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AAPI Coalition celebrates $20 million in funding

AAPI
The AAPI Coalition was pleased to receive $20 million in state funding for the 2022-23 fiscal year. (Photo courtesy of the AAPI Coalition)

A coalition of more than 50 Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) community leaders and organizations kicked off AAPI Heritage Month by celebrating a historic $20 million investment in AAPI communities in the state budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year on Thursday.

This investment by New York State comes in the wake of rising anti-Asian hate speech and crime in the state and across the country. The $20 million allocation also represents twice the amount as was allocated the previous year. In addition to celebrating their progress, the group also recommitted to pushing for even greater budget parity in the coming years in order to achieve true equity.

Earlier in 2022, the 50 AAPI groups formed the AAPI Equity Budget Coalition, which then requested funding for programs and services ranging from operational support for AAPI community organizations to an AAPI curriculum designed for students from pre-school to high school. They also asked for funding for creating an AAPI State Commission, which would serve to advise the governor’s office on the needs of the AAPI community and examine critical issues like language access among state agencies, departments and commissions.

“After two years of being the targets of racist incidents and violent assaults, we are choosing to take the pain of our collective past and turn it into action and healing for the near future,” Senator John Liu said. “This historic funding will provide the community groups who work directly with our state’s diverse AAPI communities the tools they need to get the job done. To truly combat the hatred that has relentlessly pervaded our community for the last two years, we will bolster education, community outreach, language services, programs and services.”

The month of May was designated as AAPI Heritage Month in 1990 by then-President George H.W. Bush. The designation was made as a means for the United States to recognize the historical and cultural contributions of the community.

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