May 27, 2020
Contact: Nikki Metzgar
(202) 599-7642 /

Washington, D.C. — At tonight’s Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebration, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced her statement denouncing the surge of racist harassment and assault targeting Asian Americans in the wake of the coronavirus and calling on all DC residents to do the same. The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) applauds the Mayor for taking action on this urgent matter — as the city looks toward reopening in the coming weeks and people begin to re-enter public spaces, members of the Asian American community remain afraid for their safety due to the risk of racist attacks.

In April, NAPAWF launched a campaign calling on Mayor Bowser to make a public statement to increase awareness of the danger facing Asian Americans and call on all D.C. residents to help create a safe environment for every person. Twenty-three organizations based in the region signed on in support. 

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 this harassment, including Da Hae Kim, who shared her story with Metro Weekly and Washington City Paper

National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum Executive Director Sung Yeon Choimorrow issued the following statement:

“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. We have reason to fear that anti-Asian hate will only intensify as the economic repercussions of the pandemic deepen and acts of violence will surge again as the city reopens and we emerge from isolation. This is a problem that can’t wait and we commend Mayor Bowser for raising the visibility of the issue and showing solidarity with our community.”

National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum Legal Advocacy and Judicial Strategy Manager Da Hae Kim issued the following statement: 

“I would like to thank Mayor Bowser for showing solidarity with the Asian American community. When I was harassed on the street outside my apartment in D.C., I felt isolated and worried that as our community hurt, this issue would go ignored by our decision makers. While acts of anti-Asian hate continue, Mayor Bowser’s show of support emboldens us to continue to protect and support our neighbors.” 

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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.