AAPI-Owned Businesses and Organizations to Support
In May, we celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. In this post, we are uplifting Asian American-led organizations in Minnesota (and beyond) to celebrate and show gratitude for them all year long. As violence and bigotry against the Asian American community have increased in the last year and a half, one step we can take is to support these organizations so they can continue to flourish in our community.
Activism and Community Building
Asian Americans Advancing Justice works in legal advocacy to influence key civil rights issues that significantly impact Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities. Recently they have co-hosted bystander trainings with Hollaback and have trained tens of thousands of people on how to respond to anti-Asian hate and white supremacy.
Ranier Maningding (The Love Life of An Asian Guy) is a blogger and social medial activist who speaks against racism and white supremacy while advocating for collective liberation. You can watch Maningding’s TEDx Talk here.
Asian American Organizing Project (AAOP) is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization founded in 2014. AAOP was established from a community grassroots organizing movement that spanned at least two decades. Beginning the early 1990s with the first Asian American elected to public office, the collective AAPI community in Minnesota was suddenly thrust into the political limelight as a possible, viable voting bloc. That legacy is not lost on this organization’s mission and it continues to serve as an inspiration and foundation for their work.
Asian Media Access (AMA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to using media arts as a tool for social betterment. Centrally located on the Minneapolis campus of Metropolitan State University, AMA is one of only five national media organizations devoted to serving Asian American media needs. Their continuing mission is to “connect the disconnected,” to challenge the traditional isolation of Asian American communities by helping Asian Americans realize that the media can be an effective and important tool for communication and education.
Coalition of Asian American Leaders (CAAL) emerged out of the will of Minnesota’s Asian American community in 2013 when a small group of leaders came together to share their aspirations for creating an organization that would bring leaders from across sectors, generations and ethnicities together: “At the Coalition of Asian American Leaders, we bring Asian Minnesotan leaders from across sectors, ethnicities and generations together to connect, learn and act together to improve the lives of community.”
Minnesota Hmong Chamber of Commerce is a member-driven organization dedicated to creating opportunities that cultivate relationships in the endeavor to promote growth and longevity of Hmong businesses and partnerships.
The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) is a power-building movement organization for AAPI women and girls. They advocate for policy and structural change and provide organizing and legal advocacy for reproductive, immigration and economic justice. They have offices in Atlanta, Chicago, New York City and Washington, D.C.
Red Canary Song is a transnational, grassroots collective of Asian and migrant sex workers that was started in 2017. RCS centers mutual aid and labor rights in the fight for decriminalization, justice and police accountability. Red Canary Song also provides support and healing for families and community.
Exposed Brick Theatre is dedicated to telling untold stories, centering omitted narratives and creating art at the intersection of identities. Their vision is to live in an empathetic world where people and their stories are valued. They believe that telling untold stories will make the world more just.
Funny Asian Women Kollective (FAWK) was founded in 2014 by Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay, May Lee-Yang and Naomi Ko to combat the invisibility and dehumanization of Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) women using humor and comedy. FAWK is an uncensored space where APIDA women can tell their truths without compromise. For FAWK, comedy can exist as standup, sketches, storytelling, music, poetry and videos and is powerful because it makes talking about controversial issues more accessible and engaging.
Project Yellow Dress is a “storytelling platform dedicated to sharing and highlighting the histories, experiences and voices of the Southeast Asian diaspora.” Project Yellow Dress seeks to uplift and affirm the diversity and nuance of the experiences shared by the SEA writers and artists featured.
Theater Mu is the premier Asian American performing arts company in the Midwest and second largest in the country. They produce great performances born of art, equity and justice from the heart of the Asian American Experience.
Eats & Treats
Hmong Village is located in the heart of Eastside St. Paul, MN, and is a one-of-a-kind indoor market in the United States. With more than 250 vendors, it is a central place to come taste and experience the unique foods, farmers market, cultures, goods and services of the Hmong and other Southeast Asian communities. Enjoy a wide selection of eateries from 17 restaurants and/or delis and connect with professional services such as beauty care, insurance, real estate, business consulting, tax services, law firms, urgent care, pharmaceutical needs, and much more.
Chef Tammy Wong (chef and owner, Rainbow Chinese, Minneapolis) has been sharing her love of innovative Chinese cuisine for over thirty years. The secret to her style is simple. She says, “fresh greens, garlic and onions stir-fried over a searing flame – those are the basic elements of what I do.” Learning to create amazing food and sharing her passion with all who come to Rainbow has been Tammy’s lifelong purpose. Tammy loves the Chinese proverb,” The chef teaches you how to eat, not how to prepare the meal.”
Union Hmong Kitchen is a pop-up restaurant experience that features Hmong culture, stories, rituals, foods and flavors. They marry local traditions with those from back home in South and Eastern Asia to bring Hmong flavors to American palates. Every dish has a narrative and we look forward to sharing ours with you, through our food.
Quang Restaurant is a Minneapolis mainstay for Vietnamese cuisine. Operating on “Eat Street” since 1989, their pho, banh mi, noodle salads and entrees are excellent.
Health and Wellness
Zang Xiong is the owner of Rest Massage Therapy which is a place to support individuals on their journey of self-care. It is a place for all people, using massage as a process to find peace and healing in physical, mental, and spiritual health. Its mission is to provide massage bodywork at an affordable price.
With tenacity and boldness, Modern Electrical Solutions owners Tyra Tran and Luyen Le have successfully started one of the few Asian- and women-owned electrical contractor businesses in Minnesota. They are looking to continue to grow and employ more low-income community members in the electrical trade. They understand the impact they can have for their community as a job creator and are proud of there accomplishment.