Our History

The Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community is the fastest growing racial group in the United States, with a growth rate over four times higher than that of the nation as a whole. In March 1999, community leaders and activists recognized the need for a national organization that could be a vehicle for advocacy and policy analysis related to issues facing low-income AAPI communities.

In June of the same year, representatives of 16 organizations met in Seattle to plan the coalition, creating the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development, or National CAPACD, pronounced "National Capacity." The first convention was held in 2000 in conjunction with a celebration of President Clinton's new White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

We have grown and changed since those early days. Our membership has increased from 15 organizations to over 100. Over the course of the last several years, we’ve learned a lot about how best to help our members advance the interests of their communities. We have forged strong partnerships with other civil rights and advocacy groups. We have built a strong reputation in Washington, building relationships in Congress, the White House, and key federal agencies. And we have worked to effectively shift the national discourse on AAPIs and community development issues.


For our 15th Anniversary, National CAPACD took a step back to reflect on the collective impact of our coalition since its inception.

To read our 15th Anniversary report, click here.