Take action to end violence against Asian Americans in your community

By Valerie Jarrett, President, Obama Foundation

As I said last week, 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.

Two hands are shown clasped together as part of a larger circle.

As we react to this recent increase in violence, it’s important to acknowledge that discrimination, xenophobia, and violence against the AANHPI community in the United States is not new. From the impact of the Chinese Exclusion Act 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.

Take Action

If you see something, say something. These resources are important ways you can take action to address anti-Asian violence in your community:

Get Informed

Spend some time learning about the concerning pattern of recent incidents, their root causes, and the Asian American experience throughout history: 

  • NBC News – “There were 3,800 anti-Asian racist incidents [reported] [in the United States], mostly against women, in past year”
  • Learning for Justice – “What is the model minority myth?”
  • CNBC – “How to support Asian American colleagues amid the recent wave of anti-Asian violence” 
  • #HateIsAVirus – Educate yourself, your friends, and your family on the issues facing Asian Americans, and find other ways to get involved

Take Care

If you or someone you know needs additional support, use or share these resources:

  • Crisis Text Line –  Text CONNECT to 74174  to chat with a Crisis Counselor
  • CalHope Emotional Support Hotline – Call 833-317-HOPE to speak with a counselor
  • Asian Mental Health Collective – Find a therapist near you

Stand Together 

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.

  • Obama.org – See how former Obama Foundation intern Consuela Hendricks is improving race relations in Chicago’s Chinatown
  • Block Club Chicago – In Wake Of Deadly Georgia Shooting, Chicagoans Are Combating Anti-Asian Violence Nationwide: ‘Be Part Of The Solution’ 
  • WBUR – Volunteers Walk With Chinatown Seniors In Oakland To Combat Anti-Asian Violence