Asians NOW! and the Asian American Institute

This is the long-term plans of the Asian American Institute, which is associated with Asians NOW!  Asians NOW! is the first project of the Asian American Institute.  The Institute will serve at first as a virtual think tank for Asians, Asian Americans, and members of the Asian Diaspora, but will one have a physical presence, most likely in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Washington, DC.  We hope you read the plans.  Please understand that this is a long-term vision, and may take longer than the ambitious description you see.  We hope you will join this virtual think tank!


The Asian American Institute (AAI) promotes better understanding of the Asian, Asian American, and Asian Diaspora experience. AAI conducts objective and non-partisan research, analysis, and information dissemination on domestic and international issues, especially as they affect Asians, Asian Americans, and members of the Asian Diaspora.

AAI takes a leading role by raising public debate on critical issues including education, health, immigration and naturalization, US-Asia relations, economic advancement, and other social issues.

Established within the Nation's capital, the Institute is a resource for policymakers, scholars, journalists, community leaders, and general members of the public.  All of the programs are social science-based and policy-relevant and will involve experts, community leaders, university students, as well as international scholars and fellows.


The Washington Asian & Asian American Press Club

Washington, DC lies at the heart of international and national news and is the site of major international press and media.  The importance of Washington, DC for Asians and the US is growing rapidly.  Over 250 reporters from throughout Asia and the Asian Diaspora represent leading Asian, Asian American, and Asian Diaspora media firms.

The Asian American Institute has established the Washington, DC Asian & Asian American Press Club (WAAAPC) to facilitate journalists from all over the world interested in Asia, Asian Americans, and the Asian Diaspora.

Specific Programs and Services:

  • Regular Monthly Speaker Program: The Club will invite its monthly speaker from a wide range of people and topics that reporters
  • News Maker Program: any individuals that are news-worthy for our reporters, be it from Asia, the Asian Diaspora, or the United States. Such talks are often arranged with very short notice of time
  • Exchange Program: The Club arranges media delegations or individuals from throughout the world to visit each other, with the hope that such exchange would enhance better understanding, cooperation, and networking among media or news professionals
  • On-site Television/Video Production Studio & Service: the Club plans to provide basic capacities and services enabling reporters to make video production or enhanced long-distance video-conference or interviews from our studio facilities

State of Asian America Report

A bi-yearly data-driven research publication summarizing the demographic, social, economic, and political assessment of the status of Asian Americans and members of the Asian Diaspora.  It also includes a Progress index that accounts for education, health, civic engagement, social justice, and economics, while taking into account demographic and other factors.


State of Asian/American Relations

An bi-annual report summarizing the relationship between major Asian nations and the United States through facts and perspectives about economy and trade, the environment, human rights, the role of Asian Americans and members of the Asian Diaspora, labor and migration, technology and innovation, timelines of relationships between Asia and US, maps and charts, and experts exchange.


Survey of Asian Americans

A survey that will be conducted every three years on a rotational basis on the attitudes, perceptions, and experiences of Asian Americans.  The research will be conducted online through a sophisticated algorithm so as to minimize costs.  Interviews will be conducted in native languages as well as in English.  The final dataset will be weighted to represent the Asian American population overall.


Asian Pacific American Ethnic-Specific Profiles

Ethnic-specific profiles of Asian Pacific Americans will be conducted and reported on a three rotational basis.  These will provide detailed information about the ethnic group in terms of their demography, social and economic characteristics, buying patterns, business operations, education, residential distribution, and income.


Global Indicators of Asian Inclusion in Asian Diaspora Nations

A summary report conducted every three years that shows indicators of Asian inclusion in various countries where Asian have migrated to.  Indicators include education, income, social acceptance, health, residential integration, and job inclusion and representation.


Asian Americans in Higher Education Report

A summary report conducted every two years that provides admissions and enrollment information of Asian Americans, as well as a report of universities and colleges that are most inclusive of Asians and Asian Americans.


Asian International Student Leadership Program

Washington DC is the Nation's capital and serves as a center for policy, research, and academic leadership on national and international issues.  Within DC, there are numerous international organizations, think tanks, professional associations, and universities that provide a special atmosphere and environment for international and domestic students in the area.  AAI will develop internship, leadership, and research programs for undergraduate and graduate Asian international students coming to the US.

The Washington Leadership Center will be a leading nexus for leadership and internship opportunities in the US for Asian and Asian American students.  AAI WLC will establish an extensive network of leading international firms, nongovernmental agencies, business chambers and associations, and successful businesses, which can act as hosts for internships.  Our partners cover a variety of disciplines including education, media, governmental relations, legal, finance, IT, pharmaceutical, energy and environment, tourism, museums, and so on.

Washington Leadership Center Academy

With so many aspiring Asian international students and a fast growing number of Asian American students, how to enhance and deepen their understanding of American society, government and culture outside of their limited and short on-campus and academic experience is crucial to their future success both in the United States or globally. At AAI, in addition to providing a broad internship program, we believe a unique program in Washington DC set up exclusively for proven or aspiring student leaders of Asian international background in America, will go a long way toward helping them actually become the next generation of leaders in all aspects of life in both our societies.

The Importance of Leadership

In particular, for cultural and historic reasons, leadership quality and training is not strongly emphasized or put at a premium in traditional Asian educational institutions. Our leadership program takes notice of this educational and training deficit, and we have developed this program uniquely fitting for those students, who show strong or proven leadership quality.

Considering this unique situation and experience students of Asian background grow up, we have developed this leadership program that combines a typical Washington DC exposure in politics and policy with a unique program for leadership development, specifically tailored for Asian international students.

We also put a great emphasis on creating a rare opportunity for Asian international students of different background, be it from Asia, the Asian Diaspora, or the United States, to come together and know and learn from each other and possibly develop long-term friendship and partnership beyond their American school education.  A long-term result of this academy, running yearly, will be a nationally and internationally recognized AAI WLC Alumni Association.


Asian Pacific American Leadership Program

The Asian American Institute will develop a Asian Pacific American leadership and internship program that will provide Asian Pacific American students born or raised in the United States with the opportunity to enhance their communication, leadership, and networking skills.  They will be placed with major non-profit organizations, corporations, and state/federal agencies in the Washington, DC region.  As part of their activities, they will network with one another and attend lectures and events that will enhance their knowledge of Asian Pacific American history, American politics, and the economic and social relationships between Asia and the United States.  Unlike other programs that might exist in the area, this program serves also as a vehicle for them to have the opportunity to also meet Asian international students and members of the Asian Diaspora.


Asian Pacific American Scholarship and Fellowship Directory

The Asian American Institute will issue a scholarship and fellowship directory biannually to help Asian international and Asian American students find opportunities to receive recognition, awards, financial support, and travel for their educational endeavors.  The report will be sponsored by several corporations who support education among Asian Americans.


Congressional Watch

Laws, budget and public policy coming out of the United States Congress have a direct and profound impact on how the United States conducts its business, both domestically and internationally. With eighteen million Asian Americans living in almost every single Congressional district, this fastest growing ethnic community in America has taken an increasing interest and active advocacy role in how US Congress works.

The Asian American Institute, with its many Washington DC-based advocacy partner groups and actively engaged individuals from the Asian American communities, will closely monitor the legislative activities and processes on Capitol Hill, educate Members and their staffers on both domestic and Asia-related issues that concerns our community, and connect the Members of Congress with the Asian American communities in their own district.

To do so, we will take an active role in communicating with Members of Congress, educating staffers on issues of concern to us, preparing for Congressional testimony, and encouraging our members and constituencies to work more closely with Congressional offices in their district or on Capitol Hill.

The Institute will issue statements or policy briefs and papers on issues that concerns our communities, issues such as immigration policy, political campaign reform, higher education, gun control, education initiatives, and America’s foreign policy.


National Endowment for Asian Americans Fund


The National Endowment for Asian Americans Fund (NEAAF) is the non-profit fund at AAI dedicated to serving the needs of the projects of AAI and its associated partners. They serve these needs by increasing philanthropy and supporting organizations that serve those in our communities who are in need.

Our Projects

The Endowment supports initiatives and projects that promote Asian and Asian American heritage, support the wellbeing of Asians and Asian Americans, and enhance our understanding of the local and global issues affecting Asians, Asian Americans, and members of the Asian Diaspora.

To this end, NEAAF is developing partnerships with global giving organizations that support direct giving to more accountable non-profit organizations.  Technology is an important aspect of providing these services and addressing the needs in a cost-effective and efficient manner.

Specifically, AAI's NEAAF utilizes new advances in online giving and social media platforms so that philanthropy becomes simpler to give, accountable to the donors, and consequently relevant to the needs of people.   Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, RenRen, QQ, Weibo, and WeChat are incorporated into a nexus of communication that enhance global giving to Asian and Asian American-related causes.

As part of this philanthropic effort, AAI's NEAAF will seek partnerships with donors, government agencies, and corporations.

The Sichuan Earthquake of 2008 and subsequent calamities have shown that there is an enormous need to quickly mobilize relief to those who have suffered.  NEAAF is developing specific endowments that can quickly raise money and provide training programs that address trauma relief, emergency food and water distribution, and safety training.

The Endowment is now intent on building a set of endowments so it can serve as a permanent resource for future generations. To achieve this goal, the Fund works closely with legal and financial advisors to respond to questions from potential donors. NEAAF will also develop the capacity to manage more complex gifts, including planned gifts.

Important challenges still lie ahead, and NEAAF welcomes new friends, interns, and partners with whom to build a legacy of giving for a stronger, healthier community.

Why Give to NEAAF?

The National Endowment for Asian Americans Fund is working with other partners to change the way people give, offering donors a way of giving that is transparent, highly accountable, and immediately impactful.  Specifically, the donors get to choose where their money goes to, get it there quickly, and have a means to make sure that it is used to good purpose.

The Fund enables people to give to those most directly in need, with the least amount of overhead and the greatest level of accountability.  We eschew traditional models of fundraising in favor of a more democratic and more immediate method of philanthropy.  Moreover, a capital campaign capability is being developed to sustain the longterm work of the Asian American Institute.


Asian Pacific American National Museum Project

The Asian American Institute will partner with the Smithsonian Institution, Congress, and with the White House in order to help effectuate the development of the Asian Pacific American National Museum.  This museum will highly the contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to the making of the United States. It will be the last of the ethnic museums envisioned by Congress and will take a long time to develop.  However, plans have started several years ago under the able leadership of Representative Grace Meng.  A planning committee will have to be formed to help in its establishment, and AAI plans to take co-leadership role in the development of this National Museum.


Asian American University Project

The Asian American Institute will has a longterm project to help initiate, fund, and develop America's first Asian American university.  It will be a project that will involve multiple partners and will take at least ten to fifteen years to actualize for its first phase.  Nonetheless, the opportunities to provide opportunities to Asians, Asian Americans, and members of the Asian Diaspora to build a first-class internationally renown university is exciting and history making.


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