groups have been under-resourced by institutional funders. The AAPI Civic Engagement Fund is aimed at addressing these issues.
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) now number over 20 million and are the fastest growing racial group in the country. AAPIs include people of East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Philippines, and the Pacific Islands.
We believe 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.
There is a longstanding need for AAPIs – as a community of color and predominantly immigrant and refugee population – to become informed, activated, and engaged, particularly in the area of civic participation. Yet, AAPI voter registration and turnout rates have historically been disproportionately low.
We will foster a culture of civic participation within AAPI communities by supporting the growth of AAPI groups as organizational movement and power building leaders that achieve specific policy, systems, and transformational change.
AAPI communities have been coming together to establish organizations providing essential, culturally competent social services andprograms. Most run on a shoestring budget, relying on teams of staff and dedicated volunteers. In many cases, these organizations serve as one of the few AAPI voices in the area.
In 2014, a group of pioneering donors came together to discuss ways to substantively boost AAPI civic engagement. It became apparent that a specific fund, dedicated to expanding and deepening community capacity, was needed. Thus, the AAPI Civic Engagement Fund was conceived.