Supporting the Asian and Pacific Islander Community

By Naomi Gleit, VP Product and Social Impact

This Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we’re celebrating the diversity and impact of Asians and Pacific Islanders (API) while also raising awareness of issues the community has faced for decades. With the rise in hate crimes and discrimination toward Asians and Pacific Islanders during the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve also seen people come together on our apps to create positive change, promote allyship and educate others through movements like #StopAsianHate. This month and beyond, we’re amplifying API voices, celebrating the vibrancy and impact of the community, and sharing new ways we’re providing support.

How Facebook Is Supporting the API Community

Last year, we invested $10 million in racial justice grants, and today we’re expanding this investment with an additional $5 million donation that will go to organizations focused on racial justice and equity for the Asian and Pacific Islander community and other marginalized communities.

And to make sure the API community feels safe and supported on our apps, we’re expanding our comment warning features on Facebook to encourage people to reconsider harmful language and provide education around how that language may impact the API community and others.

We’re also hosting a series of Amplify API events throughout the week of May 17 to bring together business founders, community leaders and media figures to discuss challenges the API community is facing, how Asians and Pacific Islanders are represented in media and culture, and provide training and advice for API-owned SMBs.

Given the recent rise in anti-Asian racism and the negative impact it has on mental health, we’re partnering with organizations such as Asian American Psychological Association, South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), Asian Mental Health Project and others to help people have conversations about mental health and encourage everyone to take a #MentalHealthMinute. 

Lastly, throughout the month we’re using the Facebook company, Facebook app and Instagram social channels to elevate the stories of API community members coming together to celebrate their unique identities and dismantle stereotypes.

How You Can Celebrate and Support

Raise funds for API causes: Throughout the month, people in the US will see a #StopAsianHate notification at the top of News Feed that you can tap to donate to API organizations combating hate and discrimination. 

Share your support: We’re adding new ways to express yourself and share your support across our apps including new stickers and avatar expressions on Facebook and new AR/VR filters and stickers on Instagram designed in collaboration with artist Dingding Hu. On Messenger you can check out a new set of camera stickers to share with your friends and on WhatsApp you can share stickers designed by illustrator Gracia Lam that highlight the strength of women from Asia and the Pacific Islands. 

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Shop API-owned businesses: Explore our API-owned business Shop collections and Shops You May Like feature on the Facebook app, as well as @shop on Instagram to discover and support API-owned businesses. In addition, Sheryl Sandberg will host an Instagram Live Rooms discussion on May 5 with three API small business owners to discuss the cultural significance of their businesses. Tune in at @sherylsandberg

Photo of API business owner and chef
Photo of Maiko Kyogoku (left) and Emily Yuen (right), Owner and Executive Chef of Bessou

Tune in to virtual programming: Throughout the month, Facebook’s VP of Consumer Brand and Product Marketing, Samantha Wu, will host public figures including American actress and former reality TV star Jamie Chung; chef, TV personality and Top Chef winner Melissa King; singer, songwriter and producer NIKI; and comedian and actress Sherry Cola, for a series of fireside chats on the Facebook app Facebook Page. 

And Facebook Watch will be the exclusive streaming partner for “See Us Unite for Change,” a celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage. This first-of-its-kind special will be hosted by Ken Jeong and feature Asian American and Pacific Islander celebrities and allies who will educate viewers about the community’s impact in America, as well as how to move forward and build solidarity against hate. The event will be hosted by the Board of The Asian American Foundation (TAAF) in partnership with the Ford and MacArthur Foundations and produced by Sheila Lirio Marcelo, a TAAF board member, Jesse Collins, Kimmie Kim and Carol Donovan of Jesse Collins Entertainment with MTV Entertainment Studios.

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