Atlanta faces a devastatingly heart-breaking reminder that we must do everything possible to combat the rise in violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
On March 17th 2021, eight people were murdered across Atlanta in a saddening act of violence. People from across the globe came forward on social media overnight to pay their respect to the victims lost, in which six were Asian women. Officials have yet to confirm whether or not this was an act of racism, with the man charged denying those claims. However, advocates believe that these heinous acts were rooted in sexism, as well as racism and toxic Asian stereotypes.
Crimes targeting AAPI individuals rose by almost 150% in 2020 throughout the U.S. Nonprofit social organization Stop AAPI Hate disclosed that it has received around 3,800 reports of anti-Asian hate incidents around the country since the start of the pandemic. And these numbers do not even cover every incident that occurred, as many are not charged as hate crimes or are simply underreported. APPI-owned businesses have also been facing a harsher crunch during the ongoing pandemic.
It is clear we must all do more to condemn violence, uplift Asian voices, and fiscally support marginalized communities in our own backyard. Here are 5 ways to start doing your part to help combat anti-Asian racism and create a more equitable Atlanta, equitable country, and equitable world.
1. Donate what you can!
There’s currently a gofundme page dedicated to the #StopAsianHate social media campaign, and the Atlantan shootings. There you can donate what you can to support those affected by this senseless act of violence. There you’ll also find charities that are specifically helping the AAPI community, of which they remain committed to rectifying the racial inequalities in our society.
Stop AAPI Hate is a great non-profit organization. The center tracks and responds to incidents of hate, violence, harassment, discrimination, shunning, and child bullying against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. Their approach recognizes that in order to effectively address anti-Asian racism we must work to end all forms of structural racism leveled at Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color or culture.
2. Be an Advocate!
Atlanta is home to the first and only nonprofit legal advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the civil rights of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AANHPI) in Georgia and the Southeast. Through policy advocacy, civic engagement and impactful litigation, Advancing Justice Atlanta is a great place to volunteers and directly help these communities in Atlanta. Volunteer opportunities include civic engagement, election protection, and campaigning.
Please click here to volunteer with Advancing Justice Atlanta.
3. Support AAPI-Owned Businesses In Your Neighborhood
As written above, Asian-owned businesses have been some of the hardest hit in the pandemic due to racist rhetoric concerning the novel coronavirus. Help your local businesses stay afloat by supporting them as much as possible.
Although there are so many incredible AAPI restaurants across Atlanta, we thought we’d share a couple for inspiration to explore the incredible selection of eateries available in the city. For an innovative tasting menu, check out Lazy Betty in Candler Park. Or if your craving some delicious barbeque, head to Sweet Auburn Barbeque . The BBQ connoisseurs offer traditional style barbecue with an Asian twist. Items on the menu include pimento cheese wontons and coconut lemongrass ribs.
4. Educate Yourself
To understand and change the present, we must reflect on and acknowledge the past, and educating yourself on the history of racism against Asian people in America can help you come to the issues in a more well-rounded fashion and inform your actions today. Research the history of the model minority myth, the history of the model minority myth, the 1871 Chinese massacre, the 1886 hearing of Yick Wo vs. Hopkins, and others. Find informative articles here and here.
5. Protect Homeless Atlanta
Here in Atlanta, the Asian American Resource Center understands that sometimes all it takes to impact lives is a little support. The nonprofit work on many exciting initiatives to improve the lives of local residents in Metro-Atlanta. Specifically working with the homeless, the center offers support and helps homeless families find a home. They have been providing services to the community for over 20 years thanks to all the support from volunteers, donors, and community partners. Why don’t you become one yourself today, Atlanta?
They usually host an array of spectacular events celebrating AAPI cultures, to help fundraise their significant work for those who need it.
For more information on how to get involved, click here.
Other charities you could consider donating to, or volunteer with include:
- AAFE (Asian Americans for Equality)
- Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund
- Asian American Federation
Featured Image: Twitter