San Francisco Chinatown at dusk. Photo credit: Andria Lo
A scene from San Francisco Chinatown at dusk. Photo credit: Andria Lo

This fall, we surveyed 1,000+ Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) across the nation. And what we found was hard to come to terms with. According to our research, 1 in 5 AAPIs have experienced racial discrimination within the past twelve months. 1 in 5. That adds up to some 5 million people –or 95+ percent of the AAPI population in California.

For CAA, this statistic reminds us that racial discrimination, including systemic racism, lives on within AAPI communities. It also inspires us to do more, fight harder, and provide support where it is needed most. 

Read on to learn how CAA programs and services have met the needs of AAPI communities this month.

Stop AAPI Hate issues its latest national report 

New data from Stop AAPI Hate shows 1 in 5 Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders has experienced a hate incident in the last twelve months. 

In its latest national report, Stop AAPI Hate, which CAA co-founded in March of last year, documented 10,000+ incidents of anti-Asian and Pacific Islander (AAPI)  hate. This suggests that racial discrimination has continued throughout the later half of 2021, well after media coverage of anti-Asian hate subsided.

Also included in the report: a Stop AAPI Hate-Edelman survey of 1,000+ Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, which estimated that 1 in 5 AAPIs have experienced a hate incident in the last twelve months. That adds up to some 5 million people — or 95+ percent of the AAPI population in California.  

How can we increase reporting and reduce harm affecting AAPI communities? The coalition discussed this and more during the first Stop AAPI Hate staff retreat earlier this month. Inside CAA’s San Francisco Chinatown office, our growing team of seventeen met face to face for the first time in eighteen months to discuss what lies ahead. 

Click here to learn more about our recent findings. 

CAA celebrates UC decision to implement test-free admissions 

This follows the Board of Regents’ Spring 2021 decision to stop considering SAT and ACT test scores in UC undergraduate admissions. 

On November 18, in a win for education advocates, the University of California (UC) announced its decision to implement test-free admissions for undergraduate applicants. CAA was a lead plaintiff in the lawsuit Smith v. Regents of the University of California (2021) which was responsible for ending the consideration of SAT and ACT scores in undergraduate admissions. 

The Board’s latest decision, to end consideration of all standardized tests, will increase educational opportunities for students from low-income and limited-English proficient households. It will also provide a model for colleges and universities nationwide for fair and equitable admissions. 

For more on the promise of test-free admissions, read CAA’s recent op-ed in Inside Higher Ed, entitled “Colleges Should Admit Students Without the ACT or SAT”.

Standing with and for the undocumented 

In a public comment addressed to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, CAA called for increased protections for undocumented immigrants. 

On September 28, three months after a federal judge in Houston ruled against the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, also known as DACA, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security proposed a new set of DACA regulations. These regulations provide undocumented immigrants with work authorization, educational opportunities, and temporary relief from deportation. 

In the weeks that followed, CAA joined hundreds of immigrant advocates in submitting a public comment, responding to the new regulations and calling for additional reforms. 

Top-line recommendations include: 

  • The expansion of DACA eligibility requirements to accommodate a wider range of applicants. For example, individuals who arrived in the U.S. as teenagers, or individuals with a criminal record. 
  • Automatic extensions for pending renewal applicants, to protect recipients from experiencing a lapse in status while waiting for their renewal applications to be processed. 

It is unclear if or when the administration will revise the proposal. In the meantime, CAA’s Immigrant Rights team has continued to provide in-language consultation and guidance to members of the Chinese immigrant community. Click here to read our latest fact sheet on the DACA program

CCSJ: A holistic approach to violence prevention 

The Coalition for Community Safety and Justice (CCSJ) is developing a holistic approach to addressing violence and racial inequities.

In 2019, in response to a series of physical attacks targeting Asian elders, CAA joined five Asian American organizations in establishing CCSJ. Our mission is to cultivate a community-based and culturally-competent network of service providers, centering violence prevention and intervention by supporting victims and survivors, strengthening public safety systems, and building cross-racial healing and solidarity. 

Throughout the pandemic, CCSJ has met with local leaders and elected officials, organized community events, and provided direct assistance to hundreds of victims and survivors.  Over the past few weeks, CAA has participated in staff exchanges with Asian and Black-led organizations associated with the coalition as part of its community-building and cross-racial solidarity initiatives.

Most recently, CCSJ announced that Janice Li, formerly of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition will take the helm of CCSJ to serve as its first full time Director.  As an elected official, representing District 8 on the BART Board of Directors, Janice is an experienced public advocate who has what it takes to advance the mission of the coalition. To learn more about CCSJ, click here to read our most recent blog post

Stories from 

CAA continues to publish original and translated Chinese language articles to on issues related to civil rights and social justice.

Fact check: Did the University of California admit fewer Asian students in 2021 — and is affirmative action to blame? 

Analysis: After the Kyle Rittenhouse case, gun violence is the “elephant” in the room. 

Opinion: As a Chinese American, taking ethnic studies in high school gave me hope. 

Analysis: Who are the conservative WeChat activists stirring the pot on critical race theory? 

Resourcing immigrant communities

Every month, CAA facilitates  in-language events for Chinese immigrant families in San Francisco in Mandarin and Cantonese. These events help keep communities informed and facilitate access to financial assistance and other public benefits. See below for our most recent programming. 

Podcast: Navigating the U.S. immigration system as an undocumented citizen 

In the latest episode of CAA’s Cantonese-language podcast, host Jose Ng interviews Jeff from RAISE, a New York-based affinity group for undocumented AAPIs. This is part one of a two-episode series, featuring the perspectives of two undocumented Chinese Americans. Click here to listen to the full episode. 

Workshop: How to look after your mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic 

In November, we invited Dr. Cynthia Tam, a licensed therapist, for a Cantonese-language discussion about fear, anxiety, and depression during the COVID-19 pandemic, and what individuals can do to support their loved ones during these difficult times. 

Workshop: Workers rights information session 

As businesses start to re-open, more and more individuals are starting to plan their return to the workforce. To educate community members about labor laws and workers’ rights in San Francisco, CAA held a Cantonese-language information session with help from the Chinese Progressive Association. Participants learned about safety precautions, wage issues and more. 

Workshop: (DELAC) Introduction to CAA 

CAA Outreach Specialists provided a general overview of CAA programs and services to the District English Learner Advisory Committee (DELAC) at the San Francisco Unified School District. Click here to view their (Cantonese-language) presentation.