History of AAPI Coalition

The UCSF AAPI Coalition was formed in mid-2021 in response to a need for a centralized organizing body promoting the interest of Asian American and Pacific Islander* (AAPI) individuals within UCSF and in the Bay Area community that UCSF serves. This centralized body was created to be a single point organization for UCSF leadership in directing change for AAPI communities within and surrounding UCSF. 

Historical Context 

In late 2019, a novel coronavirus was first detected in Wuhan, China. Although largely neglected by the international community, the 2019-nCoV virus rapidly spread across the globe and was first detected in the United States in early 2020. Early declarations that the virus, which was renamed SARS-CoV-2, was only a severe risk to limited populations and akin to the flu were quickly found to be untrue, leading to lockdowns and shutdowns across the world in early-mid 2020. Frustration with effects of the virus, combined with xenophobic rhetoric and geopolitical tensions, led to a resurgence of overtly racist attacks against individuals perceived as Asian. In the United States, hate crimes against AANHPI individuals spiked. Assaults, especially against elderly individuals, and murders contributed to a climate of fear among AAPI communities nationwide that was especially felt in the Bay Area. 

Precipitating Events 

By early 2021, hate crimes against individuals of AAPI descent reached a level of prominence that led institutions to issue statements. Although UCSF released internal statements denouncing anti-AAPI hate, members of the UCSF community were concerned by the lack of public support for AAPI communities in the Bay Area. A group of UCSF faculty consequently called upon Chancellor Hawgood to affirm UCSF’s commitment to AAPI communities through improving accessibility and quality of treatment within UCSF’s health network. This statement is preserved as “Statement from senior UCSF Asian faculty regarding anti-Asian racism, Asian Equity, and Inclusion”. 

The month of May is AAPI heritage month. In 2021, members of the UCSF community reflected on how the past year had been especially damaging to AAPI communities. A team decided to write a joint statement giving context to AAPI history in the US, the contemporary state of anti-AAPI sentiments in the US, and six action items for the future. This joint statement was circulated around UCSF and received 20 organizational endorsements and more than 2000 individual endorsements. This joint statement is preserved as “Joint UCSF AAPI Coalition Statement_FINAL”. 

Following the submission of the joint statement to the Chancellor on May 28, 2021, members of AAPI communities at UCSF met with Chancellor Hawgood in June 2021. The Chancellor and leadership agreed to work with a coalition on the following topics:  

  • Disaggregating data from AAPI subgroups 
  • Improve interpreting services 
  • Ensure belonging and representation within UCSF 

The Formation of AAPIC 

Recognizing the need for a point group but the necessity of incorporating individuals holding multiple roles in the discussions, the AAPI Coalition was founded as a recognized campus organization. The AAPI Coalition has representation from the following groups: