We are the New York Coalition of AAPI Churches (New York CAAPIC), a group of pastors, ministry leaders, students, artists, and professionals—Christians from all walks of life integrating our faith in the public sphere through civic engagement and community building. We are working together to be “good neighbors” in the city, living out the Gospel through advocacy, community outreach, youth engagement, and mental health awareness.
The Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Christian community in New York City has not historically been actively engaged in large-scale public responses to anti-Asian violence. However, this appears to be changing. In response to the March 16, 2021 Atlanta spa shootings, a public prayer rally organized by local pastors was held in Union Square (Manhattan), in solidarity with the AAPI community in 11 other cities and in collaboration with the Asian American Christian Collaborative (AACC).
In the spring of 2021, Grace Choi, a political consultant, was invited to start the New York chapter of the national Coalition of Asian American Pacific Islander Churches (CAAPIC) co-founded by Janna Louie, Kathy Khang, and Sabrina Chan. Grace and her co-leader, Trevor Agatsuma, with Intervarsity Christian Fellowship Graduate and Faculty Ministries at NYU, have shepherded this emerging chapter over the past year into action. The NY CAAPIC now consists of 20 or so pastors and ministry leaders from AAPI Christian churches and communities across New York City. Its main activities have been engaging with politicians, organizing a prayer rally and solidarity walk, speaking at interfaith and civic forums, and creating space for lament and prayer.