RAIN, the Rainbow Alliance Inclusion Network Business Resource Group shares a message of support and solidarity for members of the Asian American Pacific Island (AAPI) Community following this week’s mass shooting of Asian American women in Atlanta and an uptick of recorded hate crimes against Asian Americans since the start of the pandemic. RAIN and the Washington Immigrant Network Business Group share some resources for bystander intervention and are offering a training April 14.
Dear RAIN Community,
It is hard to put into words the feelings that arise from the recent shootings of Asian women in Atlanta, the assault and death of Vicha Ratanapakdee, and the other countless acts of violence and harassment towards the Asian Community this past year. As a BRG we feel it is our responsibility to speak out against racism and xenophobia and stand in solidarity with all our communities including the Asian American/Pacific Islander communities. Whether through our intersectionality or in general, we are all in this together and we are all connected.
To those of us that are a part of the AAPI community it is no new thing being targets of racist comments, harassment and violence just like in all marginalized communities. However, Asian communities historically have struggled with the “model minority” myth and been invisible when it comes to media coverage and condemnation of such events. Like all marginalized communities, the Asian community has a different history and experience in this country that writes the racist and prejudice undertones of the social behavior and violence we experience. The drive behind the multitudes of crimes and violence towards Asian Americans are complex and intersectional, and they have historically been downplayed and have not been reported as hate crimes. Educating ourselves on the Asian American experience in this country is vitally important to combatting the bigotry and “othering” of our community. Our Asian community struggles with reporting violence and harassment, reaching out for help, and can have a mistrust with police and government, especially for non-native English speaking, first generation immigrants, and our elderly. Regardless if racist undertone crimes get the label of a hate crime the impact on our communities is the same. So, it is important now more than ever for our younger Asian populations and Ally’s to step up and help and support. Safety in our community has always been and always will be a priority for the LGBTQ+ Community and it is no different for all marginalized people.
Ways you can help:
- Ensure our Elders have a protective network through their day to day activities. Whether that is chaperoning them to the grocery store, walking the dog, or creating safe community spaces.
- Check in on our small business owners and see if there is any support that you can help them get from the community to alleviate any concerns on safety and security.
- Check in with your local Asian community centers for volunteer opportunities.
- Learn about bystander intervention and how to do it safely when you encounter situations where someone is being harassed.
- Educate yourself and others about Asian American history and Culture.
- Report and encourage reporting of violence and harassment.
Our Asian community is in pain and living in fear right now. Simply reaching out to your Asian friends and family and checking on how they are doing and offering help can go a long way. EAP has put together a great list of resources to check out. We also added a few more that are linked below. Please feel free to reach out to us if you or a loved one is struggling. Remember; Words Matter. We must always speak out against hate. We are stronger together.
Your RAIN Advisory Committee
EAP AAPI Violence Resource Guide (Includes):
- Hate Crime Victims and Witnesses resources
- Emotional and Mental Health Resources
- Advocacy Resources
- Tools and Tips
- Crisis Support
- April 13th, 2021 at 12:00 PM