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Supporting the AAPI community during COVID-19

April 15, 2020

While COVID-19 may be new, all forms of racial bigotry and structural inequities are not. This is true for Asian Americans, as well as for Black, Indigenous, and any person of color in this country. The Cherry Blossom Giving Circle and the Metro-DC chapter of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP) have co-signed AAPIP’s open letter to philanthropy on how The Cure to Viral Racism is Within Our Hands. In doing so, we are calling on our entire DMV area to join the Cherry Blossom Giving Circle in addressing racism and advancing equity in our community.  

During this pandemic, our goal is to raise at least $10,000 through the Cherry Blossom Giving Circle by May 8 to support AAPI-led organizations. At the same time we must work together to save lives and keep each other safe, we must also use this moment to shape the future to be a more just world free from bigotry and structural inequities.  

As co-chairs of the Cherry Blossom Giving Circle and the AAPIP-DC chapter, we plan to raise money through the Cherry Blossom Giving Circle to grant out to three local AAPI organizations doing anti-racism work during this pandemic. 

We hope you will join us in supporting the critical efforts of these organizations by donating to the Cherry Blossom Giving Circle by May 8.

How to Give

Please donate to the Cherry Blossom Giving Circle through our fund hosted at the Greater Washington Community Foundation by May 8. Be sure to select “Cherry Blossom Giving Circle fund” in the fund drop down menu. We welcome donations of any amount.

Though the Cherry Blossom Giving Circle typically has a voting process involving anyone who donates $250 or more, we will not be going through our traditional application and voting process for this rapid response cycle. If you would prefer to donate directly to organizations, we hope you will do so through their websites below. 


We are grateful for the local anti-racism work the following three organizations are doing:

Asian American LEAD (AALEAD) supports low-income and underserved Asian Pacific American youth in DC; Montgomery County, MD, and Northern Virginia with educational empowerment, identity development, and leadership opportunities through after school, summer, and mentoring programs. In response to the heightened anti-Asian discrimination around COVID-19, which directly impacts the physical and mental wellness of our community, AALEAD has been conducting one-on-one and group check-ins for youth to share their experiences of discrimination and bullying and connect them to the support they need. 

Asian/Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Resource Project (DVRP) provides services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Through the COVID-19 pandemic, DVRP continues serving its clients and community through continuous coverage of its hotline. Given increased stigma, violence, and hate crimes API community members are experiencing as a result of xenophobia, racism, and misinformation surrounding the pandemic, DVRP is encouraging those who have experienced a hate incident related to COVID-19 but do not feel comfortable contacting local authorities to reach out to DVRP staff ( or 202-833-2233) who can record and monitor these incidents and provide peer support and system navigation.

National Korean American Service & Education Consortium – Virginia (NAKASEC-VA) organizes Korean and Asian Americans in Northern Virginia to achieve social, economic, and racial justice. Through and in response to the coronavirus crisis, NAKASEC-VA’s efforts are focused on Census outreach, meeting community members’ immediate needs, providing accessible and in-language COVID-19 resources, COVID-19 related advocacy, developing new ways for community members to be connected (and not feel too isolated), fundraising for a new national emergency fund NAKASEC national is organizing to specifically provide assistance for individuals shut out of the relief package, and scenario planning for FY 2021.

If you are an AAPI organization doing anti-racism work in the DC metro area and want to tell us about your work, please email us.

We Know It’s Not Enough

We will grant out as much as we can, with as few barriers as possible for our grantees. We also acknowledge that the dollars we give are often only a drop in the bucket and a fraction of what is needed for real systems transformation. As Hanh Le, Executive Director of the Weissberg Foundation, shared in her foundation’s statement:

The reality is that we can never fill the funding gaps and nonprofits will never meet all of the service gaps that our government should be providing for, and that it and corporations actually sustain and exacerbate. This crisis will have deep and long-lasting impacts on our country, and what we do now will demonstrate what we value.

Join us in supporting AAPI organizations fighting for a more equitable and just world.

In solidarity,

  • Rosie Abriam, AAPIP DC chapter co-chair
  • Hanh Le, AAPIP DC chapter co-chair
  • Justine Shome, Cherry Blossom Giving Circle co-chair
  • Stephanie Chan, Cherry Blossom Giving Circle co-chair

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