The month of May marks Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (APAHM). Now more than ever, it is imperative that we show solidarity and support for the Asian American and Pacific Islander community by supporting local Asian American and Pacific Islander businesses, donating to causes dedicated to helping their communities, and continuing to amplify their voices through social media.
Although the Asian American and Pacific Islander community has suffered countless violent and racist attacks for many years, those attacks have increased by a horrifying 1,900 percent since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the Queens Chronicle. The murder of 84-year old Vicha Ratanapakdee in San Francisco, and the recent shooting spree in Atlanta, Georgia that killed six Asian American women, are just two high-profile examples of these terrible attacks.
Read on to learn what APAHM is, how to support Asian American businesses and organizations around the country, and how to show solidarity with the Asian community during this time of xenophobia and anti-Asian violence.
What is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (APAHM)?
Held in May, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is a time dedicated to recognizing the history, culture, contributions, influence, and achievements of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans in the United States. Pacific Islanders and Asian Americans have greatly helped to shape U.S. history, and their rich heritage continues to have a powerful impact on our nation. The month of May is dedicated to sharing their stories, celebrating their culture, and supporting their businesses and livelihood to ensure their remarkable impact continues to live on.
How to Support Asian American Businesses and Organizations Around the Country:
Since COVID-19 first impacted the nation in 2020, Asian American businesses have seen a decrease in customers as high as 80 percent due to the false stigma surrounding COVID-19 and Asian restaurants and stores. Asian American businesses have experienced a significant reduction in profits and customers, as individuals began avoiding Chinatowns and Asian businesses altogether.
Showing financial support for these individuals and businesses is critical to helping them remain open. In addition to the businesses and organizations mentioned here, try to eat at Asian-owned restaurants and shop at Asian-owned businesses in your area whenever possible to provide your financial support.
Where to Shop:
1. Welcome to Chinatown
Welcome to Chinatown is a grassroots organization dedicated to supporting small businesses in New York City’s Chinatown neighborhood that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. They have partnered with eight businesses to raise over $400,000 from their Made in Chinatown merchandise line, with all profits directly benefiting Chinatown businesses. Their merchandise line includes Made In Chinatown apparel, totes, home décor, prints, and so much more.
2. Nguyen Coffee Supply
When Sahra Nguyen first began exploring coffee, she found that coffee beans grown in Vietnam were considered “inferior” when compared to coffee beans in other parts of the world. Sahra, the daughter of Vietnamese-American refugees who escaped during the Vietnam War, seized the opportunity to showcase the delicious arabica and robusta beans grown in Vietnam by launching her company, Nguyen Coffee Supply. Sahra’s company partners with a fourth-generation farmer in Vietnam to offer special blends of coffee beans that are roasted in the United States. Coffee beans, tools for brewing Vietnamese coffee, and a coffee subscription can all be purchased on her website. Not only will you get delicious coffee, but you are also supporting a female and Asian-owned business and a Vietnamese farmer.
3. Buy an Asian American Girl Club & Apex for Youth T-Shirt
Apex for Youth is a nonprofit dedicated to giving back to the Asian community and helping underserved Asian and immigrant youth prepare for their future careers. The Asian American Girl Club has teamed up with Apex for Youth to create a limited-edition t-shirt, with all net proceeds going to Apex for Youth to benefit the Asian community.
4. Buy ‘New York, Tougher Than Ever’ Merchandise
Philip Lim and Ruba Abu-Nimah’s have launched a project titled NY Tougher Than Ever. All proceeds from the sale of merchandise on their website go to AAPI organizations dedicated to stopping Asian hate.
Where to Donate:
The Chicago Community Trust’s Asian Giving Circle
Created in 2002 to support Asian non-profits, the Asian Giving Circle (AGC)—which is a member of the AAPIP National Giving Circle Network—has contributed more than $200,000 to nonprofit organizations serving Asian American residents in Chicago.
Asian Pacific Fund
The Asian Pacific Fund has launched a COVID-19 Recovery Fund that distributes grants to nonprofits in California’s Bay Area to address the rise in anti-Asian racism, hate attacks, and discrimination. These grants also address the higher fatality rates Asians have experienced from COVID-19, the increase in bullying, and the higher unemployment rate Asians have experienced, as nearly 50 percent of unemployed Asians have been out of work longer than any other group. The COVID-19 Recovery Fund has been recognized by Vox and New York Magazine.
The Hawai’i Resilience Fund
Native Hawaiians have the highest poverty rates and one of the lowest median household incomes among all AANHPI communities, putting them at higher risk of the financial impacts of COVID-19. To help combat this, the Hawai’i Resilience Fund, founded by the Hawai’i Community Foundation, provides grants to health care organizations and food banks addressing COVID-19 in Hawaii. Additionally, the Hoʻāla Assistance Program provides emergency financial support to households facing financial hardship due to COVID-19.
Donate to Stop AAPI Hate
The organization Stop AAPI Hate offers support to victims of Asian American and Pacific Islander crimes and advocates for social and political protections for the community. The organization also produces reports on violent incidents to help spread awareness and educate others on this issue.
At Draper and Kramer, we are dedicated to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in every aspect of our business. We are committed to supporting underserved communities through philanthropic initiatives in the neighborhoods we serve and in our real estate investments. Visit our website to learn more about our commitment to supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion, and the AAPI community.