May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. Anti-Asian racism unfortunately has a long and ugly history in the United States, and the recent COVID pandemic provoked a surge. As hate crimes spread throughout the country and Asian American communities fight for their rights of safety and dignity, it’s up to all of us to join forces against this growing threat and be allies. Plus, taking care of our community is important for both our individual and collective mental health.
Asian Americans and their allies alike must advocate for the world they want to live in. Here are three basic ways to help stem the tide of hate and prop up influential organizations:
- Report Hate Incidents: First and foremost, anti-Asian hate needs to be documented on a nationwide scale. If you’ve witnessed or been the victim of a hate crime, refer to these Hate Crime Resources prepared by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) to educate yourself on the relevant laws, protections, and reporting process. All instances of hate — including both crimes and bias incidents — should be reported to Stop AAPI Hate, an advocacy collective that aggregates and reports on anti-Asian hate in America in an effort to more effectively advocate for policy change.
- Donate: There are many ways to financially combat anti-Asian hate, on both a local and nationwide scale. The AAPI Community Fund’s GoFundMe campaign raises money for grassroots organizations throughout the country, as does the CommUNITY Action Fund sponsored by the nonprofit group Hate Is A Virus. Check out the “Donate” section of the article linked below for even more ideas.
- Volunteer: Not everyone can support this movement financially, but there are still plenty of ways to help. Volunteering is an effective and free way to impact and directly work with those communities affected by hate. To find a nearby volunteer opportunity, check out this list of state-specific Asian American Organizations and reach out via their webpage. Even if there’s not a local organization in your area, you can still dedicate your time and energy to combating anti-Asian hate by participating in and sharing bystander intervention training initiatives.
Hate and violence won’t be solved overnight, but there are many ways to start making a difference today. Report, donate, and volunteer to be a part of the change you want to see.