Respect Equality

Asian American business leaders launch foundation to combat anti-Asian hate

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Story at a glance

  • The foundation will focus on the three areas it considers most urgent.
  • That includes supporting organizations dedicated to curbing anti-AAPI violence, better tracking incidents of hate and violence targeting AAPI communities and creating a K-12 and higher education curriculum that includes the teaching of Asian Americans in American history.
  • TAAF is set to host a virtual launch event Tuesday that will include remarks from former presidents Obama, Clinton and George W. Bush.

A group of prominent Asian American business leaders has launched a new foundation aimed at bolstering a range of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) causes, including challenging anti-Asian discrimination and violence. 

The newly formed initiative dubbed The Asian American Foundation (TAAF) has committed $125 million among its board members to support the AAPI community over the next five years, while securing another $125 million from companies such as Coca-Cola, Walmart, the NBA, Amazon and Citigroup, according to Reuters


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The group said the commitment is the largest philanthropic commitment in history by Asian Americans focused on the AAPI community, who make up more than 6 percent of the U.S. population but receive less than 0.5 percent of philanthropic funding. 

The foundation will focus on three areas where it considers most urgent, including supporting organizations oriented toward curbing anti-AAPI violence, better tracking incidents of hate and violence targeting AAPI communities and creating a K-12 and higher education curriculum that includes the teaching of Asian Americans in American history. 

“We created TAAF to stand up for the 23 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders living in this country and help bring us all together in the fight for our own prosperity,” Sonal Shah, president of TAAF, said in a statement

“AAPI communities need systemic change to ensure we are better supported, represented, and celebrated across all aspects of American life. TAAF plans to spark that systemic change and help fundamentally transform AAPI empowerment and support well into the future.” 

The foundation is chaired by Li Lu, the founder and chairman of the hedge fund Himalaya Capital and includes board members Jerry Yang, the co-founder of Yahoo; Joseph Tsai, the co-founder and executive vice chairman of Alibaba; among other executives. 

TAAF is set to host a virtual launch event Tuesday that will include remarks from former presidents Obama, Clinton ad George W. Bush.

The effort comes as Asian Americans have experienced a surge in violence and hate incidents over the past year. Hate crimes against Asian Americans jumped 169 percent over the last year across 15 major U.S. cities, according to a study by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino. 


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