PRESS RELEASE: AAPI FORCE-EF Statement on SCOTUS Affirmative Action Decision

For Immediate Release: 


Erica Maria Cheung 

AAPIs for Civic Empowerment Education Fund Statement on SCOTUS Affirmative Action Decision

[Download PDF]

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders for Civic Empowerment Education Fund (AAPI FORCE-EF) condemns the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn race-conscious admissions in both the Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) v. Harvard and SFFA v. University of North Carolina affirmative action cases. The court’s decision negatively impacts all students, especially students from working-class communities of color, and overturns decades-long multiracial organizing efforts for racial equity. Affirmative action opponents, including a small but vocal contingent of wealthy Chinese conservatives, have used racial scapegoating to divide our communities. 

Cha Vang, interim co-Executive Director of AAPI FORCE-EF said, “The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn affirmative action is the latest consequence of right-wing efforts to roll back the progress of the civil rights movement. Their end goal does NOT protect Asian Americans against discrimination.”

In California, we have seen how conservative laws harm working-class communities of color. In 1996, 51% of California voters banned affirmative action (Prop 209), which prohibited state institutions from considering race, sex, or ethnicity–specifically in public employment, contracting, and education. Two years later, 61% of voters decided to severely diminish opportunities for limited English proficient students through Prop 227. In 2020, Prop 16 sought to repeal Prop 209 but was defeated. Since these rollbacks on affirmative action, we have seen admission rates for AAPI, Black, Latinx, and Native American students decline.[1] 

We also denounce the way that Asians and Asian Americans are being reported about in regards to affirmative action in major news sources, such as the New York Times, NBC News, Fox News, and Washington Post. They claim that “most Asian adults disapprove of racial consideration in admissions”[2] and that SCOTUS’s decision will make student populations on campuses “whiter and more Asian.”[3] 69% of Asian Americans support affirmative action, and Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have been organizing with other communities of color for decades to expand racial equity and opportunity in the United States.[4] Asian and Asian American communities cannot continue to be used as props by the conservative movement to advance an unpopular and harmful white supremacist agenda.

But just as the conservative movement has launched attacks on our communities, we successfully come together to push back against racism, homophobia, and their anti-immigrant agenda. Grassroots organizations within our network work year-round to build the governing power of youth. Their programs sharpen young scholars’ analysis on race, class, gender, sexuality, local governance, and culture. As leaders of the rising generation, the youth deserve a higher education experience that strengthens their leadership.

Our statewide network continues to fight for educational opportunity and racial equity for all. We work to hold policymakers accountable to ensure the movement for affirmative action is not lost. By investing in youth and growing power from within our communities, we ensure that people directly impacted by legislation have the power to shape the political narratives and policies that our communities deserve.  


  1. “How to make sense of affirmative action in UC admissions,” Sep 2020,
  2. “Views on affirmative action are split along racial and political lines,” June 2023,
  3. “Supreme Court Strikes Down Race-Based Admissions at Harvard and U.N.C.,” June 2023, At the time of the release of this statement, the article’s subheading read, “the court all but ensured that the student population at the campuses of elite institutions will become whiter and more Asian, and less Black and Latino.” The subheading has since been edited.
  4. “REPORT: 2022 Asian American Voter Survey” (July 2022)

2022 End of Year Zine

2022 End of Year Zine

To celebrate the work that AAPI FORCE-EF and our partners did this year, we prepared a 2022 End of Year Zine which you can download and print at home. The zine features photos from events throughout the year; roundups of our Primary and Midterm election campaigns; celebrations of our Communications and Grassroots work; and interactive pages for coloring, crossword puzzles, and a mini-zine. 

Scroll down to preview the zine and click below to download. 

Print your own copy

PRESS RELEASE: Right-Wing Disinformation Campaign is Anti-Asian Hate

For Immediate Release: 

November 4, 2022  

Erica Maria Cheung 


[Download PDF]

In the days leading up to California’s midterm election, many Asian American voters across the state and the country have been targeted with racist and deceitful mailers and digital ads aimed at spreading disinformation. Conservatives are using these tactics to confuse our communities, suppress our vote, and discourage us from participating in our multiracial democracy. This right-wing disinformation campaign is anti-Asian hate. 

Asian American communities are being targeted because we are vital to winning political races nationwide. This is true in California where we’ve witnessed political campaigns aggressively court Asian American voters. Asian American and Pacific Islander organizations in California know this, which is why we’ve been working together for decades to ensure that our communities have a voice—so that when power-hungry, greedy, and hateful extremists attempt to speak for us, we shut them down. 

These targeted mailers and ads are part of a coordinated national campaign by the conservative organizations America First Legal Foundation and Citizens for Sanity, both founded by former Trump senior adviser Stephen Miller. Miller is notoriously known as the driving force behind the Trump administration’s racist and anti-immigrant agenda. He continues to utilize fearmongering, transphobia, and xenophobia to influence elections across the country. America First Legal Foundation and Citizens for Sanity have poured over $33 million to distribute these ads to mislead and discourage communities of color from voting.

Conservative groups have a long history of employing divisive rhetoric to suppress voter turnout. Most recently, they have created disinformation about racial equity, affirmative action, and anti-Asian hate to cause confusion and division within our communities. These are weak attempts at revising history.

The disinformation ad campaigns blatantly lie about the origins of increased anti-Asian hate crimes, attempting to manipulate our pain and fear for political gain. In reality, former President Trump’s racist comments against Chinese people escalated the rise in anti-Asian violence. These same sentiments continue to be used in red-baiting efforts that wrongfully blame Asians for economic insecurity. A recent report shows that this kind of racial scapegoating increases anti-Asian hate. The campaigns also attack Affirmative Action, despite AAPI communities benefiting greatly from Affirmative Action and a majority of Asian communities supporting Affirmative Action policies. Further, the spectacular use of violent images in the ads is a shameful attempt to pit Asian Americans and Black communities against each other. We refuse to be tools for division and white supremacy.

Timmy Lu, Executive Director of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders for Civic Empowerment Education Fund (AAPI FORCE-EF) says: “These cynical and crude ads try to use our people’s real pain and suffering for their own gain, not ours. They perpetuate anti-Asian hate through words and images that create more division and treat us as victims and political pawns. It’s clear the authors of these ads fear the power that AAPIs have when we build unity with Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities in our neighborhoods and across the country. But our work in engaging AAPI voters shows we won’t buy what they’re selling.”

We will not let hateful rhetoric distract from the work that our communities are doing to get out the vote and fight for a better California for all. Asian American and Pacific Islanders for Civic Empowerment Education Fund’s network of grassroots power-building organizations across the state have phoned 265,063 households and knocked on 6,830 doors in over 80 GOTV events since September. These organizations mobilize youth, tenants, workers, and elders to phonebank and door-knock in over 10 Asian and Pacific Islander languages. Our GOTV campaign provides voter information in 10 AAPI languages and encourages voters to exercise their right to vote. And as a member of The Million Voters Project, we build power to strengthen and expand democracy alongside Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities in California. 

This disinformation campaign is yet another attempt by conservative forces to derail elections across the country by using fearmongering, xenophobia, and by inciting racial conflict. These tactics are a form of hate that hurts all communities of color. They point their fingers at everyone except the true villains attempting to limit our political power: Wealthy corporations and billionaires who back extremist politicians and the right-wing forces that attempt to undermine our democracy. We will not let them. 

Election Day is Nov. 8. Together, let’s vote as a FORCE for our families and friends all over the state. Vote for a better future for California.

PRESS RELEASE: AAPI FORCE-EF Statement Regarding LA City Council 

For Immediate Release:
October 25, 2022  

Erica Maria Cheung


AAPI FORCE-EF Calls for the Resignation of Kevin De León and Gil Cedillo and a Full Investigation Into the 2021 City of LA Redistricting Process 


Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders for Civic Empowerment Education Fund (AAPI FORCE-EF) condemns the racist, anti-Black, anti-Indigenous, and anti-LGBTQ+ statements made by Los Angeles City Councilmembers Gil Cedillo, Kevin De León, and Nury Martinez and LA County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera. These political leaders abused their powers and undermined the trust of their constituents. We call for the resignation of all members who took part in these conversations, including Councilmember Kevin De León who refuses to step down despite demands from Californians and Angelenos.

Their cruel and bigoted remarks reveal the deep-seated legacies of white supremacy, anti-Blackness, and hate that continue to pit communities of color against each other. We reject public servants who govern with their own self-interests instead of serving all the communities they were elected to represent. 

We find it telling that the recorded conversation concerned the City of Los Angeles’ redistricting process. This is the same process that community-based organizations across the city carefully participated in with great intention and in good faith to ensure Los Angeles’ district maps fairly represented all communities of interest. The kind of zero-sum racial horsetrading revealed in the tapes undermines the hard work of the coalitions that we and our Black, Latinx, and Native American peer organizations have built together to ensure the participation of working-class tenants, workers, and young people, and foster solidarity in building a multiracial democracy.

Furthermore, the specific naming and targeting of community organizations and leaders revealed their deep disdain for the grassroots participation that is a cornerstone of democracy. The councilmembers’ cynical attitudes and divisive political agenda harm our ability to empower all communities (AAPIs included) to shape our government.

As a statewide network of grassroots Asian American and Pacific Islander-led community organizations, we support the calls by our colleagues at the California Black Power Network for a full investigation into the role of race in the 2021 City of LA redistricting process and any voter suppression that may have occurred. We also support their call for the creation of a truly independent redistricting commission for the City of Los Angeles, and an investigation into other actions by those City Councilmembers that may have been driven by racial animus.


Statements from our Los Angeles-based leaders:

“We are in solidarity with our Black, Brown, Indigenous, AAPI, LGBTQ, and marginalized communities. Our issues are interconnected, and we believe in a better way – a society built by multiracial coalitions on the values of equity, inclusivity, and diversity. We deserve better elected officials and labor leaders who strive for and uphold these principles, not motivated by personal and political gain. When we come together for justice and accountability, we can begin to heal.” 

– Aquilina Soriano Versoza, Executive Director of Pilipino Workers Center and Pilipino Action Center


“Angelenos and Californians deserve leaders who represent all of their constituents—multiracial communities of people who live, work, and raise their families alongside each other and depend on each other. The comments made by the LA City councilmembers and labor leader Ron Herrera reveal a blatant disregard for the people they represent, especially those who continue to be systematically disempowered. We call out their divisive, power-hungry, and unacceptable behavior. Our city demands to be represented by leaders who care for us. Enough is enough.” 

– Lisa Fu, Executive Director of California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative


Alongside our partners and allies, AAPI FORCE-EF centers the voices of working-class people who want to make California a better place for our families and loved ones to live. Together, we demand the resignation of all LA City Councilmembers involved in this unacceptable backroom conversation. We demand a more just and transparent redistricting process that does not succumb to the scheming of self-interested politicians. We will continue to build progressive political power alongside Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities throughout the state to transform our government and elect leaders who care for all our communities.

In solidarity, 


2022 Ripples of Change Fellowship

Ripples of Change Fellowship

Like droplets of water that flow outward to create ripples, Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders for Civic Empowerment Education Fund (AAPI FORCE-EF) centers and builds the political force of young people, elders, workers, tenants, immigrants, refugees, and working-class families and communities fighting for justice.

When our communities come together in collective action, we empower ourselves to redefine democracy and transform our government from one that prioritizes superprofits for the wealthy, into a government that prioritizes care for our people.

Our 2022 Fellows

AAPI FORCE-EF seeks to train new leaders who will make waves in our movements for social justice and build lasting power for progressive change. Over the course of eight weeks, Ripples of Change fellows will learn fundamental skills in digital and electoral organizing through social media outreach, voter engagement, and get-out-the-vote tactics.

Abigail Dizon 

“My growing experience in political understanding has shaped my activism and informed the way I want to support the Long Beach Filipinx community. ⁠During my ROC fellowship, I’ve been inspired by insightful guest speakers, my supervisors, and my peers. I’ve also gained valuable insight on how community activism works from an organizers perspective. ⁠

I look forward to implementing the skills I learn through the fellowship in my personal growth as an activist.

Daniel Ynchausti

“Rooted in community, nothing is more important to me than organizing around the issues that affect myself and the rest of the Filipinx diaspora from locally in the San Gabriel Valley to back home in the Philippines.⁠

In the future, I hope to work as a community organizer and policy director for a nonprofit or NGO. I enjoy writing, spending time with friends, and trying out new food spots. During my fellowship, I hope to develop my understanding of grassroots progressive change and grow in radical love.”

Isa Sasi

“I currently work within the NHPI community and I love the challenges it brings me.⁠This fellowship reminds me of how much work goes into advocating for my Pasifika people and how much more is needed to go. It also makes me more appreciative of all the hard work the Aunties and Uncles put in before me.

I feel like I am barely touching the surface, and I am very blessed to continue the work alongside my elders.”

Morgan Yen

“Through this fellowship, I’m learning about Asian American & Pacific Islander community activism and I’m inspired by how students led the fight for ethnic studies. I’m committed to advocating for the development of anti-racist curriculums on the state and national levels.⁠

I’m excited to continue growing in my political and cultural understanding through this fellowship and hope to inspire younger generations to fight for their histories!”

Samuelu Fesili

“As a part of this fellowship, I am learning how to better educate and inspire our Pasifika communities about being politically active. 

In the words of the late and great Haunani-Kay Trask, ‘Cultural people have to become political’.

I want our Pasifika voices to be active agents of resistance against the systemic exploitation, silencing, and erasure of our peoples, our cultures, and our islands.⁠”

Statement: Recall Election

Statement: We Celebrate our Grassroots Mobilization Efforts in the September 14 Special Election

Community Organizations Reached Thousands of AAPIs to Vote Through Field and Ethnic Media Outreach


October 7, 2021

Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community organizations reached and mobilized thousands of AAPIs to vote in the September 14 special election. 


“We did this because we needed to. We did this to protect immigrant working class AAPI communities facing anti-Asian hate crimes and a raging pandemic disproportionately affecting Pacific Islanders more than any other group in California. This campaign was about protecting our communities from a clear threat against the progressive wins we’ve had and advancing the racial, economic and environmental justice issues we are fighting for every day.” said Rozlind Silva, AAPI FORCE-EF’s Civic Engagement Organizer.


Our community organizing network led the state’s biggest AAPI-focused get out the vote operations as a core member of the multiracial alliance, Million Voters Project (MVP) which mobilized AAPI, Latinx, Black, and Youth voters across the state. In the four weeks since MVP and AAPI FORCE-EF  kicked off the GOTV campaign, the groups’ community-led operation to turn out voters of color turned this recall election into a base building opportunity. 


Daisy Maxion, Filipino Advocates for Justice’s Civic Engagement Organizer said, “Our outreach programs expanded the electorate by making sure Asian immigrant voters understood what was at stake in this election. By not voicing our vote, we  would roll back decades of progress in protecting low-wage workers, addressing the current spike in anti-Asian violence, and making sure corporations pay their fair share in California.” 

Outreach teams spanned the state, with get out the vote operations in Sacramento, Fresno, San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Orange County, and San Diego. Our field partners include Asian Solidarity Collective, California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative, Empowering Pacific Islander Communities, Filipino Advocates for Justice, Hmong Innovating Politics, and Orange County Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (OCAPICA). Canvassers and volunteers had direct phone and door conversations with over 6,000 Asian American and Pacific Islander voters across the state of California, with voters contacted in English, Tagalog, Hmong, and Vietnamese.


Through our partnership with the Secretary of State’s office, AAPI FORCE-EF and local partners also reached voters through TV, radio, print, and digital advertisements

  • Hmong Innovating Politics’ Communications Associate & Language Specialist spoke about the importance of voting on KBIF 900AM Hmong Radio and Hmong TV Network.

  • Shared thousands of print flyers with general information about the special election and the necessary education about how ballots were distributed.

  • Translated materials that demystified the recall ballot were boosted on social media channels most used by community members. 


Every conversation made a difference. With voters, our network of passionate phone bankers and door-to-door canvassers emphasized that everyone in California should earn fair wages, have clean air and water, live in a safe, affordable home and be able to care for our families. We let them know that their votes would decide the future of California.

By making sure our neighbors and peers filled out their ballots, we empowered ourselves to keep us safe and protect the progress our movement has made to protect immigrant, refugee, and working class communities. 


AAPI For Civic Empowerment Education Fund is a network of Asian American and Pacific Islander organizations across California dedicated to strengthening and expanding democracy, while growing the political participation of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Steering committee organizations include Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Chinese Progressive Association, Filipino Advocates for Justice, Hmong Innovating Politics, Khmer Girls in Action, and Pilipino Workers Center. Our partner organizations include Asian Solidarity Collective,  Asian Youth Center, AYPAL, CA Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative, Empowering Pacific Islander Communities, Jakara Movement, OCAPICA, and South Bay Youth Changemakers.

#AAPIpower Storytelling

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month 2021

#AAPIpower Storytelling Project

We are celebrating #AAPIpower - from community organizing to raising a family to surviving war/colonization, our people possess and manifest power in many ways. This project aims to share and honor your story.

#AAPIpower is...

resistance. joy. community.

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. This month, we honor our heritage, which is rooted in #AAPIpower. AAPI power looks like:

  • Asian American laborers fighting against corporate greed to earn workers’ rights. 
  • Pacific Islander communities working in the forefront of movements against militarization and fighting for decolonization. 
  • AAPIs showing up in solidarity with Black lives and other oppressed peoples.
  • Immigrants and refugees daring to dream and envision a world beyond which they know. 
  • Elders refusing the erasure of their culture by passing down language and traditions.
  • AAPI youth imagining and working toward the creation of a world where we can all thrive.

Celebrate #AAPIpower with us by sharing your story.

Art by Eduardo Daza Taylor IV. (instagram)

storytelling toolkit

Developing your #AAPIpower story

What is the #AAPIpower Storytelling project?

This story collection project is led by AAPI FORCE-EF and centers narratives of #AAPIpower in light of APA Heritage Month. Due to the increase in physical violence against Asians, social media newsfeeds have been saturated with narratives of Asian American victimization. To counter these narratives and empower the community, this project will celebrate narratives of #AAPIpower – from community organizing to raising a family to surviving war/colonization, our people possess and manifest power in many ways. This project aims to share and honor your story. 


AAPI FORCE-EF (AAPIs for Civic Empowerment Education Fund) is an alliance of community organizations serving Asian American and Pacific Islanders across the state of California. We work on campaigns that center the needs of working-class Asian immigrant, refugee, and Pacific Islander families. We work together with organizations across the state to build the power necessary for positive change in our communities.

Who is eligible to participate in this storytelling project?

We welcome people who identify as Asian American and/or Pacific Islander to submit your story of #AAPIpower! Stories should center someone who identifies as Asian American or Pacific Islander. Your story can be about yourself, someone in your life, or a historical figure who inspires you! We welcome participants and stories of people from all ages and locations! If you have any questions about eligibility, feel free to contact!

How does the process work?

Fill out this google form with a 50-200 word story about someone who demonstrates #AAPIpower (it can be yourself!). Share photos and visuals to accompany your story, and we will share your story on social media to celebrate #AAPIpower! While we are thankful for all the stories submitted, we may not be able to share all the stories we receive due to volume. We encourage everyone to self publish your story and use #AAPIpower to celebrate your story!

What visuals should I include alongside my written story?

You can upload up to 5 images to accompany your story! Visuals can be a photo of the person you wrote about, a photo of yourself, a photo of an object that symbolizes what you talked about, or an illustration.

What is #AAPIpower?

AAPI power encompasses a variety of things – joy, resilience, culture, resistance. From a community organizer who fought against voter suppression or a parent/guardian who works tirelessly to care for their child, #AAPIpower is demonstrated in different ways.

We encourage you to celebrate everyday acts of #AAPIpower, such as an immigrant daring to dream and envision a world beyond which they know, or an elder passing down their language and traditions. 

Tips for storytelling:

  • Try to show, not tell. Help a reader step in your shoes by describing tapping into human senses (seeing, touching, hearing, feeling, smelling). 
  • Explain things that the reader might not understand. If this is a tradition in your culture, or if you reference a saying in another language, help us understand your story by breaking it down!


  • Who is someone in your life who inspires you?
  • Who has helped you get to where you are today?
  • Who/what makes you feel joy?
  • Who/what makes you feel loved?
  • What’s an example of something that you or someone else has overcome? How did they overcome it?

Sample Story

From Lan N.

#AAPIpower is my Vietnamese refugee parents working alongside their neighbors to keep each other fed and safe. While my parents and their neighbors have never heard of the term “mutual aid” or attended any webinars about building pods, they live and breathe the values of mutual aid and community care. My parents grow Vietnamese fruits in their garden, which they trade with a neighbor who grows vegetables. With this communal trading, my parents could go weeks without risking a trip to the grocery store. One of my parents’ neighbors is a young family who lives in the apartment complex behind my parents’ house. They often share meals and treats with each other. They exchange things so often that my parents built a pulley system with a basket attached to the fence behind their house so that the two families could exchange gifts without having to walk around the block. My parents and their neighbors’ love and care for each other is #AAPIpower.

Event May 14th: Journeys to Victory

Event: Journeys to Victory

Celebrating AAPI Organizers and Movement Builders

Happy Asian Pacific American Heritage Month! This APAHM, we are hosting a virtual celebration uplifting AAPI organizing and movement builders. On May 14th @ 5PM, AAPI FORCE-EF member and partner organizations will share their victories from political and community campaigns. We will also uplift community artists and cultural workers who breathe life into our movements

The first few months of 2021 brought us new yet familiar hardships. We’ve struggled through anti-Asian violence manifesting in both interpersonal and systemic forms; however, when we look at our AAPI history and heritage, we understand without a doubt that our people are resilient survivors, and continue to fight fearlessly for justice and equity every day!

Check out the organizations presenting:

  • South Bay Youth Changemakers

  • Chinese Progressive Association

  • Filipino Advocates for Justice

  • Pilipino Workers Center

  • Empowering Pacific Islander Communities

  • Khmer Girls in Action


  • DJ Rodel

  • TBD

We hope to explore some of the amazing on the ground work by AAPI organizers and artists to carry on our legacy of resistance, and center the fact that we have always been so much more than victims. We are fighters. We are empowered leaders. We are students, parents, grandparents, artists, activists, and we will continue to carry the torch forward in our struggle towards justice!

Journeys to Victory is a virtual celebration that will be hosted on Zoom, on May 14th from 5PM-7PM PST. Join us as we recenter ourselves in our AAPI identities and our powerful history, and continue our long journey towards victory. See you there!

Event: AAPIs 4 Environmental Justice

Event: AAPIs 4 Environmental Justice

Earth Day is just around the corner, which means it is once again time for mega-corporations to capitalize on “greenwashing” their image, while they continue to protect their profits over people and our planet.

Climate crisis is happening now. The recent extreme winter storm ravaged Texas, the Midwest, and Southeast, leaving hundreds of thousands of families without power, water, and heat for weeks. In California, we continue to face extreme heat waves, wildfires, and power outages year after year. None of these are “natural disasters” when we know climate change is a product of people’s actions driven by capitalism.


From Wallstreet to Big Oil to corporations that privatize public resources, pollute our air and land, and develop unsustainable models of business, low-income communities, communities of color, and indigenous peoples continue to bear the brunt of harm most intensely. Many Asian American and Pacific Islander communities have historically faced environmental destructions and injustices, struggled living near toxic sites and polluting power plants, and organized at the intersections of land, housing, workplace safety, etc.


Now more than ever, we feel the urgency to build towards an alternative and protect our future. What work can we do to promote environmental justice in our local communities? How do we hold corporations accountable in the larger fight against rapid climate change?


Join AAPI FORCE-EF, Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN), California Environmental Justice Alliance (CEJA), Independent Guåhan, and Pacific Climate Warriors for an expert panel of activists and organizers delving into AAPI organizing environmental justice issues, and learn how you can contribute concretely to progressive efforts and calls to action!


The panel will be hosted as a webinar on Zoom and broadcasted on Facebook live on April 13th at 5:30PM PT. We will also be hosting a 15 minute Q&A with the panelists that you won’t want to miss!

Co-sponsor: Project by Project San Francisco

RSVP to AAPIs 4 Environmental Justice:

Introducing our panelists:

My name is Ashley Phuthama, I am a youth leader at Asian Pacific Environmental Network. I’m in 10th grade, and was born and raised in Hercules, CA. My history with APEN started in 2019 when I attended their Youth Academy program. I come from a Laotian family, and I appreciate APEN’s background in Laotian immigrant and refugee organizing, this is why I’m excited to be a part of APEN’s youth leadership and give back to my community. 

Mabel Tsang – As Civic Engagement Program Manager for CEJA and CEJA Action, I work to build the political power, self-governance and self-determination of EJ communities and communities of color burdened by health, economic and environmental impacts. I build the bridges of accountability between California’s elected leaders and voters, manage ballot measure campaigns, and expand democratic participation for environmental, racial and social justice by centering and including members of our community who have been historically barred from voting. I’ve successfully led the campaign to beat down Proposition 70 which preserved critical public funds to fight climate change.

Michael Lujan Bevacqua, Ph.D. (Familian Kabesa yan Bittot) is the co-chair for the organization Independent Guåhan, which is dedicated to educating the Guam community about the need for decolonization and joining the world as an independent country. He hosts a weekly podcast on Facebook for the group called Fanachu! With his brother Jack, they run a creative collection called The Guam Bus that publishes Chamoru language books, comics and learning materials (  

Kevin Lionga Aipopo (all pronouns, Pacific Climate Warriors) is a community advocate, storyteller, and student leader based in traditional Kalupuya, Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde, and Atfalati lands (Beaverton, Oregon). Their work centers around the intersections between their ethnic identity as a Black American and Samoan person and their gender fluidity. Kevin uses their platforms to interrogate systems of power, challenge normalcy, and uplift voices within their communities. Through interpersonal connection, community organizing, poetry, and education, they have found space as an emerging voice for Black, Indigenous, Queer, Trans, and Climate liberation

Statement: Asian Organizations Across the Bay Area Join Forces to Demand Action Against Violence

Statement: Asian Organizations Across the Bay Area Join Forces to Demand Action Against Violence

February 9, 2021

We, the undersigned organizations, denounce violence against members of Asian American communities in San Francisco, Oakland, and the greater Bay Area. We stand in solidarity with victims, survivors, and families who have suffered loss and pain.

These violent assaults have made the especially difficult circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic even more painful. From our Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese elders to our youth, our Asian American communities are traumatized, afraid, and outraged during a time when we are also experiencing disproportionate impacts of the pandemic. These include mass unemployment, safety risks to frontline workers, insecure housing, the shuttering of our local small businesses, and a surge in anti-Asian racism.

In the past year, we have seen an escalation of violence and other incidents against Asian American communities. The Stop AAPI Hate reporting center documented 2,808 hate incidents in 2020. Over 700 of these occurred in the Bay Area. And while we should not make any assumptions about the reasons behind these recent incidents — whether racially motivated or not — they have profound impacts on our Asian communities across the country and internationally. Our elderly community members, along with their families, are fearful of being in public alone, simply going for a walk, and living their daily lives. And survivors of interpersonal violence and their families have historically not received enough culturally-competent and language-accessible support across government systems.

We recognize that violence affects all of us and all of our communities. We must invest in long-term community-centered solutions that create spaces for cross-racial healing that address underlying causes and create ways for all to thrive. We believe that our strength is in unity, not division, and that our histories and our futures are intertwined. That is why we are committed to working with Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Pacific Islander communities for long-term shared vision and solutions to stop the violence in all our communities.

We also recognize that it is up to us to keep our communities accountable and to holistically respond to generational trauma and violence. It is up to us to imagine what real safety could look like for our people, and to build the future we want to see — one that is grounded in accountability, justice, and care for each other.

As the Lunar New Year approaches, we must all come together to protect the safety of our community members who are feeling vulnerable during what should be a celebratory time. The cities of San Francisco and Oakland leadership must immediately increase culturally-relevant and trauma-informed investments that:

  1. Ensure victims and survivors of all backgrounds and language abilities receive full supportive services so they can recover and heal.
  2. Expand intervention- and prevention-based programs and invest in basic needs and community-based infrastructure that we know will end the cycle of violence and keep all of us safer.
  3. Resource cross-community education and healing in Asian American and Black communities that humanizes all of us rather than demonizes or scapegoats any community of color.

As organizations with a long history of protecting and advancing the rights of communities of color, we know that an over-reliance on law enforcement approaches has largely been ineffective and has been disproportionately harmful to Black communities and other communities of color. We believe the solution to violence is to empower our communities with resources, support, and education — this is how we make all of our communities safe.

See below for a list of the 93 organizations that have signed our statement.

1990 Institute



AAPIs for Civic Empowerment Education Fund (AAPI FORCE-EF)

AAPI Women Lead

APA Family Support Services

APALA, Alameda County Chapter

APALA, Inland Empire Chapter

APALA, San Diego Chapter

APALA, San Francisco Chapter

APALA, Orange County Chapter

APAPA, San Francisco Chapter

API Equality – Northern California

Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus

Asian American Women Artists Association

Asian Health Services

Asian Immigrant Women Advocates

Asian Pacific American Democratic Caucus of Alameda County

Asian Pacific Islander Council of San Francisco (API Council)

Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center

API Equality Northern California (APIENC)

Arab Resource & Organizing Center (AROC)

Asian Immigrant Women Advocates

Asian Law Alliance

Asian Pacific Environmental Network

Asian Pacific Fund

Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach

Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council

Asian Refugees United

Asians 4 Black Lives

AYPAL: Building API Community Power

Bay Rising

Cal-Nev Philippine Solidarity Task Force (UMC)

Center for Empowering Refugees and Immigrants (CERI)

Chinatown Community Development Center (CCDC)

Chinese for Affirmative Action

Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco

Chinese Health Initiative San Mateo County

Chinese Progressive Association

Communities as One

Community Youth Center

CSU East Bay Ethnic Studies Department

Donors of Color Network

East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (EBASE)

East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC)

Family Bridges

Filipino Advocates for Justice

Filipino Americans in Science Technology Engineering Arts and Mathematics (FASTER)

Filipino Community Center

Hella Heart Oakland

Hmong Innovating Politics

Japanese American Citizens’ League (JACL), Berkeley Chapter

Japanese American Citizens’ League (JACL), Contra Costa County

Japanese American Citizens’ League (JACL), Eden Township

Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), NorCal-W. Nevada-Pacific District

Japanese American Citizens’ League (JACL), Sacramento Chapter

Japanese American Citizens’ League (JACL), San Francisco Chapter

Japanese Americans For Justice

Inner Eye Arts

Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity

Korean American Community Foundation of San Francisco

Korean Community Center of East Bay

Legal Assistance to the Elderly

The Lunar Project

Malaya Movement SF

Mujeres Unidas y Activas


New Breath Foundation

NICOS Chinese Health Coalition

Nihonmachi Outreach Committee

North East Medical Services (NEMS)

Oakland Asian Cultural Center

Oakland Rising

Parent Voices Oakland

Pin@y Educational Partnerships

Pine United Methodist Church – San Francisco

Prism Foundation

Project by Project

Rose Pak Democratic Club

Rotary Club of San Francisco Chinatown

San Francisco Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines

San Francisco Rising

Santa Clara County Asian Law Alliance

SFSU: Department of Asian American Studies

Silicon Valley Rising

SOMA Pilipinas: Filipino Cultural Heritage District

South Bay Youth Changemakers

Southeast Asian Development Center (SEADC)

Stop AAPI Hate

Tuff Love Self-defense

Urgent Action Fund

West Coast Children’s Clinic