By Randall Yip, AsAmNews Executive Editor
Asian American youth living on the margins in New York City will be the direct beneficiaries of $1.5 million in funding from the The Jeremy Lin Foundation in collaboration with The Asian American Foundation (TAAF).
The seed money announced today will go to nine non-profit youth groups in New York, the city with the highest poverty rate of Asian Americans.
“These organizations that are represented are serving youth who are at the margins,” said Stephanie Hsu, Executive Director of the Jeremy Lin Foundation to AsAmNews. “These are the youth of delivery drivers, restaurant workers, and nail salon workers.”
The two foundations interviewed 40 community leaders to assess how the money could best be used. Many of the groups are working on areas of intra-Asian solidarity and coalition building with other people of color. Thus the idea to launch the Stronger Together Collaborative was born.
The groups cited a lot of “shared issue areas” based on skin color.
“I’d say a big aha moment for us was learning about colorism within the community, the idea that light skin color and darkness of skin color, especially within the Asian American community,” said Hsu.
“The South Asian community because they are darker in skin, confront a lot of issues with stop and frisk by police, probably on the order of 20 to 80 times by the time they’re age 18.”
She said this is an issue shared with other people of color.
“Ten years ago, Jeremy Lin started a movement that crossed racial and team lines, uniting fans and communities around the country,” said Norman Chen, TAAF CEO. “The Stronger Together Collaborative continues that unifying spirit of Linsanity, aiming to further bring together AAPI and communities of color.”
The idea, they say, is to uplift the many positive stories of solidarity among communities and the coalition bridge building that’s happening.
The inaugural cohort of the Stronger Together Collaborative
Adhikaar, a group that serves the Nepali-speaking community, prioritizing youth, women and marginalized groups.
Apex for Youth works with under served Asian and immigrant youth from low-income families.
Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence builds leadership and cross-racial coalitions for affordable housing and to advocate for broader justice.
The Coalition for Asian American Children + Families Asian Student Advocacy Project educates students about Asian Pacific American identity, community and the idea of adding a youth voice in addressing systemic inequities.
The Chinatown Youth Initiative strenghtens awareness of the needs of Chinatown and other underrepresented communities.
Desis Rising Up and Moving advocates for youth and multi-generational low-wage South Asian and Indo-Caribben immigrants.
Mekong NYC is located in the Bronx and centers healing through arts, culture and creating a strong safety net.
The MinKwon Center for Community Action seeks to achieve economic and social justice and to empower Korean American youth.
The South Asian Youth Action aims to foster a strong sense of belonging in youth so they can advance academically, professionally and personally.
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