APANO was founded in 1996 with significant support from the Immigrant Refugee Community Organization in Multnomah County under the principle that we are stronger together, and that our communities would benefit from more coordinated leadership particularly in areas of public policy advocacy. In 2010, APANO formally became a 501c3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization, and we extend our deep appreciations to the Immigrant Refugee Community Organization for its foresight and continued support. In addition we wish to acknowledge the following organizations, Oregon Fair Share Research and Education Fund, Center for Intercultural Organizing, Western States Center and the Rural Organizing Project for extending organizational support and mentorship over the last 16 years.
While our Asian and Pacific Islander (API) communities have made generations of contributions to American society, our shared history is that of persistent discrimination and inequities. We are a community of contrasts, with some communities doing very well, and some communities facing significant opportunity gaps, particularly in education, health and economic prosperity. These realities are well documented in national publications such as A Community of Contrasts 2011 by the Asian American Justice Center and the 2012 Asian Pacific Islanders in Multnomah County Report by the Coalition of Communities of Color.
APANO has worked for social justice for over 15 years, and continues to evolve as Oregon’s leading Asian and Pacific Islander grassroots advocacy organization.