Two nights ago, eight people were killed in violence across three Asian-owned spas in Atlanta, six of them being Asian American women. We are devastated by this news. As we mourn and reflect, we also want to take action in solidarity with the Asian American community inside and outside of Camp Fire. Asians/Asian Americans (of all Asian ethnicities) have been continually targeted and increasingly attacked throughout American history. Hate-fueled violence is not a thing of the past but continues to this day. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, there have been 3,795 reported Anti-Asian hate incidents. In 2021 alone, StopAAPIHate has reported 503 incidents in less than three months. Violence takes many forms, including the words we use. We have said it before and we will continue to say it – there is power in words. Racial slurs, jokes, and offensive name-calling are all acts of violence that perpetuate hostility towards AAPI communities.
Our kids are paying attention. Some may be fearing for their own or their family’s safety; others are looking to adults as an example as they wonder how to show up in this moment. In fact, today is Absolutely Incredible Kid Day®, a day when we call adults to encourage the young people in their lives. Today we say to you, the Asian/Asian American youth in our programs, we see you, we support you, and we will continue to work to create spaces free of hate where you feel safe and have every opportunity to thrive. It is unfair and unjust that you or anyone in your family or community has experienced any hate because of your race and ethnicity. You are amazing and inspiring. We will advocate with and for you. We will work for positive change in the future.
Hate has no home in Camp Fire. One of our strategic commitments over the next 18 months is engaging in actively antiracist practices. One antiracist practice is taking some kind of action in the face of inequality, inequity, and hate. We want to share some actions you can take (where to donate, who to follow, what to read, etc.), as well as resources on how to talk to young people about hate crimes.
*We have been aware of the term APIDA – Asian Pacific Islander Desi Americans. If it was not clear above, this message is for those who identify with that term as well. We see you.
- How to Help Combat Anti-Asian American Violence: https://www.thecut.com/2021/03/atlanta-spa-shooting-how-to-help-where-to-donate.html
- Take (free) Bystander Intervention Training: https://www.ihollaback.org/bystanderintervention/
- PBS.org Daily News Lesson & Discussion Questions – Asian Americans Face a Wave of Discrimination During the Pandemic- https://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/daily-videos/daily-news-lesson-asian-americans-face-a-wave-of-discrimination-during-the-pandemic/
- Not in Our Town – https://www.niot.org/ – a movement to stop hate, racism, bullying, and build safe, inclusive communities; resources for schools, families, and law enforcement
- Facing History – https://www.facinghistory.org/resource-library/not-our-town– Not in Our Town activities for youth
- Stop Asian-American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Hate – https://stopaapihate.org/
- Anti-Asian Violence Resources – https://anti-asianviolenceresources.carrd.co/
- Asian Americans Advancing Justice – https://www.advancingjustice-aajc.org/
- It’s Time to Support AAPI Women – https://fortune.com/2021/03/17/its-time-to-support-aapi-women/
- “A Really Bad Day” Will Never Be an Excuse for Killing 8 People – https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2021/03/10371827/who-is-robert-aaron-long-atlanta-massage-shooting
- Beyond Empathy: Combating Racism Against Asian Americans – https://clubexperience.blog/2021/03/16/beyond-empathy-combating-racism-against-asian-americans/
- Action Items – @kimsaira + @annie_wu_22 (click images to view on Instagram)
- More resources from @kimsaira (click image to view on Instagram)