My Top 2022 Highlight
Expanding CACF’s Virtuous Cycle for Asian American Power
I adapted this essay from my closing remarks at CACF’s Legislative Briefing for City and State elected officials on December 6, 2022 and CACF’s Top 10 Accomplishments of 2022.
I learned about CACF early last year when invited to participate in their Mayoral Forum. After doing some research, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t heard of this amazing organization, which aligns 100% with my values and my policies. For the first time, I found an organization that feels like home. I am so delighted and honored to serve on CACF’s Board.
- You know that we Asians are 18% of New York City and the fastest-growing ethnic group.
- You know that we have only received 2% of City funding for social services despite the fact that we have the highest poverty rate among any ethnic group.
- You know that the model minority myth has made our full breadth and depth invisible.
Thanks to CACF’s coalition, we are beginning to reverse this. CACF’s broad and deep coalition of Asian community organizations grows power and influence in a virtuous cycle: the larger our coalition grows, the more successes we achieve, which in turn grows the coalition. But there is much work to be done.
When we fight, we win.
When we organize in coalition, we win.
When we embrace our diversity, we win.
When we ally with other immigrants and people of color, we all win. Together.
We win when we preserve important values, like respect and care for our elders.
We win when we lift up the most vulnerable among us.
We win when we make education equitable.
We win when we redefine public safety.
We win when we create new leaders for a new American dream.
CACF does all this in spades. Please join me in supporting this amazing organization.
CACF’s top 10 accomplishments of 2022 (courtesy of CACF):
1) We secured first-ever dedicated funding: $24 Million for AAPI-serving and AAPI-led community organizations.
2) We launched the inaugural AAPI Community Fund with grantees from 19 New York State-based AAPI organizations doing vital work combating anti-Asian hate.
3) Our leadership resulted in NYC’s AAPI curriculum pilot and the first-ever NY State funding to support the learning of AAPI history in schools across New York State.
4) Basketball star Jeremy Lin made a memorable site visit to our Asian American Student Advocacy Project (ASAP) — the 2022 recipient of his 3s for Hope Initiative — in June, where he had an incredible conversation about AAPI identity, belonging, and leadership with our Youth Leaders.
5) Our ASAP Youth Leaders and Program Team were also thrilled to launch AAPI-LEAD (Lead. Engage. Advocate. Dream.), our new leadership conference designed by and for young people this summer.
6) CACF’s new AAPI Health Hub is ensuring that AAPI New Yorkers have access to the health information they need in the language they understand.
7) Our policy team has released several new briefs and reports aimed at giving decisionmakers a better picture of the needs of our community. In collaboration with NYU’s Center for the Study of Asian American Health (NYC CSAAH) and the Chinese-American Planning Council (CPC), we released a COVID impact survey in August. Our Health Policy team also released an illuminating brief on the mental health needs of our communities and our Education Policy team released several briefs and reports on AAPI experiences in NYC schools.
8) We kicked off our new AAPI Parents Workshop, a transformative learning community focused on challenging stereotypes and discussing root causes of anti-Asian hate.
9) CACF was proud to be a co-sponsor of NBC New York and Telemundo 47’s Democratic Gubernatorial Debate in June, where we worked to make sure each candidate was asked about rising AAPI hate and the need for an AAPI curriculum.
10) We created more conversations about mental health with our young people through our Healing-Centered Youth Workshop Series, the first-of-its-kind learning community that focuses on fostering racial healing and mental well-being for AAPI youth.
Coalition for Asian American Children and Families (CACF) is the nation’s only pan-Asian children and families’ advocacy organization bringing together community-based organizations, youth and community allies to fight for equity for Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs). CACF’s mission is to advocate for equity and opportunity for marginalized APA children and families. We are building a community too powerful to IGNORE.