By Valerie Jarrett, President, The Barack Obama Foundation
As I said last week Opens in a new tab, I am horrified by the disturbing and escalating acts of violence against the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) community since the COVID-19 pandemic upended our day to day lives. Everyone here at the Obama Foundation stands in solidarity with those who are facing racial violence and discrimination.
As we react to this recent increase in violence, it’s important to acknowledge that discrimination, xenophobia Opens in a new tab, and violence against the AANHPI community in the United States is not new. From the impact of the Chinese Exclusion Act Opens in a new tab in the 19th century to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, the Asian American story contains chapters of inequality that have never existed as isolated events.
That’s why everything we do here at the Obama Foundation is guided by President Obama’s belief that our nation lives up to its founding ideals when ordinary people get involved and get engaged to create change—and we need change now.
It’s time for all of us to get involved.
We must take action to root out the long-standing racism and xenophobia that have contributed to these heinous attacks against the AANHPI community. To help you get started, I’ve included some resources below that will hopefully help you channel the frustration, anger, and fear you rightfully might be feeling into action.
If there’s one thing I’m sure of, it’s that—even in the wake of tragedies like these—we all have a role to play in building a safer, more just world. I hope you’ll join us.
If you see something, say something. These resources are important ways you can take action to address anti-Asian violence in your community:
Spend some time learning about the concerning pattern of recent incidents, their root causes, and the Asian American experience throughout history:
If you or someone you know needs additional support, use or share these resources:
We all need stories of hope to keep us going during times like these. If you’ve seen any stories of community members looking out for each other, tell us about them by tagging us on social media @ObamaFoundation.