Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is underway, and this week, Facebook has announced a range of new events to help promote API businesses, and support API communities, which have been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As explained by Facebook:
"Small businesses have been devastated by the pandemic, and women-and diverse-owned businesses have been even harder hit. A recent study shows API-owned businesses have been the most negatively impacted of all demographic groups, with a 20% decrease of working business owners from February to December last year."
Even more recently, Asian communities have been subjected increased attacks and race-based violence, stemming from the pandemic, which makes this year's API Heritage Month an even more important event for showing support, and standing in solidarity with API people.
To help with this, Facebook has pledged $2 million in support of the API small business community, which it will allocate to business owners and groups to help raise awareness of API-owned brands.
In addition to this, Facebook's also launching a new “Support Asian-owned businesses” promotion which will be displayed in user News Feeds throughout the month.
As you can see here, the new promotion will help to maximize awareness of API-owned businesses by showcasing their products and offers direct in the main feed.
Facebook will also spotlight API-owned businesses in collections within Facebook Shops and Instagram Shops throughout the month.
And finally, Facebook is also running a week-long 'Amplify API' event, through which it will provide resources, training and inspiration that "showcases the API community’s rich diversity, and helps people discover API-owned small businesses".
"The week will include dedicated training and entrepreneur spotlights to fuel future growth, including a fireside conversation with Roy Choi, a renowned restaurateur and business leader."
There's a range of celebrity-lead events info sessions being held throughout the week. You can register for the Amplify API event here.
These announcements come in addition to Facebook's already launched comment warning features on Facebook, which will now incorporate prompts on harmful language that may impact the API community, as well as a push to #StopAsianHate in the US. Facebook has also added new stickers and AR tools to help users celebrate API Heritage Month.
Again, given the current situation in relation to our API communities, it's more important than ever that people show support where they can, and these new initiatives will help to further raise awareness among Facebook users.