PLANO, Texas – Empowering young people to envision their full potential, to achieve a future without limits – that’s the kind of mindset Toyota Motor North America (TMNA), working with community partners such as Asian Pacific Islander American Scholars (APIA Scholars), is striving to accelerate.
And it’s so much more than education alone. In a multi-faceted approach, TMNA is building upon its longstanding support of the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, increasing funding by $1 million to 11 national and local AAPI organizations.
TMNA is focusing on six priority areas with AAPI partners:
Racial Justice to combat xenophobic rhetoric and a rise in violence against the AAPI community through Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC.
Education to create pathways for educational and career success, as well as programming that fosters deepened cultural awareness through APIA Scholars, Japanese American National Museum (JANM), Ascend and Ascend North Texas, Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA), Leadership Education of Asian Pacific’s (LEAP), and Japan-America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth (JASDFW).
Mobility for improved access to healthcare services through Keiro.
Advocacy for increased AAPI representation in government through Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS).
Small Business Support to address Asian-owned businesses that have been hardest hit during the COVID-19 pandemic through National ACE.
Financial Education to promote wealth-building and financial empowerment, particularly among the low-income AAPI population through National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD).
“We stand stronger together, unified by our shared values and collective mission to create limitless possibilities and happiness for all,” said Sean Suggs, chief social innovation officer, TMNA. “By focusing our work in these priority areas, we’re helping eliminate barriers so that members of all generations can thrive.”
The COVID-19 pandemic not only exposed generations-long racism and gaps in equity, but the resulting economic downturn also fueled a steeper long-term unemployment rate for the AAPI community compared to their Black, white, and Latino peers.
In addition to the company-sponsored funding, TMNA’s more than 36,000 employees across the U.S. are invited to participate in a double-match campaign for four select AAPI organizations through Toyota4Good, the employee volunteer and giving platform. Employees are also using Toyota4Good to raise awareness and funds for the COVID-19 crisis in India.
Toyota’s employee resource group, Toyota Asian American Society in Alliance (TAASiA), has membership consisting of both AAPI employees and their allies. TAASiA organizes virtual events to celebrate and educate people about Asian culture and heritage, and also helps drive business decisions and cross-company collaboration.