5 Important Organizations Supporting The AAPI Community
The United States is home to millions of people who identify as Asian or Pacific Islander, many of whom are first-generation immigrants. Several organizations exist to support and strengthen this community and address its particular needs, such as legal support, educational opportunities, and more. This list, presented in no particular order, shares a few nonprofits making a difference in the lives of Asian and Pacific Islander people in America.
To kick off our list at #1, we have the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development, a coalition of dozens of organizations spanning 21 states and the Pacific Islands. Its members work in low-income A.A.P.I. communities to improve housing security and preserve neighborhoods.
"National CAPACD is a progressive coalition of local organizations that advocate for and organize in low-income AAPI communities and neighborhoods. We strengthen and mobilize our members to build power nationally and further our vision of economic and social justice for all."
The coalition works to provide training, technical assistance, tools, and resources, such as housing counseling, to community-based organizations that serve and represent A.A.P.I. neighborhoods. In addition, it collaborates with community leaders to advocate for federal policies and national programs that promote economic, racial, and social justice.
The #2 entry is the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations. It was formed in 1987 by a group of community health institutions with the goal of creating a national voice to advocate for the unique and diverse medical needs of A.A.P.I. people and the providers that serve those needs.
The association advocates for policies and offers programs and services tailored to the cultural and language needs of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders. In addition, the organization works to advance the data and medical knowledge about these communities to inform solutions and improve health equity.
For #3, we have the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, a New York-based national organization founded in 1974 with the goal of protecting and promoting the civil rights of Asian Americans. It focuses on issues affecting this population, including immigrant rights, economic justice for workers, and educational equity.
The group litigates cases that have a major impact on the Asian American population and provides legal resources for community-based organizations. In addition, it facilitates free, multilingual legal advice clinics for low-income Asian Americans and new immigrants.
Taking the #4 spot is Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus. Based in San Francisco, this nonprofit is the nation’s first legal and civil rights organization serving low-income A.A.P.I. communities. The group focuses on housing rights, immigration, labor and employment, and more.
Founded in 1972, the organization manages a program called ASPIRE, which provides a space for young undocumented Asian and Pacific Islander immigrants to discuss their issues and develop their leadership and advocacy skills. Participants learn to lobby their elected officials to support policies that broaden the rights and maximize the opportunities of undocumented youth.
Rounding out our list at #5 is Asian American LEAD. This organization provides educational enrichment and youth development initiatives to low-income and underserved Asian American kids in the DC Metro region. Its after-school programs offer academic support resources, a space for shaping identity, and leadership and civic engagement opportunities.
The organization's mentoring program gives Asian Pacific American youth the opportunity to be matched in a one-on-one partnership with an adult from the community. Mentors work with the kids over the course of one year to assist with educational empowerment, identity development, and leadership skills.