New Report Uncovers Unmet Needs For At-Risk New York-Area AANHPI Communities From Harlem And Beyond

January 18, 2024

Change InSight, a first-of-its-kind data platform, today released a report detailing major barriers to equity facing at-risk Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities in the New York area.

The report defined significant challenges based on surveys of more than 1,600 AANHPI individuals receiving social services from eight New York-area nonprofits.

Change InSight surveys participants to collect social drivers of health (SDOH) data, which measure the conditions in which people live, work, play, or worship, such as transportation access, poverty, and elevated stress levels. Using this data, community-based organizations, health officials, and elected leaders can better allocate resources to improve the well-being of the communities they serve.

“In public health, data is our superpower, and disaggregated data that lifts up the specific needs of our diverse communities – including AANHPI New Yorkers – is essential,” said Dr. Ashwin Vasan, New York City Health Commissioner. “I am proud to see our local nonprofits step up to fill in gaps that are sometimes harder for large institutional data collection to fill, and this project is creating a roadmap for a more equitable future for AANHPI and other underrepresented communities in our great city, and beyond.”

Key findings from New York-area respondents include:

  • 75% of Asian Indian respondents have limited English proficiency
  • 69% of Bangladeshi respondents live in poverty
  • 57% of Chinese respondents have less than a high school education

“CACF is proud to have brought eight of our member organizations together to collaborate with Change InSight on this vital new survey of the New Yorkers served by our coalition,” said Vanessa Leung and Anita Gundanna, Co-Executive Directors of the New York-based Coalition for Asian American Children and Families (CACF). “These new findings highlight the continued need for increased investment in language access, poverty alleviation, and culturally responsive health care and illustrate how clear, comprehensive data on our diverse AAPI communities is a key tool to creating strong and effective policies that lift up the most marginalized Asian American New Yorkers.”

Many data sources, including official national data collection efforts like the U.S. Census, often aggregate the nation’s more than 50 AANHPI ethnic groups into a generic “Asian American” umbrella category. This is a dangerous practice that disregards the fact that a west coast city’s Chinese population may face different challenges than an east coast city’s Korean population. 

“This report, ‘Community Counts,’ contains critically important findings,” said Paul Luu, CEO of Chicago’s Chinese American Service League (CASL), the founding nonprofit behind Change InSight. “The report illustrates the key risk factors for the communities we serve, and how they overlap. For example, someone with limited English proficiency may struggle to attain higher education or access health care, which can lead to greater health complications in the future. Quantifying these risks for individual communities helps nonprofits, policymakers, and funders make data-informed decisions that will lead to improved outcomes for at-risk people.”

The following New York-area organizations contributed to the second annual Change InSight report, titled “Community Counts”: CACF; the National Federation of Filipino American  Associations (NaFFAA) New York Chapter; South Asian Council for Social Services (SACSS)Grand St. SettlementUnited Chinese Association of BrooklynChinese-American Planning Council (CPC)Hamilton Madison House; and Council Of Peoples Organizing (COPO).

This year’s report was based on survey responses from a total of 5,932 AANHPI individuals receiving social services from 19 partner nonprofits in New York; Chicago; Champaign, Ill.; Seattle; Los Angeles; and Houston. 

For additional findings from the New York area and across the country, and to view a full list of partner agencies, visit

Coalition for Asian American Children and Families (CACF)

The Coalition for Asian American Children and Families is the only pan-Asian children and families’ advocacy organization in the United States which brings together community-based organizations as well as youth and community allies to fight for equity for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. 

Change InSight

Change InSight, a national network of partner nonprofits, is a first-of-its-kind platform that surveys Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (AANHPI) and other underrepresented communities to identify and track health risks. Change InSight amplifies the voice of these communities by helping organizations harness the power of data to break stereotypes perpetuating systemic racism and generational trauma. By uplifting the needs of vulnerable communities, the collaborative galvanizes fellow nonprofits, elected officials, and funders to act. To learn more, please visit

The Chinese American Service League (CASL)

For over 40 years, CASL’s comprehensive programs have connected families and individuals with the vital support they need: providing an educational and cultural foundation for our children, ensuring our seniors live full and independent lives with dignity, enhancing education and training for tomorrow’s workforce, putting immigrants on the pathway to citizenship, securing our community’s housing and financial well-being, navigating healthcare systems and wellness resources, and providing equal access to justice. Since our founding, CASL has been rooted in the principles of equity and justice. That legacy continues to shape our efforts today as we strive to champion diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility at all levels of the organization.

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