Funder Briefing: Pacific Islanders Leading for an Equitable Recovery

COVID-19 made starkly visible the disparities in our society. Nowhere was this more clear than for the Pacific Islander (PI) community in California. The data that is available shows that this community was perhaps the hardest-hit by COVID-19 of any other racial or ethnic group. 

Philanthropy and policymakers are engaged in discussions about what an equitable recovery looks like, which is commendable. But for Pacific Islanders, the data and research that exists to track their recovery is woefully inadequate. 

A recent report by Advancement Project California RACE COUNTS initiative, “COVID-19: Statewide Vulnerability and Recovery Index”, found that

  • PI and Latinx Californians had the highest case rates. 
  • PI, Black, and Latinx Californians have the highest death rates.

The AAPI community is a large, diverse, and growing group in California. When research is done by, for, and with this larger grouping, the unique assets and challenges of PI communities are often invisible or lost. For example, for every $100 awarded by foundations in the U.S., only 20 cents is designated for the AAPI community, and a mere fraction of that 20 cents reaches the PI community. To add, the PI community (much like American Indian and Native Americans) is not as geographically concentrated as other racial and ethnic groups, so typical data strategies do not adequately capture their experiences. This lack of PI data limits the ability of policymakers, philanthropy, and community-based organizations to effectively target needed interventions and support community leaders.

To address this data deficit, Empowering Pacific Islander Communities  is joining with NeighborWorks America and Advancement Project California’s RACE COUNTS initiative  to produce a much-needed report on the PI community in California. This report will feature disaggregated data on Pacific Islanders and will be the first such report released since 2014.

This program will highlight PI leaders, present available data, and include funders who have invested in the PI community. Our hope is to galvanize the philanthropic community to take a concrete next step by supporting this community-driven research effort.

This event is co-sponsored by Philanthropy California and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy


Target Audience 

This program is open to anyone.







Event type: 

Stay Connected: Join Our Mailing List!