On May 18, 2023, anti-bullying nonprofit Act To Change is rallying the nation in commemorating the fifth Annual National Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Day Against Bullying and Hate. Human Rights Initiative is committed to ending bullying and hate in the AAPI community and is proud to join over 100 organizations and over 40 cities, states and jurisdictions in this movement.
Act To Change’s commemoration on May 18 is part of Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month and marks the birthday of Vincent Chin. In 1982, Chin was falsely blamed for the layoffs in the auto industry, and brutally murdered in a racial hate crime. He lost his life simply because he was Asian. Chin’s death launched the modern Asian American movement, and we’re proud to join Act To Change in continuing this movement.
America has a longstanding history of anti-AAPI racism and violence, including the Chinese Exclusion Act, Japanese American internment camps, colonization of Hawaiian islands, post 9/11 stereotyping, COVID-19 fueled hate crimes, the use of the “model minority” myth, and the 2023 exclusionary land purchase laws. AAPIs are continually portrayed as the “perpetual foreigner” and AAPI youth grow up feeling the need to prove their Americanness.
The COVID-19 pandemic led to a staggering rise in verbal and physical violence against people of AAPI descent, with nearly 12,000 incidents reported to Stop AAPI Hate. The most vulnerable communities, including youth and elders, bore the brunt of this violence, and AAPI youth continue to become targets of ridicule, social isolation and physical violence in schools. Cyberbullying is another worrying issue, contributing to low self-esteem, social anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts. The Trevor Project reports that 40% of AAPI LGBTQ youth seriously considered suicide in the past year.
All communities of color, including AAPIs, are disproportionately impacted by gun violence. The mass shootings this year in Allen, Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay, along with near-daily school shootings force our communities to live in fear.
The National AAPI Day Against Bullying and Hate is a celebration of AAPI youth. AAPI youth continue to organize within their schools communities, and fight bullying with awareness, art, creativity and compassion for each other. Act To Change’s Youth Ambassadors and Homeroom Anti-Bullying Workshop participants lead exceptional programming and workshops among their peers. AAPI youth grow up to become exceptional leaders, and inspire the nation.
The AAPI community continues to face an epidemic of hate and violence. We stand in solidarity with the AAPI community, and publicly denounce all forms of bullying and hate. We stand in solidarity with Act To Change and numerous community partners to encourage the public to foster dialogue, share resources, and end bullying and hate.