Photo by AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez
The Ethos team stands with the AAPI community and calls for others to show solidarity and, most importantly, take action.
In the last year, there have been 3,800 hate incidents against the AAPI community, primarily against women. This violence is sewn into the fabric of our country.
From Nativist laws enforced to stem the flow of Chinese immigration; to Japanese internment camps; and a steady stream of social discrimination, isolation, ostracization, and acts of bias and hate throughout the centuries—the AAPI community has faced the insidiousness of racism continuously and consistently.
While we know there is nothing we can do to change the past, it is our responsibility as a diversity, equity, and inclusion organization—and as people—to say and do something moving forward.
In particular, the words of Cathy Park Hong and Prageeta Sharma are ringing in our ears:
“Americans have an expiration date on race the way they do on grief. At some point, they expect you to get over it.”
AAPI voices have called for their stories to be heard, for their experiences to be recognized, and for change to happen for years. Our collective complicity in erasing them and disregarding them has endangered them, harmed them, and trapped them within a model minority myth meant to silence them. We must take action to stand with our AAPI community members. To do, collectively, we believe we must:
- Acknowledge the American racial binary where groups are divided into Black or white, erasing and minimizing the racial experiences of other groups, including AAPI, as a means of dividing us when all BIPOC must stand together.
- Shift the narrative from focusing solely on stopping AAPI hate, which is noble and essential, but also dismantle white supremacy and white terrorism.
- Celebrate AAPI joy, recognize AAPI accomplishments, uplift AAPI creators, protect Asian communities, support AAPI businesses, and hear AAPI voices.
We also believe, at Ethos, that it falls on us to take these actions ourselves and examine critically how we are not doing our part to support the AAPI community. We are not only calling for change but committing to changing ourselves. We ask you to join us.
Alida Miranda-Wolff, Strother Gaines, Lexi Brown, Pondharshini Sadasivam, Luis Vargas, Sonni Conway, and Amalia Loiseau
Our Response to the Ongoing Violence Against the AAPI Community
How has Ethos supported the AAPI community in response to the ongoing violence?
On March 17, 2021, we began donating to organizations to support change and reform. These include:
Additionally, we have compiled a list of resources to be shared with the public, especially our client community. We will also be reaching out to all of our clients and partners to implore them to take a stand, not just in issuing statements, but in giving their employees tools for protesting, donating, and most importantly, supporting and checking on the AAPI employees within their organizations.
With that said, there is always more work to be done, and one of our main focuses is to uplift and highlight AAPI voices speaking on the issues that continue to impact their daily lives.
Ethos’ Team Composition
In having this discussion, we believe that transparency matters and that we have to be honest about our own team’s racial and ethnic makeup.
- Full-Time Employees: 1 Multiethnic, 1 White, 1 Black, 1 South Asian, 1 Latinx
- Part-Time Employees: 2 White, 1 Southeast Asian, 1 Black
- Contract Consultants and Facilitators: 4 Black, 2 White
We are using our capital to create more full-time and part-time opportunities, and we constantly check our interview process to ensure our funnel stays widened and eliminates bias. We commit to working with our AAPI community partners to create more opportunities for those we are currently not reaching through our ongoing efforts.
How to Support AAPI Employees
We recognize that many of us are wondering how to best serve as advocates and allies to our AAPI colleagues during this difficult time. To better support them, we recommend doing the following.
- Checking in on AAPI employees with broad, non-leading, and non-extractive questions around how they are feeling and doing in this current moment.
- Compiling and explaining any mental health resources the organization offers, whether through an Employee Assistance Program, mental health partnerships, or other third parties.
- Reminding employees of flexible leave policies, as well as the fact that sick time includes mental health.
- Recognizing that giving employees a day off does not make up for years of lived and inherited racial trauma, and committing to providing more opportunities for healing, opportunity, and support beyond the current moment of outrage, which may include:
- Leading healing circles for AAPI caucus groups.
- Re-evaluating recruiting efforts and how they may exclude AAPI candidates in order to update practices and processes.
- Measuring both the frequency and velocity of AAPI promotions and lateral movement in the organization against non-AAPI groups with a commitment to making adjustments as needed.
- Reviewing wage equity to account for any wage gaps between AAPI and non-AAPI employees.
- Specifically addressing the intersectional nature of violence against the AAPI community, especially regarding AAPI women, and creating resources to uplift AAPI women.
- Offering education around AAPI social identity, white supremacy, and diversity, equity, and inclusion to all employees.
- Evaluating current suppliers and other businesses to identify more opportunities to support AAPI businesses and engaging employees in making recommendations.
Please note that this list is not all-encompassing and will continue to grow as we learn about more sources.
Community Organizations to Support
- Asian Women Immigrant Advocates (AWIA) works with immigrant workers employed in the Bay Area’s garment, home care, hotel, restaurant, assembly, other low-wage industries, and low-income immigrant youth Oakland. The organization seeks to empower women and youth through education, leadership development, and collective action so that they can fight for dignity and justice in their daily lives and improve their working and living conditions
- Chinese Progressive Association (CPA) educates, organizes, and empowers the low-income and working-class immigrant Chinese community in San Francisco to build collective power with other oppressed communities to demand better living and working conditions and justice for all people.
- Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance (KIWA)’s mission is to empower Koreatown’s immigrant workers in low-wage industries for dignity and respect in the workplace and community and to work together with other communities to realize a vision of a just Los Angeles. One of the nation’s most established workers centers, KIWA is one of few community groups that organize both Korean and Latino workers.
- SWAN Vancouver is one of only two organizations in Canada providing culturally-specialized supports and advocacy to im/migrant women engaged in indoor sex work. The diverse voices and ongoing resilience of these communities of women fuel SWAN’s mission to change the social and political narratives that racialize, misdefine, exclude, and otherwise harm them.
- CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities works to build grassroots community power across diverse poor and working-class Asian immigrant and refugee communities in New York City. They were founded in 1986 by Asian working-class women alarmed by the spike of hate violence on Asian communities and its root causes stemming from institutional racism in the United States.
- Red Canary Song centers base-building with migrant workers through a labor rights framework and mutual aid. We believe that full decriminalization is necessary for labor organizing and anti-trafficking.
- NAPAWF is the only organization focused on building power with AAPI women and girls to influence critical decisions that affect their lives, their families, and their communities. Using a reproductive justice framework, they elevate AAPI women and girls to impact policy and drive systemic change in the United States.
- Hate Is A Virus is a nonprofit community of mobilizers and amplifiers to dismantle racism and hate. Started in 2020, Hate Is A Virus continues to amplify, educate and activate AAPI to stand for justice and equality in solidarity with other communities. We do this by mobilizing our community to participate in local and national campaigns, creating space for dialogue and education, and providing actionable steps and funding in partnership with trusted community leaders.
National Organizations to Support
- The AAPI Community Fund addresses the urgent issues that face the AAPI community as well as broader, systemic problems. With the donations received through the Fund, GoFundMe.org will issue grants to trusted AAPI organizations working to rectify the racial inequalities in our society.
- The Asian Mental Health Collective’s mission is to normalize and destigmatize mental health within the Asian community. It aspires to make mental health easily available, approachable, and accessible to Asian communities worldwide.
- The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) is a federation of LGBTQIA+ Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) organizations. They seek to build the organizational capacity of local LGBTQIA+ AAPI groups, develop leadership, promote visibility, educate our community, enhance grassroots organizing, expand collaborations, and challenge homophobia and racism.
- AAPI Women Lead and its #ImReady Movement aims to strengthen the progressive political and social platforms of Asian and Pacific Islander communities in the U.S. through the leadership of self-identified AAPI women and girls with the goal of ending the intersections of violence against and within the organization’s communities. The #ImReady Movement begins with a series of conferences that will raise awareness around the experiences that AAPI women have with #MeToo and gender and racial discrimination.
- AAPI Progressive Action is a nonprofit that works to empower Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, connect AAPI communities and their leaders, and promote awareness and action for progressive AAPI causes. The group achieves this mission by formulating and analyzing domestic policies of importance to AAPIs, collaborating with AAPI and allied organizations to promote a progressive agenda, and partnering with national and local AAPI and allied organizations to increase the participation of AAPIs in the voting process.
- The Stop AAPI Hate reporting center tracks and responds to incidents of hate, violence, harassment, discrimination, shunning, and child bullying against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. Their approach recognizes that in order to effectively address anti-Asian racism, they must work to end all forms of structural racism leveled at Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color.
Mental Health Resources
Activists to Follow