Chinatowns were originally formed in the US to be vast security enterprises. As ethnic enclaves, the security of those in Chinatowns was predicated on isolation, separating themselves from violence – economic, political, and physical – perpetuated by their fellow Americans.
However, as the history of America has shown, the conditions of marginalized peoples rarely improve in isolation. Rather, in the nation’s brightest moments, multi-ethnic coalitions have worked towards the same ends of equality and justice.
The Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community cannot fight the current onslaught of violence and disparity alone. The past shows too clearly what fighting alone leads to: The Chinese Exclusion Act, the Los Angeles Lynching of 1871, Japanese Internment, and more ad nauseum. Building on the work of civil rights leaders, we must inherit their legacy.
For Asians, this means building systems of solidarity. For non-AAPI, this means learning about our history and standing with us. Here are some ways to get started.
- Asian American Mental Health Collective
Asian American Mental Health Collective is an organization that strives to normalize and destigmatize mental health within the Asian community by making mental health easily available, approachable, and accessible to Asian communities worldwide.
Experiences shaped by cultural ideals that value face, achievement, and filial piety are interwoven in the fabric of our understanding of the world.
- Asian American Resource Center
Focused on rebuilding communities, the 20-year old Asian American Resource Center provides support services with the help of volunteers, donors, and community partners.
- AAPI Women Lead
AAPI Women Lead is an organization dedicated to strengthening the progressive political and social platforms of Asian and Pacific Islander communities in the US. They are the leaders of the #ImReady Movement — an effort to raise visibility around experiences with #MeToo, racial discrimination, war, immigration, and more of self-identified AAPI women.
Our goal is to challenge and help end the intersections of violence against and within our communities.
- WeChat Project — fighting misinformation
Dedicated to combating misinformation through providing relevant resources, the WeChat Project began as an extension of a viral letter by a Chinese American student at Yale University vocalizing the need for Chinese-American support for the Black Lives Matter movement. It stands as an intervention of false and rapidly-circulated content on WeChat and beyond.
- AAJC (Asian American Advancing Justice) & Hollaback! — Bystander guide and intervention training
Introducing the 5 D’s of bystander intervention — distract, delegate, delay, direct, and document — the AAJC has partnered with hollaback! to create guidelines for bystander intervention. The collaboration also hosts regular training sessions on conflict de-escalation strategies, practicing resiliency, and self‑care after experiencing hate.
- Stop AAPI Hate — Understanding Your Right To Be Treated Fairly
Through reviewing general public accommodation statutes under federal law and the laws of the states and District of Columbia, Stop AAPI Hate empowers AAPI individuals to protect themselves from others.
- Stand Against Hatred (Asian American Advancing Justice) — Reporting hate crimes + sharing your story
Organized by the Asian American Advancing Justice, Stand Against Hatred is a platform that aims to help victims of hate crimes share their story. By documenting hate, Stand Against Hatred strives to educate the public about the environment of violence around the U.S..
- The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund — Protecting Asian American civil rights
With the help of public funding and volunteers, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund combines litigation, advocacy, and education to address critical issues affecting Asian Americans — including immigrant rights, voting rights and democracy, economic justice for workers, educational equity, housing and environmental justice, and the elimination of anti-Asian violence, police misconduct, and human trafficking.
Yoko Ono, AALDEF 1993 Justice in Action Award recipient
Remember, each one of us has the power to change the world.
- AADJ — Donate to support the victims and their families and to support crisis interventions
Support at any scale is significant. While action taken through large organizations is necessary, direct support for victims of hate crimes is equally important. Donate to Georgia's Asian American communities through the AADJ and directly help the victims of the violent acts that took place on Tuesday, March 16, 2021.
Community should be built on inclusion rather than exclusion. From centuries of discrimination, oppression, and violence, we know that the path towards justice is not an isolated one, but one that is interwoven with the actions of those around us.
The resources listed above are a small selection of other helpful organizations, initiatives, and communities also curated by people of color. Inspire change by educating yourself and those around you. Take action today!