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Last Wednesday, on 10-20-2010, thousands of individuals around the country joined together – both in person and virtually – to commemorate the Asian American/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy’s (AAPIP) 20th anniversary.
AAPIP is a national membership and philanthropic advocacy organization dedicated to advancing philanthropy and Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. Members include foundations, staff and trustees of grantmaking institutions, and nonprofit organizations in nine official regional chapters in the US as well as other unofficial groups. Each of these chapters across the country – including ours in the Metro DC area – hosted their own celebrations for members and supporters, while connecting via livestream to programming that was broadcast from San Francisco (where AAPIP was started and is currently headquartered) and New York City. The celebration’s theme was Building Democratic Philanthropy – check out this video to learn more about AAPIP, its programs, and its achievements over the past 20 years.
As the out-going co-chair of the Metro DC chapter, I was thrilled to have our region’s celebration at the Case Foundation. In addition to AAPIP’s 20th anniversary, we had even more reason to celebrate in our region – the announcement of the Cherry Blossom Giving Circle (CBGC)’s first group of grantees! Giving circles, simply put, are a volunteer collective of people, who come together to pool their philanthropic dollars in order to have a larger pool to then grant out, thereby making a larger impact. Individuals in our community – from the nonprofit, for-profit and public sectors – came together to form the first giving circle in our region dedicated to making a difference in DC’s API community.
To date, the CBGC has 23 individual members (including myself) and great support from some fantastic institutional members, who have provided matching grants, including the Annie E. Casey Foundation and AAPIP. In this first year of our giving circle, we raised a total of $9,600 to grant out. A request for proposal was issued over the summer, and after a thorough review process and vote from the CBGC members, three Washington D.C.-based API-serving nonprofit organizations were selected to receive our first grants. The 2010 CBGC grant recipients are:
- Asian/Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Resource Project (DVRP) (awarded $4,000)
DVRP strives to end violence against women in the API community. Its mission is to address and prevent domestic violence in API communities in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. DVRP’s goals are to ensure that abused API women have access to culturally and linguistically responsive resources in order to make their own life choices; to raise awareness about the problem of domestic violence; and to unite API communities against domestic violence.
- Emmaus Services for the Aging - API Service Center (awarded $4,000)
Emmaus Services for the Aging reaches out to build trust with seniors to provide support, advocacy, and services that help them remain active, respected, independent, and vital members of their community. Its Asian and Pacific Islander Senior Center serves seniors from the Chinatown area, with services that focus on breaking down linguistic and cultural barriers while still celebrating and embracing API culture. Services include English literacy classes, cultural music, cultural meals, cultural cooking classes, translation services, and escorts/translators for medical appointments.
- Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center (APALRC) (awarded $1,600)
APALRC is the legal advocate for justice for the Asian American communities of the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Northern Virginia. Working in partnership with API communities, the APALRC addresses the individual legal needs of low-income and limited-English proficient Asian Americans, advocates for broad-based systemic change on legal and civil rights issues impacting Asian Americans, and empowers API community members through organizing strategies.
Congratulations to the grant recipients, and thanks to all who joined us for this exciting event! For more information on the CBGC, go to: http://dcgivingcircle.wordpress.com/, and for more information on AAPIP, go to: http://aapip.org/.
Make sure to check out this photo slideshow from the event: