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Six Ways to be an Ally to the Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Community  


April 2, 2021
By Evangeline Chan and Queenie Ng  

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, racism and violence against the Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community has increased. Racism manifests in different ways and our communities have experienced everything from physical attacks, verbal harassment, and violence leading to deathas seen in the fatal shootings at Atlanta-based massage parlors in March 2021. 

At Safe Horizon, we believe racism is violence. We stand with the AAPI communities who have experienced the trauma of racism long before the pandemic and even more so now. We also call for advocates and allies to come together and support our fellow community members.   

If you find yourself asking how you can help, show up and be an ally to the AAPI community, here are six ways to do so:   

  1. Check in with Your AAPI Friends, Family, Colleagues, and Community Members 
    • Callemail, or message them asking how they are doingDon’t be afraid to make the first move. You can offer to just listen, or even help with tasks or errands, like accompanying them if they don’t feel safe on the streets just now.
  2. Learn to be a Better Bystander 
    • When you witness someone being targeted, learn how to stand up with them. Hollaback!, a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to ending harassment, created a bystander intervention guide to help you prepare for a situation where you can helpCall out and report racism when you see it
  3. Amplify Content About Anti-AAPI Racism and Discrimination 
    • Share stories and repost news and resources on social media to raise awareness about anti-AAPI racism and discrimination.
  4. Advocate and Get Politically Active 
  5. Learn About the History of Anti-AAPI Racism 
    • Examine and dismantle your own unconscious biases and misheld beliefs, such as the Model Minority MythModel empathy and solidarity to your family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues. The Asian American Studies Program from Cornell University’s College of Arts and Sciences has compiled this library of Anti-Racism Resources for the AAPI Community.
  6. Support AAPI-owned businesses or organizations that help the community 
    • The AAPI community has suffered from the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and systemic racism. If you’re in New York City, visit Welcome to Chinatown, a grassroots organization that supports AAPI businesses in the district. 

As the nation’s leading victim assistance organization, we provide support, prevent violence, and promote justice for all victims of crime and abuse, including victims of hate crimes. To learn more about how Safe Horizon helps hate crime victims click here. You can also call our 24-hour hotline at 1-800-621-HOPE (4673) or visit our emergency help page. 

Solidarity is about doing this work together. Only together can we begin to combat racism and hate. 

  • Evangeline M. Chan

    Director, Immigration Law Project

  • Queenie Ng

    Clinical Forensic Specialist, Manhattan Child Advocacy Center CAC

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