AAPIP Voices

[video] AMEMSA Communities: Ten Years After 9/11, A Funder Dialogue


By: Laila Mehta, Director, AAPIP Civic Engagement Fund

On July 14th, AAPIP was pleased to partner with Northern California Grantmakers in convening a special funders dialogue: 10 Years After 9/11: Dialogue on New Opportunities and Continuing Challenges in AMEMSA Communities.

Hosted by The San Francisco Foundation, a funding partner of AAPIP’s Civic Engagement Fund, the briefing brought together grantmakers from across the Bay Area to learn more about the experience of and conditions in AMEMSA (Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim and South Asian) communities, nearly ten years after 9/11.  It was also an opportunity to learn more about the Civic Engagement Fund and our efforts to create greater collaborative spaces for philanthropy to leverage sustained support to continue building the capacity of AMEMSA communities in what has remained an often hostile and volatile political, social and economic environment.

Introductory remarks by James Head, Vice President of Programs, The San Francisco Foundation were followed by a panel discussion moderated by Tessa Rouveral Callejo, FAITHS Program and Civic Engagement Officer, also of the Foundation. The panel highlighted the critical need for grantmakers to invest in a long-term commitment to AMEMSA communities.  Panelists included Zahra Billoo of the Council of Arab-Islamic Relations-Bay Area Chapter, Lily Haskell of the Arab Resource and Organizing Center, and Rajdeep Singh of The Sikh Coalition, each of whom provided a unique regional and national perspective on the ongoing challenges to AMEMSA communities, and the role that philanthropy has, and can continue to, play in meeting those needs.

A number of briefing participants shared their thoughts about the role and responsibility of philanthropy to AMEMSA communities, and how being a funding partner with AAPIP’s Civic Engagement Fund has impacted their work.

Manny Santamaria, Grantmaking Director, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, remarked recently on the impact of the Civic Engagement Fund’s efforts within the Foundation, and how to include AMEMSA communities in their work:

From a funder’s perspective, the knowledge and learning gained from being a part of the CEF has helped deepen our thinking about how to include AMEMSA communities in the work we do (i.e., immigrant integration). We are more intentionally developing those connections within the AMEMSA community and our community foundation’s work.

To learn more about the funder dialogue and additional program highlights, click here to visit The San Francisco Foundation’s post-briefing recap.

And to learn more about AMEMSA communities, including observations from community leaders about ongoing challenges and opportunities, take a few moments to view the following video produced by the AAPIP Civic Engagement Fund.