May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, and there is no better way to celebrate than to volunteer with organizations and donate to nonprofits that bolster Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.

We find it especially important to help support these communities in light of the sharp increase in hate speech, discrimination, and violence against AAPI individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you are looking to contribute to a meaningful and timely movement or become more embedded in your own community, showing  support and solidarity during Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is a great place to start. While there are countless organizations that are making a difference for AAPI communities, we wanted to highlight a few that are facilitating impact on a national and local levels alike.  Check out some of these organizations doing great work in AAPI communities:

AAPI Equity Alliance

AAPI Equity Alliance is a coalition of organizations that aims to “improve the lives of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders through civic engagement, capacity building, and policy advocacy.”

To achieve this goal, the AAPI Equity Alliance has established committees that work with member organizations and external partners to tackle a variety of issues facing the AAPI communities including mental health, environmental justice, housing & economic development, and human trafficking. 

AAPI Equity Alliance has also launched several effective initiatives like COVID-19 health grants, Stop AAPI Hate, the Blue Shield Of California Domestic Violence Project, and the Everyone Counts Resolution, which directs the Los Angeles Unified School District to gather and report on the racial and ethnic data necessary to improve the allocation of district resources.

Donate now to help AAPI Equity Alliance continue their important work in the California area.

Asian Prisoner Support Committee

The Asian Prisoner Support Committee (APSC) is an organization dedicated to providing direct support to imprisoned Asians and Pacific Islanders and to raise awareness about AAPI imprisonment, detainment, and deportation.

This organization has sent thousands of letters and cards to incarcerated individuals, provided re-entry support, and created anti-deportation campaigns and care package programs to offer additional support.

You can help the APSC continue to serve the incarcerated AAPI population when you donate today.

Asian Law Caucus

The Asian Law Caucus sets out to advance justice by using legal services, community empowerment, and policy advocacy to help promote immigrant justice, address systemic inequities, and protect those who are economically disadvantaged or vulnerable.

The Asian Law Caucus uses class action lawsuits, community partnerships and movements, protests at Congress and the California State Capitol, and more to help achieve justice for all members of AAPI communities in the Bay Area.

Like what the Asian Law Caucus is doing? Donate now to help them continue their work.

The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund

The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund is a national organization that was established to help protect and promote the civil rights of Asian Americans. This organization uses litigation, education, and advocacy to help raise awareness about civil rights issues and protect members of the Asian American community from injustice.

This organization also focuses on core issues influencing the Asian American community including trafficking, housing injustices, immigrant rights, and education equity.

You can help support this organization by volunteering to do translations, pro bono legal work, preparing pamphlets and community education materials, or participating in and leading community outreach events.

You can also support the work the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund is doing by making a donation today.

Asian American Government Executives Network 

The Asian American Government Executives Network (AAGEN) is an organization that supports and promotes Asian American and Pacific Islander leadership in government. This organization offers leadership training, senior executive service programs, mentoring programs, and professional development events to help encourage Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to pursue government opportunities.

In celebration of AAPI Heritage Month, AAGEN is hosting a distinguished lecture series for public health leadership including a virtual conversation with Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy and Boston Mayor Michelle Wu on May 11.

This organization is 100% volunteer based. You can help by signing up to volunteer or making a donation now.

Asian American Journalists Association

The Asian American Journalists Association advocates for increased quantity, quality, and centrality of representation for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the media. 

This organization offers leadership training, mentorship programs, and networking events that help promote inclusion and boost representation. They also host camps and resources for AAPI high school students interested in pursuing journalism and have volunteer media watch committees and task forces to help hold media outlets accountable and make sure AAPI stories are being told fairly and accurately.

You can volunteer with this organization or donate to support their efforts.

Whether or not you support these specific organizations above, we hope you continue to serve as an ally to AAPI communities through volunteering your time, donating money, or educating yourself this May. Happy Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month!

Learn more about volunteering and managing volunteer work when you visit Civic Champs.