Foundations Commit $1 Million to Support Asian American Pacific Islanders

Foundations Commit $1 Million to Support Asian American Pacific Islanders

The U.S. Department of Education has announced a $1 million commitment from the Ford, Kresge, and W.K. Kellogg foundations in support of new programs designed to improve the quality of life in Asian American Pacific Islander communities.

The commitment was announced at the White House Asian American Pacific Islander Initiative‘s inaugural National Philanthropic Briefing, which was attended by more than two hundred executives and government officials, including philanthropic leaders from more than fifty foundations. At the meeting, attendees brainstormed potential partnership ideas, including programs for building community capacity to improve language access; tackling disparities among Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, and Southeast Asian Americans; and combating discrimination, bullying, and harassment of LGBT South Asian and Muslim communities. The funding will support “program planning for some of the outstanding ideas that emerged…[to] improve the quality of life of AAPI communities,” said Ford Foundation president Luis Ubiñas.

The briefing follows on the heels of new research from the U.S. Census Bureau which found that from 2000 to 2010 the Asian American population in the U.S. grew 43 percent, while the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander population grew some 30 percent. The initiative, which was reestablished in October 2009 by the Obama administration, aims to boost the visibility of and support for the AAPI community.

Moving forward, said Kellogg Foundation vice president for programs Dr. Gail Christopher, “will require both philanthropic and governmental organizations to evaluate their strategic plans to ensure that the critical needs of these marginalized communities are addressed.”

“Philanthropic Leaders Pledge $1 Million as Initial Investment in Public Private Partnerships for AAPI Community.” U.S. Department of Education Press Release 4/10/12.