It’s AAPI Heritage Month, which has us at TapRm zeroing in on the ways we can celebrate, support, honor, and help have a positive impact. Our perspective on heritage months is that we cannot wait for them to come around on the calendar to think and act with purpose; honoring causes and people and working for diversity, equity, inclusion, visibility, and representation is a 365-day-a-year priority. However, these months can be great reminders, and great jump-starts. If you want to get more involved, learn more, do more, these are good times to center yourself and commit to positive participation.
Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month started as a week in 1979 and was extended to a month in 1990. Its importance can never be overstated, but, tragically, its significance has reached a level of urgency in light of pandemic-fueled racism. A key place to start for more information and how you can make a difference here is Stop AAPI Hate.
On that note, we wanted to take a moment and highlight incredible, inspiring initiatives that you can read up on, get motivated by, donate to, participate in, and more for AAPI Heritage Month--and then all other 11 months of the year.
Stop AAPI Hate
Since we consider the aforementioned Stop AAPI Hate as a valuable resource for information, it makes sense to start here for initiatives. This organization stands against the hate the community faces. There is a reporting tool victims and/or witnesses of this hate, and Stop AAPI Hate raises awareness with their own reports and findings. They offer resources for education, mental health, knowing your rights, and getting involved. And, they provide clear steps for what we all can do right now. Donate here.
AAPI Civic Engagement Fund
The AAPI Civic Engagement Fund fights against racism and works toward justice--for the AAPI community as well as all, particularly Black and BIPOC, communities, and they help organize movements toward police reform. They form campaigns to inspire voting and how to vote for rights and equity, they work with AAPI artists on these initiatives, they raise money for anti-racism organizations, and they create entry points for people to get involved--which you can learn about here. Donate here.
Lunar Hard Seltzer is a brand of high-quality craft hard seltzers changing the market with stand-out refreshing varieties that showcase and celebrate Asian ingredients. Founders Kevin Wong and Sean Ro actively support visibility, representation, and cultural pride with their crowd-pleasing beverages in flavors like Yuzu, Plum, and Lychee, which they created with the desire to pair an Asian ingredient-featuring drink with Asian dishes in mind. But their work doesn’t stop there--far from it. Lunar partners with several different initiatives to raise both funds and awareness. They donate a portion of their monthly proceeds to different causes, which you can learn about here and also contribute to the idea bank of causes. The organizations and campaigns include:
Hate Is A Virus
“We are a nonprofit community of mobilizers and amplifiers dismantling racism and hate,” reads this initiative’s website. Hate Is A Virus works with trusted organizations to raise funds and awareness; creates safe spaces; and helps formulate actionable steps toward justice, equity, and inclusivity. They offer resources for education and getting involved, and reach and empower members of the community with tools like inspiring virtual conferences. Donate here, and get involved here.
Send Chinatown Love
Send Chinatown Love is dedicated to sustaining, supporting, and celebrating small businesses in NYC’s Chinatowns. In addition to raising money and then giving 100% of those proceeds directly to these businesses, they promote these communities and get visitors excited about what they can find there--for example, they set Chinatown aglow last year with beautiful paper lanterns that represented donations, and organized a DIY Lunar New Year crawl for people to patronize--or order takeout from--local vendors. They even work one-on-one with businesses to help them develop and equip them with tools for success. And, you can gift a meal to underserved community members, too. Donate here, and get involved on their website.
Welcome to Chinatown
Welcome to Chinatown is also devoted to identifying the needs of the local community, meeting those needs, and raising awareness about the work to be done. They, too, promote local businesses to generate traffic and support. They enable direct donations to small businesses, sell Chinatown-pride gear made by local creators, organize relief funds in response to specific events like fires in the area, and run the Longevity Fund, a relief fund for businesses’ survival and success. Donate here.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice
Asian Americans Advancing Justice fights for civil rights, and works to empower all AAPI individuals and communities. Through campaigns, legal advocacy, education, and visibility movements, they identify needs for rights and improved conditions and work to solve those problems, creating true equality and equity. They are politically involved and help others get involved, too--there are lots of programs to learn about here, and ways to join up here. You can also donate here.