Asset mapping for an Asian American community: Informal and formal resources for community building

Suzie S. Weng, University of North Florida


With the growth of the Asian American population in the Southern region of the United States, mainstream and Asian American community must be aware of both informal and formal supports that are available for the population in order to effectively address needs and allocate resources. This community-based project identified informal and mainstream support that is available to an Asian American community using asset mapping. The asset-based community development framework was used in which the capacities of the local people and their associations are recognized to be essential in building a more powerful community, to helping a community be more self-sustaining, and to developing better relationships among entities. This study provides an inventory of community assets that otherwise may have been ignored and thus has the potential to contribute to a better functioning Asian American community in Jacksonville, Florida. 719 assets were identified as available potential resources for members of the Asian American community with a majority as formal resources. Of the informal assets, a majority are organizations. In general, formal resources are centralized, whereas informal resources are more evenly distributed throughout the city. These results can contribute to the establishment of more culturally accessible services and utilization of services.