Contact: Joy Moh
The Asian American Foundation
New York City, NY, December 6, 2022 – The Jeremy Lin Foundation, in collaboration with The Asian American Foundation (TAAF), is launching the Stronger Together Collaborative. With a seed grant from TAAF and other partners, an initial commitment of $1,500,000 in grants will be awarded over three years to nine community-rooted AAPI youth organizations that are bridge building and coalition building with other communities of color in solidarity.
“The Asian American Foundation is thrilled to partner with the Jeremy Lin Foundation to support these nine AAPI youth organizations that are boldly leading their generation to create a world where belonging and opportunity are available for everyone,” said Norman Chen, TAAF CEO. “Ten years ago, Jeremy Lin started a movement that crossed racial and team lines, uniting fans and communities around the country. The Stronger Together Collaborative continues that unifying spirit of Linsanity, aiming to further bring together AAPI and communities of color.”
The pilot cohort of grantees is based in New York City, home to the highest AAPI poverty rate in the country and a rich but complex history of both intra-Asian and cross-racial solidarity. The deep cultural and historical differences between AAPI ethnic groups has at times led to intra-racial divides while the model-minority myth has driven a wedge between AAPIs and other communities of color.
The Stronger Together Collaborative recognizes that growing cross-racial solidarity also includes intra-AAPI solidarity and is funding organizations at various stages of this work. Some organizations are fostering belonging within the AAPI community focused on Nepali-speaking, Indo-Caribbean, Vietnamese, South Asian, and Cambodian youth, while other organizations are already multiracial in nature providing bridge building programs between AAPI, Black, and Latino communities. Across all organizations, youth leaders are working towards long-term solutions for solidarity across all communities of color.
“In a time when society can feel so divided, the need to work together and learn how to take on each others' burdens becomes so crucial. The Stronger Together grantees have taught me and the Jeremy Lin Foundation team so much about what it looks like to work together for our communities, both within the AAPI community and with communities outside of our own. We are honored to work alongside TAAF to support and amplify the grantees’ work” Jeremy Lin said.
To identify organizations for the pilot cohort of the Stronger Together Collaborative, the Jeremy Lin Foundation took a community first approach, interviewing local NYC groups and leaders to identify organizations catalyzing change cross-racially. All recipients have demonstrated strong leadership, commitment to long-term sustainable solutions for solidarity, serve youth in low to moderate income areas, and faced barriers to accessing philanthropic capital.
“We are grateful to the community leaders who surfaced AAPI youth programs that are building cross-racially in the diverse communities they live in. It gives us hope to see these youth and grassroots organizations taking risks and building a future where all our communities can thrive. We are on a learning journey from those on the frontlines serving NYC’s marginalized communities” said Stephanie Hsu, Jeremy Lin Foundation Executive Director.
Together, the recipients work with over 4,000 youth from multi-generational, historically underserved, low-income families. The inaugural cohort of the Stronger Together Collaborative are:
Adhikaar serves the Nepali-speaking community, prioritizing youth, women, and marginalized groups; provides direct support to the NYC Nepali-speaking community and fights for the rights of all low-wage immigrant and domestic workers. (Contact: Aakriti Khanal, email@example.com )
Apex for Youth empowers underserved Asian and immigrant youth from low-income families in NYC to help them unlock their potential and a world of possibility. (Contact: Jiyoon Chung, firstname.lastname@example.org)
CAAAV (Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence) youth build grassroots power across diverse poor and working class Asian immigrant communities in NYC. Youth work intergenerationally for leadership development and with cross-racial coalitions for affordable housing and broader justice. (Contact: Sasha Wijeyeratne, email@example.com)
CACF ASAP (Asian Student Advocacy Project) is for AAPI youth from across the City to learn about their Asian Pacific American (APA) identity, community and history, and the importance of youth voice in policymaking to address systemic inequities. (Contact: Lakshmi Gandhi, firstname.lastname@example.org)
CYI (Chinatown Youth Initiative) empowers NYC youth to address the needs of Chinatown, Asian Americans, and other underrepresented communities by strengthening awareness of self-identity and community issues through for-youth, by-youth project initiatives. (Contact: Winnie Huang,email@example.com)
Mekong NYC serves Southeast Asian youth and families of color in the Bronx and throughout NYC through movement-building, centering healing through arts and culture, and creating a strong safety net rooted in community. (Contact: Sarah Trinh, firstname.lastname@example.org)
MinKwon Center for Community Action empowers the Korean American youth and community and works with the wider APA and immigrant communities to achieve economic and social justice for all. Minkwon’s Youth Empowerment program is 54% E Asian, 26% SE/S Asian, 20% Black and LatinX. (Contact: Kevin Kang, email@example.com)
SAYA (South Asian Youth Action) aims to foster a strong sense of belonging in youth and provide them with tools to thrive academically, professionally, and personally. SAYA serves ~50% AAPI and ~50% Black and LatinX youth. (Contact:Saphia Najafee, firstname.lastname@example.org)
About the Jeremy Lin Foundation
Jeremy Lin founded the Jeremy Lin Foundation in 2011 to support overlooked AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander) and cross-racial youth programs through narrative change, community empowerment, and cross-racial solidarity. The Foundation partners with grassroots programs deeply embedded in the community that serve low income youth and address root cause sustainable solutions to systemic inequities. 100% of the proceeds donated go to supporting community rooted non-profit organizations that are making an impact in the lives of youth and their communities. www.jeremylinfoundation.org/
The Asian American Foundation (TAAF) is a convener, incubator, and funder committed to accelerating opportunity and prosperity for AAPI communities. TAAF supports advocates and organizations committed to AAPI causes so that together we can more effectively take action against hate and violence, and build the infrastructure needed to improve AAPI advocacy, power, and representation across American society. We were founded to solve for the longstanding lack of investment and resources provided to AAPI communities and we strive to be a catalyzing force for creating a permanent and irrevocable sense of belonging for the 23 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders living in the United States. For additional information about TAAF, please visit www.taaf.org.
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