The Asian American Foundation (TAAF) almost a month ago announced an initial commitment of $125 million from its board. Two weeks later, TAAF announced that it raised some 10 times that amount — almost $1.1 billion — to support Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities.
TAAF aims to be a “convener, incubator, and funder for the Asian-American and Pacific Islander community.” The organization has been working with foundations, corporate partners and individuals to commit resources through its AAPI Giving Challenge, a five-year commitment to galvanize more resources to meet the needs of AAPI communities. Partners include foundations, organizations, corporations and individuals.
The organization is led by TAAF President Sonal Shah, who previously served as deputy assistant to President Barack Obama and founded the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation. She most recently was professor and founding executive director of the Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
“We created TAAF to stand up for the 23 million Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders living in this country and help bring us together in the fight for our own prosperity,” Shah said via a statement. “TAAF wants to strengthen and build power for AAPIs, particularly as we face an exponential increase in hate and violence,” she said. “AAPI communities need systemic change to ensure we are better supported, represented, and celebrated across all aspects of American life. TAAF plans to spark that systemic change and help fundamentally transform AAPI empowerment and support well into the future.”
TAAF will focus efforts on three areas there need is most urgent:
- Anti-hate, supporting organizations and leaders building long-term solutions for measuring and defending against anti-AAPI violence.
- Data and research, working to develop the common data standards to better track incidents of hate and violence targeting AAPI communities while investing in data -driven research that identify needs of AAPI communities to inform policymaking, advocacy and philanthropy.
- Education, helping to create K-12 and higher education curricula that reflect the history of AAPI communities as part of the American story. TAAF will also fund storytelling across the arts, media and film to include the AAPI experience and contributions to American history.