It has been another tragic week in America. The devastating mass shootings in Atlanta on March 16th killed eight people. Six of the victims have been identified as Asian women. The suspect charged is a 21-year-old white man.
Asian Americans were already worn down by a year of pandemic-fueled racist attacks. Hundreds of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders turned to social media after the shootings to air their anger, sadness, fear, and hopelessness; the hashtag #StopAsianHate was a top trending topic on Twitter.
“I think the reason why people are feeling so hopeless is because Asian Americans have been ringing the bell on this issue for so long. . . . We’ve been raising the red flag,” said Aisha Yaqoob Mahmood, executive director of the Atlanta-based Asian American Advocacy Fund, which does political and advocacy work across Georgia.
Hate crimes against the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community have risen dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 3,795 incidents reported between March 2020 and February 2021, according to the California-based advocacy group Stop AAPI Hate. Nationally, women reported hate crimes 2.3 times more than men. In the San Francisco Bay Area, a recent surge in violence against Asian elders has led to stepped-up police patrols this week.
These horrific acts of violence are an affront to all of us and have been driven by racism and xenophobia, which are antithetical to the values that AFAR stands for. As travelers, we have a responsibility to push back against hate and discrimination in all forms. We want to acknowledge the pain, fear, and anxiety that our Asian and Asian American friends, partners, and readers might be feeling.
Here are six organizations to support with your dollars or your time.
Chinatown Service Center
One of the largest community-based Chinese American health and human service organizations in Southern California, the center has served immigrants and their families since 1971.
Support the AAPI Community Fund
Donations will support organizations that empower and uplift the AAPI community, with initiatives such as increased community safety and support for those affected by violence.
Compassion in Oakland
Formed in response to the surge in anti-Asian attacks, Compassion in Oakland strives to supply the Oakland Chinatown Community with a resource for promoting safety and community.
In New York City, Protect Chinatown was founded to provide a sense of security through community-led collaboration, cooperation, and kinship.
Stop AAPI Hate
The center tracks and responds to incidents of hate, violence, harassment, discrimination, shunning, and child bullying against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice
A nonprofit founded in 1991 in Washington, D.C., Advancing Justice | AAJC is the voice for the Asian American community to build and promote a fair and equitable society for all and ensure Asian Americans are able to participate fully in our democracy.
Additional reporting from the Associated Press.