Grant announcement – The Center on Gender Equity and Health (GEH) receives grant to study violence and discrimination affecting Asian Californians as part of a $1.1 million University of California initiative

 In GEH Blog, Press Room

San Diego, Feb28, 2023 — The Center on Gender Equity and Health (GEH) at the University of California, San Diego is the recipient of a grant to support research on violence affecting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) communities in California.  The Statewide Behavioral Surveillance on Asian Californians’ Experiences of Violence and Discrimination and Their Impacts on Mental Health grant will deploy the first, statewide survey focused on Asian Californians to assess their experiences of violence, views on firearms, and mental health needs.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to expand our understanding of violence and discrimination experiences affecting Asian Californians from across the state, as well as the mental health toll these experiences have had in our communities under the pandemic,” said Prof. Anita Raj, Principal Investigator of the study and Director of GEH “This is an exceptional opportunity for our research group to collaborate with community organizations to address a growing crisis for our communities.”

Recent mass shooting events in the state underscore the importance of this work in California, which GEH will conduct in collaboration with leading organizations committed to the health and safety of Asian communities in California, including the AAPI Equity Alliance, the Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence, and Chinese for Affirmative Action.

GEH’s new study will go into the field in March 2023 and will offer insight into subgroups of Asian Californians and the needs of these communities. The study will be part of GEH’s CalVEX survey, a statewide representative survey with California adults, which has been examining violence and health trends in the state annually since 2020, with funding from Blue Shield of California Foundation and survey implementation from NORC at the University of Chicago.

Prior findings from CalVEX indicate an increase in violence in California and an increase in both experiences of discrimination and in firearm ownership among Asian Californians. Prior work, however, did not sample sufficient numbers of Asians to allow for analyses by Asian heritage (i.e., Chinese, Filipino, and Indian).

The research is one of an array of studies funded under the AAPI Data project at the University of California Riverside, with Professor Karthick Ramakrishnan as the founder and co-director. AAPI Data awarded $1.1 million in grants to research teams at five UC campuses with the goal of supporting evidence-based policy recommendations for AAPI communities in California. The University of California, Riverside was able to guide these research funds as part of a $10 million allocation to AAPI Data provided by the state Legislature in 2021. These funds were part of the $166.5 million Asian and Pacific Islander Equity Budget approved by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

For more information about this work, please contact Anita Raj at or Jennifer Yore at

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