Community

Ways to Support AAPI Communities and Businesses in Portland

Places to Donate, Restaurants to Visit, and More
March 19, 2021
In addition to admiring the Lan Su Chinese Garden's rare Chinese native plants and traditional stonework in person, read on for a link to their list of Portland-based AAPI organizations accepting donations. (Soren Jorgensen)

Even before Tuesday's shooting in Atlanta, which left eight people dead—six of whom were women of Asian descent—a study compiled by California State University's Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism showed that racist violence against Asian Americans has increased by nearly 150% in major cities across the US in recent weeks. In light of that injustice, there are many things you can do to support the local AAPI community here in Portland, from donating to local causes to shopping from AAPI-owned businesses to visiting arts and culture institutions. Read on below for links, and keep an eye on our activism & social justice calendar for related events. 


Jump to: Donate | Shop & Visit | Read, Listen & Watch


Local

Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon
Founded in 1996 with core support from Multnomah County's Immigrant Refugee Community Organization, this org "[unites] Asians and Pacific Islanders to achieve social justice," focusing on community organizing, cultural outreach, and leadership development for local AAPI communities. 

See also: Lan Su Chinese Garden's list of local organizations accepting donations.

National

Asian Americans Advancing Justice
In addition to pushing for education, litigation, and public policy reform benefiting AAPI communities around the country, this org offers bystander intervention techniques and tips on how to respond to anti-Asian harassment. 

Asian Mental Health Collective
With a mission to "normalize and de-stigmatize mental health within the Asian community," this website features an insightful interview series with mental health experts, an "ask a therapist" video with LA's Jedidiah Chun, a community blog, and a podcast called Mental Health Mukbang, as well as hotlines and other ways to get in touch with AAPI health professionals. 

Asian Pacific Fund's COVID Recovery Fund
Based in the Bay Area, this fund links donors to Asian-owned businesses that are struggling to stay afloat due to COVID-19. 

Center for Asian Pacific American Women
This network provides education and mentorship to AAPI women through an ethos they call "whole person leadership," which they describe as being "grounded in one’s character, commitment, and collaboration with others and allows us to leverage our individual gifts and talents to bolster personal and professional development."

See also: California State University's Stop AAPI Hate forum, where you can report anti-Asian hate crimes. 

SHOP & VISIT

FOOD

Bit House Collective
This "Michelin-starred dive bar" slings playful drinks from Mesa, such as boozy Capri Sun-esque cocktails served in pouches, fancied-up flaming Dr. Peppers, and a gin-spiked version of buko pandan (a Filipinx "dessert salad" with coconut milk and fruit jelly). Another draw? Beers from Pono Brewing, like a hazy pineapple IPA and a blackberry-raspberry stout, and Filipinx-inspired bar snacks, like crab fat gravy waffle fries and pineapple barbecue-glazed burgers with atchara (pickled papaya).
Southeast

Mama's Chow Chicken
Mama Chow's is one of those gems that you can tell is going to make it, good press or not. It may not be the most traditional, but there are some well-balanced flavors coming out of Mama Chow's Kitchen—only adding to an ever-growing club of truly good Chinese restaurants in the area. ANDREA DAMEWOOD
Southwest

Nong's Khao Man Gai
Anyone who cares about food in this town has likely eaten Nong's Khao Man Gai dozens of times: an $8 bundle of joy wrapped in butcher paper with chicken (white or dark meat, or a blend), rice, a few cucumbers, and soup. Extras include the mandatory chicken skins or the less-required chicken-fat poached livers, each $1. Nong has clearly mastered the art of specialization. She set out to make top-notch chicken and rice, and that's been done. ANDREA DAMEWOOD
Southeast

Sushi Ichiban
Beloved little downtown sushi parlor Sushi Ichiban is best known for its conveyor belt alternative: A toy train on a circular track, laden with plates of salmon nigiri, California rolls, and creative favorites—like The Plager: fried tempura asparagus and cream cheese, surrounded by white rice and topped with spicy mayo. The list of eccentric goodies changes often, and the place buzzes with easy-going energy. SUZETTE SMITH
Northwest

Toki
The team behind the widely acclaimed Han Oak has opened this highly anticipated new restaurant in the former space of Tasty n Alder. The menu is a mix of Han Oaks' greatest hits—like that famous Korean fried chicken—and some new dishes, like "gimbap supreme" (seaweed and rice wrapped in foil, burger-style).
Southwest

See also: Our directory of Asian-owned restaurants.

ART

Japanese American Museum of Oregon
This small museum grounds itself in the Japanese American experience of the 1940s, focusing on the exclusion act that left thousands imprisoned in the Pacific Northwest.
Northwest 

Lan Su Chinese Garden
This tranquil botanical garden features rare plants native to China, along with decorative stonework.
Northwest

Portland Chinatown Museum
This museum celebrating the past, present, and future of Portland's Chinatown is currently closed to the public, but you can donate to ensure they return for in-person visits once COVID is over.  

Portland Japanese Garden
The cherry blossoms (the national flower of Japan) are starting to bloom at this tranquil garden, as are other spring flowers like camellias and pieris. Be sure to visit the Pavillion to see Ishimoto Yasuhiro's collection of photographs of Kyoto's Katsura Imperial Villa, an architectural treasure, open through April. 
Southwest

READ, LISTEN & WATCH

Powell's Reading List
The bookseller has rounded up some recommended reading by Asian American authors available on their shelves, from novels like Ling Ma's Severance and Lisa Ko's The Leavers to memoirs like John Okada's classic No-No Boy and Cathy Park Hong's Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning.

Minari
Filled with the ups and downs of everyday life, Minari is a portrait of a Korean family as it grows up, grows old, and grows apart. In a media landscape where Asian-Americans are too often invisible, the film is a landmark for American cinema. Despite telling a quintessentially American story at Best Picture caliber, the film was relegated to the Foreign Language Film category (which it won) at this year’s Golden Nepotism Awards. (They’ll do better at being less racist next year, they promise.) The film takes its name from a resilient Korean vegetable, emblematic of the resilience of immigrants and families. In pursuit of his American dream, patriarch Jacob (Steven Yeun) moves his wife and two children to rural Arkansas. He hopes to build a farm and a better life, escaping his and wife Monica’s menial job of chicken sexing. Monica (Han Ye-ri) is less than amused at having to move to the middle of nowhere, while trying to hype up her young kids (Alan Kim and Noel Kate Cho) for their grandmother’s arrival. JANEY WONG
Various theaters and streaming on VOD

World of Wong Kar-wai
Let Chinese director Wong Kar-wai take you over with the sonically perfect, poetic, excruciatingly cool, often blood-soaked romantic time-jumpers and thrillers featured in this series presented by Cinema 21. It includes all his greatest hits from the late '80s to the early 2000s, including As Tears Go ByDays of Being WildFallen Angels, Happy TogetherThe Hand, and his best-known works Chungking Express and In the Mood for Love. With many of the same actors gracing the screen in each film, we have no doubt that taking in his entire oeuvre will feel like one long, wild ride in a singular universe.
Cinema 21