In Solidarity

We grieve for the eight victims of Thursday’s shooting in Indianapolis, four of whom were Sikh from the Punjabi community. As we have learned, many Sikh employees worked at the FedEx warehouse. Although the motive for the murders is still being determined, recent evidence revealed that the shooter was browsing white supremacy websites. As the Sikh communities continue to navigate the complexities of grief, we hold them close and think of the historical trauma and recent wounds our Sikh and South Asian brothers and sisters have endured.

“Our hearts go out to their families of those killed in Indianapolis and to the Sikh community in Indiana as well as the other victims,” said Rod Lew, executive director of Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy and Leadership (APPEAL). “We need to recognize that the current environment of hate and violence against Asian Americans is built on racism in all forms, including systemic racism and policies that perpetuate fearmongering.”

 The current environment of hate and violence against Asian Americans is nothing new. From federal policies like the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II to the racist targeting of South Asian people following 9/11, and the white supremacist killing of six Sikhs at a gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, in 2012.  These are just a few examples of the racist policies and hate crimes that have occurred in our country.

During the past year, #StopAAPIHate has reported  3,795 incidents from March 19, 2020 to February 28, 2021 against Asian Americanss. We understand that our Asian American community is going through pain and fear, and we stand in solidarity with you during these troubling times.

We thank our network partners from across diverse communities for speaking out against all forms of violence and racism against Asian Americans and other communities of color. We continue to stand as an advocate for addressing racism as a public health issue; ultimately, safety from racially-motivated violence cannot be separated from community healing and well-being. We encourage a united front across different sectors, including media, business, justice, government, and community to respond appropriately and with compassion to ensure that we honor those lives lost and strive for justice for the families and for our communities.

You can donate to the memorial fund set up for the Sikh victims of the shooting by local gurdwaras (Sikh temples) who are working with the families at If you are looking to support Sikh organizations at this time, please consider the following: Sikh CoalitionSALDEFJakara Movement, and Kaur Life.

In Solidarity,

Rod Lew, MPH
Executive DirectorFull Statement

In Solidarity

We mourn with and extend our deepest sympathies to the families of the six Asian American women senselessly killed last night. We hold our loved ones close as we navigate the complexities of grief.

“We are deeply saddened by the murder and loss of the six Asian American women and our hearts go out to their families and to the Asian American community in Georgia,” said Rod Lew, Executive Director of Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy and Leadership (APPEAL). “We need to recognize that the environment of hate and brutality against Asian Americans, and particularly against women, is built on racism in all forms, including systemic racism, sexism, and policies that perpetuate fearmongering.”

Although a local sheriff Capt. Jay Baker claimed that the Atlanta killings were not racially-motivated and that the murder suspect was “just having a bad day,” we cannot ignore that these killings occurred in an environment rife with unabated hate and violence against Asian Americans. We call upon our law enforcement and elected officials to publicly acknowledge and address the rise in hate crimes. Furthermore, we ask local and state policymakers to make culturally-tailored crisis intervention resources available for Asian Americans to address physical and mental health issues stemming from this toxic hate-filled environment.

We thank our network partners from across diverse communities for speaking out against all forms of violence against Asian Americans and for uplifting our voices. We continue to stand as an advocate for public health and health equity; ultimately, safety from racially-motivated violence cannot be separated from community healing and wellbeing. We must also come together as a united front across different sectors, including media, business, justice, government, and community to respond appropriately and with compassion to this growing crisis.

During the past year, #StopAAPIHate has reported 3,795 incidents against Asian Americans.  We understand that our Asian American community is going through pain and fear, and we stand in solidarity with you during these troubling times.

We ask that anyone experiencing or witnessing incidents report them to

In Solidarity,

Rod Lew, MPH
Executive Director
Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy and Leadership (APPEAL)

Justice for George Floyd.

Black Lives Matter.

On behalf of Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy and Leadership (APPEAL), we join in solidarity with Black communities throughout our country and the world in calling for justice for Mr. George Floyd. We are deeply saddened, pained and outraged by the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the latest in a long history of brutal killings that include Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Philando Castile, Oscar Grant, Stephon Clark, and countless other African Americans. Black communities have been the target of police brutality and violence deeply rooted in structural and systemic racism.

Many of us as Asian Americans, at least in part, contribute to sustaining a social structure in this country centered on White privilege. It hurts that Tou Thao, one of the police complicit in the murder of Mr. Floyd is Asian American. Indeed, we cannot stand by and watch when our inaction and silence do harm. To stand in solidarity requires us to address anti-Blackness within our communities with renewed commitment and vigilance.

Like all sectors of our society, the institution of public health is not immune to racism. All too often, we fail to call out our own privilege, especially its dependence on institutional racism and systems of power, as we simultaneously call for “health equity.” Racism is a key public health issue and dismantling racism is a fundamental public health strategy, without which we cannot realize health equity.

Our hearts go out to our friends in Minnesota with whom we have collaborated on community building and leadership programs, especially the LAAMPP Leadership Institute. We offer our condolences, support, and steadfast commitment to amplify calls for racial justice, racial equity, and health equity in tobacco control.

We must support Black Lives Matter and take action accordingly in every facet of our lives.

In solidarity,

Rod Lew, MPH
Executive Director
Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy and Leadership (APPEAL)

Joon-Ho Yu, MPH, PhD
Chair, Board of Directors
Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy and Leadership (APPEAL)

To find some places to donate and ways to take action as Asian Americans, take a look at the crowdsourced document Asian Accountability to Black People.

ASPIRE and Self-Made Health Networks co-hosted a webinar that highlighted how tobacco cessation is utilized to address cancer survivorship from a culturally relevant perspective. Participants will learn about the how Asian Smokers Quitline services maximizes use of demographic data (e.g. low socioeconomic status characteristics) and the types of support provided to assist government programs, healthcare systems, coalitions as well as communities and health equity stakeholders with improving tobacco cessation outcomes.

To view the webinar recording, you can register here.

You can download the slide presentations here


Chronic infection with the Hep B and Hep C viruses are the most common risk factors for liver cancer in the United States. Despite the significant decline in viral hepatitis B infection in the U.S. since the 1990s, hepatitis B remains a significant cause of health disparities in communities of color, especially in Asian and Pacific Islander (API) and African American communities. This webinar focuses on addressing these health disparities and highlight prevention efforts for these priority populations.

Check out the recording below:

Accompanying slides for this webinar can be  downloaded here .






Webinar Topic: Hepatitis B Health Disparities in Priority Populations 

In this webinar, participants will learn:

  • How hepatitis B disproportionately affects API and African American communities
  • Campaigns to increase Hep B awareness, screening, and vaccination
  • Risk factors for Hep B and liver cancer, including tobacco
  • Health provider education on Hep B prevention

Kate Moraras, Hepatitis B Foundation
Dr. Richard Andrews, HOPE Clinic Houston
Farma Pene, NYC Health Department

November is Diabetes Awareness Month – a time to raise awareness about type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Read this guest post by our ASPIRE partner Hui Mālama Ola Nā ʻŌiwi:

Pictured here: Participants and staff of Hui Mālama’s diabetes support group

Diabetes affects about 13% of the adult population in Hawaiʻi. Native Hawaiians & Pacific Islanders are 2.2 times more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than the white population in Hawaiʻi. Along with heart disease, diabetes remains the leading chronic illness of Native Hawaiians. Diabetes doesn’t have to take lives.

At Hui Mālama Ola Nā ʻŌiwi (Hui Mālama), our mission is to uplift the health of the Hawaiian nation. We work to address and alleviate health challenges that affect our community, such as diabetes. Hui Mālama provides diabetes education services, nutrition counseling, diabetes counseling, free diabetes management classes, and a free diabetes support group. With these services, Hui Mālama encourages those affected by diabetes to take control of their health and their diabetes. Recently, Hui Mālama received recognition from the American Diabetes Association, which has empowered us to provide the highest standards and most up-to-date services. To learn more about our diabetes services, visit


Hui Mālama Ola Nā ʻŌiwi is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Incorporated in 1991, Hui Mālama Ola Nā ʻŌiwi serves as the Native Hawaiian Health Care System for Hawaiʻi island, providing medical, behavioral health, and community education services with the sole objective of improving access to quality healthcare, education, and services for the people of Hawaiʻi. Hui Mālama Ola Nā ʻŌiwi is dedicated to improving the wellness & well-being of Hawaiʻi island so that all residents can Live Longer & Feel Better, Together.

This webinar, in collaboration with the Nuestras Voces Network, highlights resources to support efforts for cervical cancer education and prevention, and present examples of implemented interventions in Hispanic and Asian and Pacific Islander communities, such as:

1. The Es Tiempo Campaign: A focus on clinic and environmental cues to promote screening

2. The Papalooza Screening Event: An effort to increase delivery of affordable cervical cancer screenings for uninsured women.

Download the presentation here

The mission of the Light and Salt Association (LSA) is to provide quality health care to the needy and vulnerable, promoting healthy living, and fostering a sense of community responsibility in the greater Houston area since 1997. We work particularly among underserved first-generation immigrants within the Chinese community who tend to have limited English language capabilities and a low socio-economic status. Within this group, a primary focus is on cancer patients and their loved ones and caregivers. In 2018, we served 272 cancer patients and have a database of 1,123 patients and survivors.

The services we provide for or connect to cancer patients include, but aren’t limited to, healthcare system navigation, transportation and language assistance to treatment-related appointments, daily living and housing assistance, one-on-one peer support, in-person and online support groups, newsletters, and cancer educational materials. Our survivorship support programs are something that we’re particularly proud of. We adopt a “patient-centered” approach and believe cultural competence and sensitivity is incredibly important. Many cancer patients have said to us that they not only found an organization, but a family, a family they can trust and count on. They didn’t feel alone when undergoing the lengthy and tough journey towards getting better.

Many of our volunteers have been cancer patients or family members of cancer patients themselves. They came back to lend their first-hand experience to serve others with similar situations. We’ve been blessed with the support of the Chinese community, in particular the churches, within the greater Houston area. Our goal is to further improve and expand on our services to reach more of the underserved Asian American communities.


Light and Salt Association (Houston, TX) is a one of APPEAL’s network partners under the ASPIRE grant (Cooperative Agreement Number, NU58DP006490, funded by the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention.)

May is nationally recognized as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month – a celebration of the diverse cultures and experiences of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders living in the United States.

May 10th is Asian Pacific American Mental Health Awareness Day in the State of California.

It has been well documented that stress is a risk factor for various physical and mental health issues such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and depression.

Recently, one study has also linked increased tobacco use with high levels of stress among Samoan smokers in California. Find it here.

Our partners at Hui Mālama Ola Nā ʻŌiwi in Hilo, Hawaiʻi shared some tips from their April 2019 Newsletter on healthy ways to manage stress. Everyone responds and manages with stress differently. The first step to adopting healthy coping behaviors is to identify stressors and recognize signs of stress. Are you feeling angry or depressed? What is making you feel these emotions?

Identify people who you can turn to for support. When needed, reach out to family members, friends, or your community for help. Ask them to join you in stress relief activities, it can be as simple as talking story or going out for a hike at a nearby trail. If you have persistent feelings of stress it may be good idea to see a licensed mental health professional.

Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration here for more resources on mental and behavioral health.

The Statewide Pacific Islander Asian American Resource and Coordinating Center (also known as SPARC) is funded through the California Tobacco Control Program and addresses tobacco related health disparities in Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities. Our Executive Director, Rod Lew, was interviewed by Joseph Martin from the Rover Tobacco Control Library at UC Davis.

Listen to the podcast below to learn more!

Some of the highlights include:

  • Importance of using disaggregated data to see the high prevalence of tobacco use among diverse subpopulations
  • The need for strong advocates, and opportunities through our leadership development program
  • SPARC’s goals for developing community competent resources including toolkits, in-language educational materials, and digital storytelling!