Press Releases

August 6, 2012

Contact: Katie Tran-Lam
APIASF Director of Communications & Marketing

Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund Calls for Increased Awareness and Understanding about the APIA Community

The Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF), the nation's largest nonprofit provider of college scholarships for Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) students, condemns the recent violence against the community and calls for increased understanding about the APIA population. Sunday's shooting at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin illustrates the ongoing discrimination and intolerance faced by the APIA community.

"Our thoughts go out to the community in Oak Creek and to the families who are dealing with the senseless loss of their loved ones," said APIASF President & Executive Director, Neil Horikoshi. "APIASF stands in support of our Scholars, colleagues and the entire Sikh community as they deal with this tragedy."

While details of Sunday's shooting are still emerging, there have been many examples of discrimination and even violence against the APIA community from the 1982 murder of Vincent Chin in Detroit to the more recent cases of military hazing and bullying in schools. This incident comes at a time when research reports continue to propel misconceptions about the APIA community, without understanding or acknowledging the incredible complexities that exist.

"I hope that Sunday's shooting isn't quickly forgotten or swept under the rug and that this will cause a fundamental shift of how the APIA community is viewed not only in media coverage, but in policy and social justice," said Horikoshi. "The challenges and needs of our community are far too often overlooked which must change."

As the fastest-growing racial group in the United States, it is critical that acts of intolerance are taken seriously and Sunday's devastating events will serve as an opportunity to increase awareness about the APIA community. APIASF remains committed to supporting the community and our students through this difficult time and continuing its efforts to educate others about the APIA community.

Based in Washington, D.C., the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) is the nation's largest non-profit organization devoted to providing college scholarships for Asian and Pacific Islander Americans (APIA). APIASF works to create opportunities for students to access, complete, and succeed after post-secondary education; thereby developing future leaders who will excel in their career, serve as role models in their communities, and will ultimately contribute to a vibrant America. Since 2003, APIASF has distributed more than $60 million in scholarships to deserving APIA students. APIASF manages two scholarship programs: APIASF's general scholarship and the Gates Millennium Scholars/Asian Pacific Islander Americans funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.