Nurturing a healthy, safe, and just society
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
As we welcome the start of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and Mental Health Awareness Month in the United States, what remains top of mind for us is what it will take to nurture a society where our Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community members are cherished and cared for, and where mental health is destigmatized and addressed seriously. It’s vital that we continue to take collective action for a healthy, safe, and just society.
Over the past few months, we have seen the news headlines move from one heartbreaking story to another – documenting the rise of anti-AAPI violence and mass shootings that continue to spur the debate on safety and prevention. From Atlanta, Colorado, Minnesota, Indianapolis, to the Bay Area, racism and gun violence are urgent, systemic issues that require immediate action and transformative political and cultural solutions.
In the past year, over 3,800 anti-Asian hate incidents have been reported in the U.S., mostly against women and the elderly. More than 700 of those incidents were in the Bay Area, according to reports by Stop AAPI Hate. According to the Gun Violence Archive, more than 100 mass shootings have occurred in the U.S. in 2021 so far. These statistics are shameful. We know that these acts of violence were here before and will continue when the headlines fade away, until we, as a society, stop merely responding and instead commit ourselves to re-envisioning and re-configuring the systems and institutions that dehumanize people and destroy opportunities for safety, security, respect, and prosperity for everyone.
Hirsch joined the chorus of philanthropy leaders calling for solidarity and collective action against anti-Asian and racist violence. We are also encouraged by the Biden Administration’s executive actions against gun violence, which we know are just the beginning.
During this time of pain and uncertainty coupled with the possibility for transformation, we thought you would like to hear about a few Hirsch recommendations to organizations we partner closely with that care for and protect the Asian American community, build long-term power to eradicate racism, and are at the forefront of gun safety.
AAPI Solidarity Giving Recommendations
All are 501(c)3 organizations/projects able to accept contributions from foundations and donor advised funds:
Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus
San Francisco-based affiliate of Advancing Justice promoting, advancing, and representing the legal and civil rights of API communities. Organization provides free legal services and advances legal advocacy in the areas of immigration, housing, criminal justice, and voting rights.
Chinese for Affirmative Action
Bay Area-based organization advancing multiracial democracy in the U.S. and systemic change that protects immigrant rights, promotes language diversity, and remedies racial injustice. The organization is one of the sponsoring organizations of the #StopAAPIHate initiative that is tracking national incidents of hate, violence, and harassment against the AAPI community.
Asian Health Services
Oakland-based anchor institution fiscally sponsoring the Oakland Chinatown Coalition – a broad, neighborhood-based coalition of service and community-based organizations improving public safety, access to jobs, cultural preservation, and public health.
Self-Help for the Elderly
Trusted San Francisco-based service organization supporting predominantly AAPI seniors to live healthy, happy, and purposeful lives.
Gun Safety Giving Recommendations
For years we have been proud to partner with stellar gun violence prevention organizations including: Everytown for Gun Safety, Moms Demand Action, Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Sandy Hook Promise, and March for Our Lives. Today we will highlight two of these organizations:
Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence
National advocacy organization fighting for the laws, policies, and programs proven to save lives from gun violence. Talented team provides advocates, legislators, and the media with the tools they need to understand the facts about gun violence and the solutions that will solve it.
Sandy Hook Promise
National advocacy organization equipping schools, youth, and parents with tools and education to recognize the signs of individuals at risk, while simultaneously advocating for mental health and gun safety laws to promote gun violence prevention.
Please reach out anytime to talk with us about how philanthropy can stop gun violence and racism, transform unjust systems, and advance justice and opportunity for all.
Susan Hirsch and the Hirsch Philanthropy Partners team