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Asian American hate targeted by community recovery program grants

3 Minute Read

In the first year of the $10 million, Community Recovery Program, the MUFG Union Bank Foundation has provided more than 225 grants totaling more than $4.8 million to agencies across California and beyond.

The Community Recovery Program was announced June 18, 2020, to help address social and racial injustices in the United States. It is focused on building economic stability, including supporting access to capital, entrepreneurship, job retention, and retraining.

“While there is still much work to be done, we are proud of the progress we are making with the Community Recovery Program and excited about the ways we are helping to make a difference in our communities,” said Julius Robinson, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility for the Americas for Union Bank. “We are carefully selecting organizations to partner with that can make the greatest impact in our areas of focus.”

As of late May, the program had approved more than $1.9 million in programs to assist small businesses, $1.4 million to help rebuild the workforce, $1.2 million to build financial security, and $235,000 to drive equity.


Fighting anti-Asian American hate

Two of the Community Recovery Program grants approved so far -- $50,000 for its Los Angeles chapter and $50,000 for its San Francisco chapter -- have been to Asian Americans Advancing Justice, the country’s largest legal and civil rights organization serving Asian Americans, native Hawaiians, and Asian Pacific Islander communities.

The community recovery grant to the Los Angeles chapter is being used to fund the group’s Bystander Intervention to Stop Anti-Asian American and Xenophobic Harassment program.

“We have seen an increase in calls and requests for help related to anti-Asian hate since the pandemic started,” said Christina Yang, general counsel and pro bono director for Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles.

“We are providing bystander intervention training in collaboration with Hollaback, which has been providing training against harassment, particularly street harassment, for 10 years,” she said.

The training is designed to help people who witness acts of hate or harassment safely intervene using “the five D’s” of distract, delegate, document, delay, and direct.

Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles offers the training for free to the public via webinars. To find and register for a webinar, visit the Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles website.

“The funding we received from Union Bank and others helps us offer these sessions to the public for free,” Yang said. “Anti-Asian hate isn’t new, unfortunately, but it has been getting more attention through the media and events such as those in Atlanta and Indianapolis this year, and we want to give people tools to concretely support the Asian American community.”


Written by Erik Battenberg