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AAPI Solidarity, Heritage, and an Inclusive Economy

A May spotlight on AAPI solidarity, past and present, the white supremacist policy underpinnings designed to create a foundation of mistrust, and stories from our our own AAPI team members

Authors: Steph Hsu, Strategic Ops Director

Steph Hsu, Strategic Operations Manager

I was once asked, in my early twenties, if I ever wanted to be white as a child. After some reflection, I realized that I had not wanted to be white — I believed that whiteness was something that could be achieved. I had adopted a color blindness towards my own Taiwanese heritage in order to fit into a largely white, Midwestern environment.


One year ago, I stood alongside my fellow AAPI community in Baltimore in horror and grief as we mourned the loss of Soon Chung Park, 74; Hyun Jung Grant, 51; Suncha Kim, 69; Yong Ae Yue, 63; Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33; Xiaojie Tan, 49; Daoyou Feng, 44; and Paul Andre Michels, 54 in Atlanta. I watched as our collective grief turned to anger, hurt, and questions of belonging. As cases of violence against AAPI women and elders continue to be simultaneously publicized, yet minimized, the steady fuel of frustration leads to a single point that has never before been clearer: the liberation we seek is interconnected.

We work in the space of trying to eliminate the racial wealth gap, and one of the reasons we’re exploring this topic is unpack how racist narratives affect our economic outcomes. Asian immigrants are seen as having enjoyed relative economic success in the past 70 years in America, yet little time is spent examining how America flipped a switch around the end of WWII, uplifting Asians — as the country courted Cold War allies — and that Asians prospered only once the crushing weight of racist regulations were lifted.

This Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we’ll explore not just the legacy of anti-Asian stereotypes and legislation, but also how white supremacy has strategically terrorized Asians into submission, lionized their economic success — and then pitted them against Black and Latine people to the benefit of white people. We will explore the solidarity, past and present, of AAPI and other BIPOC communities. And of course, we will hear from our own AAPI team members and partners in the work.

We do all of this in pursuit of a shared goal: to bring to light the histories that we share. To borrow a phrase from Yuri Kochiyama, consciousness is power. May we hold these stories as a foundation to our work as we continue to forge our paths together.

With gratitude,



We hope you’ll take this time to reflect with us and share what we’re doing to create a more inclusive economy. Like the stories you read? Share them with your network on social and be sure to tag @commonfutureco. Want updates like this directly in your inbox? Click here to sign up for our monthly newsletter.

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