The Minami Tamaki Yamauchi Kwok & Lee (MTYKL) Foundation awarded $365,675 in grants to 16 nonprofits across the country to support a wide array of programs and initiatives furthering social justice and civic engagement.
The MTYKL Foundation was founded by current and former partners of the Minami Tamaki LLP law firm. Dale Minami, Donald Tamaki, Brad Yamauchi, Minette Kwok, and Jack W. Lee together contributed a million dollars to the foundation in 2014. The foundation has to date provided more than $725,000 in grants.
“Since 2017, our country has been battered by federal policies leading to mass incarceration and relentless targeting of immigrants, assaults on LGBTQ rights, and a response to COVID-19 demonizing Asian Americans, and this is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Minette Kwok, MTYKL Foundation board member. “The elections in 2020 could be our last firewall against oppression and tyranny taking permanent root in our society.”
“Our grants to social justice and civic engagement organizations represents a renewed investment in aggressive efforts to engage people of color, especially Asian Americans, and oppressed communities in protecting our democracy,” said Donald Tamaki, MTYKL Foundation board member. “Our foundation hopes that other leaders and funders in the legal community will explore similar ways to support and defend our country’s disenfranchised.”
- AABA Law Foundation received a grant to support the Garrick S. Lew Fellowship, which supports law students pursuing criminal defense as a practice. The regional organization is based in San Francisco.
- Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC received a grant to support the 888-API-Vote Asian language election protection hotline and to help local partners in targeted states have access to materials and trainings to facilitate election protection capacity. The national organization is based in Washington, D.C.
- Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) received a grant to support poll monitoring training, language assistance, and voter protection in four key states where Asian American voter turnout could have significant impacts in the 2020 elections: Michigan, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Florida. The national organization is based in New York City.
- American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) received a grant to support its ongoing work confronting voter suppression in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, exposing obstacles to voting and expanding ballot access, and educating the public on voting rights and voting laws. The national organization is based in New York City.
- American Immigration Council received a grant to support ongoing efforts toward a more fair and just immigration system. The national organization is based in Washington, D.C.
- APIAVote received a grant to support Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) voting rights and voter engagement in the 2020 elections. The national organization is based in Washington, D.C.
- APIAVote Michigan, an affiliate of APIAVote, received a grant to support efforts specific to Michigan related to AAPI voting rights and voter engagement. The state organization is based in Detroit.
- Arizona Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) for Equity received a grant to help launch a voter engagement initiative in greater Phoenix, primarily focusing on communities that will be most affected in the election cycle. The state organization is based in Phoenix.
- Chinese for Affirmative Action received $15,000 to help build communications, research, and community education capacity in support of affirmative action and racial justice policies, leveraging Chinese language technology platforms such as WeChat and WeiBo. The organization is based in San Francisco.
- Densho received a grant to support the online archive of the Japanese American incarceration during World War II and its relevance to current civil rights oppression. The national organization is based in Seattle, Washington.
- Equal Justice Society received a grant to support efforts to increase awareness of California’s growing educational and economic divide, emphasizing links between race, gender, and poverty and those impacted by the lack of investment in public educations and public contracting. The organization is based in Oakland, California.
- Faith in Action received a grant to support innovative efforts to engage ordinary people in public life and build a strong legacy of leadership in thousands of local communities. The national organization is based in San Diego, California.
- Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality at Seattle University School of Law received a grant to support ongoing efforts to advance justice and equality through research, advocacy, and education. The school is based in Seattle, Washington.
- The Fred T. Korematsu Institute received a grant to support organizational fundraising capacity and infrastructure, and donor development. The national organization is based in San Francisco.
- Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance (OCAPICA) received a grant to support its voter engagement work including in-language phone banking in the Chinese community on upcoming ballot measures and political issues. The organization is based in Garden Grove, California.
- Working America Education Fund received a grant to support efforts in select states related to grassroots community education towards defending rights and opportunities for all working families. The national organization is based in Washington, D.C.15
The MTYKL Foundation board members were instrumental in the founding or expansion of the Minami Tamaki LLP law firm. The firm provides clients with legal representation and counsel in the areas of immigration and nationality law, consumer and employee rights, personal injury, and business and nonprofit counseling. To learn more about the MTYKL Foundation, visit MTYKL.org.