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aapi

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School district in Wisconsin to make Hmong, AAPI history part of curriculum

Verona Schools AAPI
  • The Verona Area School District Board of Education in Wisconsin unanimously approved a resolution on Monday expressing support for the Hmong, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.
  • The resolution also calls for the integration of Hmong and AAPI history and culture into the district’s school curriculum.
  • English teacher Kabby Hong and VASD Asian American Student Association co-President Angela Miller attended the board meeting and spoke in support of the AAPI resolution, urging board members to approve the measure.
  • It remains to be seen if other districts in the state will follow.
  • There are currently four states — Illinois, Connecticut, New Jersey and Rhode Island — that have passed legislation to require schools to teach AAPI history.

A school board in Wisconsin is calling for the integration of the Hmong and Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community culture and history into the curriculum. 

On Monday, the Verona Area School District Board of Education unanimously approved a resolution in support of the community, becoming the first in the state to do so. 

Google, partners to give Nest cameras to AAPI small businesses to boost security

Google has partnered with the National Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurship (National ACE) and the Asian American Federation (AAF) to provide Nest cameras to AAPI-owned small businesses, helping improve their safety amid increasing burglaries and vandalism across the country.

The initiative, dubbed the AAPISTRONG Nest Cam Kit, will give out kits that include three indoor Nest cameras, a 12-month subscription to Nest Aware and professional installation services. A pilot program that included more than 20 businesses in New York found success in better reporting to law enforcement.

Poll reveals significant majority of AAPI support Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan

student loan
  • The Global Strategy Group conducted public opinion surveys with a sample of 1,000 registered voters from Aug. 26 to Aug. 31.
  • According to the poll, nine in 10 Black Americans (89%) and about seven in 10 Hispanic Americans (72%) and Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) support the forgiveness plan.
  • Of those surveyed, 69% of AAPI supported the plan, 26% opposed and 5% answered “not sure.”
  • The plan also earned 56% support from those who have already paid off their student loan debt and 52% of those who never had student loan debt.

A poll revealed that three in five Americans support Biden’s student loan relief plan.

The Biden administration previously announced a three-part plan to cancel up to $10,000 of student loan debt for borrowers with annual incomes under $125,000. The proposal has divided Democrats and Republicans, who have since voiced their support or criticism.

AAPI voters are suing Texas for allegedly discriminatory gerrymandering

  • A coalition of AAPI voters is suing the state of Texas for allegedly discriminatory redistricting practices which suppress the voting power of minorities.
  • The plaintiffs’ legal team is composed of civil rights organizations and attorneys who believe that the state’s redistricting practices are “the most brazen, clear case of vote dilution"
  • While critics of the lawsuit claim it is “not mathematically geographically possible” to limit racial groups into select districts in a “diverse and spread out” state, voter advocacy groups argue that the goal of the suit is not about grouping ethnic groups together, but preventing them from being deliberately split apart.
  • Because the lawsuit is scheduled to go to trial at the end of September, its verdict will not arrive on time to impact midterm elections this fall.

A coalition of AAPI voters is suing the state of Texas for allegedly suppressing the voting power of minorities through last year’s redistricting. 

Amatullah Contractor, who is among the group of plaintiffs filing a lawsuit against Governor Greg Abbott and Secretary of State John Scott, was recently redistricted from her diverse and liberal-leaning 7th district to the more rural and conservative 8th district when Texas legislators redrew the maps last year.

Voting begins: 2022 Gold Futures Challenge to give $500,000 to top groups empowering AAPI communities

  • The second annual Gold Futures Challenge by philanthropic nonprofits Asian American Futures (AAF) and Gold House is set to award a total of $500,000 to top organizations promoting and empowering Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities.
  • Competition organizers are giving away prizes ranging from $25,000 to $100,000 to the top 10 AAPI groups that help people in the communities get “seen, heard, empowered, and united.”
  • On Aug. 17, the Gold Futures Challenge selection committee announced this year’s 10 finalists as: Hawaii-based youth shelter services operator RYSE, Indo-Caribbean women support group Jahajee Sisters, Pan-AAPI publication The Yappie, South Asian LGBTQ+ support group Desi Rainbow Parents & Allies, Southeast Asian community development org The SEAD Project, civic engagement group Asian Texans for Justice, business support initiative Hawaiʻi FoundHer, education advocacy group Asian American Voices for Education, community development group Cut Fruit Collective and refugee community support group Transplanting Traditions Community Farm.
  • "Beyond supporting these incredible nonprofits, we seek to further spark civic engagement,” Asian American Futures Executive Director Reshma Shamasunder told NextShark. “By participating in this challenge and voting - our community and our allies are making their voices heard on issues they care about."
  • To determine the winners’ final prize amounts, which includes the $100,000 grand prize, a public vote is being hosted at goldfutureschallenge.org from Aug. 23 to Sept. 27.

Philanthropic nonprofits Asian American Futures (AAF) and Gold House are awarding a total of $500,000 to top organizations promoting and empowering Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities for the second year.

Through the 2022 Gold Futures Challenge initiative, competition organizers are distributing prizes ranging from $25,000 to $100,000 to the top 10 AAPI groups that help people in the communities get “seen, heard, empowered, and united.”

AAPIs mark the largest increase among new immigrants in state legislatures since 2020, report finds

  • There are 27 newly-elected Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) in the 2022 legislative session, the largest gain among groups of first and second-generation U.S. immigrants since 2020.
  • The finding comes in a new report by New American Leaders, a nonpartisan nonprofit that empowers “New Americans” — which it defines as first and second-generation U.S. immigrants — to run for public office.
  • Speaking to NextShark, New American Leaders President Ghida Dagher attributed the AAPI community’s heightened political participation to the need to combat anti-Asian hate, which has progressively worsened amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Dagher said New Americans get involved in politics for the same reason any other American does: to see change in the policies affecting their communities.

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) saw the largest gains among first- and second-generation U.S. immigrants in state legislatures in 2022, a new report has found. 

Twenty-seven first- and second-generation AAPIs were newly elected to this year’s legislative session, bringing the total of AAPI lawmakers to 103. The group now composes 34.7% of the new immigrant-held legislative seats across the U.S.

Asian Americans are still rarely represented in video games — here are 10 of our favorite characters

Video games have become an integral part of many people’s lives. Impressive graphics and visuals, catharsis-inducing soundtracks and compelling storylines have slowly shifted the stigma surrounding the interactive medium from mind-rotting wastes of time to legitimate works of art. 

With the rising popularity and prevalence of Asian American characters in mainstream film and television, I wanted to highlight 10 Asian American video game characters to not only celebrate some of my favorites, but to also critique the severe lack of representation in video games. For this list, I focused strictly on characters who are identified in their respective games or franchises as American and represent a spectrum of Asian representation. Frankly, it’s a miracle I was able to come up with 10 characters at all.

Panda Express announces $1 million grant to help TAAF change the narrative of AAPI representation

  • Restaurant chain Panda Express announced a $1 million grant to nonprofit The Asian American Foundation (TAAF) on Tuesday to support its efforts in changing the narrative of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) representation and experiences.
  • Panda Express was TAAF’s first AAPI Giving Challenge partner and with this donation has further established its commitment to achieving a lasting sense of belonging for AAPI communities.
  • “As an American-born company founded by Chinese immigrants, we are passionate about fostering greater cultural understanding and appreciation through storytelling,” Panda Restaurant Group’s Chief Brand Officer Andrea Cherng told NextShark.
  • TAAF is set to celebrate AAPI stories and storytelling on Tuesday evening by co-hosting the first annual Rise for Comedy Showcase in collaboration with Universal Pictures and Rideback Rise, a new non-profit accelerator that will support BIPOC creators in the development of film, television, digital and audio content.
  • Comedian Jo Koy will be at the event to bring on the laughs, while the MacArthur Foundation’s Director of Media and Journalism, Kathy Im, will moderate a panel on representation in entertainment featuring Andrea Cherng, CNN’s Lisa Ling, The Los Angeles Times’ Lorraine Ali and UTA Talent Agent Jaqueline Kim.

Restaurant chain Panda Express announced a $1 million grant to The Asian American Foundation (TAAF), a nonprofit organization committed to “accelerating opportunity and prosperity for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities.” 

TAAF announced in a press release today that the substantial donation would support the group’s efforts in changing the narrative of AAPI representation and experiences by investing in AAPI storytelling across the arts, media and film.

Report: Over 11,000 anti-Asian hate incidents reported since March 2020

Stop AAPI Hate report
  • Stop AAPI Hate, a national coalition that tracks anti-Asian attacks, has documented nearly 11,500 hate incidents against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) across the United States between March 19, 2020 and March 31, 2022.
  • Two-thirds (67%) of the recorded incidents involved harassment, such as verbal or written hate speech or inappropriate gestures. One in six (17%) of the incidents were reported as physical assault, and another 16% involved avoidance or shunning.
  • Women were found twice as likely to report hate incidents as men.
  • Most Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders believe the most effective response to address anti-AAPI racism is education and community-based solutions.
  • Stop AAPI Hate called on elected officials to protect the AAPI community through civil rights expansion, to educate the public about AAPI histories and cultures and to invest in community-based programs.

Nearly 11,500 hate incidents have been reported against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders across the United States since 2020, according to the latest Stop AAPI Hate report. 

Stop AAPI Hate, a national coalition that tracks anti-Asian attacks, has documented 11,467 hate incidents against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community between March 19, 2020, and March 31, 2022, according to their national report released on Wednesday.

Asian American Studies Center to create free digital resource on AAPI experiences for teachers

UCLA digital lessons
  • The UCLA Asian American Studies Center will use the $10 million in state funding it received from California to develop the AAPI Multimedia Textbook, an online platform containing lessons about the cultures, histories and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.
  • The multimedia textbook will contain flexible modules for teachers, with learning activities and lesson plans geared towards high school and college students.
  • The platform’s content will be developed by scholars from across the country, curated by members of AAPI communities and evaluated by the center.
  • According to Karen Umemoto, the Helen and Morgan Chu Endowed Director's Chair of the Asian American Studies Center, the resource will be “the most comprehensive, scholar-informed, online history of AAPIs that redefines the American narrative and opens unlimited possibilities for building a just, multiracial and democratic future.”

The UCLA Asian American Studies Center is developing a free digital resource for teachers to aid them in teaching about the experiences of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

The center will use the $10 million in state funding it received from California to develop the AAPI Multimedia Textbook, an online platform containing lessons about the cultures, histories and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.

Democrats losing AAPI voters in critical swing states over cost of living, economy: new poll

A new poll reveals that Democrats are losing the support of Asian American and Pacific Islander voters in swing states, which is predicted to have a large impact on the Congressional and general elections.

In a poll commissioned by Civiqs for AAPI civic engagement organization Justice Unites Us, Democrats no longer have the same backing of AAPI votes in the battleground states of Wisconsin, Arizona, Pennsylvania and Georgia as they did in 2020. 

AAPI business owners in Portland call for action from police over string of break-ins and vandalisms

aapi businesses
  • The Oregon Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association gathered Asian American and Pacific Islander business owners in the Jade District for a meeting with law enforcement and elected officials at Powell’s Seafood Restaurant on Thursday.
  • Business owners called for action and pleaded with police and city officials to put an end to the constant break-ins and property vandalisms that have left them living in fear.
  • The city will be looking to hire 300 more officers in the next three years to reduce crime in the area.
  • A funding of nearly $1 million has also been allocated to help business owners pay for damages caused by property vandalism.

Asian American and Pacific Islander business owners gathered to call for action from the police after multiple break-ins and vandalisms have left their community helpless in Portland.

The Oregon Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association gathered members of the AAPI community in the Jade District for a meeting with law enforcement and elected officials at Powell’s Seafood Restaurant on Thursday.