8 L.A.-Based AAPI Social Justice Organizations Bringing Us Together

Asian Pacific American History Month might be ending soon, but there’s always work to be done for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

APAHM should not only encourage the AAPI community to look back on its history within the U.S., but also urge folks to look forward. One way to do that centers on creating a more equitable future for ourselves and our families, even after the month is over. Here are eight organizations in L.A. county that are committed to serving AAPI people and fighting for justice, all year round. Read on to learn how to join forces, whether in-person or virtually, and get to work!

1.Asian Youth Center

The Asian Youth Center, started in 1989, is a nonprofit dedicated to the well-being and empowerment of low-income, immigrant and at-risk youth. The main center is located just outside of Monterey Park; however, AYCLA has multiple locations across L.A. county and has provided a safe space for over 1,400 youth and their families. The center hosts a plethora of programming, from after-school and summer care to gang intervention seminars, and also regularly provides essential items like emergency food service, free car oil filters, COVID-19 vaccinations and more. 

2. API Equality-LA

Like AYCLA, API Equality-LA strives to bring justice to another often-overlooked group within the API community: LGBTQ individuals. The organization is volunteer-based, with a mission to build community and organize for the equity of all API LGTBQ people. API Equality-L.A. holds both online and in-person events to bring individuals together and push for justice. Whether your strengths lie in educational planning, fundraising, social media work or graphic design, API Equality-LA has a volunteer committee that’s perfect for you. Read more about their mission and ways to help here

3. Korean American Family Services

Korean American Family Services (KFAM) has provided support to historically underserved AAPI families for almost 40 years. Through carefully curated mental health and gender-based violence intervention programs, as well as the nation’s first Asian Foster Family Initiative, KFAM’s work targets important issues relevant to the community. As of now, the physical location in Koreatown is closed due to risks related to COVID-19, but KFAM-organized events are still being held throughout the L.A. area. Just check out their website for announcements! 

4. Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance

The Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance focuses on furthering worker rights, and is the first and only organization made up entirely of Asian American and Pacific Islander workers. Whether at a grassroots level, organizing community calls and attending protests, or helping to win national battles for better pay and benefits, APALA champions progressive values and sheds light on the intersectionality of worker’s rights, racism and other structural inequities. APALA works with Central Labor councils, workers centers and international labor organizations, while also educating and participating in racial justice movements. Want to help out or learn more? Their event calendar can be found here

5. Gabriela Los Angeles 

The Gabriela National Alliance of Women is a collective with national and international chapters. The organization’s goals center around creating a more equitable world for women, specifically those of Filipino heritage, through campaigning, mobilization, education programs and cultural work. Gabriela’s Los Angeles branch addresses women-specific issues such as gender discrimination and reproductive rights, in tandem with more strictly political and economic shortcomings. At its core, Gabriela is a movement that fights against imperialism, and all oppressive systems of power. Check out their latest mobilization, a community forum

6. Nikkei Progressives

Nikkei Progressives is another grassroots organization, first formed to stand against the detention of groups targeted by the Trump Administration—specficially Muslim Americans and immigrants—and the incarcerations and subsequent separation of these families. Now, Nikkei Progressives takes action by organizing rallies, collaborating with anti-Islamophobia groups such as #VigilantLove, supporting student activists and generally bolstering progressive causes. Its latest endeavor took place May 25, in the form of a joint action with other progressive AAPI collectives. Volunteers called and asked the Biden Administration to fund the study and development of reparations for African Americans, in hopes to take a first step in the dismantilization of systemic oppression.

7. Filipino Migrant Center

The Filipino Migrant Center supports low-income, working-class Filipino families in mobilization and organizational efforts to right social injustices. The center focuses on empowering the youth of L.A. county’s South Bay. Through Workers’ Rights, Youth Leadership and Kapwa Kids programs, the Filipino Migrant Center combats issues like wage theft and upholds the right to a livable wage, all while granting Filipino adolescents the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities and learn about their culture. 

8. LAOS Angeles

LAOS Angeles is an organization that bolsters media visibility while also aligning with progressive efforts. The movement focuses on empowering Lao-identified creatives to build community through social media, support Lao-helmed projects and participate in other AAPI collectives. While LAOS Angeles is more strictly focused on advancing the Lao people’s media representation, these Lao creators also help advance social justice efforts through increased visibility. To get involved, visit LAOS Angeles’ website here!