February 23, 2023

Grants to assess the needs of California’s Asian American and Pacific Islander populations

More than $1 million will be distributed by UC Riverside's AAPI Data program

Author: David Danelski
February 23, 2023

The AAPI Data program at the University of California, Riverside, announced on Feb. 28 the awarding of $1.1 million in grants to research teams at five University of California campuses to probe the needs of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders in California, and to provide a set of policy recommendations to address those needs.

The grants are divided among eight teams of academic and community-based researchers to complete research projects ranging from the impacts of bullying in schools to how the COVID-19 pandemic affects the health and well-being of Filipino American workers in the state. 

“These grants build on AAPI Data’s initial work to expand the data and research capacity on Asian American and NHPI needs and our collaboration with the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and the California Health Interview Survey,” said Karthick Ramakrishnan, the founder and director of the AAPI Data program and a professor at UCR’s School of Public Policy. “We thank the California State Legislature and the California API Legislative Caucus for their leadership and support to advance data equity for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders in California.”     

A family picnic on the Santa Monica State Beach (Getty Images)

The grants are funded out of a $10 million allocation to AAPI Data provided by the state Legislature in 2021. These funds were part of the $166.5 million Asian and Pacific Islander Equity Budget approved by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

The winning grant projects are:

●    “How School Climate Influences the Bullying Experiences of California’s Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Youth: Long Terms Trends Across AANHPI Ethnic Subgroups,” led by Kevin Gee of the UC Davis School of Education. Gee will collaborate with North Cooc of the College of Education at University of Texas, Austin.

●    “Addressing Basic Needs Equity Gaps at the University of California, Santa Barbara,” led by Katie Maynard and colleagues at  UC Santa Barbara. This project seeks to better understand the barriers faced by AANHPI students to utilize campus basic services and the root causes of food and housing insecurity.

●    “Community Partnerships in Creating the NHPI Health Equity Index,” led by Ninez Ponce and colleagues at UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. This project seeks to address the gap in data for NHPI communities through the construction of the NHPI Health Equity Index, which may better indicate the needs of the state’s Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander, or NHPI, population. 

●    “Statewide Behavioral Surveillance on Asian Californians’ Experiences of Violence and Discrimination and Their Impacts on Mental Health,” led by Anita Raj and colleagues at UC San Diego Center on Gender Equity and Health. This project will conduct a community-based participatory research study involving a survey with a statewide sample of Asian Californians to understand their experiences with racial/ethnic discrimination and violence.

●    “Health and Well-being of Filipino American Workers in California,” led by Cindy Sangalang of UCLA’s departments of Social Welfare and Asian American Studies. This project will examine how the COVID-19 pandemic affected the physical, economic, and social well-being of Filipino American workers. 

●    “Addressing Priority Data and Policy Gaps for LGBTQ+ Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders in California,” led by Andrew Subica of UCR’s Riverside Department of Social Medicine, Population, and Public Health. This quantitative survey study will obtain data regarding the health, mental health, minority stress, and hate/discrimination experiences of LGBTQ and NHPI adults in California, who are a vulnerable but unstudied population.

●    “Double Jeopardy: Experiences of Sexual Violence and Harassment and Anti-Asian Racism Among University of California Students from AANHPI Communities,” led by Jennifer Wagman and colleagues at UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health, Community Health Sciences. The project proposes will build on the “Double Jeopardy” study to expand social science research and data by assessing experiences of COVID-related sexual harassment and violence and anti-Asian racism among AANHPI students from the University of California.

●    “California Nail Salon Industry: Profile and Needs,” led by Saba Waheed and colleagues at   UCLA’s Labor Center. This study will collaborate with California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative and Professor Preeti Sharma of California State University, Long Beach, to conduct an in-depth study of the nail salon industry in California.


This round of awards was directed toward entities and personnel affiliated with the University of California system. The AAPI Data program is seeking a second-round of proposals from a broader range of institutions, including other colleges and universities, research centers, and community-based organizations. For more information about applying for the second-round of proposals, please visit https://aapidata.com/blog/rfp-2/ for full details. Deadline for submitting proposals is 6 p.m. Pacific Time on March 7, 2023.

More information can be found  on the AAPI Data blog at https://aapidata.com/blog/ and at the Center for Social Innovation at UC Riverside blog at https://socialinnovation.ucr.edu/blog. 

(Header photo: Getty Images)

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