As a nonprofit that organizes for civic participation and grassroots leadership, the growing concern and rising fears of our community members that had experienced and/or witnessed instances of anti-Asian sentiment catalyzed our involvement in actively providing workshops and connecting our community to bystander trainings and legal resources.
In 2022, we will continue our Stop Asian Hate messaging, educational activities and community campaign.
From March 2020, the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, through December 2021 there were more than 10,900 reports of physical and verbal attacks targeted toward Asian Americans. These figures demonstrate that anti-Asian hate incidents and crimes increased by 339%, an alarming and staggering number that struggles to capture the full extent of the trauma, pain and fear inflicted upon Asian American communities nationwide.
Our organization first became aware and vigilant of the steady increase in anti-Asian violence in February 2021. Local reports of violent attacks, such as the hate crime against a 26 year old Pinay in downtown San Jose or the case of a Pinay medical worker being pushed down and screamed at with racial epithets while crossing the street in Los Gatos brought these realities intimately close, as they were happening in our own community and to members of the FilAm community. It is also not lost on us that hate incidents and crimes toward Asians are disproportionately targeting seniors and women. Many of these atrocities go unreported and/or underreported and because of this, we grow continuously concerned that the uptick in racial violence toward Asian communities could be much higher.
Banding together in March 2020, a group of our organizers partnered with the City of San Jose to host healing and processing spaces for FilAm youth, families and seniors that felt scared during such uncertain and unprecedented times. The start of our Stop Asian Hate work included several community-based workshops, where we provided resources including bystander training, what County phone number(s) to call to report hate incidents and crimes and understanding the legal definition of a hate incident versus a hate crime.
2021 BEND THE ARC FOR JUSTICE GRANT
To expand our education and advocacy for FilAm and broader Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities to protect themselves against anti-Asian violence, we received a Bend the Arc for Justice grant from the Santa Clara County Office of the DA to deepen our Stop Asian Hate outreach and engagement initiatives.
Using this funding support, our Program Manager led a series of educational sessions with community partners, including Asian American Recovery Services (AARS) and San Jose State University, to provide students, families and community health workers with the necessary resources and information to A) Know how to direct clients and families to report any hate incidents or crime and B) Know how to receive critical services and therapies for anyone who might have experienced a hate incident or crime and how to process their trauma.