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Asian-American business leaders launch $250M effort to fight hate

PoliticsMay 03, 2021 11:25AM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Rally Against Hate to end discrimination against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, in New York City

(Corrects 10th paragraph to make clear Citadel Securities is not a division of Citadel LLC)

By Joseph Ax

(Reuters) - Prominent Asian-American business leaders launched a $250 million initiative on Monday to support an array of Asian American and Pacific Islander causes, vowing to create a national infrastructure for a community that has faced an increasing number of racial attacks.

The Asian American Foundation will invest its initial funding - described by organizers as the largest-ever philanthropic effort to support the AAPI community - in three key areas: anti-hate programs, education, and data and research.

The foundation's board, which has committed $125 million over five years, is chaired by Li Lu, founder of hedge fund Himalaya Capital, and includes billionaires Jerry Yang, the co-founder of Yahoo, and Joseph Tsai, co-founder of Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) Group Holding, among other executives.

Companies such as Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) Co, Walmart (NYSE:WMT) Inc, Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C), Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN), UBS Group AG (SIX:UBSG) and the National Basketball Association have contributed another $125 million, according to the foundation.

An online launch event on Tuesday will feature former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

The organization means to fill in gaps that have long constrained AAPI community organizations, which receive less than 0.5% of charitable foundation-giving even though Asian Americans represent about 6% of the U.S. population.

The effort bolsters the emergence of Asian Americans as a political and cultural force, particularly in the wake of a spate of anti-Asian hate crimes in the last year.

The 23-million-strong community is the country's fastest-growing demographic group and saw a massive surge in voter turnout in last year's presidential election.

An Atlanta-area mass shooting in March, which included six women of Asian descent among the eight dead, further galvanized national advocates.

The organization's board includes Joseph Bae, co-president of private equity firm KKR & Co (NYSE:KKR); Peng Zhao, CEO of market maker Citadel Securities; Sheila Lirio Marcelo, founder of Care.com; and Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League.

Sonal Shah, a former Obama administration official, will serve as the foundation's president and hold a board seat.

The group will support organizations that combat hate; help create school curricula that reflect the AAPI community's historical contribution to the United States; finance efforts in the arts, film and media to ensure the Asian-American experience is included; and invest in data-driven research to produce better policymaking and advocacy.

The foundation has already issued several grants, including $1 million to support the work of Stop AAPI Hate, an organization that began compiling a database of attacks last year. Experts say federal efforts to report hate crimes suffer from undercounting and inconsistent standards.

In an interview, Shah said the foundation will counteract the "model minority myth" that Asian Americans are successful and do not need assistance. Only 1.5% of U.S. corporate officers are of Asian descent, she noted, and many Asian Americans face discrimination, poverty and marginalization.

"We want our communities to be seen," Shah said. "We want to make sure they have a voice."

The foundation has lined up an advisory board of prominent AAPI figures who will help promote its work, including former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, actor Daniel Dae Kim and CNN hosts Lisa Ling and Fareed Zakaria.

Asian-American business leaders launch $250M effort to fight hate
 

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Comments (7)
Catholic Man
CatholicMan May 03, 2021 1:49PM ET
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The actual data clearly shows that Asian Americans are more successsful.
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi May 03, 2021 1:49PM ET
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so what does that mean?  successful people can't be target of hate crimes?  I think that would be a new theory to all the german jews back in 1930s....
Catholic Man
CatholicMan 10 hours ago
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Tre Hsi  Did you even read the article?
juan san
juan san May 03, 2021 12:11PM ET
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In the 16 largest cities in the U.S. there were a total of 122 Anti-Asian hate crimes2020. 122 TOTAL. In every single one of these cities, violent crimes against Asians was disproportionately committed by black people. The number of black people k.illed by other black people on an average weekend in these cities is create than the total number of Anti-Asian hate crimes for the entire year.
juan san
juan san May 03, 2021 12:11PM ET
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*in 2020
Roger Miller
Roger Miller May 03, 2021 11:48AM ET
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It’s the politicians and governments fighting between themselves that encourages the hate between people. Without political and government bickering most people would realize we are all much alike.
Felipe Daniel
Felipe Daniel May 03, 2021 11:10AM ET
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Reuters useless propaganda
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi May 03, 2021 11:10AM ET
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"Companies such as Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) Co, Walmart (NYSE:WMT) Inc, Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C), Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN), UBS Group AG (SIX:UBSG) and the National Basketball Association have contributed another $125 million,"  --- hmmmm, funny these companies don't think it's useless propaganda, but I am sure you know more than they do
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun May 03, 2021 10:04AM ET
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Asian get discriminated from left n right, from everyone. But Asian get discriminated more from other minority groups because they think asian is sucessfull and more on the white side.
Vlad Lozovskiy
Vlad Lozovskiy May 03, 2021 9:36AM ET
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Interesting.  They did not mention "Hateful Trump".  They did not mention blacks.  So I guess Aliens from Alpha Centavra attack Asians on Earth.
Jo Pa
Jo Pa May 03, 2021 8:52AM ET
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The majority of attacks on Asians is by blacks. This is just propaganda to manipulate people by making them hate whites.
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi May 03, 2021 8:52AM ET
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funny how you can take this and turn it into another " we white guys are such victims!" grievance......
Catholic Man
CatholicMan May 03, 2021 8:52AM ET
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Tre Hsi  The truth is the truth, no matter how much you deny it.
 
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