10 Organizations to Support During Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

May 2021 is the thirtieth anniversary of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in the U.S., and after a year of intensified violence, hate crimes and discriminatory rhetoric against Asian Americans, now is an excellent time to mobilize in support of this community. 

According to the website, almost 4,000 incidents of anti-Asian prejudice were reported from March 2020 to February 2021, and as the organization points out, this number does not even begin to account for all the unreported acts of discrimination. Asian Americans are vulnerable to the same injustices that other racially marginalized communities endure as well, such as the following behaviors:    

  • Verbal harassment
  • Shunning or avoidance
  • Physical assault
  • Workplace discrimination
  • Refusal of service
  • Public transportation barring
  • Online hate speech

However, in the midst of these traumatic human rights violations, the cultures and histories of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders all over this nation continue to flourish with vitality and resilience. We see, affirm and honor their courage. 

On that note, as you might have noticed, we are champions of equity, justice and inclusion here at The SunDaze Journey. So this month, we want to carve out space in our online community to shine a light on some AAPI-led organizations that inspire us. We hope you will consider joining us in support of the work these nonprofits do—on both a local and national scale—to enrich the lives of those across the Asian diaspora.   

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance COVID-19 Fund

This organization provides financial relief to the more than two million essential workers of Asian descent on the frontlines of this pandemic, as well as millions of other Asian Americans who have suffered income loss or racism in the workplace. 

National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance

This organization advocates for the equal treatment, visibility, healing and protection of LGBTQ identifying members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, and also works to dismantle anti-LGBTQ bias at the grassroots level. 

Asian Pacific Islander American Scholars

This organization distributes scholarships ($150 million and counting to date), mentorship services and career training resources to students of AAPI descent who might otherwise not have the financial access to a college education.

The Southeast Asian Diaspora Project

This organization works to preserve the cultural roots of Southeast Asian heritage with the powerful tool of storytelling as a means to empower young Southeast Asian leaders, build sustainable connections, and invest in systemic change. 

Kultivate Labs Art and Economic Development

This organization helps entrepreneurs of Filipinx descent launch new business ventures in San Francisco’s SOMA District to create a more diverse commercial ecosystem, promote urban renewal and ignite a “Filipinx Business Renaissance.”  

Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund 

This organization upholds the civil rights of Asian American and Pacific Islanders in various legal arenas such as economic justice, housing and education initiatives, voting protections, anti-trafficking laws and equal immigration policies. 

Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics

This organization trains and equips future leaders of all different backgrounds across the AAPI community to assume positions of influence in workplaces, state or federal agencies, nonprofit sectors, universities and other decision-making tables.

San Francisco Asian Women’s Shelter

This organization is on a mission to eliminate domestic violence and sexual exploitation against Asian American women and children in the California Bay Area through access to a residential shelter, therapeutic programs and a 24-hour crisis line.

Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum

This organization exists to improve the quality of affordable healthcare nationwide for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders—from COVID-19 treatment protocols, to hate crime trauma interventions, to culturally competent wellness visits. 

Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment

This organization seeks to advance AAPI representation, as well as eradicate systemic racial bias from the media and entertainment industries by depicting authentic Asian narratives on-screen and bolstering Asian creatives in the field.

Now it’s your turn: which AAPI-led nonprofits are you excited to support during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (and year-round)? Can you think of some additional organizations we haven’t mentioned that also belong on this list? Please share your thoughts and feedback in the comment section below!

About Author

Mary-Elizabeth Meagher is a freelance writer, social media marketer, travel enthusiast, musical theatre nerd and self-described bohemian. She lives and seeks adventure in the Arizona desert, and she also blogs over at Health Be a Hippie—her personal contribution to making the internet a more authentic, vulnerable and empowering place.

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