Celebrating AAPIP’s 20th Anniversary Year-round

Philanthropy411, in partnership with the National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers, is currently covering the Council on Foundations conference with the help of a blog team.  This is a guest post by Sokunthea Sa Chhabra, Director of Interactive Communications at the Case Foundation.

By:  Sokunthea Sa Chhabra

As Steve Gunderson mentioned in his opening plenary and Richard Woo blogged about earlier today, this year marks Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP)’s 20th anniversary in advancing philanthropy and Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities nationwide.

To honor this pivotal moment in AAPIP’s journey, staff and members across the country are spending the year celebrating, commemorating and uplifting major milestones and programs in AAPI communities, culminating with a philanthropy summit on October 20, 2010. Here are some of the key events:

  • Katrina @ 5 in New Orleans, LA, where they partnered with the Association of Small Foundations to take a closer look at the impact of Katrina and the recovery and rebuilding of Vietnamese and Southeast Asians in the Gulf Region
  • COF annual gathering in Denver, CO  and site session to Amache, the only Japanese American World War II internment camp not on tribal lands in Southeast Colorado
  • Events in Washington, DC on June 23rd: This year, the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival for the first time will be featuring Asian Pacific Americans, and AAPIP will hold a briefing during the festivities. Also, the Art of Gaman exhibit, focused on art created during the time of Japanese internment during World War II, is currently on exhibit at the Renwick Gallery.  AAPIP will hold a gathering and reception to reflect on the shared plight between the Japanese in America during that time and the AMEMSA (Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian) communities during the post 9/11 era.
  • Philanthropy Summit on October 20, 2010 – more info to be announced (check aapip.org for the latest details)

This video below provides an overview of how these events and the programs AAPIP has been working on fit and work together to build a more democratic philanthropy through individuals coming together at the community level to affect change and form movements. Although this year marks 20 years of progress, it is really also about what the next 20 will bring and where we’ll go from here.

I am so glad to be a part of this affinity group as a member and co-chair of the Metro DC chapter. It has been an amazing experience, and I’ve got to say, when you bring Asian people with a common interest together over good food, amazing things can happen and bonds develop for life!

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One thought on “Celebrating AAPIP’s 20th Anniversary Year-round”

  1. Thanks for this post, you are so right! I’m grateful that the small private foundation I work for is an institutional member of AAPIP. I would rate the experiences I have had as a member of AAPIP among my most rewarding in philanthropy. There is no doubt that participation at the local chapter level and as a member of the national board of directors has informed my work professionally. Both have provided opportunities for professional development, leadership, and growth. I’ve gained valuable insight and perspective from fellow AAPIPers on everything from the unmet needs of Asian American communities to the philanthropic sector at large. The network (staff and members) is really a tremendous resource for my work and for me as a person. The diversity of its membership is vast, vibrant, and distinct, yet the shared history and experiences that connect us are deep. I have found trusted colleagues and mentors, in addition to pre-conference session running partners and post-session karaoke enthusiasts!
    Perhaps all of these factors make for the unique chemistry that is AAPIP and help explain why the annual membership meeting feels more like a family gathering than a work-related event.

    As you have captured in your post, AAPIP has planned a thoughtful and exciting year of events around the country to recognize its 20th Anniversary. I truly hope those who are curious will be enticed to learn more about the theme, “We Lead” and our pursuit of democratic philanthropy. If the turnout and content of Sunday’s annual membership meeting is an indicator of what is to come, it not only has a good beat, but promises to be informative, moving, and relevant.

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