Making a Difference through History

Our many programs address the health and well-being of the individual and advances our belief in providing care that goes beyond just health, but also provides people a sense of hope and new possibilities. Below are a few notable highlights from the last 20 years.

Mental Health
In the early 1990s, AACI played a key role in reversing a State Department of Mental Health (DMH) directive declaring para-professionals ineligible to provide therapeutic counseling to the emotionally ill. Since there is a scarcity of licensed bilingual/bicultural Asian mental health professionals in the United States, the directive would in effect deny services to many non-English/limited English speaking Asians in California.

Political representation
AACI’s leadership in fostering Asian involvement in the electoral process led to the formation of the AACI Community Empowerment Task Force in 1991. The group’s responsibility was to address political redistricting (the adoption of new county and city political boundaries) in both Santa Clara County and the City of San Jose. Task force members participated in the County’s redistricting commission, provided demographic information and ensured that perspectives vital to fair representation of the Asian communities were heard.

AACI’s study on the “Glass Ceiling” phenomenon, based on a survey of hundreds of Asian professionals in the Bay Area, was published in the fall of 1993. The study’s findings exposed the hiring and promotion barriers Asians encounter and facilitated action toward eliminating the barriers.

A new diabetes registry launched in 2009 allows AACI physicians to more closely monitor trends and patterns in patients’ health status and make appropriate care and treatment recommendations.

Civil rights
The Silicon Valley Asian American Voices project, publicly launched in March 2010, uses a website, social media, policy briefs and community dialogues to tell the stories of Asian immigrants to inspire action in support of immigrant communities.

AACI played a key leadership role in the 2010 census by canvassing neighborhoods to promote the importance of participation, conducting ethnic media outreach, and serving as a Census Questionnaire Assistance Center in order to bring adequate federal funds and resources to the local community. Participation rates increased 10% within AACI’s targeted neighborhoods.

AACI advocated for law enforcement to have more cultural sensitivity and mental health training in San Jose in response to police incidents involving Asian residents. AACI hosted community meetings, provided training and worked with city leaders to improve safety and communication.

1973 - Beginning

Official incorporation of Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI). AACI was founded by 12 community advocates to support and advocate for Southeast Asian refugees and began in the living room of one of the founders.

1982 - Civil Rights

AACI pressed for legal conviction after two disgruntled Detroit auto workers were acquitted for the racially motivated murder of 27-year old Vincent Chin.

Early 1990s - Mental Health

AACI played a key role in helping to reverse a directive that would deny valuable mental health services to non-English speakers.

1991- Political Represenation

AACI’s leadership led to the formation of a task force that addressed political redistricting and fair representation of ethnic communities.

2009 - Health

A new diabetes registry launched in 2009 allows AACI physicians to more closely monitor trends and patterns in patients’ health status.

2010 - Representation

AACI played a key leadership role in the 2010 national census and increased participation rates 10% within AACI’s targeted neighborhoods.


Each year AACI serves over 21,000 community members in over 40 different languages,. The majority of AACI clients are low-income individuals and families living in the Santa Clara County.

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