Asian American Entrepreneurs to Effort fund on Anti-Asian Discrimination

Some of the most powerful corporate people and organizations in the world launched a large-scale charitable effort to aid Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders as they combat increasing harassment and attacks. The Asian American Foundation is launching with $250 million and a plan to establish a national infrastructure to support a community whose struggles have come to the fore over the past year, according to organizers, who describe it as the largest-ever philanthropic effort to support the AAPI community.

Photo Courtesy: Forbes

The foundation’s board, which is made up of billionaires Jerry Yang, co-founder of Yahoo, and Joseph Tsai, co-founder of Alibaba Group, as well as Li Lu, founder of Himalaya Capital, provides half of that sum. Companies like Coca-Cola, Walmart, Citigroup, Bank of America, the Ford Foundation, Amazon, UBS, and the National Basketball Association all made donations totalling the remaining $125 million. In order to increase awareness and representation of the community, corporate leaders will make investments in the AAPI community through three main areas: anti-hate initiatives, education, and data and research.

Asian Americans make up around 6% of the U.S. population but only get less than 1% of charitable money, making it the largest philanthropic gift ever made to them. The initiative comes as violence against Asian Americans has increased. According to a research by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, which analyzes the crimes in 15 major American cities, hate crimes against Asian Americans have increased by 169 percent over the past year. Hate crimes have increased 223 percent in New York City alone.

Li Lu, the founder and chairman of the hedge fund Himalaya Capital, Sheila Lirio Marcelo, the founder of the online marketplace for caregivers, Joseph Bae, a co-president of the private equity firm KKR, Joseph Tsai, a co-founder and the executive vice chairman of the Chinese technology giant Alibaba, Jerry Yang, a co-founder of Yahoo, Peng Zhao, the chief executive of the market maker Citadel Securities, and Sheila Liri The former chairman and CEO of PepsiCo Indra Nooyi, the professional basketball player Jeremy Lin, and the journalist Fareed Zakaria are all members of the group’s advisory committee.

Photo Courtesy: KING 5

Donors to the new organization claim that lawmakers and donors have long neglected the issues and discrimination that Asian Americans experience. Asian Americans frequently have a stigma of being successful and wealthy. The president of the Asian American Foundation, Sonal Shah, called this “persistent and powerful model minority myth” evidence of “a lack of knowledge of the disparities that exist.” Asian Americans make up only 1.5% of Fortune 500 company officers despite making up 13% of the country’s workforce. Asians in the United States have the largest income disparity between the top 10% and the bottom 10% of the population, according to Pew Research. Three percent of the seats in Congress are held by Asian Americans.

The sponsors of the new project are modeling their strategy after a previous campaign by well-known Black businessmen who fought voting laws that disproportionately hurt Black voters in Georgia and other states, inspiring much of corporate America to side with them. According to Darren Walker, CEO of the Ford Foundation, “they recognize that racism transcends class and prosperity in America, and they feel the urgency of now.”

The new initiative may have to deal with the political diversity of Asian Americans if it supports political candidates or legislative measures that are consistent with its objective. Additionally, the most of the rich CEOs driving the initiative appear to be East Asian males, which could dampen interest from groups like Hmong Americans or Vietnamese Americans who are frequently left out of discussions about Asian American identity.

Prior to recent changes, Asian Americans used to be a dependable Republican voting group. Exit polls show that Joe Biden won the presidential election with a resounding majority of support from Asian Americans. But a closer examination finds that different groups differ. According to the Asian American Voter Survey, roughly two thirds of Indian Americans supported Biden before the election. 56 percent of Chinese Americans supported Biden, but up to 23 percent were undecided. Vietnamese Americans favored Donald Trump over Joe Biden by a margin of 48% to 36%, with 12% uncertain.

Photo Courtesy: AP News

Reframing the public’s perception of the distinctive difficulties that Asian Americans have encountered throughout the history of the country will be another aspect of the initiative’s goal. The newly established foundation has made a contribution to the Asian American Education Project, which is collaborating with PBS on the television program “Asian Americans” and creating lesson plans for K–12 educators that highlight the group’s experiences. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, according to Shah, constitute a significant part of American history and culture. It’s high time that America’s history was associated with ours.

This program comes after a rise in anti-Asian prejudice. It also aims to address the historically low level of charity shown to this group. Less than 0.5 percent of charitable foundation giving goes to AAPI community organizations, despite the fact that Asian Americans make up around 6 percent of the country’s population. This coordinated business initiative is similar to the support provided to the Black community after a string of police shootings sparked a nationwide racial justice movement last year.

References: › article › phil.

Written by John Mark Villafranca

John Mark Villafranca is a Digital Marketing Intern of PS Media Enterprise and a 3rd year Bachelor of Arts in Communication student of Batangas State University ARASOF.


A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
based in California that advocates
social inclusion of minorities with
Asian heritage though cultural awareness.


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Asian American Entrepreneurs to Effort fund on Anti-Asian Discrimination
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