On Tuesday, author and philanthropist Mackenzie Scott announced her donations of another $2.7 billion to 286 non-profits, including a number of AAPI-focused organizations.
Mackenzie Scott, ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, signed “The Giving Pledge” in March, promising to give away more than half her wealth during her lifetime. Since making that pledge, Scott has donated over $8 billion.
Unlike many other philanthropists, Scott simply announces her donations through personal blog posts. In her most recent post, she explains which fields her donations will support. She includes higher education institutions educating underserved communities, “organizations bridging divides through interfaith support and collaboration,” small arts and cultural institutions, local teams fighting poverty, and social sector infrastructure organizations.
These organizations can use the unrestricted donations as they see fit. East West Players, the largest producer of Asian American theatrical works and a recipient of a multi-million dollar donation from Scott, describes how the multi-million dollar gift will be used. “For East West Players, the multi-million dollar gift will immensely benefit infrastructural growth, increased funding and support for its vast network of theater artists affected by the pandemic, and ensure that EWP continues to lead as a platform for transformative Asian American stories, both in the theater and online.”
Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP) acknowledges the gift under the current social climate, and explains: “This gift will help AAPIP set the stage for our 4th decade to advance new philanthropy for an inclusive democracy through cross-racial solidarity in action. AAPIP has been working hard to meet the moment, build community, and evolve philanthropic practices.”
Among the 286 are a number of organizations focused on AAPI interests, including:
- APIA Scholars: “Our vision is to see that all Asian and Pacific Islander Americans have access to higher education and resources that cultivate their academic, personal and professional success regardless of their ethnicity, national origin or financial means”
- Asian American Federation: “Raising the influence and well-being of the pan-Asian American community through research, policy advocacy, public awareness and nonprofit support”
- AALEAD: “supports low-income and underserved Asian Pacific American youth with educational empowerment, identity development, and leadership opportunities through after school, summer, and mentoring programs.”
- AAPIP: “a national membership organization dedicated to expanding and mobilizing philanthropic and community resources for underserved AAPI communities to build a more just and equitable society.”
- APCF: “Our mission is to cultivate philanthropists to invest in organizations that empower underserved Asian and Pacific Islanders (API) to prosper”
- APF: “Our mission is to strengthen the Asian and Pacific Islander community in the Bay Area by increasing philanthropy and supporting the organizations that serve our most vulnerable community members.”
- CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities: “works to build grassroots community power across diverse poor and working class Asian immigrant and refugee communities in New York City.”
- Center for Asian American Media: “dedicated to presenting stories that convey the richness and diversity of Asian American experiences to the broadest audience possible”
- Chinatown Community Development Center: “build community and enhance the quality of life for San Francisco residents”
- Chinese for Affirmative Action: “protect the civil and political rights of Chinese Americans and to advance multiracial democracy in the United States”
- East West Players: “committed to raising the visibility of the Asian American experience by presenting inventive world-class theatrical productions, developing artists of color, and providing impactful youth education programs.”
- JANM: “promote understanding and appreciation of America’s ethnic and cultural diversity by sharing the Japanese American experience.”
- PA’I Foundation: “To preserve and perpetuate Native Hawaiian arts and cultural traditions for future generations.”
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