For 30 years now, AAPIP has been the home for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to build community in the field of philanthropy. We have also played an instrumental role in mobilizing philanthropic resources to under-resourced AAPI communities, producing critical reports, launching funding campaigns, and seeding giving circles. While we have made significant progress, particularly on the coasts, much work lies ahead. Our power is strengthened by our connections with those working directly in the field of philanthropy, advocating for change from within. We are therefore thrilled to announce that we are launching AAPIP’s newest chapter in the Rocky Mountain Region, where 170,000 AAPI-identified people reside in Colorado alone.
Asian American history in the Rocky Mountain region dates back to the 1850s, during the building of the Transcontinental Railroad, where 90 percent of the Central Pacific Line workforce were Chinese immigrants. Their contributions were nearly written out of history last year during the 150th anniversary commemoration of the line, were it not for the fierce advocacy of their descendants and scholars. It is also important to note that Native Americans in this region were forcibly displaced by the railroad and the subsequent westward expansion that was enabled.
Fast forward, this indeed opens a new chapter in history for AAPIP to engage with the philanthropic community in the Rocky Mountain region toward racial equity. Founded by philanthrofolk in the Asian Affinity group at the Colorado Health Foundation, AAPIP-Rocky Mountain will serve as a regional hub for AAPIs in philanthropy, highlighting the importance of diversity within the vast AAPI communities. As an emerging chapter, AAPIP-Rocky Mountain is actively identifying and recruiting AAPIs and allies in philanthropy within Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and New Mexico areas. In their own words, AAPIP-Rocky Mountain Chapter Co-Chairs, Chris Bui and Jin Tsuchiya “hope that establishing a new chapter allows AAPI individuals in the region to be a part of a network to learn from, share experiences with, and gain insight into how they approach DEI work in their office and community.” We are very excited to welcome the Rocky Mountain Chapter and greatly look forward to growing our nationwide community of AAPIs in philanthropy as we advance the sector’s racial and gender equity work.