TAAF Grants $1 Million to TalkingPoints to Better Serve the Country’s 2.7 Million AAPI Students and their Families
Read the op-ed in The Chicago Tribune: “We are both immigrants and, despite our personal achievements, we both know what it’s like to feel invisible in the classroom and in everyday life. We know that schools can be powerful forces for affirming and celebrating cultural identity — if given the tools to do so.”
San Francisco, California (May 5, 2022) — Today TalkingPoints, a nonprofit working to remove systemic barriers to family engagement for the benefit of student success and well-being, announced it had received a 2-year, $1 million grant from The Asian American Foundation (TAAF) to support its growth and reach among Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) families.
The TalkingPoints technology uses human- and AI-powered, two-way translated communication and personalized content in order to create effective, equitable family-school partnerships. By using TalkingPoints’ platform, students and families can easily communicate with teachers, administrators, and educational advisors. Easing communications challenges can improve students’ well-being and opportunities for success in school — especially for those in multicultural and marginalized communities.
AAPI families make up TalkingPoints’ fastest-growing group of users who benefit from the platform’s two-way translation of 111 languages, including Chinese (traditional and simplified), Tagalog, Vietnamese, Burmese, Korean, Japanese, Dari, and Urdu, among others. TAAF’s investment will advance the shared vision of TalkingPoints and TAAF cultivating well-being and belonging among AAPI communities. This includes growing the network of TalkingPoints users to 500,000 by 2024 and scaling AAPI-focused product development such as recognition of AAPI culture and traditions through the platform. This investment builds on TalkingPoints’ recent gift from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott and TED Fellowship for Founder and CEO Heejae Lim.
This work is deeply personal to Founder and CEO Heejae Lim:
“As a Korean immigrant, I know that AAPI communities often feel overwhelmed by the U.S. school system because of language and cultural barriers. Our platform helps schools see the linguistic and cultural diversity of families as assets to student learning and success. My mother had the voice to advocate for my education, and thanks to the generous gift from TAAF, more AAPI families will find their voices too,” said Lim.
“TAAF seeks to help build the infrastructure needed to improve AAPI advocacy, power, and representation across American society — including in our education system. That’s why TAAF is proud to support TalkingPoints with providing AAPI students and their families much-needed solutions for engaging with their schools — particularly as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to put a tremendous burden on students, teachers, and school administrators. Now more than ever, AAPI students and families need access to critical resources for language access and equity to ensure they have every opportunity to succeed in school and beyond,” said Norman Chen, Chief Executive Officer of The Asian American Foundation.
TalkingPoints’ potential to make significant changes to the U.S. education system is what attracted TAAF to the TalkingPoints vision. One of TAAF’s areas of strategic focus is education, as the organization seeks to improve educational outcomes across AAPI ethnic groups and invest in curriculum development that reflects AAPIs as part of the American story. TAAF is committed to making these investments to address the fact that the Asian American population is growing at 3.5 times the rate of the overall U.S. population, while their educational attainment and household income are more unequal than any other racial or ethnic group.
TalkingPoints is an education technology nonprofit that removes systemic barriers to effective, equitable family engagement for the success and well-being of each and every student, particularly those from traditionally marginalized communities. TalkingPoints’ multilingual technology platform connects and empowers families and teachers by using human and AI-powered, two-way translated communication and personalized content. This unique approach is driven by a relentless focus on eliminating barriers to strong family-school partnerships, including language, time, mindsets, and capacity, to support the development of each and every student. For additional information about TalkingPoints, please visit www.talkingpts.org.
The Asian American Foundation (TAAF) is a convener, incubator, and funder committed to accelerating opportunity and prosperity for AAPI communities. TAAF supports advocates and organizations committed to AAPI causes so that together we can more effectively take action against hate and violence, and build the infrastructure needed to improve AAPI advocacy, power, and representation across American society. We were founded to solve for the longstanding lack of investment and resources provided to AAPI communities and we strive to be a catalyzing force for creating a permanent and irrevocable sense of belonging for the 23 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders living in the United States. The month of its launch, TAAF announced that through its AAPI Giving Challenge and donations from its Board it raised nearly $1.1 billion in donations and in-kind commitments from partners — the largest philanthropic commitment in history fully focused on supporting AAPI communities. Of that $1.1 billion raised, TAAF’s Board raised $125 million for TAAF to support AAPI organizations and causes over the next five years. For additional information about TAAF, please visit www.taaf.org.