Our Mission

To serve the Asian American and Pacific Islander community in their pursuit of belonging and prosperity that is free from discrimination, slander, and violence.

our vision
An America where opportunities to participate in all aspects of society are equally accessible, and individuals and communities are not rendered invisible, nor singled out for false stereotypes, discrimination, or hate on the basis of race.

our shared history

3.5x

Population Growth

Asian Americans have the fastest growth rate of any major racial or ethnic group, 3.5x faster than the overall U.S. population. The U.S. Asian American population grew from nearly 12 million to over 20 million from 2000 to 2012, a 72% increase. AAPIs are the 3rd largest demographic in America.
Pew Research

8.7x

Income Gap

Among all ethnic and racial groups in the U.S., Asians have the biggest income gap between the top 10% and the bottom 10%. AAPIs near the top of the income ladder had 8.7 times as much income as AAPIs near the bottom.
Pew Research

1 in 4

Experience Hate Incidents

Despite having been in the U.S. for over 250 years, 1 in 4 Asian Americans have experienced a hate incident and 64% have been asked, "Where are you really from?"
Axios

0.5%

Underfunded

Of all groups of color, Asian American and Pacific Islander communities receive less than 0.5% of foundation giving and less than 1% of corporate philanthropy.
AAPIP

1763 First Recorded Settlement of AAPI in the U.S.
First recorded settlement of Asians in the U.S. Filipinos escaping captivity aboard Spanish galleons jump ship in New Orleans, and make their new home in St. Malo, LA.
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Chinese Massacre of 1871
In Los Angeles, California’s Chinatown, a mob of more than 500 white men forced its way into, then ransacked, every building on Calle de los Negros.  Most in the mob had been recruited off the streets by a high-ranked policeman. Many of the Chinese immigrants living and working in the crime-ridden ghetto were robbed and beaten. Seventeen were tortured, mutilated, and then hanged at several sites in the business section of the city. A cheering crowd looked on.
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The Chinese Exclusion Act
Passed by Congress and signed by President Chester Arthur, this Act provides a 10-year moratorium on Chinese labor immigration and prohibits naturalization for any persons of Chinese descent. For the first time, federal law proscribed entry of an ethnic working group on the premise that it endangered the good order of certain localities.
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Japanese American Incarceration
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9066 that scapegoats 110,000 Japanese Americans, many of whom are second and third generation American citizens, for the bombing of Pearl Harbor. They are put into 10 Japanese American incarceration camps in the U.S. Not one person in these camps is ever indicted of a crime.
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Founding of AAPI Studies
As a result of student protests at schools like San Francisco State University and University of California, Berkeley, Asian American Studies programs are established at colleges.
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Murder of Vincent Chin
Vincent Chin, a Chinese American, is murdered in Detroit by two auto workers who had reportedly mistook him for a Japanese person and blamed him for their job losses. The murderers were acquitted, never serving a day for their crime. Chin's murder galvanized AAPI communities across the country and sparked national protests.
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1763
First Recorded Settlement of
Asians in the US
First recorded settlement of Asians in the U.S. Filipinos escaping captivity aboard Spanish galleons jump ship in New Orleans, and make their new home in St. Malo, LA.
Image credit: Harper's Weekly, 1883.
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1871
Chinese Massacre
of 1871
In Los Angeles, California’s Chinatown, a mob of more than 500 white men forced its way into, then ransacked, every building on Calle de los Negros.  Most in the mob had been recruited off the streets by a high-ranked policeman. Many of the Chinese immigrants living and working in the crime-ridden ghetto were robbed and beaten. Seventeen were tortured, mutilated, and then hanged at several sites in the business section of the city. A cheering crowd looked on.
Image credit: Public Domain.
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1882
The Chinese Exclusion Act
Passed by Congress and signed by President Chester Arthur, this Act provided a 10-year moratorium on Chinese labor immigration and prohibited naturalization for any persons of Chinese descent. For the first time, federal law forbid entry of an ethnic working group on the premise that it endangered the good order of certain localities.
Image credit: The Royal BC Museum.
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1942 - 45
Japanese American Incarceration
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9066 that scapegoats 110,000 Japanese Americans, many of whom are second and third generation American citizens, for the bombing of Pearl Harbor. They are put into 10 Japanese American incarceration camps in the U.S. Not one person in these camps is ever indicted of a crime.
Image credit: Ansel Adams / Library of Congress
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1969
Founding of AAPI Studies
As a result of student protests at schools like San Francisco State University and University of California, Berkeley, Asian American Studies programs are established at colleges.
Image credit: Corky Lee.
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1982
Murder of Vincent Chin
Vincent Chin, a Chinese American, is murdered in Detroit by two auto workers who had reportedly mistook him for a Japanese person and blamed him for their job losses. The murderers were acquitted, never serving a day for their crime. Chin's murder galvanized AAPI communities across the country and sparked national protests.
Image credit: Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles.
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Establishment of White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
President Bill Clinton signs Executive Order 13125, establishing the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders—the first executive order to improve the lives of our AAPI communities so they can more fully participate in American society. Today, this Initiative continues to address unmet needs and issues, such as data disaggregation, workforce diversity, and language access.
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Post 9/11 Targeting of Muslims
In the wake of 9/11, anti-Muslim hate crime incidents spiked from 28 to 481 incidents in 2001 alone. For the next decade, in addition to anti-Muslim hate, Muslim Americans endured employment discrimination and civil rights violations, and the War on Terror would lead to their racial profiling and unlawful imprisonment by law enforcement. According to an ongoing Rutgers Center for Security, Race and Rights study, only 17% of claims out of 175 Muslim civil rights cases made it to trial, with most cases dismissed by judges in the pre-trial phase. Not only have Muslim Americans faced discrimination in 2001, but they have also not been able to find relief in the courts.
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Sikh Temple Shooting
Six Sikh Americans were killed and three others wounded by Wade Michael Page, a white supremacist and army veteran who was discharged a decade before. The six Sikh American victims ranged in age from 39 to 84 years old.
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Swearing-in of the First Asian American Woman Vice President, January 20, 2021
Kamala Devi Harris is sworn in as the 49th Vice President of the US, becoming the first woman, first Indian American, and first Black person to hold this prestigious position. She is sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first woman of color to serve on the Supreme Court..
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Atlanta Spa Mass Shooting Targets AAPI Immigrant Women, March 16, 2021
After a year of escalating xenophobia towards Asians and Asian Americans, a series of mass shootings occurs at three spas or massage parlors in the metropolitan area of Atlanta, GA. Eight people were killed, six of whom were AAPI immigrant women. A suspect was taken into custody, but has not been charged with a hate crime by authorities, despite subscribing to orientalist misconceptions about AAPIs. The authorities have identified the victims as Soon Chung Park, 74; Hyun Jung Grant, 51; Suncha Kim, 69; Yong Ae Yue, 63; Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33; Xiaojie Tan, 49; Daoyou Feng, 44; and Paul Andre Michels, 54. Elcias R. Hernández-Ortiz, 30, was seriously injured.
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Anti-Asian Hate Bill Passes Senate, April 22, 2021
The Senate passed a rare bipartisan bill, 94-1, to denounce anti-Asian hate. Sponsored by Senator Mazie Hirono in response to the rise in hate incidents against AAPIs, the bill streamlines federal law enforcement responses to all hate crimes, including creating a hotline, establishing stronger reporting protocols, and expediting review of hate crimes.
Read More
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1999
Establishment of White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
President Bill Clinton signs Executive Order 13125, establishing the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders—the first executive order to improve the lives of our AAPI communities so they can more fully participate in American society. Today, this Initiative continues to address unmet needs and issues, such as data disaggregation, workforce diversity, and language access.
Photograph: Ignatius Bau
Read More
Read Less
2001
Post 9/11 Targeting of Muslims
In the wake of 9/11, anti-Muslim hate crime incidents spiked from 28 to 481 incidents in 2001 alone. For the next decade, in addition to anti-Muslim hate, Muslim Americans endured employment discrimination and civil rights violations, and the War on Terror would lead to their racial profiling and unlawful imprisonment by law enforcement. According to an ongoing Rutgers Center for Security, Race and Rights study, only 17% of claims out of 175 Muslim civil rights cases made it to trial, with most cases dismissed by judges in the pre-trial phase. Not only have Muslim Americans faced discrimination in 2001, but they have also not been able to find relief in the courts.
Photograph:
AP Photo/Andres Kudacki
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2012
Sikh Temple Shooting
Six Sikh Americans were killed and three others wounded by a white supremacist and army veteran who was discharged a decade before. The six Sikh American victims ranged in age from 39 to 84 years old.
Photograph: Jon Cherry/Getty Images
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2021
Swearing-in of the First Asian American Woman Vice President, January 20, 2021
Kamala Devi Harris is sworn in as the 49th Vice President of the US, becoming the first woman, first Indian American, and first Black person to hold this prestigious position. She is sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first woman of color to serve on the Supreme Court.
Photograph: Reuters
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2021
Atlanta Spa Mass Shooting Targets AAPI Immigrant Women, March 16, 2021
After a year of escalating xenophobia towards Asians and Asian Americans, a series of mass shootings occurs at three spas or massage parlors in the metropolitan area of Atlanta, GA. Eight people were killed, six of whom were AAPI immigrant women. A suspect was taken into custody, but has not been charged with a hate crime by authorities, despite subscribing to orientalist misconceptions about AAPIs. The authorities have identified the victims as Soon Chung Park, 74; Hyun Jung Grant, 51; Suncha Kim, 69; Yong Ae Yue, 63; Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33; Xiaojie Tan, 49; Daoyou Feng, 44; and Paul Andre Michels, 54. Elcias R. Hernández-Ortiz, 30, was seriously injured.
Photograph: John Spink / John.Spink@ajc.com
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Read Less
2021
Anti-Asian Hate Bill Passes Senate, April 22, 2021
The Senate passed a rare bipartisan bill, 94-1, to denounce anti-Asian hate. Sponsored by Senator Mazie Hirono in response to the rise in hate incidents against AAPIs, the bill streamlines federal law enforcement responses to all hate crimes, including creating a hotline, establishing stronger reporting protocols, and expediting review of hate crimes.
Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
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founding story

“Have come, Am here.”
-Jose Garcia Villa, celebrated Pilipinx immigrant and poet

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have called the United States of America home for over two centuries. The Asian American Foundation (TAAF) is stepping up to protect our fundamental right to belong and prosper, free from cycles of discrimination and violence.

From the first recorded settlement of Filipinos in 1763 escaping imprisonment aboard Spanish Galleons in New Orleans, and throughout each succeeding wave of immigration from Asia and the Pacific since then, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have fought and endured in our struggle to be valued by American society.

Despite our AAPI communities' remarkable success and vital contributions across social, economic, and political realms, progress towards greater national acceptance and belonging continues to be threatened by unchecked cycles of xenophobia and race-based violence. The time for change is now.

The Asian American Foundation (TAAF) believes that a better America is not only possible but necessary.

Even as the fastest growing ethnic group in the country, AAPI communities are severely underfunded. We are consistently denied opportunities for professional advancement. Our most vulnerable are overlooked and violently assaulted daily.

We want to close the vast AAPI economic and influence gap. Our board has made the largest philanthropic commitment in history focused specifically on AAPI communities—and this is just the beginning.

We serve the 23 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who strive to build on the promise of America and create a future that we—and the next generation—deserve. Every single one of us is part of the American story—and The Asian American Foundation is here to stand up for us all.

what does it mean to be american?

"Every Asian American has their American story. We are the cashiers, nurses, doctors, care workers, small business owners, students, political and business leaders. We serve and defend our country.  We live in rural America, suburban America and urban America. Each of our stories are different, but we are part of the American story. We came for change. We came to build. We came because we believe in the promise of America. We belong. We are part of the American story."

Sonal Shah, President, The Asian American Foundation

What We Do

The Asian American Foundation (TAAF) provides funding and resources to build the infrastructure to improve AAPI advocacy, power, and representation.

Fund

We mobilize resources for the community to build infrastructure to generate long-term influence, dismantle injustice, and advocate for the well-being of all AAPIs.

Convene

We bring together activists, civil rights organizations, CEOs, corporations, policymakers, and AAPI leaders to align efforts and celebrate our collective contributions to American society.

Incubate

We identify and address the AAPI community's most pressing challenges.

our focus areas

Anti-Hate

The hate stops now. We invest in solutions that end the cycle of violence, and protect AAPI communities against hate in the future.

Data & Research

Numbers have power. We develop the tools and culturally nuanced data collection standards that will center AAPIs in future policymaking, advocacy, and philanthropy.

Education

Belonging starts with visibility. We invest in storytelling—across education, media, film, and the arts—that reflects AAPIs as part of the American story, and cultivates greater cultural awareness and empathy.

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