FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                    Media Contact: Lauren Oto
April 20, 2022                                                              

The PepsiCo Foundation Joins Business Partnership to Combat the Rise of Hate Crimes in California with Heightened Awareness, Training and Support 

SACRAMENTO, CALIF., April 20, 2022 – “AAPI Strong,” the anti-hate awareness and education effort organized by California’s largest Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) business association, received a big endorsement and a substantial financial support this week from PepsiCo’s Philanthropic arm, the PepsiCo Foundation

“At PepsiCo, we know that our global company can only succeed when our associates and the communities we serve thrive,” said Roberto Azevêdo, EVP, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer and Chairman of Board of Directors, PepsiCo Foundation. “That’s why we are teaming up with the CalAsian Chamber of Commerce, its Foundation, and other corporate partners to support a diverse, equitable and inclusive California where everyone has a voice and is valued.” 

The California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce Foundation organized and launched “AAPI Strong” last fall with a lead investment from Verizon and underwriting from PG&E and East West Bank to combat the significant rise of hate crimes against Asian American and Pacific Islanders, which intensified during the pandemic. Already the program has reached more than 50,000 AAPI and small businesses across the state with professionally-led trainings, regional roundtables, and culturally relevant resources. 

“Asians can be an easy target,” said Pat Fong Kushida, President and CEO of CalAsian, commenting on the spike in xenophobia and hate directed at Asians during the COVID-19 lockdown. “Many of us are taught from birth not to make waves. It’s not typical for us to step out or speak up when injustice and discrimination target our businesses and our communities. Well, no more. Thanks to the PepsiCo Foundation’s endorsement of AAPI Strong California and their financial commitment, we can do even more to put an end to the historic inequities that harm our AAPI communities with awareness and understanding.” 

Thirty six (36%) of all hate crimes targeting AAPIs occur at businesses, according to a recent study by Stop AAPI Hate, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that tracks incidents of hate and discrimination across the U.S. More than 6,200 hate incidents were reported to Stop AAPI Hate in 2021 of which nearly half occurred in public places, with Chinese Americans the largest victim group of the incidents (42.8%). Accounts include verbal abuse, physical assault, harassment, denial of service, discrimination, and shunning. 

AAPI Strong California is part of the nationwide #AAPISTRONG movement led by the National Asian Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurship, or National ACE. Designed for all AAPIs and those supporting them, AAPI Strong California works in-language, with cultural competency, in community, to break down the barriers of hate, bias, and discrimination in order to make permanent change. 

Working with authorities, the CalAsian Foundation is delivering trainings and resources in several languages in major metros across California aimed at safeguarding AAPI businesses and their employees, customers and suppliers, supporting hate crime reporting, and educating consumers and residents about what they can do to reduce racism and discrimination. 

To learn more about how you can get involved in AAPI Strong California, click here

To combat the rise in Anti-Asian violence and to support the AAPIA community, PepsiCo, its brands and The PepsiCo Foundation have made donations to Stop AAPI Hate and the Asian-American Business Development Center (AABDC) to support small businesses. Click here to learn more. 

The CalAsian Chamber was founded in 2010 to give a voice to the over 600,000 AAPI-owned businesses in California. Today, CalAsian is the largest statewide ethnic chamber in the state and operates three federal business centers, dozens of programs providing technical and financial assistance to small business, and a foundation offering leadership and workforce development programs. Click here to learn more. 

# # # 

About PepsiCo 

PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $79 billion in net revenue in 2021, driven by a complementary beverage and convenient foods portfolio that includes Lay’s, Doritos, Cheetos, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Mountain Dew, Quaker, and SodaStream. PepsiCo’s product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including many iconic brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales. 

Guiding PepsiCo is our vision to Be the Global Leader in Beverages and Convenient Foods by Winning with PepsiCo Positive (pep+). pep+ is our strategic end-to-end transformation that puts sustainability at the center of how we will create value and growth by operating within planetary boundaries and inspiring positive change for planet and people. For more information, visit 

About The PepsiCo Foundation 

Established in 1962, The PepsiCo Foundation, the philanthropic arm of PepsiCo, invests in the essential elements of a sustainable food system with a mission to support thriving communities. Working with non-profits and experts around the globe, we’re focused on helping communities obtain access to food security, safe water and economic resilience. We strive for tangible impact in the places where we live and work—collaborating with industry peers, local and international organizations, and our employees to affect large-scale change on the issues that matter to us and are of global importance. Learn more at