Solidarity With the Asian-American Community
By Henry Street Settlement
Henry Street Settlement deplores the recent acts of racist violence and hate speech against our Asian and Asian-American community members in New York City and nationwide, including this week’s appalling mass killing in Atlanta.
These crimes persist and have multiplied dramatically in tandem with the coronavirus pandemic, spurred on by racist, inflammatory language at the highest levels of government. They are deeply offensive and threaten to further divide our populace. Moreover, we decry the misogynistic (anti-woman) sentiment underlying the 3,800 recorded anti-Asian assaults in the United States over the past year: Attacks on women have been reported at twice the rate of men—a crisis that is all too clear in the Atlanta murders. New York City is far from immune: in just the past few weeks alone, we’ve seen several shocking attacks on Asian-American women senior citizens—among the most vulnerable members of our community.
This wave of violence follows from a long history of anti-Asian discrimination in the United States. In fact, our own neighborhood’s history was shaped in part by Chinese people fleeing scapegoating and violence on the West Coast in the 1870s and establishing New York’s Chinatowns.
As New York Times reporter and founder of the 1619 Project Nikole Hannah-Jones put it yesterday, “…[the shooting] & the appalling rise of anti-Asian violence stem from a sick society where nationalism has again been stoked & normalized.” We know that white supremacy aims to divide and “otherize,” effectively undermining the humanity and protection of non-white citizens. Henry Street stands for the full humanity and protection of every person and supports the Asian-American and Pacific Islander community in their demand to live safely, without the threat of violence at work, school, or anywhere.
Throughout our programming, Henry Street strives for Asian-American inclusivity and educates our community about discrimination—from the books our teachers read in early childhood education to the classes and support groups held by our Senior Center. Asian Americans are among the many diverse and important communities represented among Henry Street’s team, neighborhood, and community of participants. But as with all types of racism, we are continually striving to do more to live our ideals.
If you or anyone you know has experienced anti-Asian or Asian-American violence or racist discrimination of any kind, you can call the NYC Commission on Human Rights at 212-416-0197 to be referred to resources that can help.
Our partners at the Museum of Chinese in America are collecting stories and documentation of anti-Asian and Asian-American hate crimes and discrimination. Click here.
In addition, our colleagues at The HOPE Program and members of the Henry Street team have thoughtfully compiled the following helpful resources for those who are experiencing violence, discrimination, or fear of either or who would like to support the AAPI community.
If you’re facing fear, anxiety, harassment, or discrimination:
- Sign up for a SafeWalk to be escorted to or from your local subway station
- The Asian American Federation has compiled a website and booklet for deescalating threatening situations and defending oneself.
- Read the #IAmNotAVirus campaign’s Mental Health Workbook for Asian-Americans
- Visit The HOPE Program’s Work Wellness Landing Page for wellness and mindfulness resources, including the Asian Mental Health Collective
- Resources for talking to kids about (and helping them combat) anti-Asian racism.
- Services for the Tibetan and Nepalese communities are available here.
For those who wish to support the AAPI community:
- Read the New York City Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes (OPHC)’s Toolkit for Addressing Anti-Asian Bias, Discrimination, and Hate
- Review these Bystander Intervention Strategies from the Center for Anti-Violence Education
- Volunteer with SafeWalks to escort members of your community to their local subway station
- Browse these resources on Black-Asian solidarity
- Support our Asian-led, Asian-serving peer nonprofits, like the Chinese-American Planning Council and Coalition for Asian American Children and Families
- Attend a free bystander intervention training with Hollaback! on March 29 or April 20
David Garza, CEO
Henry Street Settlement