ICYMI: Stop AAPI Hate September Newsletter

October 2023
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This past month, Stop AAPI Hate joined forces with Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA) to introduce “Stop The Blame,” a nationwide campaign that tackles anti-Asian scapegoating. With your support, we launched this campaign at a pivotal juncture, as a growing number of political leaders and candidates stoke anti-Asian racism and discrimination in response to escalating tensions between the U.S. and Chinese governments.

Our campaign aims to highlight the growing danger of anti-Asian scapegoating in American politics and mobilize our supporters and allies to hold politicians accountable. As Stop AAPI Hate co-founder Cynthia Choi shared with NBC News, our new campaign website, stoptheblame.org, will provide resources and research on anti-Asian scapegoating, including updates on states attempting to pass discriminatory policies rooted in anti-Asian scapegoating, such as the wave of land ownership bans currently sweeping the nation. 

To learn more about our campaign, get involved, and join us in the fight against anti-Asian scapegoating, visit stoptheblame.org and spread the word to your families and friends.

Keep scrolling for more on what our coalition – and our broader AAPI communities – were up to this September. If you have something worth sharing, please send a message to hello@stopaapihate.org.    

Updates from our coalition

Our coalition stood in solidarity with AAPIs in Seattle, who are reeling after two horrific incidents this month. 

First, body cam footage revealed abhorrent remarks made by a Seattle police officer about 23-year-old Jaahnavi Kandula, who was killed by a speeding police vehicle in February. In the recording, an officer cruelly stated that her life had “limited value.” Asian American communities in Seattle and beyond are continuing to call for police accountability.

Days later, Seattle’s Wing Luke Museum — a local and national treasure that exhibits Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander art, culture, and history — was vandalized by a man with a sledgehammer who said “the Chinese ruined [his] life”. The vandal’s racist remarks mirror the words and actions of a growing number of politicians who are engaging in anti-Asian scapegoating — or in other words, blaming and targeting everyday Asian people in the U.S. under the cover of geopolitics.

A picture of Nick Gee, Advocacy Manager, and Yamuna Hopwood, Communications Manager, posing with the PR Daily Nonprofit Communications Awards Grand Prize Award.
Nick Gee (Advocacy Manager) and Yamuna Hopwood (Communications Manager) representing Stop AAPI Stop AAPI Hate at the PR Daily Nonprofit Communications Awards.

One week after transit safety bill SB 434 passed through the California state legislature, Stop AAPI Hate and the No Place For Hate campaign won the grand prize for PR Daily’s Nonprofit Communications Campaign of the Year as well as the Advocacy or Awareness Campaign award.  This victory would not be possible without the help of our diverse coalition of allies and supporters — and we hope Governor Newsom will help us to keep up the momentum by signing SB 434 into law

As part of an Asian American-led coalition of 51 organizations, Stop AAPI Hate sent Congress a letter urging them to reform Section 702 of FISA and put an end to the unjust, warrantless surveillance and racial profiling of Asian Americans. Our efforts were amplified by politicians like Rep. Pramila Jayapal. 

Managing Director of Advocacy Andy Wong visited the White House to celebrate the announcement of the first-ever federal Office of Gun Violence Prevention. This is a historic victory for advocates who have called for a whole-of-government approach to reduce gun violence and save lives. As our co-founders, Manjusha Kulkarni and Cynthia Choi remind us in their USA Today op-ed, Asian Americans cannot afford to remain silent on gun violence. You can read their full remarks here

In recognition of Labor Day, we sat down with Mikayla Vu, the National Secretary at the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), to discuss the significance of the labor movement as well as the connection between workers’ rights and the fight for racial justice. You can read our full conversation with Mikayla Vu here.

We celebrated the passage of AB1354 in California to include AANHPI history in K-12 curriculum frameworks. This is an important step in teaching young students about the history of discrimination, as well as the many accomplishments in the history of our community. 

Our co-founder, Manjusha Kulkarni (AAPI Equity Alliance) spoke with the San Francisco Chronicle about California’s SB 403, a bill that outlaws discrimination on the basis of caste. It has received some backlash from people in the Hindu community, but others, including Manjusha, say the criticisms are misguided: “As someone who is myself Hindu — and I guess I fall under one of the higher castes — I can just say the criticisms of the bill don’t take into account the fact that caste discrimination both in India and in the United States is real. To simply say that raising the issues somehow puts Hindus or Hinduism in a poor light is misguided.”

Updates from our communities

🧧 Gov. Kathy Hochul recently signed legislation in New York making the Lunar New Year a public school holiday. This new law is an important step in celebrating and recognizing New York’s Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.

✅ The U.S. Senate voted to confirm Judge Rita Lin to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. She will be the first Chinese American woman to serve at a lifetime capacity on that court.

📑 A new report from the Census Bureau shows that Indian Americans are now the most populous Asian-alone group in the United States. As the 2024 election ramps up, Indian Americans will play a pivotal role as an emerging and growing voter bloc. 

🏠 Several weeks after the horrific wildfires in Maui, many residents are returning home to their neighborhoods of Lahaina to find nothing left of their communities and homes. This is yet another reminder of the destruction and the long road ahead to rebuilding and healing. 

🤝 In less than a week after the Happy Living Adult Daycare was vandalized, the AAPI community center more than tripled its fundraising goal. The Colorado-based community center plans to use the funds to create a safer space that benefits the community at large. 

It’s because of supporters like you that our coalition is able to sustain and grow our movement for racial justice. Help us keep the momentum going with a one-time donation to Stop AAPI Hate today.

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