Updated: April 2021

Community Outreach—AAPI Populations

Our work in Asian-American Pacific Islander communities

Consumer Action, a national nonprofit consumer education and advocacy group since 1971, serves the Asian-American Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities through its multilingual publications, educational seminars, training programs, stipend programs, in-language media outreach, consumer hotline and comprehensive website at www.consumer–action.org.

Free in-language publications

Consumer Action distributes free financial and consumer literacy publications to a network of more than 6,000 community-based organizations, including 620 agencies serving AAPI communities in 49 states and Washington D.C. Most of these brochures and training materials are available in three Asian languages: Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean. New publications are added to our multilingual library regularly.

These materials are available in HTML format (for online reading) and in PDF format (for download). A PDF file enables you to produce a professional-looking brochure using your office printer, for your own personal use or to distribute to consumers. Online access to these materials provides a cost-effective way for agencies with limited funding to meet the needs of their varied AAPI communities.

Consumer Action's translators have a strong in-language education background. They stay current on regional terminology and the language preferences of diverse communities. For example, Chinese readers, regardless of the region of the world from which they hail, can understand the wide range of novel financial, consumer and privacy concepts regularly covered in our publications. Our experienced translators can swiftly turn projects around, allowing us to deliver up-to-the-minute information.

Consumer hotline

Consumer Action operates an information and referral hotline that helps Chinese-, English- and Spanish-speaking consumers. Consumers from across the country can contact us by phone (415-777-9635) or on the web. Our diverse, multilingual counselors are familiar with the issues often encountered by Asian immigrant consumers, from travel industry misrepresentations to discriminatory credit and lending. Consumers who contact us learn about their rights and about the steps they can take, regardless of language barriers, to resolve their complaints. Our Chinese hotline has no shortage of calls; consumers regularly tell us that they learned of the hotline when Consumer Action staff were interviewed on TV or radio, or that they were referred by friends and local community agencies.

Media outreach

Consumer Action has maintained a strong relationship with local and national AAPI media outlets over many decades. Our outreach staff is in regular contact with reporters regarding our latest news releases, consumer protection alerts and new educational publications. Consumer Action staff regularly participate in interviews with newspapers, online news sites, TV and radio. Recent interview topics have included social media scams, travel issues (such as unlicensed sellers of travel), and several pandemic-era concerns. In interviews about our COVID-19 Resource Guide (available in Chinese here), our staff educated consumers on obtaining unemployment assistance, finding food banks, and more. One of our contacts at a Chinese radio station shared some news we love to hear: Listeners are calling in to say, "Please keep inviting Consumer Action back to your station!"

Training Programs

Consumer Action’s commitment to multilingual education extends well beyond the written word. Our multicultural staff, comprising Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Indonesian, Latino, African American and Caucasian workers, conducts train-the-trainer education for the staff of community groups nationwide to provide them with the knowledge and materials to educate clients and consumers. Consumer Action creates, publishes and distributes education and training materials and provides training support to these community groups—hundreds of which serve AAPI communities—on a continual basis.

On occasion, Consumer Action makes mini-grants, typically ranging from $3,500 to $10,000, available to community-based organizations to provide financial education in underserved communities using our free materials.

Educational partnerships

Consumer Action works in educational partnerships with all segments of the community, including government agencies, major corporations, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations and churches, and agencies serving people of color, seniors, people with disabilities and recent immigrants. For more information about engaging Consumer Action to help you achieve your consumer education objectives, please contact Executive Director Ken McEldowney by email or at 510-333-4886, or Kathy Li, director of our San Francisco office.


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