WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 3, 2013) — The National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD) released a report on Monday, “Taking Initiative in our Neighborhoods”, which highlights the first ten years of its AAPI Communities Taking Initiative in Our Neighborhoods (ACTION) technical assistance program.
National CAPACD also released a report on integrated financial education and asset building opportunities in Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities. Both reports, supported by Citi Community Development, were released during National CAPACD’s 13th Annual Convention, “Building Equity, Building Power: Redefining Community Development”, taking place in Washington, DC from June 3rd to June 5th.
Ten years in the making, “Taking Initiative in our Neighborhoods” documents the challenges and successes of the ACTION TA program. A core program of National CAPACD, ACTION TA is a national network building initiative that builds organizational and program capacity using a model based on cultural-competency and peer-to-peer support. Dozens of community-based organizations in the National CAPACD network have participated in the program around issues including sustainable community development, transit and transit-oriented development, and AANHPI small business districts and urban cores.
“ACTION TA has informed National CAPACD’s advocacy for more than a decade, and is the main source of innovative ideas to reach and support our communities. In fact, our nationwide network of housing counseling organizations, which has been instrumental in helping AANHPI families deal with challenges like language access and predatory lending, is based on the ACTION TA model,” said Josh Ishimatsu, Director of Capacity Building and Research at National CAPACD, “Most importantly, the ACTION TA program has produced long-lasting collaborative partnerships among member organizations that have endured well beyond the term of the program.”
National CAPACD’s report “Integrated Financial Education and Asset Development Services within the Asian American and Pacific Islander Community” highlights innovative asset building and financial education strategies from practitioners across the country. Based on survey response data from 43 community-based organizations, the report shows how they effectively deliver financial education and asset building to their communities. The report also highlights successes from the field and opportunities for innovative programs that tie together asset building opportunities like individual development accounts with new, culturally competent financial education strategies.
The day began with remarks from Portia Wu, Senior Policy Advisor with the White House Domestic Policy Council, who discussed the president’s priorities, including a focus on building ladders to opportunity for our neighborhoods. Finally, National CAPACD offered a preview of its upcoming poverty report. To be released later this month, the report will analyze the latest census data to show steep increases in the actual number of poor AANNPIs in the last decade.
“Asset building and financial education is critical to preserving wealth in our communities, especially as the number of AANHPIs living in poverty has more than doubled since 2000,” noted Lisa Hasegawa, executive director of National CAPACD. “Our neighborhoods are still recovering from a devastating downturn, and we must ensure that asset building and financial education are available and accessible to underserved AANHPI families. This report offers innovative ideas to ensure that our communities are not left behind in the recovery effort”.
Each year, National CAPACD’s Convention convenes more than 250 staff and community leaders from AANHPI-serving organizations across the country, making it one of the largest gatherings of community-based practitioners, policymakers, legislative representatives, corporations, and foundations working with AANHPI communities nationwide.
The National Coalition for Asian Pacific Community Development (National CAPACD) is a national advocacy organization dedicated to addressing the community development needs of diverse and rapidly growing Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities throughout the country.