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AAPI community groups rise to the challenge

AAPI groups across the country have responded rapidly to the new and changing needs of the community. Here are some examples:

  • Changing tactics – COVID-19 struck as many non profits were about to kick off their 2020 Census outreach activities. It led groups such as the New Mexico Asian Family Center to switch from door canvasses and events to phone banking and other forms of remote communications. 
  • Coupling aid with information about becoming civically engaged – During the New York primaries in June, Mekong NYC dropped off care packages while providing information on where and how to vote. 
  • Doubling down on progressive policy measures – Given the hardships low income communities of color are facing and the inequities in the governmental response to the crisis, groups like CAAAV-Organizing Asian Communities won one of the strongest eviction moratoriums in the country. 
  • Aiding communities left out of government relief efforts – Dozens of AAPI groups like Asian Americans United have raised funds to support undocumented families, among others. 
  • Keeping communities connected – When three Vietnamese language papers serving the tri city area shut down, Viet Lead based in Philadelphia filled the information gap running Vietnamese language webinars on unemployment insurance or small business loans. In Oregon, the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon has become the primary source of information for those who do not speak or read English well.
  • Seizing this teachable moment – Groups like Asian Pacific Environmental Network are driving home the intersections of race and class on longstanding issues such as environmental justice.


Art by Natalie Bui