Eight people, including many women of Asian descent, were killed in shootings at Atlanta-area massage parlors on Tuesday, prompting a reckoning over rising rates of anti-Asian violence that have dramatically increased in the U.S. since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A recent study from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, found that while overall rates of hate crimes in the country decreased by 7% in 2020, anti-Asian hate crimes surged by 149%. Nearly 3,800 anti-Asian hate incidents were reported between March 19, 2020 and Feb. 28, 2021, with women reporting hate incidents at 2.3 times the rate of men, according to a report published this week from Stop AAPI Hate. The Stop AAPI Hate reporting center was launched in March 2020 in response to xenophobic sentiments and to track attacks against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the U.S.
A suspect in the shootings, Robert Aaron Long, has been charged with eight counts of murder after being taken into custody. While police say Long has denied the killings were racially motivated, the incident has sparked outcry for an end to anti-Asian violence. Since the shootings, the hashtag #StopAsianHate has trended on Twitter as individuals expressed solidarity with Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI).
Here are some ways to support the AAPI community, from helping to report hate incidents to donating to nonprofits to volunteering.
Report hate incidents
The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA)—a group of 50,000 Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors and law students—has curated a list of resources that include everything from explaining the difference between a hate crime and a hate incident to detailing ways to report hate crimes to law enforcement. It has also launched a pro bono Hate Crimes Task Force to offer legal resources to victims. You can submit a request through an intake form.
There are also a number of community organizations you can report hate crimes and hate incidents to. Many of these organizations work to collect data and stories in order to advocate for policy changes and to inform where services are needed for more effective response and prevention against anti-Asian attacks. You can report a hate incident to Stop AAPI Hate, which has aggregated data since March 2020 and has regularly published its findings. You can also share an incident through the Stand Against Hatred page launched by Asian Americans Advancing Justice, which is an affiliation of five organizations based in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. that advocate for the civil and human rights of Asian Americans and underserved groups. Both Stop AAPI Hate and Asian Americans Advancing Justice’s forms are available in multiple languages besides English.
The Atlanta chapter of Asian Americans Advancing Justice has created a donation page aimed at supporting the victims and their families impacted by the shootings on March 16.
A number of campaigns have been launched in the past few months as violence toward the AAPI community has surged. In early March, GoFundMe launched #StopAsianHate in collaboration with the organizations Gold House and the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE). The page curates local fundraisers from across the nation, uplifting efforts to support hate crime victims and increase protection and security for AAPI communities. GoFundMe also established the Support the AAPI Community Fund, with the goal of raising $1 million that will be distributed to grassroots organizations. Also accepting donations is the CommUNITY Action Fund set up by Hate Is a Virus, which aims to raise $1 million for both national and local efforts supporting the AAPI community.
The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) is dedicated to creating change for AAPI women and girls through methods including policy change and legal advocacy. You can donate here. To support migrant workers and sex workers, Red Canary Song is a grassroots Chinese massage parlor worker coalition fighting for labor rights and advocating for Asian migrant communities and sex working communities. The organization is accepting funds through its website.
Heart of Dinner delivers lunches and fresh produce to New York City’s elderly Asian American community, which you can donate to here. There are also ways to support local Chinatowns, where businesses have been severely impacted since the pandemic began. Send Chinatown Love has set up a page with individual fundraisers for New York-based, Asian-owned businesses. To contribute to funds for businesses in Oakland and San Francisco’s Chinatowns, Save Our Chinatowns has set up this GoFundMe page.
You can also support the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, which works to promote the civil rights of Asian Americans on issues ranging from immigrant rights and voting rights to police misconduct and human trafficking. Donations can be made here.
As anti-Asian attacks across the country continue, the need for mental health resources is greater than ever. The National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association (NAAPIMHA) has worked on initiatives including creating a database of mental health and behavioral services for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders across the U.S., and is accepting donations through its site. The Asian Mental Health Collective is also dedicated to making mental health services more accessible for the community, and has created the Asian, Pacific Islander, and South Asian American (APISAA) Therapist Directory. You can support the group’s efforts by donating via its page.
Outside of the U.S., End the Virus of Racism and besea.n (Britain’s East and South East Asian Network) are U.K.-based groups dedicated to uplifting East and Southeast Asians and addressing anti-Asian violence. They are accepting donations here and here, respectively.
On both coasts, community groups have launched initiatives to improve local safety. Compassion in Oakland was created in response to the spike in anti-Asian attacks in the Bay Area, and now offers chaperones for those in Oakland’s Chinatown neighborhood with the goal of protecting elderly Asians. You can apply to volunteer here or make a donation here. Similarly, Main Street Patrol was formed in order to keep the streets of Flushing, New York safe. The group is seeking volunteers as it continues its efforts of educating the public on bystander intervention tactics.
To learn how to respond to hate incidents safely and effectively—both in-person and online—Hollaback! and Asian Americans Advancing Justice have partnered to organize free Bystander Intervention training that provides skills for identifying and deescalating instances of anti-Asian American harassment and xenophobia.
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