Reflections on our One Year Anniversary

Dear Friends,

Like many of you, my colleagues and I have been personally impacted by the wave of anti-AAPI hate and violence that ignited in 2020. Since TAAF’s founding a year ago, our team has been committed to working with our partners to combat anti-AAPI hate while building a broader sense of belonging and prosperity for our community.

One of these partner organizations is a nonprofit I started with several other Asian American friends called LAAUNCH, which developed the STAATUS Index, one of the first studies of American attitudes towards Asian Americans in over 20 years.

When I joined TAAF at the end of 2021, I saw it as an incredible opportunity to help build on the tremendous work of its dedicated board and talented team. In the short time I’ve been at TAAF, I have been inspired by the potential this organization has to be a catalyst for lasting change. 

TAAF has pursued solutions across our strategic priority areas and made progress over the past twelve months in several areas:

  • Bringing to bear more resources for AAPI communities than ever before by launching the AAPI Giving Challenge which invites foundations, corporations, and individuals to participate in a multi-year campaign to directly support AAPI communities and causes
  • Launching our Anti-Hate National Network in partnerships with national organizations addressing anti-AAPI hate and also local Action Centers such as Asian Health Services in Oakland, Chinese American Service League in Chicago, and the Asian American Federation in New York
  • Developing new tools and resources to improve how anti-AAPI hate incidents are tracked and understood, such as the Decoding Hate data visualization and a codebook developed in partnership with Stop AAPI Hate
  • Making investments in AAPI storytelling to help promote positive and diverse AAPI narratives in the media, such as working with Sesame Street to develop the first Asian American Muppet, Ji-Young
  • Helping address the disproportionate rates of anti-AAPI hate faced by AAPI women through funding organizations such as National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) to advance their efforts, including documenting the extent of discrimination, harassment, and hate experienced by AAPI women
  • Seeding the teaching of AAPI history as part of the American story by supporting Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Chicago and the Asian American Caucus Education Fund in Illinois as they implement the TEAACH Act — a historic law that requires the inclusion of Asian American history studies in every public school in the state starting this fall

These are just some of the milestones we have achieved alongside our dedicated partners — many of whom have been leading efforts in support of AAPI communities for decades. TAAF will continue to work with these leaders and organizations to build the programs and infrastructure needed to better protect, support, and celebrate AAPIs now and in the future.

Our work at TAAF is only just beginning, and we hope more partners and allies will join us in our efforts to transform our nation into a place where all Americans — no matter their race, identity, or faith — feel that they belong.

In hope and partnership,

Norman Chen

CEO, The Asian American Foundation