Our hearts are with the families of the 8 victims of the shooting that happened at three Atlanta spa businesses on Tuesday, March 16th. Six of the eight victims were Asian women. At Civic Champs we believe in strengthening and caring for communities, and the terror and devastation that this shooting precipitated pains us. We stand in solidarity with our Asian American colleagues, and like others, we know that speaking up is the first step, but taking direct actions to support the Asian American/Pacific Islander communities in our cities is the next one.
There are a number of ways to demonstrate support and solidarity including protesting, donating to, and volunteering with organizations that support and are led by Asian and Asian Americans.
The organizations listed below offer opportunities to volunteer directly to support communities that are mourning, but we have also provided a short list of organizations to donate to in areas of interest including those that focus on women, mental health, or the Atlanta area in particular. These organizations are just the tip of the iceberg, and we encourage you to do your own research and find organizations in your area that support Asian American/Pacific Islander communities.
One of the most direct ways to help is simple as accompanying Asian American folks as they complete daily tasks like grocery shopping. With the surge in hate crimes, Asian Americans and specifically elderly Asian Americans are feeling afraid to go out places by themselves. There are programs set up in Oakland, CA and Manhattan’s Chinatown and Lower East Side.
You could also work with the Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus in order to advance justice for Asian American people in the legal realm. The Advancing Justice – ALC is located in San Francisco, CA, and is the nation’s first legal and civil rights organization serving the low-income Asian Pacific American communities. They focus on housing rights, immigrants’ rights, workers’ rights, voting rights, national security and civil rights, and criminal justice reform. If any of those problems interest you, be sure to fill out their volunteer application form today.
Another simple direct action is reporting anti-asian hate crimes. As the number of hate crimes against Asian American people has grown exponentially over the past year, several websites have created simple ways to report incidents. Stop AAPI Hate and Asian Americans Advancing Justice both have forms on their websites to submit incidents as well as tips and information on why it’s important to step up and help.
See if you live in an area supported by a NAPAWF (National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum) chapter, and figure out how to get involved. It’s important to remember that gender-based violence that is so often linked to racial hate. Volunteering time with an organization focused on advancing the rights and securing the safety of Asian women is an excellent place to start. The Center for Asian Pacific American Women, the Asian American Feminist Collective, and API Women Lead are also excellent organizations to support and get involved with.
The Georgia AAPI/AMEMSA (Asian American Pacific Islander/Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian) Movement which is affiliated with Asian Americans Advancing Justice’s Georgia Chapter is doing work directly in the place where shooting occurred and is inviting volunteers to sign-up. Donate to Asian American Advancing Justice - Atlanta here, the funds will directly help those affected by the impacts of the shooting.
Most of the aforementioned organizations have donation pages, but other nonprofits to consider contributing to include Asian Prisoner Support Committee, the Asian Pacific Environmental Network, the Asian Mental Health Collective.
Finally, education is always key. Take some time to read articles, listen to podcasts, visit history museums, and learn more about the history of social struggle and discrimination against Asian Americans in the United States. We recommend NPR’s podcast Code Switch; the show’s most recent episode covers the rise of anti-asian hate crimes throughout the pandemic. Take it upon yourself to support your AAPI colleagues, verbalize your solidarity and know that words are powerful and change starts small.