South San Francisco, CA July 1, 2021 Submitted by Matt Skryja, Kaiser Permanente
In Northern California, grant funding to nine community-based organizations will address racist acts and xenophobia against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
Kaiser Permanente Northern California is providing $900,000 in grants to address discrimination and racism toward Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders since the COVID-19 pandemic. The grants are part of the $5.4 million that Kaiser Permanente committed in March to combat the surge in violence against people of Asian descent and to support the rights, health, and wellness of the Asian and Pacific Islander communities.
In Northern California, the grants will help counter cultural stereotypes of the Asian American and Pacific Islanders community. The funding also will help those in the community affected by racist attacks speak up and exercise their rights.
“Kaiser Permanente stands against all forms of social injustice, and as a health care organization we recognize many of our employees, members and community have been unfairly subjected to racist acts and discrimination directed at people of Asian descent,” said Carrie Owen Plietz, FACHE, president of Kaiser Permanente’s Northern California region. “We join our community partners in supporting the health and wellness of Asian and Pacific Islander communities as we work toward racial equality, justice, and healing.”
The following Northern California organizations will each receive $100,000 as part of Kaiser Permanente’s investment:
- Chinese for Affirmative Action: Advocates for systemic change to protect immigrant rights, promote language diversity, and remedy racial and social injustice.
- Community Youth Center: Addresses the needs of a diverse population of low-income, high-need, and at-risk Asian Pacific American, Latino and African American youth through academic and college counseling, job placement and employment training, substance abuse and violence prevention education and crisis intervention and mediation, and leadership development.
- Filipino Advocates for Justice: Provides services and advocates for policies that promote social and economic justice and equity.
- Asian Pacific Environmental Network: Brings together a collective voice to develop an alternative agenda for environmental, social, and economic justice through its work with the Oakland Chinatown Coalition.
- Asian Americans For Community Involvement: Advocates for and serves the marginalized and vulnerable ethnic communities in Santa Clara County by improving their health, mental health and well-being.
- Asian Law Caucus: Strives to create informed and educated communities through a broad strategy which integrates the provision of legal services, educational programs, community organizing initiatives and advocacy.
- Sacramento API Regional Network: Addresses inequities, largely exacerbated by the pandemic, through education, advocacy, activism, and direct service, with goals for optimal health, equity, justice, and representation in the API and sibling communities.
- New Breath Foundation (NBF): Conducts targeted grant-making, education, and advocacy efforts in three areas: hope & healing, keeping families together, and movement building. NBF aims to create a $10M fund to address anti-Asian violence and promote cross-racial healing and solidarity.
- Asian Health Services: Provides health, social, and advocacy services and is seeking to expand mental health services for victims of violent crimes against API community.
Eddy Zheng, founder of New Breath Foundation, said his foundation will use the Kaiser Permanente grant to focus on racial solidarity and cross-cultural understanding among underrepresented and historically marginalized communities and to promote restorative justice as an alternative to incarceration. Not only will this funding help change perceptions about Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Zheng said it will help them understand that they have rights, especially when it comes to hate crimes.
“A Chinese cultural response to being a victim of crime might be that it’s just bad luck,” Zheng said. “But we need to report crimes and show people what their rights are.”
About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 12.5 million members in 8 states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists, and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery, and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education, and the support of community health.