Our Framingham group of stakeholders are committed to working in collaboration. Our goal is to increase progress in creating an environment of inclusion which is diverse and equitable for all members of our community. Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in early Spring last year, Human Rights groups across the country have noticed a pattern of targeted hate crimes against Asian Americans. Recently released data confirmed that the number of racist incidents against the Asian American community has indeed skyrocketed.
Massachusetts has reported 67 incidents (likely under-reported) of verbal and physical assaults, only a small number of which would qualify for prosecution under most laws against hate crimes. Attorney General Maura Healey is co-sponsoring legislation to reform the state’s hate crime statute to expand the law.
As we celebrate the Lunar New Year, these news stories are particularly heartbreaking. What is supposed to be a time of celebration and togetherness for millions of people around the world has been marred by these senseless acts of violence. We must remember that where a person is from should not matter in how we view them. The government of an individual’s country should not matter in how we view them. We believe that we are more alike than we are different and have similar goals with respect to freedom, health and happiness for ourselves and our families. We are not able to be inclusive when we only see our differences.
We urge everyone in our community to stand in solidarity with Asian American colleagues and friends; to speak up in the face of injustice in all its forms and to take care of each other in every way we can. We all need to be understanding of the fact that as humans our actions can create an environment of greater inclusion. In our busy days we must take time out to evaluate the environments we work and live in, and make changes if we are not inclusive. In addition, we must always take action to prevent any scenarios where hate, discrimination, bullying, and inequity are allowed. It can not be accepted and will only decline if we act collectively to put a stop to it. Recent reports include the murder of an 84 year old Thai man walking in his San Francisco neighborhood; a subway attack in New York City in which a 61 year old Filipino man was slashed across the face with a knife; and a number of assaults targeting older Asian Americans in California and New York and the most recent murders of 8 people in Atlanta." It cannot be accepted and will only decline if we act collectively to put a stop to it.
To start, here are some important organizations fighting for Asian American rights. Be sure to follow and engage with them as they begin planning next steps and actions following yesterday's horrific attack.
- Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta (Website, Twitter, Facebook)
- Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AJC (Washington, DC) (Website, Twitter, Facebook)
- Stop AAPI Hate (Website, Twitter, Facebook)
- National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum (Website, Twitter, Facebook)
- 18 Million Rising (Website, Twitter, Facebook)
- APIA Vote (Website, Twitter, Facebook)
- APIA Health Forum (Website, Twitter, Facebook)
- National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (Website, Twitter, Facebook)