Graphic courtesy of National CAPACD
This month is National Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and many people are celebrating the history and culture of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the US. Here we salute a partner that is focused on the financial well-being of these diverse groups. The National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (“CAPACD” or “the Coalition”) supports nonprofit organizations working in communities all over the nation to expand economic and educational opportunities for lower-income Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs). With offices in Washington DC and Oakland, California, the Coalition’s members include nearly 100 organizations from 19 states and the Pacific Islands.
AAPIs represent a demographic often overlooked. In recent years as their population has expanded rapidly in the US, they also have experienced the highest rate of poverty growth of any other group in America. Research by CAPACD includes some eye-opening statistics:
- Between 2007 and 2014, AAPI poverty increased by 50%.
- 62% of Asian-headed households lack sufficient income for basic economic security.
- AAPIs are more likely than any group to be disconnected from the financial mainstream.
The Coalition is engaged in a variety of work to help. In addition to producing original research and assessing challenges faced by AAPIs, the organization supports hands-on work in communities to help increase financial literacy and savings among low-income Asian and Pacific Island communities. They facilitate community development and community organizing, technical assistance for community-based organizations, and initiatives to strengthen families’ financial capabilities. Their membership includes a number of housing counselors in multiple states.
Last September, Jeannine Esposito [Development & Impact Manager ] of Self-Help Federal Credit Union had the honor of serving on a panel at CAPACD’s national conference. Her comments focused on Self-Help Federal’s resources, including credit-building loans and loans specifically designed to serve immigrants. Check with us here at Self-Help Credit Union in North Carolina if you’re interested – we offer many similar services.
Immigrant Integration Video from National CAPACD on Vimeo.
An inspiring video from the Coalition on the Lending Circles they support in AAPI communities.
For more information and fascinating stories highlighting AAPI heritage, check out these current offerings at PBS: www.pbs.org/specials/asian-pacific-american-heritage-month.