|Dear Apex Family,|
In our work with Asian American youth, we frequently hear stories about bullying and the fear, anxiety, and helplessness that go along with it. At our Apex Gala a few years ago, our youth speaker Sean described being attacked at a summer camp for being different: “From that point on, I started to hate myself for being Asian. I reminded myself of how unlucky I was to be born Asian.”
That speech was in 2018. Since COVID19, the anti-Asian sentiment in this country has only risen and we are deeply saddened and disturbed to see the recent resurgence of anti-Asian hate crimes, including the murder of Vicha Ratanapakdee, an 84-year-old Thai man in San Francisco, and the slashing of Noel Quintana, a 61-year-old Filipino man on a subway in New York City. Between March and December of 2020, there were 2,800 anti-Asian hate crimes reported in 47 states and the District of Columbia. In New York City, over 500 anti-Asian hate crimes were reported, an increase of 1,900%. We know that this is only a fragment of the larger reality across the country.
We also know that attacks against Asian Americans are often overlooked because of the model minority myth that we have achieved a certain level of success and socioeconomic status, resulting in the erasure of our community’s needs. Amanda Nguyen, civil rights activist and nominee for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, stated: “This may be the first time you are hearing about this violence if you are not following Asian American news because the mainstream media does not spotlight our stories. We matter. Racism Kills. Our community is being attacked. We are dying to be heard.”
As an organization committed to lifting up low-income, underserved Asian and immigrant youth, Apex for Youth has been and will continue addressing the needs of our community. Here are some ways to help:
– Share our Stop Asian Hate guide, which Apex created last spring in response to anti-Asian violence.
– Create a safety plan for yourself and others.
– Talk with youth and elders about anti-Asian racism and violence. 13.6% of all victims of reported anti-Asian hate crimes are youth under 20 years old and 7.3% are elderly over 60 years old.
– Report anti-Asian bias and incidents at Stop AAPI Hate.
– Support Asian American organizations and individuals working to protect, uplift, and promote the Asian American community.
– Share information and resources on the history of anti-Asian racism in the United States. Here are some places to start your learning:
— Watch PBS’s documentary on Asian American history.
— Watch this series from Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.
— Watch the documentary Who Killed Vincent Chin?
At our 2019 Gala, our youth speaker Jason said: “In school, I got bullied — a different sounding name, smaller eyes, and I spoke a foreign language. My entire life, I felt like Asians, including myself, didn’t have a voice and that we were too reserved to speak up. But that wasn’t true, and we do have a voice… I have a voice.”
Join us in speaking up and working together towards a future that is brighter, more equitable, and just.
With radical love and solidarity,
Apex for Youth
|#ApexForYouth #StopAAPIHate #StopAsianHate|