Our paths converged in 2020, a defining personal year for us.
Aware of the constraints of traditional fund structures that fail to meet the needs of BIPOC communities, we sought a model that would allow for personal and community transformation and express solidarity and our cultural identities and values as we define them. This led us to re-discover the centuries old model of informal giving circles, which are built on the traditions of largely women-run mutual aid and beneficial societies for community support.
We envisioned a decentralized, community aligned fund model that was free of institutional constraints. As organizers from our lived experiences, we also understood the power of political education in seeing the systems of oppression that exist in our daily lives, especially in capital management. Our evolving praxis led us to co-create a dream of cultivating a community-led resource pool that would organize Asian Americans with class privilege to move resources towards Black- and Indigenous-led organizations. And, led us to ask, what if this pool could be a permanent, well-resourced vehicle for community capital, a living solidarity fund? From this space of radical imagination, LUNAR emerged.
LUNAR is equal parts community circle and fund.
Asian Americans engage in transformational learning, community building, and resource mobilization through a giving circle model and move integrated capital to communities most impacted by white supremacy as a form of wealth redistribution and reparations. Through our giving circle model, we cultivate an investment thesis that leads to cross cultural power building and healing, while funding organizations that are building an equitable future. These investment principles that come from our giving circles inform and prototype toward a larger $20M integrated capital solidarity fund. LUNAR brings together our deep relationships and work with Asian American community, our experiences raising and moving capital, and our shared commitment to racial justice, in a way that feels more integrated than anything we have ever done before. The money is essential, but even more so are the relationships--new and old--, the acknowledgement of where we come from, our interconnectedness in shared struggle, and the pursuit of our life’s work in building towards collective liberation.