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CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities, formerly known as the Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence, was founded in New York City in 1986. In its early years, CAAAV was part of a nationwide mobilization addressing the rise in violence against Asian Americans. In the 1990s, the organization shifted from responding to individual cases of police and hate violence to addressing the root causes of racialized systemic violence. Over the years, CAAAV has organized South Asian taxi drivers and Filipina domestic workers for labor rights, Cambodian and Vietnamese families in the Bronx for access to social services, and Chinatown tenants and public housing residents for better living conditions and the right to housing. CAAAV’s current mission is to build the leadership of low-income Asian immigrant and refugee communities in New York City to fight for institutional change within a broader movement for racial, economic, and gender justice. For more information on CAAAV’s current work, visit caaav.org.

About the CAAAV Archive Project

CAAAV has accumulated thousands of documents, photographs, and audiovisual materials that demonstrate over three decades of community organizing in low-income Asian immigrant and refugee communities in New York City. In the summer of 2014, Vivian Truong and Minju Bae initiated a project to preserve, digitize, and make these archival materials accessible. Highlights of the archive’s collections include a full run of the organization’s newsletter, CAAAV Voice, printed from 1988 to 2008, recordings of oral histories conducted with women leaders of the organization in 2016, and digitized photographs and VHS tapes of organizational activities from the 1980s and 1990s.

Since the beginning and by design, the project has been a grassroots effort, prioritizing the organization’s autonomy over its archives. In the spirit of a community-centered archival process, the archive project has been a tool of political education for CAAAV members and staff, as well as volunteers and students. For example, members of the youth program at CAAAV - Asian Youth in Action - conducted oral histories and digitized photographs, and students of the project directors have contributed to the archive project through close readings of photographs and curation of exhibits and resource guides. Additionally, the project has facilitated the creation of a Chinatown map and organizational timeline that are both hanging on the walls of the CAAAV’s storefront, framing current and future program areas in CAAAV’s historical role in shaping the past.

This project is a living archive. We will continue to upload materials that have been digitized by members and volunteers. As much as this project preserves the past, it is an act of concurrent and future documentation. If you have materials that you would like to donate, please email us at archive [at] caaav.org.

How to Navigate this Site

Where to begin? The organization’s newsletter collection provides the most comprehensive history of the organization’s activity from 1988 to 2008. We recommend starting here.

You can also explore student-curated exhibits on themes and topics in CAAAV history, and find student-authored resources

Interested in a specific topic, event, or other aspect of CAAAV’s history? You can search for specific materials using keywords in the search box in the upper right hand corner of the site. To conduct an advanced search, please use the ellipsis icon in the search bar. Or click here to search by tag. 

Just want to explore? Browse our recently uploaded items here.

Rights and Permissions

For educational or nonprofit use of the collected materials, we ask that you engage in a just citational practice that identifies where and what you have used from the CAAAV digital archive. If you would like to quote or reference materials from the archive under the guidelines of fair use, here is a citation that we suggest: 

[Author if applicable], [Item title or description], Date, CAAAV digital archive.

Additionally, for high-resolution files or reproduction for commercial use, please contact us at archive [at] caaav.org.

Takedown Notice

CAAAV staff members and volunteers maintain the  CAAAV digital archive. We have made every attempt to secure all necessary rights to the material included in this site. If you are a rights holder and believe your materials have been added to our digital archive without your permission, or if you have any other concerns about the materials available online (i.e. security, privacy, or otherwise), please email archive[at]caaav.org and include your contact information, the related URL, and the reason you wish to have the material removed.