Take action to end violence against Asian Americans in your community
March 23, 2021 1:10 PM
By Valerie Jarrett, President, The Barack 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.
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.
If you see something, say something. These resources are important ways you can take action to address anti-Asian violence in your community:
- Stop AAPI Hate – Share safety tips, donate, and find other ways to take action
- Stand Against Hatred – Read the stories of Asian Americans who have experienced violence and report incidents
- Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Register for a bystander intervention training
- Self-Help for the Elderly – Support Asian American elders in the San Francisco area
- Chicago Asian Network – Chicago is our homebase, but we encourage you to support local businesses in your community that are owned by Asian Americans
- Follow the organizations above and others like the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum on social media for updates and additional ways to learn, act, and support others
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
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
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