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Leading Organizations From Diverse Communities Unite and Call for Action to End Anti-Asian Hate

Committee of 100
·11-min read

Coalition of Organizations to Have Ongoing Dialogue to Help Address Challenges Affecting the AAPI Community

New York, NY, April 22, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In response to the historic increases in anti-Asian and Pacific Islander (AAPI) hatred, violence, and xenophobia, today leading organizations from diverse communities across the United States are calling for action and change.

Like many Americans, the AAPI community has faced increased unemployment, food and housing insecurity, shuttering of local small businesses, and safety risks to frontline and healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hate and violence, fueled by fear and misinformation, have made an already difficult period even harder. In the past year alone, more than 3,800 incidents of violence and hatred have been reported against the AAPI community.

Today’s call for action is being organized by Committee of 100, a nonprofit organization that works to ensure the full inclusion and participation of Chinese Americans in all aspects of American life.

"We at the Committee of 100 are extremely saddened by the increased attacks against Chinese Americans and the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. Chinese Americans are Americans. Period. The violence and rhetoric now targeting our communities across the U.S. is horrific, sad, and unacceptable,” said Gary Locke, Chairman-Elect of Committee of 100. “For centuries now, the Chinese American and AAPI community continue to be seen as perpetual foreigners, strangers in our own homeland – America. We are extremely thankful to all of the AAPI and non-AAPI organizations for standing with us as we collectively work towards concrete actions that will address the roots of the violence and xenophobia directed at the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. Hate has no place in our society.”

The rise in anti-Asian hate and violence is horrific and unacceptable. Each day another incident devastates America. In January, President Biden issued a presidential memorandum condemning racism, xenophobia, and intolerance against the 21 million AAPIs in the U.S. But we need action. United in the same spirit and mission, the 1990 Institute, American Jewish Committee (AJC), Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs (APAPA), Committee of 100, Council of Korean Americans, NAACP, National Asian/Pacific Islander Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurship (National ACE), National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund, National Urban League, and Partnership With Native Americans are calling for concrete action. The organizations all share common concerns and experiences around racism, violence, discrimination, and marginalization.

We, the undersigned organizations call for law enforcement, elected officials, and government agencies to ensure a holistic response to the Anti-Asian hate problem, and recognize the urgent need to consider and act upon the following recommendations:

  1. We call on all elected officials – including governors, mayors, and members of Congress—to forcefully denounce all acts of anti-Asian American racism and bigotry.

  2. We call on the new U.S. Attorney General and the U.S. Department of Justice to set up a task force to specifically investigate and combat increased violence directed towards the AAPI community.

  3. We call on the Department of Justice to revisit its China Initiative and examine whether the program has caused the spike in increased prosecution of innocent Chinese American scientists.

  4. We call for the federal government to provide funding to state and local law enforcement agencies for education, training, and community outreach on bias incidents and crimes.

  5. We call on the federal government to combat misinformation and online extremism which has led to the increase in AAPI hate.

  6. We call on all law enforcement agencies to prioritize their response to criminal acts of bigotry, racism and hate inflicted on the AAPI community as well as other communities of color, whether verbal, physical or psychological.

  7. We call on all elected officials and lawmakers to ensure survivors of hate crimes have access to support services in languages used by their local communities.

  8. We call for the investigation and removal if warranted, of any public official, government employee, or law enforcement officer found to be stoking hate or discriminating against people of AAPI descent.

  9. We call on senior executives and those in leadership positions to ensure that the AAPI community has a voice at the table, including in the boardroom.

  10. We call on all concerned groups across all ethnicities to unite, explore concrete partnerships, and collaborate to bring forth a safer, better, and more ideal America.

The undersigned organizations have also agreed to meet on a quarterly basis to continue discussion of joint programs, activities, and advocacy to combat anti-AAPI hate.

Calling for Action
“We call on everyone to join our vision for a positive environment for Asians in America and for U.S. relations with China,” said Dan Chao, Chairman of the Board, 1990 Institute. “The 1990 Institute provides information that affects the lives of Asian Americans, and indeed all Americans, to provoke thought on topical issues, including how the perceptions of China and the contributions of Asian Americans affect all Americans. Education leads to understanding and understanding leads to change. The 1990 Institute stands in solidarity with everyone standing up for our country's unity and humanity.”

“The scourge of assaults on Asian Americans is horrific,” said David Harris, CEO, American Jewish Committee (AJC). “As American Jews who also have painfully experienced the fear and tragedy of hate, we join with our partners in the Asian American community to call on leaders to take concrete measures to address the violence. Silence is unacceptable. Unity in combating hate is absolutely imperative.”

“There’s great strength in numbers, which is why it is so important for all Americans to join together with the AAPI community in speaking out against this scourge of hatred, and prejudice,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO and National Director. “Today, we issue a challenge to our elected, law enforcement and civic leaders to do more. Only through coordinated action can we prevent further acts of bias-motivated violence and hurtful scapegoating.”

“APAPA strongly supports Committee of 100’s initiative to form a coalition across all communities in an effort to help address the challenges in the AAPI community,” said Ken Fong, Chair, APAPA. “The United States is at our greatest when we value every citizen regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, disability, and sexual orientation. If we are to lead the world, we must cherish people from all over the world!”

“As a proud American organization dedicated to the advancement and inclusion of 5 million Chinese Americans across all aspects of American life, Committee of 100 has spoken out against discrimination and racism for more than 30 years,” said Zheng Yu Huang, President of Committee of 100. “This coalition across communities showcases the strength and impact we together possess. We thank all of
the AAPI and non-AAPI organizations for joining with Committee of 100 to address racism, discrimination, and violence against the AAPI community. Collectively, we can work to put these horrific
incidents in the past and move forward as one nation.”

“Racism, xenophobia and discrimination impact all of our minority communities and are issues we must band together to defeat. We are proud to stand with our fellow national organizations representing AAPI, Black, Jewish, Latinx and other communities to fight for the protection and respect of all Americans,” said Abraham Kim, Ph.D., Executive Director, Council of Korean Americans. “In light of the horrific rise in hate incidents and violence against the AAPI community, we challenge our government officials, law enforcement agencies, business executives and civic leaders to act immediately, with courage and conviction, to ensure the safety and security of this community.”

"We all have a responsibility to wake up each day and denounce hate in all forms and all communities," said Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP. "As a human race, we do not exist in a vacuum and we cannot allow our normalcy to be that of violent attacks. We are committed to working together to push back against those that seek to harm."

“During these difficult times, anti-Asian racism and violence are further damaging the small business community amidst this global pandemic. Now more than ever, we all have to be united, speaking out and standing together,” said Chiling Tong, Chief Executive Officer & President of the National Asian/Pacific Islander Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurship (National ACE). “We seek the support, allyship, and advocacy of other national organizations and large corporations to take action by addressing all forms of bias and racism that disproportionately and negatively impact our diverse communities. AAPI small businesses are not able to operate safely and need assistance now. National ACE calls on its partners to join in responding to the ongoing violence against the AAPI small business community by helping to educate employees, customers, and the public to intervene to halt these deplorable acts. We are proud and are #AAPISTRONG.”

“After four years of policy and rhetoric that fanned the flames of bigotry and inspired acts of violence against communities of color, the pandemic exposed America’s racial fault lines and forced the nation to confront its legacy of white supremacy,” said Marc H. Morial, President and CEO, National Urban League. “The National Urban League stands in solidarity with our Asian-American brothers and sisters and urges the nation to seize the opportunity to create lasting change by emerging from this crisis a stronger nation.”

“As our nation continues to reckon with the legacy and present-day manifestations of systemic racism, we must work together to advance justice and foster a society that promotes equality, opportunity, and freedom from racial hate and violence,” stated Arturo Vargas, CEO, NALEO Educational Fund. “The rise in violence and discrimination targeting the AAPI community that we are witnessing are horrifying and antithetical to the ideals we espouse as a nation that proclaims to value liberty, diversity, and inclusion. We must take a stand against this kind of hatred and xenophobia and adopt common-sense standards of anti-racism that promote equal justice and freedom from discrimination of any kind.”

“PWNA respects and honors the diverse culture, history and concerns of all communities in America. As a Native American-serving organization, we know firsthand how U.S. systems and policies have created social injustice and disenfranchisement for those most vulnerable,” said Christina Kazhe, Chairman of the Board, Partnership With Native Americans. “As a nation, we’ve seen an overwhelming rise in hate crimes directed at Asian Americans since the onset of COVID-19. PWNA denounces all forms of racism against all populations who endure inequities on account of their race or ethnicity. We commend all those who are speaking up and championing hope for a brighter future.”

Stay Connected & Engaged
Chinese Americans and the broader AAPI community have made tremendous contributions to the fabric of American life for centuries. In February, the Economist Intelligence Unit released a report, commissioned by Committee of 100 and sponsored in part by Citi Private Bank, that looked at 175-years of Chinese American contributions. “From Foundations to Frontiers” can be downloaded for free at https://bit.ly/chineseamericanstories.

Committee of 100 recently launched a bi-monthly newsletter called Combatting AAPI Hate, with the goal to highlight what AAPI organizations across the country are doing to combat the xenophobia, violence, and hate being cast upon the AAPI community. By having all information in one location, it will allow organizations to more effectively collaborate and plan their responses and efforts and to receive better support and awareness. If you have news you want to be considered for the next issue, email aapinewsletter@committee100.org and sign up for free at bit.ly/combattingAAPIhate.

About Committee of 100
Committee of 100 is a non-profit U.S. leadership organization of prominent Chinese Americans in business, government, academia, healthcare, and the arts focused on public policy engagement, civic engagement, and philanthropy. For over 30 years, Committee of 100 has served as a preeminent organization committed to the dual missions of promoting the full participation of Chinese Americans in all aspects of American life and constructive relations between the United States and Greater China. Visit https://www.committee100.org/ for more information.

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CONTACT: Contact: Charles Zinkowski Director of Communications Committee of 100 czinkowski@committee100.org