15 Ways to Support Portland's Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities
On March 16, eight people were murdered in Atlanta, six of whom were Asian American women—Hyun Jung Grant, 51, Soon Chung Park, 74, Suncha Kim, 69, Yong Ae Yue, 63, Xiaojie Tan, 49, Daoyou Feng, 44, Paul Andre Michels, 54, and Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33. This was a hate crime against the Asian American community.
Harassment and violence against Asian Americans has increased significantly over the past year nationwide with Stop AAPI Hate gathering reports of 3,795 hate incidents , and Oregon is no exception. It was founded as a whites-only state, with racial exclusionary laws that made it difficult for people of color to live in Oregon well into the 20th century. Then there were the U.S’s Chinese Exclusion Acts—which especially targeted Asian women who were suspected to be sex workers. Today, AAPI citizens make up 4 percent of Oregon’s electorate, and the state has seen an 86 percent growth rate in AAPI’s population since 2000.
After the shootings in Atlanta, members of Oregon’s AAPI community gathered outside Revolution Hall to call on Oregonians and Americans to learn the names of the Atlanta victims and support anti-hate legislation put forth by congress—the Jabara-Heyer No Hate Act, the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, and the HR8 Background Checks Act, which would enact a necessary background check prior to gun sales between private sellers.
We’ve compiled an expanding list of local (and a few national) AAPI organizations and community resources you can support:
Portland Asian American–Owned Businesses
In January, 11 Asian American-owned businesses were vandalized in Portland’s Jade District and surrounding areas. Combat the Anti-Asian violence and support these owners with your business and donations: Tèo, Fujiyama Sushi Bar & Grill on 82nd, Highlight Auto Body, Toast La Tea, Hanoi Kitchen, Utopia Restaurant, Buddy's Lounge, My Brother’s Crawfish, Nail Tek, and Khoe Va Dep. (Thanh’s Billiards is permanently closed.)
Vietnamese Community of Oregon (VNCO)
The Vietnamese Community of Oregon, established in 1992, is a vital resource for Portland’s Asian American community, the nonprofit’s president, Thao Tu says. During a normal year, VNCO would offer college scholarships to outstanding high school seniors and help community members with their taxes. However, due to a lack of funds and volunteers, VNCO was unable to offer these resources this year. They were also forced to put off their annual fundraiser (usually scheduled for October). VNCO is asking people to volunteer their time to sign-up elders in the community for vaccine appointments or to work at local vaccine sites. You can contact them for more information or to make a direct donation through their Facebook page.
Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce of Oregon and SW Washington (APACC)
APACC is a Northwest based organization that promotes economic growth among Asian and Pacific Islander businesses and promotes business, cultural, and educational relationships within the community and the general public. To donate to APACC, reach out through their online contact form.
Northwest Chinese Alliance
The Northwest Chinese Alliance, founded in 2010, works to expand public awareness and understanding of Chinese American history in the United States, by showcasing traditional Chinese performing arts (Their largest event is an annual performance in the Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade), and acting as a general community resource. You can support them through a cash donation or by becoming a sponsor for their performances.
Oregon Chinese Coalition (OCC)
The Oregon Chinese Coalition is a Portland-based nonprofit that aims to build connections within the local Chinese community and embrace diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, political beliefs, and religious and cultural traditions. With their current funding, OCC has focused on educating their community about COVID-19 and helping members navigate vaccine services. To donate to OCC, fill out their donation form here.
Oregon Korea Foundation (OKF)
The Oregon Korea Foundation is a nonprofit founded out of the Korean Society of Oregon “to improve the quality of life for members of Korean-American communities in Oregon.” OKF acts most by raising funds to meet community needs and by holding events and classes that preserve and share Korean cultural heritage in Oregon. Contact OKF to get more information about their donation process.
The Korean American Coalition (KAC)
KAC, based in Los Angeles, opened a chapter in Oregon in 2014 with a mission to foster a strong Korean American community in Oregon by promoting community participation in civic, legislative and community affairs through advocacy, community service, leadership development and cultural education. In the last year, KAC has focused on encouraging voter registration among Korean Americans and on making ballots accessible through translation services. Donate directly to KAC through their “Get Involved” page.
Japanese American Citizen League (JACL)
JACL is the oldest and largest Asian American civil rights organization in the United States. Based out of San Francisco, JACL fights to secure the civil and human rights of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans and other communities affected by injustice. Through education, events, and efforts to preserve the heritage of Japanese American culture, they promote equality, justice, and diversity. You can donate here through their website.
Pacific Islander and Asian Family Center (PIAFC)
PIAFC is a facet of the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization in Oregon and provides culturally relevant services to PIAFC families in Portland, including early childhood resources, youth academic support, and poverty reduction services. You can volunteer or donate to PIAFC through their website.
Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO)
APANO is a volunteer-led, social justice issue driven statewide organization advocating for the interests of Asians and Pacific Islanders. They strive to bring together our diverse communities across ethnicity, language, and age, to address critical issues in Oregon. Led by a 20 member Board, APANO has no permanent staff, and relies on short-term internships and a network of volunteers to organize and advocate. Learn how to volunteer or donate to APANO here.
Asian Health & Service Center
Located on SE Powell, the Asian Health & Service Center seeks “to be the bridge between Asian and American cultures and build a harmonious community” and “reduce health inequity and improve health care quality for all Asians.” The center has more than 30 multilingual and multicultural staff members, who hail from China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam and the United States and offers a variety of health and community based services—including mental health clinics, wellness groups, and weekly clubs. Through their online site, you can donate to the center or sign-up to volunteer.
Portland Japanese Garden
The Portland Japanese Garden is one of the greater Portland attractions. The garden was designed with 12 acres of gardens that overlook the city and offer a view of Mt. Hood. Also, a nonprofit dedicated to inclusivity, anti-racism, and cultural understanding, the garden was created specifically to cultivate inner peace as well as peace between peoples and cultures. Support the Garden by visiting or by donating directly.
Portland Chinatown Museum
The Portland Chinatown Museum is Oregon’s first museum about Chinese American history, art, and culture. Opened to the public in 2018, the museum honors Portland Chinatown’s past, present, and future. The museum collects, preserves, and shares the stories and artifacts of Portland’s Chinatown. Though the museum is currently closed due to COVID-19 concerns, you can still support them through a donation online.
Lan Su Chinese Garden
Similar to the Portland Japanese Garden’s mission, the Lan Su Chinese Garden was designed to “cultivate an oasis of tranquil beauty and harmony to inspire, engage and educate our global community in the appreciation of a richly authentic Chinese culture.” The garden is a collaboration with Portland’s sister city in China, Suzhou, and imitates the beauty of Ming Dynasty Gardens. Lan Su is currently open to the public and following COVID-19 guidelines, or you can donate directly to the garden.
Japanese American Museum of Oregon
Japanese American Museum of Oregon, located in Portland, works to preserve and share the history and culture of the Nikkei community (Japanese immigrants and their descendants). To support the Museum, you can visit online or in person, volunteer in a variety of ways, or donate online.