Supporting “Stop AAPI Hate” Efforts: As an Individual, a Company, and Community as a Whole

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On April 23rd, 2021, China General Chamber of Commerce – USA (CGCC), and CGCC Foundation joined by CGCC-Chicago, D.C., Houston, LA, SF, hosted a webinar titled “Supporting ‘Stop AAPI Hate’ Efforts: As an Individual, a Company, and Community as a Whole.” CGCC was honored to invite three experts from different backgrounds to share their views on how to best support  “Stop AAPI Hate” efforts with CGCC members and the greater community.

Ge Yu, Executive Director of CGCC-DC and Director of Corporate Communications at China Telecom (Americas) Corporation moderated a panel discussion with Pin Ni, Vice-Chairman of CGCC-USA, Chairman of CGCC-Chicago, President of Wanxiang America Corporation; John C. Yang, President and Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC; and Karen King, Partner at Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello PC, and Co-Chair of the Pro Bono and Community Service Committee of the Asian American Bar Association of New York.

(Left to Right) Ge Yu, Karen King, John C. Yang, and Pin Ni

During the panel, speakers first delved into the history of Asian discrimination in the U.S.: “American history is a cycle of rising tension and economical stress leading to discriminatory events and hateful incidents and violence,” said Ms. King. “In the late 1800s, there were many acts and legislations targeting Asians, for example, the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882.”

According to Mr. Yang, there are three causes behind the recent rise in Asian hate crimes:

  1. The Asian American population has been made a scapegoat for people’s fear of COVID-19;
  2. The backlash of the tension between the U.S. and Chinese governments;
  3. Alienation caused by the stereotypes of Asian Americans, including “the perpetual foreigner” and “the model minority myth.”

From the business perspective, Mr. Ni believed that the current racial tension towards the AAPI community is also hurting American interests, “It is creating a lot of fear, and those fears are very unhealthy because it stops the communication, stops people from cooperating with each other to build a better community.”

Next, the panelists discussed what companies can do in practice to support the “Stop AAPI Hate” efforts. Mr. Ni suggested the following:

  • Businesses should make their voice heard, (i.e. urging senators to keep supporting qualified AAPI candidates for public office,etc.);
  • Build their own platform and increase awareness of the issues;
  • Provide tools, such as language support, safe zones and ambassador programs, to its workers and local communities.

Echoing Mr. Ni, on the importance of businesses taking action, Ms. King mentioned that “throughout history, we’ve seen economic power as the ultimate one that pushes social change. When corporations support organizations or efforts and think about social justice, that can have a very powerful effect on promoting equality.”

Towards the end of the panel, Mr. Yang gave some useful tips on how to protect individuals against anti-Asian violence and how to help as a bystander:

Distract: Draw attention away from the harasser and engage with the victim to interrupt the incident. This can be anything from dropping your keys in front of the victim, pretending to be lost,  asking for the time from the victim, etc. to deescalate the situation

Delegate: Ask for assistance or help from a third party. Get additional help from another individual to help manage the situation

Direct: Directly respond to the aggressor if you feel comfortable. Tell them to stop and call out their harassment

Delay: After the aggressor has left, go to the victim and offer help and comfort. Ask them if they are ok, etc.

Document: Record the incident and report to organizations such as Advancing Justice – AAJC to help track and stop similar events in the future

CGCC stands in solidarity with the AAPI community and will continue to stand up against all kinds of hatred and violence, particularly based on race and ethnicity. Whether we are calling out bias and discrimination, supporting advocacy groups, or just taking time to educate ourselves on the benefits of diversity in our communities, we all play a role in breaking this cycle.

CGCC extends great appreciation to all the panelists and participants for their support in making the event a success.

Please click below to access the resources mentioned in the webinar:

CLICK HERE for additional resources gathered by CGCC