FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 18, 2020
Contact: Nikki Metzgar
(202) 599-7642 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington, D.C. — Today, the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum is joining cities, elected officials, and community groups to commemorate the second annual Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Day Against Bullying and Hate, led by anti-bullying nonprofit Act To Change.
AAPI Day Against Bullying and Hate is part of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and marks the birthday of Vincent Chin. In 1982, Chin was falsely blamed for the layoffs in the auto industry, and brutally murdered in a hate crime. His murder fueled a national Asian American movement, one that must continue today, in light of the rising xenophobia and hate crimes surrounding COVID-19.
Since March 19, the STOP AAPI HATE reporting center has received nearly 1,700 reports of coronavirus discrimination from Asian Americans across the country. AAPI women have consistently reported between two and three times more instances of harassment than men. NAPAWF members and staff have personally experienced instances of verbal harassment and abuse and their stories are available to press upon request.
To combat this discrimination, NAPAWF is leading local campaigns in Chicago and D.C. calling on Mayors Lightfoot and Bowser to address the surge in anti-Asian hate by making public statements dispelling racist misinformation about the spread of the coronavirus and calling on residents to create a safe environment for Asian Americans.
National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum Executive Director Sung Yeon Choimorrow issued the following statement in response:
“Asian Americans are held up as a ‘model minority,’ falsely assuming that we don’t need support or resources until there’s a need for a scapegoat — then we are to blame for the administration’s failure to contain this crisis. While the current wave of xenophobia and racism related to COVID-19 is targeted toward East Asian communities and women in particular, this pattern is not new. We cannot let history repeat itself.
Asian Americans are dealing with social isolation, job loss and financial setbacks, and illness and death alongside everyone else but we’re also afraid of being targeted with racist harassment and violence because of our race and gender. Our elected officials have a responsibility to speak up for the safety of the Asian American community — and a tweet is not enough. Our leaders must address racism, hate, and violence against us head on.”
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The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) is the only multi-issue, progressive, community organizing and policy advocacy organization for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women and girls in the U.S. NAPAWF’s mission is to build collective power so that all AAPI women and girls can have full agency over our lives, our families, and our communities.