Asian American Leadership Council

The Silk Fund


Chicago Foundation for Women's Asian American Leadership Council supports the Foundation's grantmaking and 2010 Breaking Barriers Go Green honorees - click to learn morefundraising goals through the Silk Fund. Asian American women are in the forefront of global efforts to protect the rights of women and girls, and are responsible for the continued emergence of organizations serving the needs of their community. The most ethnically diverse of Chicago Foundation for Women's five leadership councils, the Asian American Leadership Council provides a rich understanding of various Asian cultures, and it is a leading Chicago-area partner for collaborations with businesses and organizations serving Asian Americans. Women of Asian American descent promote interests related to women and girls within their community through this council and have established the Silk Fund in support of this goal. Read more about Silk Fund grantees below.


Arab American Family Services
Domestic Violence Prevention and Intervention, $2,000
AAFS' Domestic Violence Prevention and Intervention Services include: case management, court advocacy, education and prevention, emergency assistance, housing information and assistance, legal assistance and referral, shelter referral, therapy and counseling and Violent Crime Victim Assistance.

Korean American Women in Need
General Operating Support, $2,000
Korean American Women in Need is committed to building safe and healthy communities by providing comprehensive services to women and children affected by domestic violence and works within the larger community towards women's empowerment and social change. 

National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum- Chicago Chapter
General Operating Support, $2,000
The National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum (NAPAWF) is the only national, progressive, multi-issue Asian and Pacific Islander (API) women's organization in the U.S. Its mission is to build a movement to advance social justice and human rights for API women and girls through grassroots organizing, leadership development, research, strategic collaborations and policy advocacy.


Arab American Family Services
Domestic Violence Prevention and Intervention - $5,000
The Domestic Violence Prevention and Intervention program serves Arab and Muslim women who are survivors of domestic violence and trains other service providers on best practices in working with Arab and Muslim women.

Chinese Mutual Aid Association
Young Women Warriors - $2,500
The Young Women Warriors program helps young Asian American women ages 12 to 19 develop leadership skills through peer group meetings and adult mentorship.

National Asian American Pacific Women Forum – Chicago Chapter
Community Reproductive Needs Assessment of API Women and Girls in Chicago - $2,500
The forum will create a Community Reproductive Needs Assessment of API (Asian and Pacific Islander) Women and Girls in Chicago, based on surveys of local organizations that provide reproductive justice services to the API community.


Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health
General Operating Support - $2,500
ICAH advocates for sound policies and practices that support a positive approach to adolescent sexual health and parenting. ICAH believes that reproductive freedom for girls must encompass prevention of pregnancy and disease through contraception and education; the freedom to terminate a pregnancy; and the freedom to bring a pregnancy to term and to parent. Young women leaders at ICAH range in age from 14-24 and largely represent marginalized communities disproportionately ill-affected by health, economic and educational disparities. ICAH's strategies include youth leadership development, policy analysis and development, advocacy, training, and grassroots organizing. This grant is in honor of ICAH's Executive Director Soo Ji Min, who was honored by CFW with a 2010 Impact Award.

Korean American Women in Need (KAN-WIN)
General Operating Support - $5,000
KAN-WIN creates healthy, safe communities by providing free bilingual, bicultural and comprehensive services to Chicago-area women and children experiencing domestic and sexual violence. KAN-WIN provides direct services along with organizing, community outreach and education for its members. Programs include a 24-hour crisis hotline; legal, medical and social service advocacy; case management; counseling; transitional housing; job skills development; children’s program; policy advocacy; and community outreach.

Rape Victim Advocates
General Operating Support - $2,500
Rape Victim Advocates is dedicated to the healing and empowerment of sexual assault survivors through non-judgmental crisis intervention counseling, individual and group counseling, and medical and legal advocacy in the greater Chicago area. RVA is one of the most comprehensive crisis intervention programs for rape victims in Chicago. RVA's public education and institutional advocacy improve the treatment of sexual assault survivors and effect positive change in policies and public attitudes toward sexual assault. This grant is in honor of RVA Executive Director Sharmili Majmudar, who was honored by CFW with a 2010 Impact Award.


Arab American Action Network
Programs for Women and Girls - $3,000
The Arab American Action Network (AAAN) was established in 1995 as a grassroots, community-based organization to strengthen Chicago's Arab immigrant and Arab American community. The Arab American Action Network (AAAN) will continue to focus on social and leadership development activities for the girls and young women (mostly Arab, but also African American and Latina) in its Alliance of Young Women Activists (AYWA) group. AYWA will work on a video project which addresses sexism and double standards in the Arab community and beyond. AYWA participants are part of AAAN's broader youth organizing initiative, which is now on the criminalization of Arab and other youth of color in Zero Tolerance and other disciplinary policies in schools, law enforcement, and the community at large. Additionally, AAAN's Arab Women's Committee provides social and leadership development programming for adult Arab immigrant women in greater Chicago. This year, the committee will continue to relate to the local, statewide, and national Comprehensive Immigration Reform movement, as well as publish a second booklet of oral history stories which address patriarchy, immigration, racism, and national and religious profiling. This publication will be used for community education as well as to help identify future organizing issues.


Asian Human Services
General Operating Support - $3,500
Asian Human Services was established in 1978 to meet the social-service needs of the pan-Asian community in Chicago.  Now AHS serves thousands of clients each year from many countries, and offers low-income, at-risk members of its community a wide range of social programs which include: child and adolescent mental health, psychiatric services, psychosocial rehabilitation, case management services, HIV/AIDS counseling, elderly support groups, and emergency services. AHS main offices are located on the north side of Chicago, where several programs are housed; they also have an additional office in Chinatown.

Korean American Resource & Cultural Center
General Operating Support - $3,500
The Korean American Resource & Cultural Center works to educate the public on issues affecting Korean Americans. It advocates for civil rights, facilitates grassroots organizing and political/civic participation of Korean Americans. It also builds coalitions with other minorities and immigrant communities while preserving and promoting the cultural heritage of Korean Americans. Additionally, it provides needed services to those with less resources. Korean Americans are the fifth largest immigrant group in Illinois and while the stereotype is that they are the 'model minority,' it is not the reality.


Apna Ghar
Outreach Services - $2,500
Founded in 1989, Apna Ghar, a domestic violence shelter serving primarily Asian women and children, is the first Asian shelter of its kind in the Midwest. Apna Ghar conducts extensive outreach activities within the Greater Chicago Metropolitan area. Education and advocacy at all levels of society are key to breaking the cycle of violence (National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence). In 2006/2007, Apna Ghar reached 4,235 people from a wide array of governmental, educational, corporate and community sources. Its staff and volunteers spent a combined 589.8 hours conducting presentations, workshops and seminars. Although these are impressive figures, Apna Ghar did not have a structured Outreach Department, and thus had to call upon the already strained resources of program staff, volunteers and Board members. This grant will provide Apna Ghar with the opportunity to achieve the goal of a staffed and structured Outreach function with the potential to reach a much larger, wider and more diverse demographic.

Chinese Mutual Aid Association
Women Warriors Program - $2,500
In the late 1970s, a group of ethnic Chinese refugees from Vietnam founded Chinese Mutual Aid Association (CMAA) to assist other newly arrived Southeast Asian refugees in the Uptown neighborhood. Young Women Warriors (YWW) is a program of Chinese Mutual Aid Association's Youth Department. YWW serves young Asian American women, 12-18 years old. Its vision is to increase self-esteem and interpersonal communication skills. YWW focuses on four modules 1) Body and Health, 2) Mind and Education, 3) Spirit and Culture, and 4) Community and Nature. Through YWW, Chinese Mutual Aid Association creates an environment which fosters self-expression and self-development; articulation and exploration of issues important to Asian American women; the building and sustaining of support networks; and development of strong community leadership and teamwork skills.

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