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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 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.”

San Diego names street after Asian American trailblazer ahead of his 95th birthday

Tom Hom Avenue
  • The San Diego City Council officially unveiled Honorary Tom Hom Avenue, named after the city’s first person of color elected to the City Council in 1963.
  • Hom, who will turn 95 on Tuesday, was born to immigrant parents and was the only Asian City Councilmember before Mayor Todd Gloria and Filipino American Councilmember Chris Cate were elected.
  • After serving his community, Hom turned to real estate and became the founding president of the Gaslamp Quarter Association in 1982.
  • Gloria also announced that Feb. 15, 2022 will officially be “Tom Hom Day” in San Diego.

San Diego City officials recently unveiled Honorary Tom Hom Avenue, a street named after the first person of color elected to the San Diego City Council. 

The unveiling ceremony, attended by several hundred people, including San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria and members of the local Chinese community, was held on Saturday in the city’s Chinese Historic District ahead of Hom’s 95th birthday on Tuesday, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.

Report: A third of Asians in San Gabriel Valley experienced anti-Asian hate during the pandemic

San Gabriel Survey
  • About a third of Asian Americans in California’s San Gabriel Valley said they or their family members have experienced anti-Asian hate during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a survey released by Advancing Justice - Los Angeles on Wednesday.
  • About 37% of survey respondents “noticed an increase in racial discrimination or harassment in their community since the COVID-19 outbreak.”
  • Almost half “feel less safe in their community” than before the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • About 55% “do not feel there is support in their community for victims of racial discrimination or harrassment.”
  • Almost 60% of survey applicants said “they changed how they feel and behave when they leave their home.”

Advancing Justice – Los Angeles released a community survey on Wednesday that gives insight into the anti-Asian racism in California’s San Gabriel Valley.

About a third of Asian Americans in San Gabriel Valley said they or their family members have experienced anti-Asian hate during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Stop Hate Survey. Most of those who have experienced anti-Asian hate said the attacks also involved verbal abuse.

Controversy erupts after ASU student confrontation over ‘Police Lives Matter’ sticker in multicultural space

Arizona State University Students Defending Multiculturalism

Two Arizona State University (ASU) students of color were found to have violated university policy after an exchange with two white students at the Tempe campus’ newly formed multicultural center went viral.

The students, Mastaani Qureshi and Sarra Tekola, who identify as Pakistani and Black respectively, responded to ASU’s investigation with a video, which gave their account of the events. 

New York passes historic bill that breaks down Asian American data by ethnic group

NY Governor Kathy Hochul
  • Historically, Asian Americans have been viewed and treated by many as a monolith.
  • A newly enacted New York bill creates separate categories for Asian ethnic groups in data collection, which would guide policymakers in addressing each community’s unique needs.
  • Gov. Kathy Hochul signed the bill as part of a package of legislation that tackle racism and discrimination.

In hopes of better serving Asian communities, Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-N.Y.) has signed a package of legislation that tackles racism and discrimination, with one of the bills aimed at disaggregating Asian American data by ethnic group.

Hochul signed S.6639-A/A.6896-A, which “requires the collection of certain demographic data by certain state agencies, boards, departments, and commissions,” on Dec. 22.  

What to do about hurtful comments from family and loved ones during holiday gatherings

hurtful comments

Holidays usually call for joy and lots of time with loved ones. As much as we may cherish moments with our family and friends, dealing with their unsolicited comments about us can be painful. It’s difficult to spend time with people and build deeper relationships when you’re attacked with those dreaded comments and interrogations: 

“You’ve gained weight.” 

‘A community I never knew existed’: Asian American Writers’ Workshop turns 30

Asian American Writers Workshop
  • The Asian American Writers’ Workshop (AAWW) celebrated their 30-year anniversary in 2021 with a series of events celebrating the workshop’s legacy.
  • Writers Alex Chee, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Monica Youn and Amitava Kumar spoke with New Yorker columnist Hua Hsu about what the workshop meant to them.
  • Novelist and 2021 Guggenheim fellow Alex Chee said that during his earliest days as a writer, he sought a place like AAWW: “My first experience of being an Asian American writer was of being alone, and it meant so much to find others.”

The Asian American Writers’ Workshop (AAWW) celebrated their 30-year anniversary this year,  culminating in a virtual event reflecting on the literary organization’s long history.

At AAWW’s final event of 2021, writers Alexander Chee, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Amitava Kumar and Monica Youn spoke with moderator and New Yorker staff writer Hua Hsu about their experiences over the years at AAWW. The event, called AAWW at 30: Activating the Archive, took place over Zoom on December 14th. 

Meet the viral TikTok star veganizing classic Korean dishes

korean vegan

In a time when identity can be divisive, Joanne Lee Molinaro has curated a space to bring people together: Korean, vegan or otherwise.

The first time I encountered Molinaro, also known as the Korean Vegan, it was through her TikTok. The app’s algorithm, always uncannily certain of the type of content I would want to watch, delivered me a video of hers. It eludes me now which one I saw first, exactly — but I remember immediately going to her profile and scrolling through dozens more.

Asian Americans Are Not a Monolith, But We Have to Come Together

Asian Americans

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this piece are solely those of the author.

In a time when Asian Americans need to unify, we are as divided as ever. Many non-Chinese Asian Americans are scapegoating Chinese Americans, insisting on referring to COVID-19 as the “Wuhan” or “Chinese virus.” Others like former presidential candidate Andrew Yang are calling for us to “wear red white and blue,” while also alluding that we aren’t contributing enough. Furthermore, others continue to remain silent, hoping to escape the rising hate coming our way. Suffice it to say, we are far from unified.

People in Wuhan Are Shouting ‘Add Oil’ From Their Windows to Fight Coronavirus


A video showing residents of Wuhan coming together to boost morale by chanting “Wuhan, jiayou” out of their apartment windows has gone viral on social media.

The residents of Wuhan, Hubei province, China, where the novel coronavirus (or 2019-nCoV) originated, took to their apartment windows to shout “jiayou,” which means “stay strong” or “add oil/fuel,” Times Now News reported.