A Message from the Executive Director & the Interim Executive Director
Dear Friends & Supporters,
2020 marks the Commonwealth of Massachusetts American Commission’s (AAC) 14th year in the community. It was an unprecedented year with a global pandemic devastating many communities and changing our way of life. Despite the recent challenges related to COVID-19, the AAC was able to adapt and re-adjust in the way we work and serve Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities.
This report will highlight how the AAC has addressed and uplifted many pressing issues facing AAPI residents, including the recent surge in violence against the Asian community. This year, the AAC organized and delivered new programming, including Facebook live COVID-Talks, Civil Rights Conversations, Young Leaders Web Series, AAPI Heritage Month, Pride Film Festival, Filipino Heritage Month, Native American Heritage Month, the 2020 Election, and the 2020 Census. We also awarded $10,000 in grants to AAPI organizations and small businesses.
Throughout the year, the AAC translated and distributed resources related to COVID-19, Anti-Asian Hate, and the 2020 Election. The AAC has developed a Community Action Guide to respond to incidents of anti-Asian racism and held conversations with the Attorney General’s Civil Rights Division Office, the Boston Teachers Union, and social justice community organizations to raise awareness of racial violence. AAC has also created a reporting form to collect data on incidents throughout the Commonwealth.
In 2021, the AAC will continue supporting and advocating for policies that advance racial equity, host listening sessions to hear directly from community members, and create programming on civic engagement and advocacy. We also hope to expand our community partnerships and uplift community organizations who are on the ground doing vital work to support AAPI communities across MA. It is an honor to work beside many brilliant Commissioners, community leaders, and elected officials who share the common purpose of building a more equitable and inclusive Commonwealth. We are incredibly grateful to the State Treasurer for housing the AAC over the years and working with us throughout the COVID-19 crisis.
Thank you also to the staff for their leadership and hard work in implementing various programs and events. A special gratitude to Jenny Chiang, the AAC’s former Executive Director for her three years of exemplary service to the AAC and the AAPI community in Massachusetts.
Yasmin Padamsee Forbes
Executive Director (April 2021 – Present)
Jessica ‘Jay’ Wong
Interim Executive Director (December 2020 – March 2021)