Originally known as the Coalition Against Anti-Asian Violence, CAAAV was founded in 1986 in response to an increase in violence against Asian communities throughout the United States. Now known as CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities, CAAAV has worked to document and publicize cases of anti-Asian violence, advocate for victims, and raise awareness about racial violence and police brutality. As its membership grew in the late 1980s and early 1990s, CAAAV expanded its scope to include a wide range of political, social, and economic issues affecting Asian and Asian American communities. Over the years CAAAV has been involved in a number of social justice causes, including protests for fair working conditions, anti-war demonstrations, and campaigns for language access and fair housing. Former CAAAV programs have become independent community organizations such as the New York City Taxi Workers’ Alliance, Domestic Workers United, and Mekong NYC.
CAAAV has aided in community organizing efforts and began offering training programs for new organizers in the early 1990s. CAAAV’s work has included advocacy for Chinatown street vendors, helping tenants organize against unfair landlords, and taking part in coalitions to make language accessible to immigrants and ensure development on the Lower East Side is responsible and accountable to low-income residents. In addition, CAAAV has also developed leadership programs for young people, including the Youth Leadership Project. In 2012, hundreds of CAAAV members and volunteers served as first responders in the Chinatown area in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. CAAAV is currently involved in a rezoning campaign to fight the effects of gentrification in Chinatown, two programs to organize low-income Asian immigrants in Chinatown and Queensbridge Public Housing, and an internship program called Asian Youth in Action which serves low-income immigrant communities.
In 1988, CAAAV began publishing a newsletter known as VOICE, which reported on news events, updated its readership on CAAAV’s ongoing campaigns, and covered social and political developments that would affect Asian American, immigrant, and refugee communities.
Survey conducted: June 26, 2017
Size: Approximately 23 linear feet
Dates (inclusive): 1987-2009
Dates (bulk): 1999-2009
The bulk of the collection consists of internal administrative material dating from 2005-2009, including financial records, personnel records, bank statements, invoices, tax documents, and paychecks. This material measures approximately 9.5 linear feet in total, including: 4 linear feet of mixed financial, personnel, and HR files, 1.5 linear feet of expenses, 1 linear foot of invoices, 2 linear feet of paychecks, and 1 linear foot of miscellaneous financial records. The vast majority of the collection is in English, with a few documents in Chinese.
Included within the boxes of administrative material are documents related to fundraising events, workshops, program training, media outreach, and the 2009 Strategic Planning Retreat. There are also meeting agendas and planning documents for the Women Workers Project and Jobs for Justice.
There are 3 linear feet of material related to VOICE, the official CAAAV newsletter. The VOICE collection includes issues from fall 1989 to fall 1999 and from spring 2003 to fall 2008, as well as the fall 2000 issue. Included alongside the newsletters are flyers, programs, and bulletins.
The collection also includes 4.5 linear feet of video content dating from 1987-1999. Many of the videos are on VHS tapes which are stored either in plastic bags or in plastic and paper cases. There are also audio cassettes, compact video cassettes, CDs, zip disks, and still photographs. One linear foot of the video collection consists of copies of “Chinatown is Not For Sale.” The rest of the collection includes footage of interviews, parties and events, rallies, protests and demonstrations, gatherings, and news coverage. Included is half a linear foot of commercially available content.
There are 2 linear feet of photos in various formats, depicting rallies, actions, meetings, dinners, and news coverage. The photos date from 1992-2002 and are stored on floppy disks, CDs, and in photo albums; there are also loose photographs and VHS tapes.
The collection contains 4 linear feet of material related to the Youth Leadership Project. These materials date from 1999-2008 and include job descriptions, permits, flyers, progress reports, resource sheets, guidelines, legal documents, resumes, and work plans, as well as documents related to the Women Workers Project, the Peace Action Committee, and GROWL.
The collection also includes two flat files containing decorative artwork.