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Asian-American leaders launch foundation to counter hate

Responding to a wave of recent hate crimes, Asian American leaders unveiled a new philanthropic group Monday funded so far at some $250 million to counter discrimination.

Calling itself The Asian American Foundation, the group said it was undertaking "largest philanthropic commitment in history by Asian Americans fully focused on supporting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders."

TAAF plans an official launch Tuesday with remarks from former presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

The effort comes about six week after a brutal series of shootings that killed six women of Asian descent who worked at massage parlors around Atlanta.

Outrage was also stoked in late March following a brutal, videotaped assault of a 65-year-old Asian American in New York.

"We created TAAF to stand up for the 23 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders living in this country and help bring us all together in the fight for our own prosperity," said the foundation's president, Sonal Shah. 

"TAAF wants to strengthen and build power for AAPIs, particularly as we face an exponential increase in hate and violence."

TAAF said its initial efforts would focus on three priorities: support of anti-hate organizations; the establishment of common data standards to address anti-Asian discrimination in policy making; and the development of education to reflect the historical contributions of Asian American and Pacific Islanders.

TAFF said it raised $125 million among its board, which includes Li Lu, founder and chairman of Himalaya Capital, Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang and top executives from KKR and Citadel Securities.

The group said it is also launching a fundraising drive. Its websites lists a large number of corporate "partners," including Amazon, Coca-Cola, Merck, Nike and Walmart.

US media said these companies had pledged an additional $125 million.

Topics: The Asian American Foundation , Asian Americans , Pacific Islanders.
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