In recent weeks, hate crimes targeting the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community have been in the headlines as incidents across the country have been reported, and six women of Asian descent were murdered in a mass shooting in Atlanta. These incidents aren’t isolated. A recent study from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino found that anti-Asian hate crimes surged by 149% in 2020, even as overall hate crimes dropped slightly.
The Cleveland Foundation condemns in the strongest way possible the rise in violence against members of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities here in the United States. We continue to see the harmful impacts of white supremacy culture in this country, and we must commit to putting an end to the shameful cycle of violence it continues to perpetuate against communities of color.
There are many people and organizations here in Greater Cleveland leading, serving and organizing in the AAPI community. If you’re looking to support their work, visit AsiaTown Cleveland’s website, which includes a directory of local organizations, businesses and services.
This Sunday, March 28, join AsiaTown Cleveland and local partners for the #StopAsianHateMarch, a peaceful rally to honor the victims of the March 16 mass shooting in Atlanta and advocate for efforts to support our local AAPI communities. The rally will begin at 1 p.m. at 3238 Payne Ave. in Cleveland. The rally is rain or shine, and masks are required. The event will be livestreamed for those who are unable to attend. Learn more here.
Nationally, a number of groups and organizations are working to support AAPI communities. Here are just a few:
- Asian Americans Advancing Justice is collecting stories to record and track hate incidents across the country.
- The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund works to promote the civil rights of Asian Americans.
- The National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association promotes the mental health and wellbeing of AAPI communities.
- The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) offers an extensive list of resources as well as pro bono legal support for hate crime victims.
- The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum builds collective power with AAPI women and girls.
- Stop AAPI Hate collects and publishes hate crime incidents.
We invite you to share additional resources in the comment section below.
We all have a role to play in realizing a healthier, more vibrant community that respects and celebrates voices from a diverse range of backgrounds and identities. The Cleveland Foundation remains committed to learning from and working with partners across Greater Cleveland in our ongoing effort to advance racial equity and justice.