7 Organizations Centering Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Women and their Communities

March 17, 2021  |  Grace Duginski

This week's tragic shootings in Atlanta, GA took the lives of eight people, six of whom were of Asian descent and seven of whom were women. This attack aligns with a documented pattern of harassment and hatred toward people of Asian descent: earlier this week, the organization Stop AAPI Hate reported they had received nearly 3,800 reports of hate incidents between March 19, 2020 and February 28, 2021. Many of these incidents involved blaming Asian Americans for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today, we’re recognizing organizations whose work centers and supports Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women and their communities. We are honored to partner with them and support their work.

1.    Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta

AAAJ-Atlanta is “the first nonprofit legal advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the civil rights of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AANHPI) in Georgia and the Southeast.”

AAAF-Atlanta’s vision:

“Through our work, we envision a social movement in which communities of color are fully empowered, active in civic life, and working together to promote equity, fair treatment, and self determination for all.

Founded in 2010 as the Asian American Legal Advocacy Center (AALAC), our organization became part of the national Asian Americans Advancing Justice affiliation in 2014. Since then, we have re-organized our focus areas more specifically into four groups: Policy Advocacy, Organizing & Civic Engagement, Impact Litigation, and Legal Services.”

2.    National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum

NAPAWF’s mission is “to build collective power with AAPI women and girls to gain full agency over our lives, our families, and our communities.”

NAPAWF’s vision:

“From the grassroots to the halls of power, we work to build a movement for social, political, and structural change for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women and girls. Our policy platform, Still Fierce, Still Fighting: A Reproductive Justice Agenda for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, describes in detail the issues on which we work, and is directly informed by the experiences of our grassroots members and our families and communities.”

3.    Asian American Advocacy Fund

Based in Georgia, AAAF’s mission is “to advocate for the civil and human rights of Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Native Hawaiians in Georgia. Through a combination of policy advocacy at local, state, and federal levels, and by supporting candidates that believe in our values, we fight to create a better Georgia for us all.”

AAAF’s vision:

“Our vision is a Georgia where Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Native Hawaiians voices are represented in elected leadership and progressive policies across the state.”

4.    Center for the Pacific Asian Family

Center for the Pacific Asian Family (CPAF)’s mission is “to build healthy and safe communities by addressing the root causes and consequences of family violence and violence against women[… and] meeting the specific cultural and language needs of Asian and Pacific Islander women and their families.”

CPAF’s vision:

“Our vision is of an Asian and Pacific Islander community that embraces healthy relationships and works in partnership with other communities to eradicate all forms of violence.”

5.    The Asian and Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Resource Project

The Asian/Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Resource Project (DVRP)’s mission is “to address, prevent, and end domestic violence and sexual assault in Asian/Pacific Islander communities while empowering survivors to rebuild their lives after abuse.”

DVRP’s story:

“In 1995, a group of Asian/Pacific Islander women came together to discuss the issues of violence against women in their community. These women, the Founders of DVRP, surveyed area service providers and found that over 500 abused A/PI women were unable to access culturally and linguistically appropriate services. This lack of services prevented survivors from accessing the critical resources they needed to lead healthy and safer lives.

Today, DVRP’s programs and structure is survivor-created and survivor-driven.  DVRP has served over 1,300 survivors in Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia, empowered community leaders to speak out against violence and provided trainings to various audiences on cultural humility and domestic violence awareness.”

6.    Coalition of Asian American Leaders

CAAL MN is “a social justice network of leaders with a mission to harness our collective power to improve the lives of community by connecting, learning, and acting together.” Join them for an upcoming public event to take action against violence and hate: Unheard Stories: Asian Americans Experiencing Hate.

CAAL MN’s vision:

“The Coalition of Asian American Leaders (CAAL) envisions a State where all Minnesotans, regardless of background, are actively engaged in shaping solutions, and can achieve prosperity."

7.    Asian American Resource Workshop

The Asian American Resource Workshop (AARW) is “a political home for pan-Asian communities in Greater Boston. [They] are a member-led organization committed to building grassroots power through political education, creative expression, and issue-based and neighborhood organizing.”

AARW's vision:

“At AARW, we envision a world that is free from violence and oppression, where people can live with dignity and have their basic needs met with ample opportunities to thrive. We seek a future that honors all Asian Pacific Islander communities, including diasporic and Indigenous People of East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Southwest Asia, Pacific and Caribbean Islands, Native Hawaii, and Oceania.”