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On March 16, 2021, a gunman took the lives of eight people, six of them Asian women, in a series of shootings in Atlanta, Georgia. Although investigations are ongoing, it's clear that this crime was motivated by racism and misogyny. Yet, it is but one in a series of recent violent attacks against Asian Americans. This devastating tragedy deserves all of our condemnation, and reminds us again that racism is not just a part of our nation's past—it is an ever-present crisis.
Anti-Asian racism is not at all new in the U.S., but the staggering truth is that:
- Hate crimes against Asian Americans surged by nearly 150% during the COVID-19 pandemic, even while overall hate crimes decreased by 7%, according to a recent report by California State University, San Bernardino.
- A report published this week by Stop AAPI Hate revealed that nearly 3,800 anti-Asian hate incidents were reported between March 2020 and February 2021, with women reporting hate incidents at 2.3 times the rate of men.
- According to Pew Research, 58% of Asian adults said it was more common for people to express racist views about Asian people than it was before the pandemic. 31% said they had been subject to racist slurs or jokes.
This surge in anti-Asian racism happens as white supremacy has been steadily on the rise and has led to egregious acts of domestic terrorism across the country. We stand with our Asian and Asian American community members everywhere. We’ve pulled resources and tips directly from AAPI groups who are leading this work (credited and linked throughout), and created a list of ways you can help take action and support our Asian American communities. Please share this guide or any others you find useful, and together let’s keep fighting for an anti-racist world for all.
1. Donate to (or share) the work of these organizations.
- Asian Americans Advancing Justice (Atlanta) has created a donation page. All donations will go to the victims and their families impacted by the shootings on March 16.
- Stop AAPI Hate
- AAPI Women Lead
- Asian Pacific Environmental Network
- Community Action Fund - GoFundMe page created by org Hate is a Virus
2. Sign on in support.
- Add your name to this collective statement by Asian Americans Advancing Justice (Atlanta): A Community-Centered Response to Violence Against Asian American Communities
3. Demand more from leaders.
- Contact your representatives and ask them what they’re doing to support the Asian community right now. Tell them it’s important to you that they speak up and take action on this issue. Call 1-844-USA-0234 and enter your zip code to be connected with your representatives, or text RESIST to 50409.
4. Be actively anti-racist.
Call out racism, microaggressions and prejudices, including the “model minority” myth, which can lead to a lack of anti-Asian racism advocacy work.
- "Stop that."
- "That's inappropriate."
- "I don't condone any kind of racism."
- Educate others and raise awareness.
- Hold yourself and others accountable and unlearn toxic views now so they don’t foster within the next generations.
5. Find more ways to take action here.
By Dr. Mary
Everyone is on a journey at some point in their lives. As I approach 50 this year, I reflect on my life and ask what have I done? I have five degrees including a doctorate but feel I have not reached my full potential.
What have I really accomplished? What have I contributed to my community? What am I going to leave between the dash of 1969 and ---? What legacy will I leave for my children?
So, this year I have embarked on a journey to “find myself.” Several times I have asked myself: ‘What do you want to do when you grow up?’ It seems I know more of what I don’t want, than what I want. What is my passion and my purpose in life? I want to know, ‘what was I sent on Earth to do? What has the Creator gifted me to do’?
One of the first things I did was fast and pray. At the time, I was teaching elementary school and was miserable. I kept looking for alternate employment before I left but found nothing, and the more I prayed it seemed the worse things got on the job; I finally took a leap of faith and quit.
I began putting things in place to begin my practice, all the while thinking there has got to be more that I’m supposed to do. I am currently an entertainment writer but that I do as a side gig; I love my work but still want more. I have taken many one-day workshops, read self-help books, spoken to life coaches, attended a wellness conference and completed the CLEAR program. The CLEAR program is one thing that brought about an ‘aha’ moment.
CLEAR (Community Leadership on the Environment Advocacy and Resiliency) Miami is a Climate Resilience Leadership program which “provides graduates with a groundwork to become climate resilience educators, leaders, and innovators in their own communities and beyond.” When I first heard about this program --- that it was 10 weeks, free dinner and project at the end -- I said, ‘oh no, not for me’. I am not interested in climate change although I believe it is real, but after a couple weeks of being unemployed, I thought why not, it’s something to do and I may just learn something.
CLEAR is a part of Catalyst Miami which was founded by Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava as the Human Services Coalition. Its “defining role is to identify and launch innovative community building strategies.” Their vision is “A just and equitable society in which all communities thrive.” Their mission statement is, “To identify and collectively solve issues adversely affecting low-wealth communities throughout Miami-Dade County.”
CLEAR Miami has been one of the most rewarding trainings for me. I have never thought about climate/social change but as the weeks went on I felt myself falling in love with social change. I have always been interested in helping the community and done several volunteer jobs, but CLEAR is helping me take it to the next level.
One of its requirements is to develop a program and present it at the end of the course. The project I am designing involves incarcerated individuals and while it is in the infancy stages, it gets more exciting as the time goes by. It’s too early to say I’ve found the answers to my questions, but I have made great progress. Going outside my comfort zone led me to a place I would not otherwise be unable to conceive.
If you are like me and feel that there is more to life than where you are currently be patient with yourself. Trust the process, take the time to explore, go outside of your comfort zone, be open. There are many books, coaches, counselors and psychologist who will help. Choose a path that’s best for you, and as Nike says, ‘Just Do It’. It is such a rewarding feeling to think, ‘this feels right’, or get that ‘Aha!’ moment.
Don’t settle for less. Life is short and we only have one life to live. Live yours!
This article first appeared in I Am Queen magazine in October 2019.
As millions across the country denounce the senseless killings of Black people at the hands of police, George Floyd among the most recent, and racial injustice in our national institutions, Catalyst Miami stands with our Black brothers and sisters in unequivocal solidarity. We are horrified by these acts of injustice – tragedies that are painfully familiar. Our Black communities have long suffered the downstream effects of racism, and most recently the disproportionate impact of COVID-19. We grieve with our Black friends, colleagues and fellow citizens; moreover, we wholeheartedly commit to turning our collective grief into action.
We will continue investing our time, energy and resources in our Black communities, who have been historically marginalized. We will keep seeking out ways to create more equity and opportunity. We will work hard to achieve policy changes that address systemic injustices and hold people of color back. And we will continue showing up and speaking out in defense of the intrinsic value of Black lives, until we are all treated with equal dignity and respect.
It’s going to take all of us to dismantle the deep-rooted racism that has existed since this country’s founding and create a more just world. We must openly and intently listen to the lived experiences of our Black brothers and sisters. And we must actively confront and challenge any racism we witness in our daily lives. The moment is now to stand up, demand change, and speak the inarguable truth that Black lives matter.
A Call to Allies:
Non-Black people have a responsibility to find and act in ways that support and advance racial justice. Allies must take action to end the visible and invisible racism in our communities. Here’s a list of anti-racist resources, shared by FIU, and here is Medium's 75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice. Below is our list of 7 things you can do - now and long-term - most of which were shared by Paul Carrick Brunson:
- Donate. – Check out organizations like the Minnesota Freedom Fund, who are bailing out protestors and providing supplies on the ground. Also, the National Bail Fund Network has a full directory of bail funds by state.
- Attend a protest or march. – There are peaceful protests scheduled around the world. We understand people’s caution about taking to the streets, especially since we’re still going through a pandemic. For anyone who can do so safely, we encourage you to show up.
- Educate yourself. – Remember to not expect or task your Black colleagues and community members to teach you right now. In addition to Paul’s top 10 reads (and videos) on U.S. and British racism, we recommend How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi, White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo, and So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo.
- Vote (not just in federal elections). – At the ballot is where we can most effectively create change. Find out when your local elections are. As President Obama said, “The elected officials who matter most in reforming police departments and the criminal justice system work at the state and local levels.” Also, hold lawmakers responsible through calls.
- Buy from Black-owned businesses. – Invest in Black-owned businesses. As Paul says, “Political power follows economic power. Not sure where to start? SBO has a directory of Black Owned Businesses.” Check out supportblackowned.com/help/faq for inspiration.
- Make your long-term strategy. – How can you make a long-term impact or affect change? Can you mentor a young person, or volunteer? Can you support an organization that works to advance racial equity and justice? Make the effort to do something meaningful over a long period.