Mission & History

Our Mission

AAPI Equity Alliance (AAPI Equity) is dedicated to improving the lives of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders through civic engagement, capacity building, and policy advocacy.

Our History

Before the Beginning of AAPI Equity

The history of social services in the Asian American community has a relatively brief timeframe. Although social services were being conducted by ethnic churches and other welfare service programs (such as the Shonien Children’s Orphanage, which began in the Japanese American community in the early 1900’s), the concept of an Asian American federation or umbrellas of services is relatively new.

As an aftermath of the 1965 Watts Riots and as a part of the free-expression spirit of the 60’s, there was an awakening to the need for service programs in the API community, although back then, API’s were still referred to as “Orientals”.

The first Asian American federation was the Council of Oriental Organizations (COO) which was formed by staff of the County Human Relations Commission in 1968. COO organized the first gathering of API’s at a conference called “Asians Coming Together I or ACT I” which took place at UCLA in July of 1968 and formed the basis to begin seeking funding and programming to serve the API communities.

At that time, there were very few groups serving the API community, but soon, new groups began to form. SSG had been around since the 1950’s, but in the 1970’s, many new groups began to form. These include such agencies as: Chinatown Service Center, PACE, AADAP, KYCC, and ARS. Others formed early but later faded away. It was within this environment of new groups forming and coalescing to form an Asian American federation that A3PCON was born.

In January 1975, there was a meeting called Pacific Asians Coming Together (PACT) which was a followup to ACT I. PACT was called to organize the API communities and a number of committees were formed. This effort eventually led towards the creation of APPCON.

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