“We are tired.” This remark, repeated several times, is the overarching theme in a powerful post by Jeremy Lin. This post, speaking out against racism against Asian Americans, comes as a response to the violent crimes against these communities across the country that have seen an uptick in aggressive–and deadly–attacks
What’s the fuel for this increase in aggression? TIME says that an inherent racial discrimination–this “perpetual foreigner” mentality–is part of the driving force for these hate crimes. It’s not just that people are newly racist, it’s that they always have been but it’s been a quiet struggle.
On top of that, as the world collectively struggles with the pandemic, there is an increased desire to place blame. When the former president labeled COVID “the China Virus,” it stoked fear among the people and gave some the impression that this group of people was to blame.
“We are tired of this hateful violence,” Lin said in his post, before concluding with a list of organizations supporting Asian and Pacific Islander communities. We’ve rounded up 6 more organizations that are bringing a call to action to help you get involved right here in New York.
1) MinKwon Center for Community Action
Sandra Choi, a civic participation manager at the MinKwon Center, told the NY City Lens that awareness is an integral part of fighting back the xenophobic mentality toward Asian Americans. This organization is doing just that. Since being founded in 1984, their mission is to serve, educate, and organize for low-income Asian and immigrant communities.
They are an organization whose beliefs run deep. They’ve helped raise Asian voices, but also stand by all immigrant communities in a push toward equality and citizenship for all. You can help join the fight by becoming a Community Organizer and help grow an informed, active base of community members who are fully engaged in campaigns advancing social justice.
2) Chinese Progressive Association
This organization stands for “social and economic justice for [their] community.” In the wake of these violent attacks, they’ve pledged to continue their representation and duty to improve the lives of Chinese Americans in New York.
How you can get involved:
CPA’s commitment gets to the heart of the matter for New York residents seeking citizenship. They do this through educating those who need it on immigrant rights and offer citizen application assistance free of charge. You can volunteer to teach English just two hours a week. Bilingual skills are helpful, though not necessary, so this is a very inclusive opportunity.
It’s also part of their core mission to service the community. In light of the recent events, they joined with the Asian American Federation (AAF) for a rally to speak out against Asian hate crimes. Follow their Facebook group to stay informed, or make a donation to CPA here.
3) Chinese-American Planning Council (CPC)
As soon as the aggression began, CPC took to Twitter to pledge their solidarity. In a full, official statement, they condemned the violence and called directly on governmental officials to “promote safety, respect, and dignity in all New York City neighborhoods” in terms of more support for the community’s needs.
CPC commits to #StopAsianHate and advocates for more resources and support for our communities, including Asian lead and Asian-serving providers. You can follow their actions as they happen on Twitter and Instagram.
They also help low-income immigrants build social and economic empowerment. To support their cause, you can donate here or you can enroll in their CPC Volunteer & Internship Program (VIP)open to anyone looking to provide their time or expertise, whether they be professionals, students, and other interested individuals from within and outside the Chinese community.
4) Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York (KCS)
Disgracefully, many of these attacks have been on elderly members of the Asian community. In California, an 84-year-old man died as the result of the attacks in January. There have also been attacks on a 91-year old, a 64-year old and, in New York, a 61-year-old man slashed by a box cutter on the subway.
These acts are disgraceful, to say the very least, and it’s the mission of the KCS to be able to uplift the community while there’s such stress. At its core, KCS aims to bridge the social gap and the stigma that marks Koreans and Asian Americans as “others.” They hope to raise awareness, but also to provide immediate care to those who need it, specifically the elderly. They have been continuously making check-in calls to seniors, reminding them to stay vigilant as well as offering their support.
Their programs can offer support for the wider community as well, especially through education and mental health services.
High school and college students also have the chance to join the efforts through an internship opportunity, accepting applicants until May.
5) The Asian American Federation
One of the most vocal foundations in the issues against these hate crimes has been the Asian American Federation. They recently jumped onto a Facebook livestream with Fund for the City of New York and other nonprofits to raise awareness about Ranked Choice Voting. Eventually, RCVs have been proven as a way to cut unnecessary runoff elections and get more inclusionary results.
This is just one example of how they have proven to stand up and take action for improving the community. They’ve kept a close eye on how the acts of violence have transpired and what the effects have been on the community. Their Facebook page serves as an educational discussion of recent events, and, as always, offers some pathways for you to get involved.
Their website echoes this intent. Since personal safety and wellness are apex initiatives of this organization, the main page is offering a helpful, bilingual infographic with tips on how to stay safe.
There’s also easy access to a form where you can anonymously report instances of anti-asian bias.
Perhaps most importantly, mental health and immigrant integration are paramount to their cause. If you’re finding the current situation distressing, you can reach out to find out how to get help.
6) Brooklyn Chinese-American Association
The Brooklyn Chinese-American Association (BCA) has been working tirelessly in the face of adversity for the betterment of the community for over thirty years and has continued to help their community even in the face of COVID.The latest attacks on Asian Americans are no different, and they remain devoted to keeping senior citizens happy and healthy.
You can help, too, through donation of money or goods that will help boost these programs and support the community. The services include health and nutrition workshops, free medical examinations, singing and dance classes, educational programs, Chinese cultural dance, Chinese opera classes, ballroom dancing, and other group activities. BCA plays a special role in the community because, as a part of the community, it understands and directly addresses the unique challenges specific to the Asian-American community in Southern Brooklyn
At the very least, order takeout
We have one final bit of advice to give our readers: show some love and compassion. The Asian American community is navigating a difficult time, and just as we showed support for our BIPOC brothers and sisters, we should do the same for those from other cultures.
It’s easy to show your love just by supporting small business. Welcome to Chinatown helps to highlight businesses in this vibrant New York City neighborhood and provides resources for long term sustainability so that they can survive the pandemic. Next time you want to pass up a night in the kitchen, continue checking out one of these restaurants that continue to serve the community and need its support in return.