How to support the Asian and Pacific Islander community
Since the start of the pandemic, there has been an increase in discrimination against Asians and Pacific Islanders. As you know, over the last few weeks in particular, there has been a rise of anti-Asian violence in the US, especially targeting seniors—and culminating last week in the tragic murders of Daoyou Feng, Delaina Ashley Yaun, Hyun Jung Grant, Paul Andre Michels, Soon Chung Park, Suncha Kim, Yong Ae Yue, and Xiaojie Tan in Atlanta. At Airbnb, we recognize that discrimination towards Asians and Pacific Islanders has been a longstanding and global issue.
In February, one of our employee resource groups, Asians@Airbnb, prepared a guide to help us understand how to fight anti-Asian discrimination and further support the Asian and Pacific Islander community. We’re making these resources available to you.
Informational resources for allyship and fighting anti-Asian discrimination
The following educational and informational resources for allyship and fighting anti-Asian discrimination were prepared by the Airbnb employee resource group Asians@Airbnb.
There has been a growing number of anti-Asian hate crimes since the start of the pandemic, with Stop AAPI Hate receiving 3,795 reports of incidents between March 19, 2020 and February 28, 2021. This is believed to be just a fraction of the number of hate incidents that actually occurred. Most recently, we lost Daoyou Feng, Delaina Ashley Yaun, Hyun Jung Grant, Paul Andre Michels, Soon Chung Park, Suncha Kim, Yong Ae Yue, and Xiaojie Tan in the violent shootings in Atlanta. And over the last several weeks, we’ve seen a horrific rise of anti-Asian violence directed at our elders. We denounce these violent acts happening to our community and would like to call on you to stand up against these injustices.
It’s important to note that hate crimes against our community are not new. The Asian Pacific Islander community has been subject to anti-Asian xenophobia and racism well before COVID-19 (e.g. Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, Japanese Internment camps, violence that led to the Filipino Farm Worker Movement, and more). And time and time again, when we’ve tried to raise our voices to speak up, we have been and continue to be silenced. Due to our white adjacency and the perpetuation of the model minority myth, our struggles have been and are often overlooked. We, too, are people of color who face injustices and discrimination, and we want to be seen and heard.
We ask you to help elevate our voices and bring visibility to and justice for the Asian and Pacific Islander community. We’ve put together this resource guide to provide members of the Asian Pacific Islander community, friends, and allies with ways to further understand, show your support, and stand up against anti-Asian racism in your communities.
What we can do right now
1. Raise awareness, speak up, and condemn these attacks and anti-Asian racism
When the mainstream media does not give the Asian Pacific Islander community enough coverage on these hate crimes, which has been the case this past year, it further silences our struggles and perpetuates the misconception that we don’t face discrimination due to the color of our skin. Below is what you can do to elevate the Asian Pacific Islander voice:
- Peacefully protest on March 26, 2021 #StandWithAsians & #StopAsianHate. Join the Asian Pacific Islander community and allies to peacefully protest the rising racism against the Asian Pacific Islander community and promote awareness in the significance of the Naturalization Act of 1790, signed on March 26, 1790, which limited naturalization to “free white person[s] … of good character,” excluding Native Americans, indentured servants, slaves, free blacks and later Asians. The racial restriction against Asians was not eliminated until 1952.
- Sign and share these petitions to raise awareness and stop anti-Asian racism:
- A Community-Centered Response to Violence Against Asian American Communities from Asian Americans Advancing Justice (Atlanta)
- Get mainstream news coverage of national elderly Asian American assaults
- Provide Safety Ambassadors & prevent Hate Crimes on elderly in San Francisco Chinatown
- End Hate Crimes against Asian Americans
- National Petition for Unity and to Oppose Violence Against Asian Americans
- Watch and share these videos on the rise of anti-Asian violence in recent weeks:
- The Atlanta Shooting (The Daily Show with Trevor Noah)
- ‘We are crying out for help’: Actors, activists sounding alarm on surging attacks against Asian Americans (MSNBC)
- Oakland Chinatown press conference denouncing attacks on Asians in the community (with Daniel Wu)
- #NeedToKnow by Yoonj Kim (from MTV News)
- Asian Americans face rise in racist attacks amid pandemic (The Reidout on MSNBC)
- Stop the Hate: The rise in violence against Asian Americans (ABC news)
- Read and share these articles on the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes:
- Asian Americans Are Calling on Allies in Response to a Wave of Violence (Vice)
- Read about anti-Asian racism during COVID-19 (Time)
- Advancing Asian American recovery (McKinsey)
4. Learn about the history of Asian Pacific Islander discrimination and other challenges we face
- Read up on the model minority myth, why it exists, and why it’s harmful to other marginalized communities
- For a historical overview on anti-Asian racism in America:
- Read this article about America’s long history of scapegoating its Asian citizens by National Geographic
- Read the book “The Chinese in America: A Narrative History” by Iris Chang
- Watch the PBS documentary “Asian Americans”
- Read this article on the importance of Asian & Black solidarity, by Michelle Kim, and this article about the history of tensions and solidarity between Black and Asian American communities by Jerusalem Demsas and Rachel Ramirez.
- Follow these Asian Pacific Islander community leaders and activists for more resources and education:
- Michelle Kim, activist and co-founder of Awaken, who recently wrote the article, How to Manage Your Team in Times of Political Trauma
- Amanda Nguyễn, activist and founder of risenow.us
- Dr. Kiona, activist (see this post from Dr. Kiona on other accounts to follow)
- Daniel Wu, actor and activist
- Hasan Minhaj, comedian, actor, political commentator, and television host
- Dion Lim, Bay Area, California news reporter and author of Make Your Moment: The Savvy Woman’s Communication Playbook for Getting the Success You Want
- Jeremy Lin, professional basketball player for the Golden State Warriors
- Helen Zia, a writer, activist, and Fulbright Scholar
- Chanel Miller, writer, artist, and author of Know My Name
- Padma Lakshmi, author, activist, model, and television host of Bravo Top Chef
- Daniel Dae Kim, actor and producer
- Learn more about how anti-Asian discrimination manifests in the workplace by reading Jane Hyun’s “Breaking the Bamboo Ceiling: Career Strategies for Asians” and Margaret Chin’s “Stuck: Why Asian Americans Don’t Reach the Top of the Corporate Ladder”.
- Take a curated collection of Coursera courses to gain a deeper understanding of Asian cultures and histories, develop frameworks for diversity and inclusion in the workplace and beyond, and learn how to be an effective ally and advocate.
5. Support, donate, and volunteer with organizations actively combating racism against the Asian Pacific Islander community
Organizations to consider learning about and supporting:
Atlanta-based community organizations
- Asian Americans Advancing Justice in Atlanta -The local Atlanta chapter of the Asian Americans Advancing Justice organized a fundraiser to help the victims and their families impacted by the violent acts that took place on Tuesday, March 16, 2021.
- Center for Pan Asian Services - a nonprofit located in Atlanta to promote self-sufficiency and equity for immigrants, refugees, and the underprivileged through comprehensive health and social services, capacity building, and advocacy.
National organizations and fundraisers
- GoFundMe.org AAPI Community Fund, a fundraiser to support organizations that empower and uplift the Asian Pacific Islander community, with initiatives such as increased community safety and support for those affected by violence. #StopAsianHate
- Asian Americans Advancing Justice - AAJC – a national nonprofit organization that focuses on housing rights, immigration, civil rights, labor rights, and others for Asian Americans.
- Stop AAPI Hate – aggregates and responds to incidents of hate and harassment against Asian American/Pacific Islanders.
- Hate Is A Virus – started as a grassroots movement to combat racism and xenophobia against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders fueled by COVID-19, Hate Is A Virus has evolved into a sustainable organization that addresses xenophobia and hate in the AAPI and BIPOC communities.
- Act To Change – a national nonprofit organization working to address bullying, including in the Asian Pacific Islander community. They published “The Racism is a Virus Toolkit” to support the community in combating racism.
- National Council of Asian Pacific Americans – a nonprofit organization that serves to represent the interests of the greater Asian American (AA) and Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander (NHPI) communities through a coalition of 37 national Asian Pacific American organizations around the country.
- AAPI Civic Engagement Fund - a non-profit, non-partisan fiscally sponsored project of NEO Philanthropy that believes that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders must be an integral part of strengthening America’s democracy, improving the quality of life for all, and creating vibrant multiracial communities.
6. Be active in your community, company, and/or organization’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) space
Join and support Asian Pacific Islander Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) as well as a greater alliance of Asian ERGs like the Asian Leaders Alliance (ALA) to combat racism together.
The Asian Leaders Alliance (ALA) is a consortium of Asian ERG and civic leaders collaborating to spur positive, long-term, and inclusive community impact. They have put together the following resources to support other Asian ERG leaders/members in addressing anti-Asian xenophobia and racism:
- Unifying Statement Against Community Violence - Please support, act, and share the ALA unifying statement.
- Asian ERG QuickStart Deck: Combating Racism Edition - Not sure how to articulate our cause to your leadership and peers? Leverage this slide deck that you can take and act on immediately.
- Anti-Asian Xenophobia “MMARC” Toolkit - members-only resource to guide Asian ERG leaders how to advocate for support on addressing anti-Asian discrimination.
About Asians@ Employee Resource Group: Asians@ Airbnb is an employee resource group (ERG) dedicated to elevating the Asian Pacific Islander voice in the community, towards the wider mission of Airbnb to create a world where anyone can belong anywhere.
Information contained in this article may have changed since publication.