How the Kataly Foundation is Supporting AAPI Communities Building Power
By: Nwamaka Agbo, Kimi Mojica, Zaineb Mohammed, Joleen Ruffin, Jocelyn Wong, and Larry Yang
In response to the deadly attack targeting Asian American women in Atlanta in March, as well as escalating violence and discrimination towards the AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander) community since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kataly Foundation has awarded $500,000 in grants to 26 organizations building power within and serving communities across the Asian diaspora in the United States.
In March, the Kataly Foundation formed a rapid response team to distribute resources to organizations supporting AAPI communities, with a particular focus on women-led organizing given this misogynistic attack. We prioritized organizations that center racial and gender justice, have youth, LGBTIQ, and women leaders, organize nail salon workers, sex workers, and domestic workers, combat human trafficking, address community health issues, encourage civic engagement, and build solidarity across the Asian American and Pacific Islander diaspora and all communities of color. In our grantmaking strategy, we also prioritized smaller organizations that have less access to national funding streams.
The shooting in Atlanta, during which six of the eight people killed were Asian American women, is not an isolated incident and is part of a long history of violence and systemic bias faced by the AAPI community. We chose to engage in a rapid response grantmaking strategy because we wanted groups on the ground to know they had our immediate support in the midst of violence and expressions of hatred, and to have additional financial resources during a time of heightened crisis and urgent need.
We understand that the attention of philanthropy often ebbs and flows in response to crises like the attack in Atlanta or annual events like Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. While we believe that offering rapid response grants is important, we know that these grants are not enough on their own and that these organizations need long-term, sustainable funding to carry out their essential work.
We believe it is critical to pay attention to the long game — to look beyond any one moment of crisis and understand that systemic racism, violence, and injustice are constant threats faced by all communities of color. People on the ground are leading visionary work to achieve shared prosperity and well-being, and win liberation for all of us. We believe in their power and resilience and are committed to examining how we can continue to support their work.
We hope you will learn more about the organizations receiving our rapid response grants and support their work:
- 18 Million Rising
- AAPIs for Civic Empowerment-Education Fund
- AAPI Women Lead
- API Chaya
- API Equality — Northern California (APIENC)
- Asian American Resource Center
- Asian Americans Advancing Justice Atlanta
- California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative
- Center for Empowered Politics Education Fund
- Chinese Progressive Association
- Community Youth Center of San Francisco
- Compassion in Oakland
- Desis Rising Up and Moving (DRUM)
- Family Bridges — Community Ambassador Program
- Grassroots Asians Rising
- Hate Is A Virus
- Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple
- Jahajee Sisters
- Monsoon Asians & Pacific Islanders in Solidarity
- New Breath Foundation
- NICOS Chinese Health Association
- Red Canary Song
- Coalition for the Rights & Safety of People in the Sex Trade
- Vietnamese American Community Center of the East Bay