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Pasadena-Based East West Bank Commits $6 Million to Asian American and Pacific Islander Organizations

Published on Tuesday, May 17, 2022 | 6:33 am

Pasadena-headquartered East West Bank is donating upwards of $6 million to key nonprofits and initiatives supporting the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) movement for inclusion, equality, and justice.

The donation is being made in recognition of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, a statement from East West Bank said, and is one way of reaffirming their continued commitment to the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

It is also part of the bank’s second-year pledge to the AAPI Giving Challenge which was initiated by The Asian American Foundation (TAAF) to encourage funders to support AAPI organizations and causes through both financial and non-financial means.

“May is AAPI Heritage Month, an opportunity to recognize the contributions of the diverse AAPI community to our country,” Dominic Ng, Chairman and CEO of East West Bank, said in a statement. “East West Bank was founded on the principle of serving communities undermined by discrimination and bias. Supporting and uplifting our communities is part of our DNA. And there’s more to do in reversing the long-standing underinvestment in the AAPI community.”

In 2021, East West Bank pledged $25 million to the AAPI Giving Challenge. Last year, part of East West Bank’s pledge was used to fund the STAATUS Index, a comprehensive national assessment of attitudes and stereotypes toward Asian Americans in the U.S.

“East West Bank was one of the first corporations to step up and accept TAAF’s Giving Challenge,” Norman Chen, TAAF CEO, said. “As a business that was founded to serve Asian Americans, East West has consistently demonstrated that investing in underserved communities is both good for business and for strengthening the fabric of our society.”

Some of the AAPI organizations that East West Bank has been investing in include the Pacific Bridge Arts Foundation, a nonprofit that supports and celebrates Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders in arts and culture; Stop AAPI Hate, a national coalition founded by AAPI Equity Alliance, Chinese for Affirmative Action, and the Asian American Studies Department of San Francisco State University; the Asian Pacific American Leadership Fund (APALF) a non-partisan nonprofit designed to help prepare and better equip AAPI leaders for public service and civic involvement; and Gold House, a leading API changemaker community.

“East West Bank has been a pioneer in supporting arts and culture as a way to bridge the East and West,” Bing Chen, Gold House founder, said. “From financing movies to supporting AAPI artists and cultural institutions, East West Bank has advanced Asian American representation to help reshape public opinion.”

James Lau, Executive Director of APALF, added that greater representation among civic and elected officials is needed to improve the quality of life for Asian Americans.

“We appreciate the engagement and support of East West Bank, which helps us train political candidates for these types of policy-making roles,” Lau said.

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