The National Association for Black Engagement with Asia, or NABEA (pronounced Nuh-bee-ah), is an organization dedicated to connecting black America with Asia. Our primary activities are to link black Asia specialists in a wide variety of industries and encourage them to initiate, sustain, or reimagine their engagement with Asia, as well as to empower young black Americans to pursue careers related to the Indo-Pacific. Through these efforts, we seek to increase the representation of black Americans engaging with Asia and build a mutually beneficial economic, social and cultural relationship between black America and Asia.
NABEA was founded in February 2019 by a group of early-career black Americans who have made engagement with Asia central to their lives. They all believed that engagement with Asia provides a unique experience to empower the black community on a global stage. They also recognized that the black experience in Asia contains unique challenges and that black voices are usually left out of US discourse on Asia. Black Asia specialists often feel isolated and disconnected from fellow black Asia specialists. Furthermore, black Americans are underrepresented among Americans that go to Asia, as well as participants in conferences, internships, and other activities integral to careers related to Asia. NABEA is setting out to change these dynamics by integrating existing black Asia specialists from business, academia, media, and policy into a mutually supportive community that uplifts black voices and is capable of engaging with a growing, influential, economically significant, and changing the Indo-Pacific.