While America has always harbored deeply-rooted issues with racism and xenophobia against Asian-American communities, the discriminatory rhetoric surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic has inflamed anti-Asian violence across the country. Now more than ever, it’s incredibly important to educate yourself on how to actively work against racism by getting involved in community activism and donating to organizations dedicated to supporting those most harshly affected. If you’re not sure where to start, here’s where to donate to support Asian-American communities.
According to a 2021 study from the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY), "anti-Asian hate incidents now primarily directed at East Asians have skyrocketed" since the onset of the pandemic in March. "Across the country, there were more than 2,500 reports of anti-Asian hate incidents related to COVID-19 between March and September 2020," the study notes. In New York, the Queens Chronicle reported that hate crimes fueled by racism against Asian communities rose by 1,900% since the pandemic’s start. While these numbers alone may already seem like a sharp increase, researchers note how their data actually underestimates the real number of anti-Asian hate incidents, as most incidents go unreported.
And it’s not just violent hate crimes that have undergone an increase since the onset of the pandemic — since former President Donald Trump has labeled COVID-19 as the "Chinese virus" and "kung flu," verbal assault has been on the rise as well. Pew Research reports that "about three in 10 Asian adults say they have been subject to slurs or jokes because of their race or ethnicity since the outbreak began." By remaining engaged, actively working to combat racism in your community, and donating money to non-profit charities dedicating to supporting disproportionately impacted communities, you can show solidarity and help make a tangible difference.
If you decide to give to an organization that isn’t on this list, make sure to check if it’s a registered 501(c) (3). This designation means it’s recognized as a non-profit under federal guidelines. You can also check the organization out on Charity Navigator and see how they use their funds.
This list will be continually updated with organizations working to end racial injustice.
1. Stop Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Hate
Launched in a joint effort by the Asian Pacific Planning and Policy Council (A3PCON) and the Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA) to combat anti-Asian discrimination amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Stop AAPI Hate "tracks and responds to incidents of hate, violence, harassment, discrimination, shunning, and child bullying against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders." To support their mission, you can donate here. You can also report racist incidents and hate crimes in any language here.
2. Asian Mental Health Project
Discrimination against communities of color can often have a serious yet unseen impact on mental health. To combat the stigma of mental illness in Asian communities, the Asian Mental Health Project is working to empower and educate Asian communities in seeking mental health care, and to make mental health care more accessible overall. You can donate here.
3. Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund
Founded in 1974 by a group of lawyers on the East Coast, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund uses legal advocacy to address several critical issues affecting Asian American communities. The issues they aim to combat include "immigrant rights, voting rights and democracy, economic justice for workers, educational equity, housing and environmental justice, and the elimination of anti-Asian violence, police misconduct, and human trafficking." To support their mission, you can donate here.
4. Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum
As the the oldest and largest health advocacy organization working with Asian American, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities in the U.S., the Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum is dedicated to strengthening and improving health care access, quality, and equity. "By providing grants, training, technical assistance, and consulting," this non-profit organization is a key resource for community empowerment. You can donate here.
5. National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association
The National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association firmly believes "public policies and social justice issues have direct correlation with mental health," and that equity in America’s health care, immigration, education, and social systems is essential to quality of life. To support their goal in promoting the mental health and wellbeing of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, you can donate here.
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