The news of last week’s shootings of Soon Chung Park, Hyun Jung Grant, Suncha Kim, Yong Ae Yue, Delaina Ashley Yaun, Paul Andre Michels, Daoyou Feng and Xiaojie Tan in Atlanta is the latest painful reminder of a disturbing outcome following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic: a resurgence of anti-Asian racism. According to a recent report by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, hate crimes against Asian Americans increased by 150% in 2020 alone. Attacks on elderly Asian Americans and personal accounts of discriminatory altercations continue to surface from the Asian American community as a whole.
Our nation is no stranger to the xenophobic, misogynistic anti-Asian rhetoric that is once again endangering the livelihoods and safety of Asian Americans. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the Japanese Internment from 1942-1945 remain searing reminders of our country’s embedded history with white supremacy and a reckoning of its horrifying ability to morph hate into law.
Community Partners condemns these violent, hateful acts and the white supremacist ideals that fuel the devaluation of the lives of Asian Americans, Black, Brown and Indigenous People of Color. We stand with our Asian American colleagues, project leaders, employees, neighbors and friends, and those on the front lines of aiding this deeply hurting community.
While details of the mass shooting in Boulder, CO, do not seem to have been racially motivated, we also mourn the lives lost and call for a ban on assault weapons of any kind in America. Gun violence has been met with blind eyes for far too long and with little progress towards safety for those most vulnerable. Our national leaders must have the strength and decency to no longer outweigh the preciousness and vulnerability of human life with that of special interests.
For nearly 30 years, Community Partners has grown steadily to serve the needs of communities led by individuals who reflect the diversity of the Southern California region. Elevating new perspectives and innovative solutions have been critical to our success by welcoming diversity and inclusion. We affirm our commitment to expand our efforts to center diversity, equity, inclusion and access in Community Partners’ work and workplace.
In solidarity with the Asian American community, we invite you to review these resources:
- Support or visit Asian Americans Advancing Justice Los Angeles. Among their many free services, a confidential multi-lingual helpline is available in English and five Asian languages. In circumstances of violence and harassment, victim advocates are available to help navigate resources and support. Free legal services such as monthly housing rights and legal clinics also help folks stay in their housing, especially during the pandemic.
- Visit #VigilantLove (a project of Community Partners) for advocacy opportunities.
Avenues to report incidents of violence and learn bystander intervention:
- Coronavirus/COVID-19 Resources to Stand Against Racism – Asian Americans Advancing Justice’s up-to-date webpage detailing resources available to report violence, get help and collect community anti-hate resources.
- Bystander Intervention and Conflict De-Escalation Training – A virtual training offering from Asian Americans Advancing Justice
- Show Up: Your Guide to Bystander Intervention – This illustrative guide from Hollaback! explains all of the different types of harassment, both verbal and non-verbal, and how bystanders can safely and effectively deescalate the situation.
- Visit STOP AAPI Hate to report any incidents of violence or harassment, and if anyone needs help, can email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn more about Community Partners’ commitment to going further than we have ever challenged ourselves to go in fully realizing what we can and must do to bend the arc of racial, social and economic history toward fairness, equity and justice.
Perry Parks Paul Vandeventer
Board Chair President & CEO